Taqa to double North Sea oil output, says Salmond

Scottish First Minister says Abu Dhabi firm to spend at least $600m over next two years
Taqa to double North Sea oil output, says Salmond
By Bloomberg
Fri 04 Nov 2011 03:08 PM

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co,
the state-run company investing in Europe and Africa, plans to spend at
least $600m over the next two years doubling its North Sea oil
output, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said.

The oil, gas
and utility company known as Taqa wants to increase North Sea
production to 80,000 barrels a day from the current daily level of
40,000 barrels, Salmond, who runs Scotland’s semi-autonomous government,
said in Dubai.

“They
definitely have their eye on acquisitions,” Salmond said on Thursday in
Dubai. “Taqa will invest in new fields and they also want increasing oil
flow from their existing fields.”

Taqa, which
was set up in 2005, has spent $1 billion on capital expenditure in the
North Sea over the past three years, Taqa executive Leo Koot said in a
statement issued by the Scottish government on November 1. It operates four
platforms and has stakes in other fields. It plans to invest at broadly
the same level in the next two years as in 2010 and 2011.

Taqa hasn’t
stated publicly its future North Sea production targets, the company
said in an e-mailed response to questions from the UAE
capital.

The Scottish
government supports changes to the North Sea tax structure associated
with recovering oil from smaller fields such as those operated by Taqa,
Salmond said. Taxation falls under the remit of the UK government in
London.

“We’ve
agreed that we’ll facilitate approaches to the U.K. government to bring
this about,” Salmond said. “We can’t afford to leave energy under the
sea or under the ground.”

UK
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne increased North Sea oil taxes
in his annual budget in March to raise an additional £2bn
($3.2bn) in revenue, prompting companies such as Statoil,
Norway’s biggest energy producer, to freeze development plans.

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