DUBAI (Reuters) – The UAE’s IPIC, Royal Dutch Shell and Austria’s OMV are considering joint exploration for oil and gas in Turkmenistan, UAE’s state news agency WAM reported.
The International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC) invests in oil-related projects for the government of Abu Dhabi, which controls more than 90 percent of the United Arab Emirates oil reserves. The UAE is the world’s sixth-largest oil exporter.
The three companies also plan to build a $500 million urea plant with capacity to produce 1 million tonnes per year, WAM reported late on Wednesday.
Both the oil and gas exploration and the Urea plant were pending government approval, WAM said.
“Working with IPIC to enter oil and gas sectors in Turkmenistan is an ideal opportunity to reinforce Shell’s position in the region, which is growing,” WAM quoted Gavin Graham, Shell’s vice president of new business in the region, as saying.
IPIC’s Managing Director Khadem Al-Qubaisi met with the Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, WAM said.
IPIC told Reuters last month it planned an aggressive move into oil and gas exploration and production and was eyeing deals in the Caspian. IPIC aims to double its investment portfolio to $20 billion in the next five years.
Turkmenistan is the second-largest producer and exporter of gas in the states of the former Soviet Union after Russia. It plans to raise gas exports by a quarter this year to 58 billion cubic metres.
IPIC holds a 17.6 percent stake in OMV.