Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) said on Jan. 12 it awarded a consortium formed by Italian oil major Eni (NYSE: E) and Thailand’s PTTEP two offshore exploration blocks.

Eni will be the operator of the blocks, holding together with PTTEP a 100% stake in the exploration phase for oil and gas, the national oil company said in a statement.

The two foreign companies will invest at least $230 million in the exploration phase and ADNOC has the option to hold a 60% stake in the production phase, if a commercial discovery is made, it said.

The two blocks in the northwest of Abu Dhabi—Offshore 1 and Offshore 2—are the first blocks to be awarded from the areas offered for commercial bidding by ADNOC in April 2018, the company said in the statement.

ADNOC plans to boost its oil production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030—helping UAE to achieve gas self-sufficiency and potentially become a net gas exporter.

“These two offshore blocks covering 8,000 square kilometers represent the beginning of a new wave of exploration that will leverage our resources and further enhance Abu Dhabi's position as an essential energy provider to the world,” ADNOC’s CEO Sultan al-Jaber told an industry conference on Jan. 12.

In November, ADNOC granted Eni a 40-year concession, awarding it a 25% stake in its offshore ultra-sour gas mega project.