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Taqa to buy Shell and Exxon oilfields

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Taqa to buy Shell and Exxon oilfields

By Ed Crooks

Published: July 9 2008 03:00 | Last updated: July 9 2008 03:00

An energy group that has its roots selling electricity in Abu Dhabi is one of the more surprising companies to have bought into the North Sea in recent years.

Taqa is a textbook example of the shifting balance of power in the world of energy. Established from the Abu Dhabi power company, and 75 per cent owned by the emirate’s government, it plans to acquire $60bn in energy assets around the world by 2012.

It is now in Britain picking up unwanted fields from big international oil companies that pioneered North Sea development, such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell and -ExxonMobil.

The company this week announced that it was buying six North Sea oil fields from Shell and Exxon, giving it 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production, and an estimated 160m boe of reserves.

It has already spent about $1bn buying assets that gave it 23,000 boe/d of production, and this week’s deal will roughly triple its size. Further deals are planned.

Peter Barker-Homek, Taqa’s chief executive, who was previously at BP, said that although the North Sea fields were ageing, they could still be attractive to smaller companies.

“The infrastructure is there, the market is there, and the reserves are known and producing oil,” he said.

With investment of £1bn-£1.5bn over the next three to seven years, he plans to enhance production and replace reserves.

“We are emerging as one of the leading independent oil companies in the UK,” Mr Barker-Homek said.

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