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4 firms bid for UAE project

Dubai, September 3, 2007

Four international oil companies have bid for a multibillion-dollar project to develop the Shah sour gas field in the UAE, company and industry sources said.

The project is one of the largest this year for companies vying for limited access to the Middle East's oil and gas reserves.

ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell were all in the race for the project. The gas has a content of around 30 per cent of potentially deadly hydrogen sulphide, making it tougher to produce than conventional gas reserves.

'We believe that we have offered a compelling solution for the safe and rapid development of the Shah field,' Shell spokeswoman Eurwen Thomas said.

 Occidental has submitted a proposal, spokesman Richard Kline said.

Conoco and Exxon also made bids to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) ahead of the August 30 deadline, industry sources said.

Adnoc was expected to choose a lead partner for the project shortly as it needs to bring online new gas supplies quickly to meet spiralling demand.

Record oil revenues have fuelled economic expansion and boosted demand for gas from the power sector and heavy industry.

The winner will take a 40 per cent stake in the project, while Adnoc will hold the rest.

The bidding round was the second for the sour gas reserves after the UAE revised the terms of its initial tender in April that also included the Bab field.

The project to develop both fields had an estimated cost of around $10 billion. It is not clear what the cost of developing the Shah field alone will be.

The complexity of developing both fields led Abu Dhabi to split the tender. The UAE has said the Bab field would be developed later.

The UAE holds the world's fifth-largest gas reserves at nearly 214 trillion cubic feet and is the world's sixth-largest oil exporter.Reuters




Tags: Royal Dutch Shell | Exxon Mobil | ConocoPhillips | Adnoc | Occidental Petroleum |

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