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Thu 3 Sep 2009 03:50 PM

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UAE's Taqa buys North Sea oil blocks from Shell, Exxon

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co buys four exploration blocks in Britain's North Sea.

The
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa)

has bought four exploration blocks in Britain's North Sea from Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil,
Taqa

's UK subsidiary said in a statement on Thursday.

Taqa

has amassed over $2bn of North Sea assets in the last three years as part of an aggressive global expansion. The company, 75 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is an investment vehicle used to spend state oil revenues.

UK unit Taqa Bratani gave no value in the statement for the purchase of the blocks, which were near North Sea assets that Taqa had previously acquired for $631 million in 2008 from Shell and Exxon.

A spokeswoman contacted by Reuters declined to give the value of the latest transaction.

Taqa Bratani planned to start drilling in the blocks in 2010, she said. It had already acquired new seismic data for appraisal, she added.

Output from the blocks would be tied back to existing Taqa facilities at the nearby Tern and Kestrel oilfields, she added.

Taqa

last month took control of operations in the North Sea Brent crude system from Shell. Oil sold through the system is part of one of the benchmarks used to value millions of barrels of oil worldwide every day.

Abu Dhabi holds most of the oil reserves and wealth in the United Arab Emirates, the world's third-largest oil exporter. (Reuters)

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