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Qatar and UAE sign first agreement since blockade

Qatar Petroleum's president and CEO, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi [qatarpetroleum/Twitter]

Qatar and the UAE agreed to extend their concession of an offshore oil field shared with a Japanese consortium. The agreement is the first signed by a UAE government company with a Qatari company since the former led a blockade with Saudi Arabia against their Gulf neighbour.

Both countries acknowledged the extension of the concession today of the Al-Bunduq offshore field in the Arabian Gulf, which the two countries have equally shared since 1969. The signing of the new agreement follows the expiration of the original agreement on 8 March, 2018.

Qatar Petroleum’s president and CEO, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “We are delighted to sign this concession agreement, which will ensure the continued development and operation of the Al-Bunduq oil field for many years to come.”

The UAE meanwhile moved to quash suggestions that the agreement represented a softening of Abu Dhabi’s position towards Doha, denying it had made any compromise.

Read: UAE talks up mutual travel benefits before EU-Gulf open skies talks

State news agency WAM reported an official at the Supreme Petroleum Council saying that “the Bunduq field, due to its geographical location, is shared between the emirate of Abu Dhabi and Qatar. It has been operated via a concession with a Japanese consortium for over four decades.

“This concession was recently extended by each respective government to the Japanese consortium with no direct communication or engagement between the two states.”

The source added: “There is no commercial or trading relationship being established between the UAE and Qatar by the extension of this concession.”

The joint venture between the State of Qatar and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was discovered in 1965 and began production in 1975. The crude oil is exported from the Al-Bunduq oil field to Japan and other Asian markets.

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