Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on Tuesday signed a comprehensive strategic framework agreement, with Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft, to explore new opportunities for collaboration.

The cooperation — in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as in artificial intelligence and other innovative technologies — brings together two leading energy producers to collaborate in areas of mutual strategic importance, and reinforces the strong bilateral relations between the UAE and Russia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Adnoc and Gazprom Neft will jointly explore opportunities for collaboration in relation to Abu Dhabi’s exploration and production concessions.

This potential for collaboration in relation to Abu Dhabi’s exploration and production concessions builds on the momentum of the successful conclusion of Abu Dhabi’s debut competitive exploration and production bid round.

In addition, the two partners will jointly assess strategic opportunities for collaboration in sour gas exploration and production.

Adnoc is a leader in sour gasfield development and production with extensive experience gained from its Shah sour gasfield in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, where it plans to increase production from about 1.3 to 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscfd) of natural gas. Also, Adnoc is developing the Ghasha ultra-sour gas concession, which is expected to produce more than 1.5 bscfd of natural gas by around 2025.

Both companies will also explore potential opportunities for collaboration in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques that could unlock and maximise value from maturing reservoirs. Collaboration on the various EOR applications will support Adnoc’s production growth plans and enhance hydrocarbon recovery rate towards its 70 per cent aspiration, where commercially viable.

“This comprehensive framework agreement with Gazprom Neft is a natural evolution of the close and deep bilateral relations between the UAE and Russia, and provides a foundation to strengthen and expand the strategic energy relationship between both countries,” said Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Adnoc Group chief executive officer.

“The strategic agreement offers the potential for exciting new opportunities for both companies, in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as in artificial intelligence and sour gas where Adnoc has vast untapped reserves. It is our firm hope that we can convert this framework agreement into a new, mutually beneficial partnership that will create long-term and sustainable value,” he added.

Gazprom Neft is primarily engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, refining, and the production and sale of petroleum products. It is one of the world’s top ten public companies by proven liquid hydrocarbon reserves, and a global leader in its rapidity in reserves replacement.

The company’s production and refining volumes — which in 2018 reached 92.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) and 42.9 million tonnes of oil, respectively — place it among the top three most important companies in Russia. Its products are sold throughout Russia and exported to over 50 countries worldwide.