ADNOC Deepening Ties With China

09.02.2018 -

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is keen to explore petrochemicals, energy and technology partnerships with China, in particular to learn how energy input from the oil-rich Middle East country can support chemical production in the People’s Republic, ADNOC Group chief executive, Sultan Al Jaber, said on a visit to China early this week.

China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, has recently expanded its participation in the UAE’s hydrocarbon sector, Al Jaber noted, adding that the growing ties between Chinese companies and ADNOC “is a testament to the depth and importance of the relationship.”

“ADNOC’s focus on the application of advanced technology, in support of its 2030 growth strategy, is one area where China’s experience in developing artificial intelligence and predictive data, through companies such as Huawei, could be deployed to create additional value from its resources,” the CEO said. The Abu Dhabi group is keen to advance and lead the digitization of the oil and gas industry.

ADNOC is currently revamping its business model, consolidating various businesses and streamlining its operations as part of an overhaul that has seen it seek more international partners. In November 2017, it announced plans to allocate Dh400 billion ($100 billion) to capital spending projects over the next five years, including additional international downstream projects and further exploration for unconventional gas resources.

China is already a significant investor in the UAE's energy sector. In a 40-year agreement backdated to Jan. 1, 2015, ADNOC last February awarded China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), that country's largest oil and gas producer and supplier, an 8% stake in Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil concession.

In November, CNPC subsequently signed a framework agreement to study collaboration opportunities including in Abu Dhabi’s Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif and Nasr offshore concessions, as well as the Bab Bu Hasa, Ghasha and Hail sour gas development projects.

The UAE, which is seeking to triple its petchems production by 2025, is also keen to boost its petrochemical exports to China, the largest Asian customer for output of Abu Dhabi's massive Borouge project, the chemicals joint venture between ADNOC and Austrian olefins and polyolefins group Borealis. ADNOC is also an indirect shareholder in Borealis.

ADNOC is focused on market expansion in China and Asia, where demand for petrochemicals and plastics, including lightweight automotive components, essential utility piping and cable insulation, is forecast to double by 2040, the company said during the visit to China.