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Mon 1 Jan 2007 11:03 AM

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TAQA expansion via acquisition starts

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has begun a US $3.5 billion spending spree aimed at expanding its international influence in the energy industry.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has begun a US $3.5 billion spending spree aimed at expanding its international influence in the energy industry.

TAQA is using its recently raised funds to purchase BP’s Exploration and Production business, based in the Netherlands. Although the company would not divulge the amount, media speculation is putting the cost of the sale at around US $694 million. Completion of the deal is expected to be confirmed by the end of January.

The deal covers a number of mature gas fields and their associated production facilities, as well as the suspended Rijn oil field. Combined, these operations produce about 4.5 million cubic metres of gas a day. The deal also includes the Piek Gas Installatie, a gas supply facility, located onshore near Alkmaar.

“The acquisition of these BP assets in the Netherlands represents a significant advancement for TAQA as we continue to expand into Europe,” said Peter Barker-Homek, TAQA’s CEO.

“We believe we have the financial strength and industry expertise to take the BP Dutch E&P business to new heights of performance and profit,” added Barker-Homek.

BP’s Dutch E&P business has a staff of 120 employees and long-term contractors. TAQA has indicated that it sees these employees as an essential and continuing part of the operation. The business works both onshore and offshore in the Netherlands. In 2005 it had net production of around 1.8 million cubic metres a day (62 million cubic feet a day).

Elsewhere in the world TAQA is looking into working with India’s Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS). The arrangement would see TAQA invest in a mix of power and transmission projects in India. There IL&FS is currently involved as developer and advisor in projects requiring significant amounts of equity capital, including a 750 MW gas-based power project in Tripura being implemented with ONGC as a partner, hence the potential partnership with TAQA.

“TAQA’s intention to assume an equity stake in India’s rapidly growing energy sector is a natural progression for the company, as we continue to expand and invest outside the Middle East region,” said Barker-Homek.

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