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Wed 24 Sep 2008 12:26 PM

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Taqa snaps up North Sea oil fields

Abu Dhabi-controlled firm acquires three oil and gas blocks from Calgary-based Cirrus Energy.

Abu Dhabi National Energy C. (Taqa) has acquired stakes in three Dutch North Sea oil and gas blocks from Calgary-based Cirrus Energy, Taqa said in a statement on Wednesday.

Taqa has bought between 15 percent and 30 percent equity stakes in the three blocks, the company said.

The United Arab Emirates-based company will fund well exploration costs in the field "with amounts ranging from 15 million euros to 30 million euros", Taqa said.

Taqa is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi government and has amassed over $1 billion of North Sea oil and gas assets in purchases from Canada's Talisman and BP in November 2006 and January 2007 respectively.

It bought more North Sea assets from Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil earlier this year, for an undisclosed sum.

The company plans to spend around $1.4 billion on boosting oil output from its North Sea fields in the next three years to 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from around 40,000 boepd.

The UAE is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and Taqa's expansion is part of the Gulf Arab state's drive to use record oil revenues to diversify. (Reuters)