By John Lee.
The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) is said to be in advanced talks to buy a stake in the Atrush Block in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Atrush Block is operated by the joint-venture company General Exploration Partners (GEP) which holds an 80 percent working interest in the Block. Aspect Holdings, LLC through its Aspect Energy International LLC subsidiary has a 66.5 percent interest and ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. through its wholly owned subsidiary, ShaMaran Ventures BV, holds a 33.5 percent interest in GEP. Marathon Oil holds a 20 percent interest in the block.
According to a report from Reuters, industry sources said TAQA was close to purchasing Aspect's share of GEP, but it was not clear whether ShaMaran would sell its interest in the company.
TAQA CEO Carl Sheldon (pictured) declined to comment on the deal, but said Kurdistan was attractive: "We like Iraq, there's a range of opportunities in the Kurdish region," he told Reuters in an interview in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Earlier this year, TAQA bought a 50 percent stake in Kurdish power plant Chamchamal, having previously invested $46.6 mln in WesternZagros Resources to acquire 19.9 percent of the company, which has contracts for two blocks in the Iraqi Kurdish region.
In September, a combined flow rate of 42,200 barrels of oil per day was reported from Atrush.