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ACNOC and Shell Sign Preliminary Deal

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell have signed a preliminary deal to jointly explore develop and produce offshore gas fields in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Royal Dutch Shell have signed a preliminary deal to jointly explore, develop and produce offshore gas fields in Abu Dhabi, Shell said on Monday.

"ADNOC and Shell Abu Dhabi signed a memorandum of understanding today under which Shell will evaluate potential joint exploration, development and production with ADNOC of offshore deep gas fields prospects in Abu Dhabi," Shell said in a statement.

"Once the evaluation is completed, Shell hopes to move forward rapidly with final agreements in order to quickly begin joint exploration and development activities."

The United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is one, holds the world's fifth-largest gas reserves at nearly 214 trillion cubic feet, much of it sour.

In July, ADNOC and ConocoPhillips signed a deal to develop sour gas reserves in the UAE for a cost that could exceed $10 billion, one of the largest in the past year open to international companies competing for limited access to the Middle East's oil and gas fields.

Shell is already in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Onshore Company (ADCO) with a 9.5 percent interest and with Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (GASCO) with a 15 percent stake, it said.

Author: Jo Amey