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TAQA acquires further acreage in North Sea

TAQA acquires further acreage in North Sea
Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA announced another British acquisition yesterday.

Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA announced another British acquisition yesterday.

Its UK arm, TAQA Bratani, has bought four blocks in the northern North Sea from Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production (UK) for an undisclosed sum.

The undeveloped acreage lies close to interests acquired by the company at the end of last year from Shell and Esso, including four platforms: Cormorant Alpha, North Cormorant, Tern and Eider.

Leo Koot, managing director TAQA Bratani, said: “This deal further underlines TAQA’s commitment to developing the remaining reserves in the North Sea and is an ideal fit with our existing equity.

“These blocks lie adjacent to the Tern and Kestrel fields purchased by TAQA in the northern North Sea last year and as such represent a clear opportunity to enhance our production while utilising existing infrastructure.

“This will not only maximise indigenous production for the UK but will also ensure our environmental impact is kept to a minimum.

“TAQA’s continued investments in the North Sea over the past year reflect our view that there is significant potential to develop our upstream operations and further establish TAQA as a leading North Sea exploration and production operator.”

A spokeswoman for TAQA Bratani said seismic data for the four blocks was being interpreted, but she was unable to say what reserves the blocks might contain.

Last month, TAQA Bratani announced it was the new operator of the North Sea Brent system pipeline and facilities.

The system is a joint venture between the 21 companies who each own stakes.

TAQA Bratani took over operatorship from Shell UK Exploration and Production, which had held the position since the mid-1970s.

TAQA gained its 16% stake in the Brent system late last year when it completed its £420million acquisition of interests in seven oil fields from Shell and Esso.

The system is responsible for transporting about 100,000 barrels of oil daily from about 20 North Sea fields, accounting for 37% of the Sullom Voe Terminal input and 8% of UK offshore oil production.

TAQA employs 800 staff and contractors in Britain, with about 300 people at the UK subsidiary’s headquarters at Westhill, near Aberdeen.

Bowleven, the Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer, said yesterday that the recent farm-out agreement reached with Vitol for Bowleven’s Etinde permit offshore Cameroon was a significant milestone for the company in delivering its strategy for the west African country.

Chief executive Kevin Hart said: “This new partnership brings together considerable expertise, and provides access to additional finance that will enable us to accelerate the multiple exploration and development opportunities that exist across our acreage.”

Bowleven also said it had cash of about £80million at June 30 and the Vitol deal provided additional financial flexibility.

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