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Exxon, Shell, Oxy Said to Be Shortlisted for Abu Dhabi Shah Gas


By Ayesha Daya and Anthony DiPaola – Nov 1, 2010 9:02 AM GMT+0000

Abu Dhabi shortlisted Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Occidental Petroleum Corp. as potential partners to develop the $10 billion Shah natural-gas project, two people familiar with the plan said.

Abu Dhabi Gas Development Co., owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., known also as Adnoc, is pressing ahead with Shah after the original foreign partner, ConocoPhillips, withdrew from the project in April. The people declined to be identified by name because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.

The sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi, holder of most of the oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates, is seeking to develop its reserves of sour, or high-sulfur, gas to meet soaring domestic electricity needs. The U.A.E. imports gas from Qatar and is developing nuclear power to meet local energy demand, which is expected to double by 2020, according to government studies.

“We have shortlisted three companies,” said Mohammed Sahoo, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd., another Adnoc unit, said in an interview in Abu Dhabi today. “We are going ahead with the project.” He declined to name the companies.

Shell’s Abu Dhabi country chief, John Barry, declined to comment yesterday when asked whether the Anglo-Dutch oil company was on the Shah gas shortlist. Hatem Shaker, an Abu Dhabi-based vice president of public and government affairs for Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil, declined to comment.

An Occidental public relations official in Abu Dhabi declined to comment and spokesman Richard Kline at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ayesha Daya in Abu Dhabi at Anthony DiPaola in Abu Dhabi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at


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