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Royal Dutch Shell wins huge UAE gas deal

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Anglo-Dutch company Shell has beaten France’s Total to a multi-billion-pound deal to develop a gas field with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

The two companies will develop the Bab field, a potentially tricky project because it contains so-called sour gas, a poisonous and foul smelling product.

The project, which could be worth about $10bn (£6.5bn), requires highly sophisticated technology to develop.

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a “fantastic outcome” for Shell.

The deal was announced at the start of a visit to London by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, president of the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Cameron said: “Today’s deal, the largest secured by a British company in the UAE in recent years, is a fantastic outcome for Shell and highlights the UK’s world class energy sector.”

ADNOC will own 60% of the Bab joint venture, and Shell the rest.

The 30-year venture to treat the potentially deadly gases in Bab also puts Europe’s largest energy company in a strong position to renew its role in the UAE’s largest onshore oil concession, on which the Bab field stands, when that contract comes up for renewal early next year.

French President Francois Hollande is thought to have tried to encourage Abu Dhabi to give Total a share in the project when he visited the UAE in January.

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