North Sea

Abu Dhabi’s National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) will invest more than $1bn to acquire oil and gas properties in the United Kingdom’s North Sea area from BP.

TAQA has agreed to the acquisition, which will provide a 70% interest in the Harding field, 37.03% interest in the Maclure field and an 88.7% stake in the Devenick field – all located in the central North Sea.

Welcoming the transaction, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This is a vote of confidence in the UK economy and once again highlights the North Sea’s position as a global energy hub."

The agreement also calls for the company to increase its non-operated shares in the Brae area and other transport infrastructure, including the SAGE system, Forties-Brae and Forties-Braemar pipelines.

The new assets will become the company’s second major development hub for UK-based North Sea business, which has been focusing more on the Northern sector.

Post acquisition, TAQA’s net production is likely to grow by about 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent each day.

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By GlobalData

TAQA chairman, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Finance and member of the Executive Council of the Abu Dhabi Emirate, Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, said the new investment proves the company’s commitment to the future of the North Sea.

"It is underpinned by the UK Government’s commitment to long term fiscal stability," Suwaidi added.

The proposed acquisition is also likely to usher in new investment opportunities for the company, such as infill drilling on Harding, discovering gas resources along with other adjacent field owners and developing the Morrone field.

TAQA CEO Carl Sheldon said: "This investment is a great strategic fit for TAQA, ensuring growth for our UK business and establishes TAQA as a leading operator in the UK North Sea."

The transaction, which will be funded by TAQA from existing operating cash flow and credit lines, is slated to close in Q2 of 2013.

Evercore Partners will be TAQA’s financial adviser for the deal, which is subject to the satisfaction of pre-emption rights as well as government and third party approval.

Image: The purchase would create a second major development hub for TAQA’s UK North Sea business.