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BP, who owns a 9.5 percent stake in the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADCO) concession which is set to be renewed in 2014, was surprisingly left out of the pre-qualification process, meaning that it could not bid to renew its interest in the 1.4 million barrel a day play.
According to the Financial Times, loosing this stake would have cost BP around 3.5 percent of its global oil production. Luckily the British oil major has now been granted permission to place bids.
The worries started when they did not receive a pre-qualifying letter which invited them to the auction.
Abdullah Nasser al Suwaidi, explained to the FT that the letter was merely to raise interest in the concession, and that it was unnecessary for a company of BP’s stature.
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However many in the industry saw the lack of a letter as a snub against BP (NYSE:BP) and Britain, in response to the UK’s support of new reforms in the Arab world, and revolutions that have toppled several Arab leaders.
David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, made a trip to the UAE last month to try and strengthen relations and commercial ties with the Gulf nations.
Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, claimed that he was unaware there was ever a problem, and always believed that they would be involved in the auction. “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.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com