TAQA agrees to purchase North Sea assets from Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production (UK) Limitedadmin
The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), a publicly listed company on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, TAQA Bratani Limited (TAQA Bratani), has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Shell U.K. Limited and Esso Exploration and Production (UK) Limited (‘the Vendors’) to purchase the equity pertaining to operating licenses for six offshore fields and two non-operated subsea tie-backs situated in the Northern North Sea.
The sale includes all equity, associated infrastructure and production licenses relating to the Vendor’s interests in the Tern, Eider, Cormorant North, South Cormorant, Kestrel and Pelican fields and related sub-sea satellite fields.
The fields’ average daily production in the region of 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) represents a significant increase to TAQA’s existing European footprint.
As at 31 March 2008, TAQA’s existing combined European upstream operations had proven and probable reserves of approximately 38 mmboe and reached average production of 23 mboe/d.
Conditional on the closing of the transaction, TAQA has engaged John Wood Group PLC (Wood Group), a leading international energy services company, as operating and maintenance contractor and Duty Holder.
As Duty Holder, Wood Group will manage offshore production operations, which includes safety, health and environmental regulatory compliance, allowing TAQA to concentrate on its core responsibilities as license operator and on building its presence and capability in the UK.
The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and third party consents. Closing of the transaction is expected to occur within the fourth quarter of 2008.
Commenting on the agreement, Peter Barker-Homek, TAQA’s chief executive officer, said:
‘Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to our stated strategy of building a global energy company, with an equal distribution of assets in North America, Europe and the Middle East. We believe that the North Sea offers significant potential for companies like TAQA and we will be making a significant investment over the coming years to extend the productive life and commercial viability of these assets. These fields are an excellent fit with our operational objectives and potentially can be significantly improved by our own expertise and that of our partners, Wood Group, who are widely recognized as a global market leader in the enhancement of oil and gas production in mature fields. This is further evidence of our long-term commitment to Europe and will build on our asset optimization successes in The Netherlands and UK to-date. Furthermore, through this acquisition, TAQA will benefit from the tremendous expertise of the team that has been operating these assets who will become new employees of TAQA.’
‘We see ourselves as part of the next generation of North Sea E&P firms and are looking forward to providing dynamic careers to individuals interested in the energy sector. TAQA, as a meritocracy, aims to assist every employee in achieving their career aspirations.’
‘We pride ourselves on having best-in-class health, safety, security and environmental standards.’
Goldman Sachs International acted as financial advisor and Ernst & Young as tax advisor to TAQA in respect of the transaction. The legal advisor to TAQA Bratani is CMS Cameron McKenna LLP.’
TAQA Geesje van Niejenhuis, TAQA
Tel.: + 31 6 46146743
Claire Maloney, Capital MS&L
Tel: +44 207 307 5341
Time Tezisler, Capital MS&L
Tel: +971 4427 6449
Shell Steve Harris
Tel: +44 (0)1224 882971
The Wood Group Carolyn Smith, Wood Group
Tel: +44 (0)1224 851099