Eni deal a testament to Abu Dhabi's attraction

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It's the first time that Eni gets rights to Abu Dhabi's oil and natural gas sector.

On Sunday Eni also signed a 40-year deal with UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), awarding it a 10 percent stake in the Umm Shaif and Nasr offshore oil concession and a 5 percent stake in Lower Zakum, for a total participation fee of about $875 million.

Descalzi said that the agreement was in line with Eni's expansion strategy and would allow Eni a larger presence in the Middle East.

The Zohr super-giant gas field was successfully started-up in December 2017, in only 28 months after its discovery, and is now producing 400 million f3/d. It split an offshore production concession that expired last week into three blocks, and Eni is the fourth worldwide entrant to secure rights to one of the new areas.

Eni has agreed to sell to Mubadala Petroleum, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, a 10% stake in the Shorouk concession, offshore Egypt, where Zohr's super-giant gas field is located. It plans to offer projects for investment as early as May and will also seek bids for new exploration blocks, the company said.

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Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CEO of Petroleum & Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company, and Chairman of Mubadala Petroleum said: "This is an important and attractive investment for Mubadala, adding a world-class asset to our portfolio with long-term cash flows". Tom Quinn, a regional analyst for consultant firm Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement emailed late Sunday to that ENI can balance a North African focus with its deeper push into the Middle East offshore segment.

Spanish refiner Cia Espanola de Petroleos SA paid $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake in the Sateh Al Razboot and Umm Lulu fields in a deal announced February 18.

In August, ADNOC said it would split its ADMA-OPCO offshore concession into three areas - Lower Zakum, Umm Shaif and Nasr, and Sateh Al Razboot and Umm Lulu - with new terms to unlock greater value and increase opportunities for partnerships.

OMV AG, an Austrian energy company nearly 25% owned by Mubadala, is also poised to win a stake in the offshore concessions, people with knowledge of the matter said in February. Adnoc says it now can pump about 3 million barrels daily, with just under half coming from offshore deposits. Abu Dhabi holds about 6 percent of the world's crude reserves.

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