Total (NYSE: TOT) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) have signed a concession agreement to launch an unconventional gas exploration program in the high potential Diyab play, Total said on Nov. 12.

The Diyab play spreads over 6,000 sq km (2,316 sq miles) to the west of the prolific ADNOC Onshore concession, in Abu Dhabi.

The concession allows for two exploration and appraisal phases for a period of up to seven years, followed by a 40 year development and production period. Total will operate the exploration phase of this new concession with a 40% interest, while ADNOC will hold the remaining 60% interest. In case of positive exploration, this multi-trillion cubic feet opportunity will be developed in stages in line with the growing gas demand in the UAE and potential export opportunities.