Abu Dhabi's TAQA to invest $1.2bn in Kurdistan oil field

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) plans to invest about $1.2 billion developing the Atrush oil and gas block in the autonomous Kurdistan region, the head of Taqa's Iraq operations said on Monday.

Taqa, which is majority owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, won approval from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to develop the block in late 2013.

It expects to invest more than $300 million in the first phase of the project, with first oil from the 30,000 barrel per day (bpd) first phase expected in early 2015.

Subject to KRG approval and further field appraisals, a second phase could add 30,000 bpd of oil production, along with some associated gas for the domestic market.

"Iraq is very much core to Taqa," Leo Koot told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi.

"The investment in the next three phases will be similar to the first phase and production should be around 100,000 to 120,000 bpd of oil in four years," he said.

Deals between foreign investors and the KRG to develop oilfields have angered the federal government in Baghdad, which rejects them as illegal.

Abu Dhabi's former state utility is expanding a power plant in Kurdistan, which should be completed in mid-2015, but it also hopes to build gas-fired power plants in southern Iraq to help Baghdad to overcome power shortages.

"We've had good discussions with the Iraqi government," Koot said, declining to go into details about the plant talks.

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