Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has awarded exploration rights for Abu Dhabi’s Offshore Block 5 to a consortium led by Pakistan Petroleum (PPL).

The exploration concession agreement has been signed following Abu Dhabi’s second exploration block bid round.

Other consortium partners include Mari Petroleum Company (MPCL), Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL), and Government Holdings (Private) (GHPL).

The consortium will invest up to $304.7m (AED1.12bn) to fund exploration and appraisal drilling, including a participation fee.

The consortium will explore and appraise potential oil and gas opportunities in the 6,223km² block, which is located 100km north-east of Abu Dhabi.

Moreover, the partners will have the right to a production concession to develop and produce potential commercial discoveries made during the exploration phase at the block.

PPL managing director and CEO Moin Raza Khan said: “This award is not only a watershed moment for Pakistan and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi towards bilateral energy cooperation and economic links but also offers an opportunity to strengthen strategic cooperation with ADNOC to share technical know-how and expertise.”

ADNOC will have the option to acquire a 60% stake in the concession’s production phase, which will have a 35-year term from the start of the exploration phase.

PPL said that the award represents the first time E&P companies in Pakistan to explore, appraise and develop oil and gas resources in an Abu Dhabi concession.

UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC group CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “This historic exploration concession award marks a new chapter of energy cooperation in the 50-year old UAE-Pakistan relationship.

“It represents an important platform upon which we can drive win-win opportunities to support Pakistan’s energy security and further strengthen the strategic and economic ties between our two countries.”

The second block bid round was launched in 2019 by ADNOC, on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi.