Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) has discovered oil in the new Darwin oil field in the Northern North Sea area near the Shetland Islands in Scotland.
Leo Koot, the managing director at Taqa's UK oil and gas business, said: "This discovery proves that the North Sea still has great potential and that it is possible to unlock opportunity and produce growth through the use of cutting-edge technology and focused investment. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity and we look forward to repeating our success in safe and fast field developments."
In February 2012, Taqa acquired a 50 per cent interest in the prospective exploration acreage known as Darwin, located south of the former NW Hutton Field. Two oil columns were discovered during the Darwin drilling programme, which commenced November 2012. One well has been suspended for the purpose of future well testing.
The Darwin acreage is located next to the Taqa-operated Cormorant South, North Cormorant and Pelican fields in the Northern North Sea approximately 130 km northeast of the Shetland Islands. The reserves potential of the Darwin oil discoveries, in conjunction with NW Hutton Field re-development, is currently being re-evaluated. Taqa is currently studying optimal development options. Further appraisal drilling (including well testing) is anticipated prior to selection of a development concept.
Taqa has recently expanded its North Sea exploration programme with agreements to participate in several drilling campaigns and development projects. Taqa was also awarded a number of strategic licenses in the 27th North Sea oil and gas licensing round.
Last month, Taqa started first oil production from the Cormorant East field development in the UK North Sea which is expected to contain 10 - 30 million barrels of oil in place.
In a move to further expand its position in the North Sea Taqa agreed to buy from BP oil and gas assets worth more than USD 1 billion. The assets are expected to increase production by approximately 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent and provide a second major development hub in the central North Sea opening up further investment opportunities.
Taqa is the largest investor from the United Arab Emirates in the UK, having invested more than $4 billion in four years.
Taqa's UK portfolio consists of the Brae Area assets, Beinn and Braemar fields, as well as the SAGE pipeline and onshore terminal, and the Brae-Miller Linkline. It has 100 per cent operated equity in the Tern, Kestrel, Eider, Cormorant North, South Cormorant, Falcon and Pelican Fields. It holds an interest in the Hudson field Sullom Voe Terminal. Taqa is also operator of the Brent Pipeline System.