Taqa to divest Canadian assets

State-controlled energy firm rolls back acquisition spree

Taqa's Canadian assets were purchased in 2007, at the height of the M&A boom.
Taqa's Canadian assets were purchased in 2007, at the height of the M&A boom.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (known by the Arabic for ‘Energy’, Taqa) announced yesterday that its Canadian unit is to divest assets as part of a plan to refocus its portfolio of oil and gas assets.

Taqa, which is 75.1% owned by Abu Dhabi via the ADEWA state utility firm, has reached an agreement to sell its oil and natural gas assets in Canada's southeast Saskatchewan for an undisclosed sum, with completion of the sale slated for March 2012.

The assets were acquired for $2 billion in 2007 at the peak of the oil and gas merger market.

"More details will be provided when Taqa discloses its full-year financial statement," Mohammad Mubaideen, Investor Relations Manager, told Gulf News.

Taqa's assets in the southeast Saskatchewan province of Canada currently produce about 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, the company said.

Taqa has been refocusing its upstream portfolio after a disparate spending spree by former CEO Peter Barker-Homek left the company saddled with sizeable debts and a range of assets from to the UK North Sea to Ghana and the Caribbean.

In an interview with Oil & Gas Middle East earlier this year, TAQA’s head of oil and gas David Cook said the company is “shifting [its] centre of gravity towards the Middle East and North Africa.”

In October the company took a $46 million, 19.9% stake in a Canadian company, WesternZagros, which has production sharing agreements in the booming upstream market of Iraqi Kurdistan, and needs capital to transition from exploration to a production drilling program.

Taqa is also eyeing regional investment on the utilities side, low-bidding for the Hassyan electricity plant in Dubai.

The company is also going some way to refinancing its debt obligations, which it has been paring down over the last year. Taqa has finalised the issuance of $750 million, 4.125 per cent senior notes due in March 2017 and $750 million of 5.875 per cent senior notes due in December 2021," said Taqa.

The company has also found three energy firms to commit to its ambitious Bergermeer gas storage facility in the Netherlands in deals worth up to $1 billion

Statoil ASA, Vattenfall Energy Trading Netherlands and a third European energy company agreed with TAQA to lease a total of more than 90% of the 1 billion cubic metres of annual storage capacity, TAQA said in a statement.

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