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Abu Dhabi Evaluating Shah Gas Partner

Source: Reuters 1/17/2011, Location: Middle East

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is still evaluating a partner for its $10 billion Shah gas project and no time frame has been set to make the selection, the company's deputy CEO said on Monday.

U.S. major ConocoPhillips withdrew from the project in April. ADNOC is in talks with Royal Dutch Shell ExxonMobil and Occidental which have shown interest.

"There is no date yet. We are still evaluating," Abdulla Nasser al-Suwaidi told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

Asked if a time frame has been set, he said: "No time frame".

Recent media reports said the selection of a partner would be done by March.

The Shah project aims to pump and purify gas with a high content of potentially deadly sulphur dioxide, which is more difficult and expensive to produce than conventional gas.

The Gulf Arab state has been slow to develop the world's fifth-largest gas reserves to meet demand from industry and the power sector. To meet the shortfall, it imports gas via pipeline from Qatar.

Shah would pump around 1 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) of raw gas, which after processing would give 540 million cfd of gas fit for consumption.

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