* BP hopeful on re-entering the UAE bidding round
* Dudley says hoping to hear on the issue soon
* ADNOC says prefers to keep concession format unchanged
By Daniel Fineren and Amena Bakr
ABU DHABI, Nov 11 Oil major BP Plc, shut
out of pre-qualification bidding to develop Abu Dhabi's largest
onshore oil fields, is hopeful it can be included in the process
and is waiting to hear soon on the issue, Chief Executive Bob
Dudley said on Sunday.
"I'm positive about it ... I'm optimistic that cooperation
will go on for a long time," Dudley said on the sidelines of an
oil and gas event in the UAE capital, adding that he hopes to
hear about the concessions "in the next week or so".
Industry sources had told Reuters in August that BP, which
holds a 9.5 percent stake in the ADCO concession that is coming
up for renewal in 2014, would not be allowed to participate in
the pre-qualification process due to the United Arab Emirates'
irritation over UK policies.
"We never knew we were excluded and I think the spirit and
the feeling of the communications that we have is positive and
we have been talking at multiple levels on this," Dudley said.
Asked if British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to the
UAE last week had made a difference for BP's future over the
concessions, Dudley said: "I think David Cameron has been a
great advocate for British business in general in a broad sense
so it was good to see him here in Abu Dhabi."
Cameron visited the UAE last week as part of a wider trade
and diplomacy tour of the Gulf. Lucrative arms deals were a main
topic of discussion, as well as British efforts to balance
concerns over human rights issues in Gulf states, which have
struggled to contain protests inspired by the Arab Spring.
ADNOC OPTS FOR UNCHANGED STRUCTURE
Cameron's visit came as oil majors operating in OPEC member
UAE brace for a decision from Abu Dhabi on the oil and gas
The concessions system allows oil and gas producers to
acquire equity in hydrocarbons from the OPEC member in return
for investing in projects.
On Sunday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co's (ADNOC)
director-general said ADNOC preferred to maintain the current
structure of concessions in the United Arab Emirates and that it
would present its recommendation to the Supreme Petroleum
Council of Abu Dhabi (SPC) by early next year at the latest.
"It is our recommendation to have the same format. But this
will be submitted to the SPC and they can decide if they want to
change," Abdulla Nasser Al-Suwaidi told reporters on the
sidelines of an oil and gas conference. "Submission is going to
be late this year or early next year."
Some big oil companies, notably ExxonMobil, have
expressed their discomfort about the concession structure. They
are concerned about operating side by side with rivals in an
ADNOC-controlled concession, with all partners expected to share
their own technology.
The SPC is the highest authority responsible for the
petroleum affairs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which has the
largest share of the UAE's oil and ambitious plans to invest $60
billion over the next five years to boost oil production
capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd), from 2.7 million.
Oil concessions which lie at the heart of these plans have
been under the spotlight since early last year as the date for
the renewal of the biggest field with 1.5 million bpd capacity