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Abu Dhabi invests in North Sea oilfields


BP to be the beneficiary of the £624mn investment

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Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), a company majority-owned by the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is investing over £624 million (US$1.1 billion) in oilfield assets owned by oil giant BP in the British sector of the North Sea.

Both companies confirmed the deal on Wednesday, an announcement which follows what market commentators described as recent cooling of relations between Abu Dhabi and BP.

Earlier this year, BP was kept out of the prequalification bidding process to develop oilfield assets in one of Abu Dhabi’s largest onshore prospection zone. However, announcing its results last month, chief executive Bob Dudley said he was still hopeful that the company would be allowed to participate in the process.

Taqa will acquire holdings in BP’s North Sea Harding, Maclure and Devenick fields. Additionally, the deal includes non-operated interests in the Brae and Braemar fields. However, it does not include any future payments dependent on oil prices and production.

BP projects these payments to reach US$250 million. TAQA has made an initial deposit of US$632 million, according to the company and future anticipated payments will be spread over the next three years.

BP said the deal is expected to close over the second quarter of 2013. The announcement brings the valuation of BP’s asset sale programme to US$37 billion against its stated goal of US$38 billion. The company is setting aside the funds to meet legal costs in the aftermath of 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Last month, CFO Brian Gilvary said BP was well on track to meet its asset sale target. The agreement follows UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade visit to United Arab Emirates earlier this month where both countries discussed energy, defence and aerospace tie-ups.

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Abu Dhabi invests in North Sea oilfields
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