TAQA says has found oil in Darwin North Sea field

Abu Dhabi-owned energy firm acquired 50 percent of exploration area in early 2012

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has discovered oil in a new North Sea field off Scotland, TAQA said on Sunday.

Two columns of oil have been found since drilling began in November at the Darwin field near the Shetland Islands, TAQA, which acquired a 50 percent interest in the exploration area in early 2012, said.

The state-owned company said in a statement it was still evaluating Darwin's reserve potential and that work on one well had been suspended pending further tests.

"This discovery proves that the North Sea still has great potential," said Leo Koot, managing director of TAQA's UK oil and gas business.

Darwin is close to the TAQA-operated Cormorant South, North Cormorant and Pelican fields in the Northern North Sea.

The United Arab Emirates-based company shut the neighbouring Cormorant Alpha platform in mid-January after discovering an oil leak in one of its legs.

The leak also prompted TAQA to shut the Brent pipeline system, which runs through the Cormorant Alpha platform, for a few days as a precaution.

In November, the company which is 75 percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, agreed to buy some BP North Sea assets for over US$1.3bn.

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