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Energy Companies Eye Stakes in UAE's New Ruwais LNG Export Project

Energy Companies Eye Stakes in UAE's New Ruwais LNG Export Project

Apr 23, 2024

Energy Companies Eye Stakes in UAE's New Ruwais LNG Export Project

Leading international oil and gas players, including Shell Plc (Shell) and TotalEnergies SE (TotalEnergies), have entered discussions to acquire interests in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) upcoming Ruwais LNG export project. According to anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg, these negotiations encompass both equity stakes and contracts for LNG purchases from the new facility.

The Ruwais LNG project is an initiative by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) to establish two liquefaction trains with a combined annual capacity of 9.6 million metric tonnes (mmtpa). This project aims to more than double ADNOC's current LNG production capacity, which is limited to its existing 5.8 mmtpa facility on Das Island. Last month, ADNOC announced a 15-year agreement with Germany’s Securing Energy for Europe (Sefe) to supply LNG starting in 2028, conditional on the Ruwais project's final investment decision (FID) and regulatory approvals.

The FID for Ruwais LNG could be made as soon as May. ADNOC has indicated that the Ruwais facility will rank among the world's "lowest carbon intensity LNG plants." Notably, ADNOC has declared that it does not require external financial support for this project and may opt to retain full ownership.

The discussions also involve Mitsui & Co., a Japanese trading company, which, along with Shell and TotalEnergies, is seeking a share in both the equity and future LNG output of the Ruwais plant. However, Mitsui stated in an emailed response that no decision has been made at this time, and ADNOC, Shell, and Total have not yet responded to requests for comment.

The UAE, alongside regional counterparts like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is escalating its presence in the global LNG market. While Saudi Arabia is looking for international investments, Qatar is expanding its LNG export capacity by 85% by 2030 through additional projects. This surge in activity comes despite projections by the International Energy Agency that global gas demand may peak by 2030 and amid environmental and national security reviews of gas developments by the United States. The Ruwais project, currently fully owned by ADNOC, will play a crucial role in elevating the UAE's status as a significant LNG producer and trader.

OilPrice Article

Bloomberg Article


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