UAE-based Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) said that it has found oil in the new Darwin oil field in the northern North Sea area, near the Shetland Islands in Scotland.

TAQA is re-evaluating the reserves potential of the Darwin oil discoveries along with the NW Hutton Field re-development.

The company is currently studying optimal development options, while further appraisal drilling, including well testing, is expected before the selection of a development concept.

Located in the northern North Sea about 130km north-east of the Shetland Islands, the Darwin oil field is next to TAQA’s other operating fields, which include Cormorant South, North Cormorant and Pelican fields.

The company bought a 50% stake in the prospective exploration acreage called Darwin, located south of the former NW Hutton Field, in February 2012.

"TAQA is re-evaluating the reserves potential of the Darwin oil discoveries."

During the drilling programme that began in November 2012, two oil columns were discovered, while one of them was suspended for the purpose of future well testing.

TAQA UK oil and gas business managing director Leo Koot said: "This discovery proves that the North Sea still has great potential and that it is possible to unlock opportunity and produce growth through the use of cutting-edge technology and focused investment.

"This is an exciting and challenging opportunity and we look forward to repeating our success in safe and fast field developments," Koot added.

TAQA, which is trying to expand its position in the North Sea, has agreed to buy oil and gas assets worth more than $1bn, from BP. The assets are estimated to increase production by about 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

Image: Darwin is located in the northern North Sea, north-east of the Shetland Islands. Photo courtesy of Stan Shebs.