Taqa Adds Iraq Energy Assets as Company Expands With Acquisition

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., the state-controlled company that last week bought BP Plc’s stakes in North Sea fields for $1.1 billion, acquired a majority stake in an energy exploration block in Iraq’s Kurdish region.

Taqa, as the state-controlled power and oil company is known, signed an agreement to buy a 53.2 percent interest in the Atrush block from General Exploration Partners Inc., a unit Aspect Holdings Llc, the company said in a statement last night. It didn’t provide financial terms of the transaction.

Taqa, owned 75 percent by the Abu Dhabi government, holds stakes in businesses generating power or producing oil and gas in the Middle East, the North Sea, India and North America. The company produced more than 134,400 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the first nine months of this year. In April, it agreed to acquire a 50 percent interest in the 1,000 megawatt Sulaymaniyah gas-fired power in the Kurdish region.

“Atrush is a highly prospective block in a new growth area with significant upside potential,” Chief Executive Officer Carl Sheldon said in the statement. “This entry into a pure exploration play demonstrates how Taqa is leveraging its experience as an operator of complex oil and gas assets.”

Taqa is considering tapping the debt market and has hired BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc, National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and Standard Chartered Plc to arrange investor meetings in Asia, London and the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter. The company said acquisition of the Atrush block will be funded from corporate resources and is expected to close this month.

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