The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s gas processing firm said Friday it plans to sell 4% of its shares to local investors in the latest initial public offering to be made by a state-run energy company in the Middle East.
The move follows a similar IPO by the Saudi oil giant Aramco in 2019 that raised some $30 billion, and comes months before the United Arab Emirates is set to host this year’s U.N. climate talks.
The UAE, which is home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, selected Sultan al-Jaber, the CEO of ADNOC, who also oversees renewable energey projects, to chair the COP28, angering climate change activists.
ADNOC has access to 95% of the UAE’s natural gas reserves, the world’s seventh largest. It supplies gas to more than 60% of the local market and exports to more than 20 countries. The company had a net income of $4.2 billion in the first 10 months of 2022, up from $3.6 billion in all of 2021.
It plans to list over 3 billion shares on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange for purchase by local investors starting Feb. 23.
“Natural gas is central to the energy transition,” Khaled Al Zaabi, acting group CFO of ADNOC, said in a press release. “ADNOC Gas is well-positioned to responsibly harness our significant natural gas resources, while driving efficiencies, delivering value, and reliably supplying this key fuel to meet the world’s growing energy needs.”
ADNOC Gas boasts a total gas processing capacity of over 10 billion standard cubic feet per day and a liquid processing capacity of 29 million tonnes per year. ADNOC announced the discovery of up to 2 trillion standard cubic feet of gas in an offshore area in February 2022.
Oil and gas have powered the UAE’s rapid transformation into a high-tech global business hub home to futuristic cities and one of the world’s busiest airports. Analysts believe the Emirates is trying to maximize its profits as the world increasingly turns to renewables.
The Emirates says it has invested more than $50 billion in renewable energy projects across 70 countries and plans to invest $50 billion more in the next decade. It has also vowed to become carbon neutral by 2050, though it’s unclear how it would reach that target.