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Wed 17 Feb 2010 09:11 PM

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UAE's TAQA sees North Sea output peaking in 2012

Energy company is steadily increasing output from maturing oil and gas fields.

Abu Dhabi owned energy company TAQA Bratani Ltd expects its North Sea oil production to peak in 2012 at around 60,000 to 65,000 barrels per day (bpd), the head of the company's UK arm said on Wednesday.Managing Director Leo Koot said at an industry conference TAQA, the UK arm of Abu Dhabi National Energy Co, was steadily increasing output from maturing oil and gas fields bought from other companies by raising recovery rates and efficiency gains.

Koot said: "We entered 2010 around 40,000 barrels per day and will exit around 54,000."

He added: "Production will peak in 2012 and we expect production then tEo be between 60,000 and 65,000 barrels per day."

TAQA has already amassed $1.5 billion to $2 billion in North Sea oil and gas assets since its foundation in 2005 and plans further growth, mainly through exploration.

Koot said the company would begin new oil exploration around its Tern oilfield as a result of a deal with the UK government and Treasury that an undeveloped oil accumulation north of Tern would be designated a new oilfield to be known as Tern North.

This would allow TAQA to avoid paying petroleum revenue tax (PRT) on Tern North.

He said: "We have made an agreement in principle on PRT so will only pay regular taxes for the field, it will be very advantageous."

Koot said TAQA intended to participate actively in Britain's 26th offshore oil and gas licensing round, which will for the first time in 12 years offer blocks in all its territorial waters and tax incentives to explore in some areas for gas.

Koot said: "We will dip our toe into exploration this year. We will participate in the 26th licensing round, looking around the Brae and Northern North Sea areas."

He added: "In 2010, we will spend close to $1 billion on both operating and capital costs."

He said the company's rapid growth was partly due to easy access to capital because it was owned by Abu Dhabi so had a very high credit rating. TAQA is rated Aa2 by Moody's, he said.

He said: "The fact that Abu Dhabi is behind the organisation helps."

Koot added: "Because of our credit rating we don't need to put up large amounts of capital, all we need is a credit guarantee."

He said the company would continue to expand: "Watch this space. We are going to be here for the long term." (Reuters)

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