Hatem Nuseibeh Image Credit: Courtesy: Total

Abu Dhabi: French oil giant Total will continue to invest in the UAE for the development of oilfields and hopes to be part of offshore concessions which will expire in 2018, a top executive of the company told Gulf News in an interview.

“We will continue to invest in the UAE in the coming years. There are fields to be developed and there is production to be developed. We will continue to invest and plan to be part of offshore concessions of Adma-Opco which will expire in 2018,” said Hatem Nuseibeh, President of Total, exploration and production in the UAE.

The company has 13 per cent share in Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) which will be merged with Zakum Development Company by early 2018.

Speaking on the merger, he said it’s a great idea and they are hundred per cent behind Adnoc in supporting the decision.

“The merger will bring down costs and increase efficiency. We have offered our people to help Adnoc in making this merger successful and be able to bring out all synergies to cut costs and make it more efficient.”

Costs

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on October 4 announced the integration of Adma-Opco with Zadco as part of the company’s efforts to consolidate operations to bring down costs due to low oil prices.

The merger is expected to be completed by early 2018 under a steering committee formed by Adnoc and its partners including BP, Exxon Mobil, Japan Oil Development Company and Total.

Total is also involved in the development of Abu Dhabi’s onshore oilfields with a 10 per cent stake in Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (Adco) concessions.

The oil company signed the concession agreement with Adnoc last year and is said to have paid $2.2 billion as a bonus amount, according to media reports.

“Signing the concession agreement with Adnoc was the right decision,” Nuseibeh said.

“Where else in the world can you get access to quantity of this oil in a safe country with no technical risks? These reservoirs are enormous and they are going to give you want you want and production costs are among the lowest in the world.”

“Some companies which did not sign the agreement at the time are regretting that they did not come with us,” he added.

Expenditure

The current production of Adco is around 1.6 million barrels of oil per day and is expected to increase to 1.8 million barrels per day from 2017.

With oil prices remaining low, the company plans to cut expenditure in the coming years.

“When the price of oil was $100 per barrel we were little bit unrealistic, we were dreaming. Now the price of oil fell, we want to control our expenditure.”

“All the IOCs (International Oil Companies) and NOCs like Adnoc are controlling the expenditure so that we can survive in the low oil price environment.”

Oil prices lost half of its value in the last two years due more production and less demand.

From more than $110 per barrel in June 2014, oil prices fell to less than $50 per barrel in recent times. Total is also investing in Iran with the company signing a $4.8 billion (Dh17.6 billion) gas deal to develop Phase 11 of the South Pars field under a 20-year contract, the company announced on Tuesday.