ABU DHABI Dec 1 Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
(TAQA) has bought a 53.2 percent operating interest in
an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan from General Exploration
Partners (GEP), the company said in a statement.
GEP is a joint venture between privately-held Aspect
Energy, which owns a 66.5 percent interest, and a subsidiary of
Canadian group ShaMaran Petroleum.
"This entry into a pure exploration play demonstrates how
TAQA is leveraging its experience as an operator of complex oil
and gas assets," said TAQA CEO Carl Sheldon in the statement.
Earlier this year, TAQA bought a 50 percent stake in
Kurdish power plant Chamchamal. TAQA said on Friday it had sold
its 19.9 percent share in WesternZagros Resources, which has
contracts for two blocks in the Iraqi Kurdish region.
GEP, which has an 80 percent stake in the Atrush block in
Kurdistan, said in September it had found a combined flow rate
of 42,200 barrels of oil per day. The other 20 percent of the
block is held by a subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corp.
An autonomous region since 1991, Iraqi Kurdistan is often
touted as one of the final frontiers for onshore oil exploration
and has signed deals with foreign majors such as Exxon Mobil
, Chevron and Total.