In an interview with Bloomberg, the new CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) said the state-run company looking at more opportunities in Iraq, and aims to exploit the synergy in its oil, gas and power businesses.
Last week the company agreed to invest $46 million in WesternZagros Resources, acquiring a 19.9 percent stake in the Calgary-based explorer, which has permits to seek deposits in two blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Carl Sheldon, 53, said:
“We could do power there too; we’re looking at an opportunity there now. We’d like to see power businesses next to the oil and gas businesses, and oil and gas businesses next to the power businesses. As we begin to focus much more on the Middle East and Africa, our ability to deliver power and water solutions into those markets is powerful.”
Founded in 2005, Taqa inherited control of several United Arab Emirates power and water plants from its majority owner Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and expanded into oil and gas.
Taqa’s profit more than doubled to 435 million dirhams ($118 million) in the second quarter as it benefited from a 47 percent advance in Brent crude prices to an average of $116.99 a barrel. The company will release third-quarter results on Nov. 15.
Sheldon expects to see an increasing presence of regional banks funding Taqa as international banks become more capital constrained and devote more of their resources to their home markets. The company owes about $10 billion in public bonds and another $10 billion in bank debt, he said.
Shares in TAQA have lost 21 percent so far this year.
“You may see things like WesternZagros, small, long-term investments for the future in that sort of $50 million scale,” said Sheldon. “You won’t see a big step-out acquisition. But we don’t rule it out. As we develop our portfolio, you’re always asking yourself, ‘should I build it, or buy it’?”