Italy's ENI and Thailand's PTTEP win UAE offshore concessions from ADNOC

The blocks, called Offshore 1 and Offshore 2 in the emirate's northwest, are the first to be awarded among the areas ADNOC offered for commercial bidding as part of Abu Dhabi's first-ever competitive open block licensing round that began in April 2018.

"With this agreement we are all excited because it's the first ever time we've come into the UAE (United Arab Emirates)," Thavisin told CNBC after the signing.

He described his company as primarily focused on Southeast Asia but with key interests in the Middle east, particularly Oman and the UAE.

And he expressed his optimism on working with Eni, which he called a "world class" company and global leader in exploration.

"We believe we have the experience to compliment ENI and ADNOC in the hopefully successful exploration and development that can fulfil the mission ... for the UAE to become a gas exporter," Thavisin added.

The United Arab Emirates holds the world's seventh-largest proven oil reserves, with the vast majority in Abu Dhabi.

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