(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC ("TAQA") has signed an agreement to acquire a 53.2 per cent interest in the Atrush block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq from General Exploration Partners, Inc., an affiliate of Aspect Holdings, LLC.
Carl Sheldon, Chief Executive Officer of TAQA, said: "Atrush is a highly prospective block in a new growth area with significant upside potential. This entry into a pure exploration play demonstrates how TAQA is leveraging its experience as an operator of complex oil and gas assets. It fits our strategy to build on the UAE's strong bilateral bonds in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and to become an operator of scale in the markets we choose to compete in." In April 2012 TAQA announced its agreement to acquire a 50% interest in the 1,000 MW Sulaymaniyah gas-fired power in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The Atrush acquisition adds a new MENA dimension to TAQA's operated oil and gas business, which is currently focused on North America, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. TAQA produced in excess of 134,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the first nine months of 2012.
David Cook, Executive Officer and Head of Oil '&' Gas, said: "The addition of Atrush to TAQA's oil and gas portfolio is perfectly in line with our growth strategy. This opportunity builds on our capabilities, and underscores our ability to evolve TAQA's operating position in the MENA region." The acquisition will be funded from corporate resources and is expected to close in December 2012. Subject to consent by the partners and the Kurdistan Regional Government, TAQA aims to become operator of the block.