18 December 2016, London — BP has traded a 2% stake in the company for a 10% interest in one of the last big oil concessions available in the Middle East, the company said Saturday, ending a years long standoff over the terms to gain access to the license in the United Arab Emirates.
The all-share deal, worth roughly £1.8 billion ($2.2 billion), gives BP access to onshore oil fields containing 20-30 billion barrels of oil equivalent over the 40-year term of the contract. It will provide BP with 165,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day as well as longer-term and low-cost growth prospects.
The deal comes as oil prices begin to show signs of recovering after a two-year slump, boosted by an agreement between major producers—including the U. A. E.—to cut back output.
The agreement between the U.A.E. and BP is the latest success for Abu Dhabi in a drawn-out negotiation process between the Emirate and international oil companies for concession rights. Talks have intermittently stalled for years over the terms demanded by the Gulf state.
Total SA set the benchmark for a deal last year after the French oil major agreed to a $2.2 billion sign-on fee in return for a 10% in the concession and $2.85 for every barrel of oil sold. At the time, voices from within the industry didn’t see the deal as being favourable, particularly as low prices intensified companies’ scrutiny of deal values. BP and Royal Dutch Shell PLC hesitated to complete similar deals.
Since then, Japan’s INPEX Corp. and GS Energy of South Korea have also taken smaller stakes in the concession.
BP is likely to have received a similar per barrel fee to Total for its interest in the oil field, though the company did not disclose details. It will become a 10% shareholder in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations Limited, or Adco, which operates the concession.
*Sarah Kent – The Wall Street Journal