Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Taqa secures control of Brent Blend pipeline

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, has taken control of the delivery system of Europe's benchmark crude oil, Brent Blend.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, has taken control of the delivery system of Europe's benchmark crude oil, Brent Blend. Taqa said it had replaced a unit of Royal Dutch Shell, which had operated the North Sea pipeline and processing system since the mid 1970s. "This is the latest step in our North Sea activity programme," said Leo Koot, the managing director of Taqa's UK subsidiary, Taqa Bratani. "Operating the Brent system is a serious undertaking."

Brent Blend crude oil became a household name thanks to its use by the industry as a benchmark for pricing crude oil from other fields, eventually becoming the reference price for about two thirds of the crude oil traded on the world's physical markets. It is also used in pricing Brent crude oil futures traded on the London-based Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). But the Brent oilfield, which Shell discovered in 1971 in waters between Scotland's Shetland Islands and the Norwegian coast, is nearly tapped out and now produces mainly gas. In its heyday in the 1980s, it pumped about 400,000 bpd of crude, as well as associated gas and gas liquids.

To make the benchmark more liquid, three other North Sea crude oil grades are now also used to calculate the daily market price for Brent Blend. The Brent System, which includes gas processing facilities and a 150-kilometre undersea pipeline, is jointly owned by 21 companies. It transports about 100,000 bpd of crude from about 20 North Sea oilfields, including Brent, to the Sullom Voe export terminal in the Shetland Islands, off the coast of Scotland. That accounts for about 8 per cent of UK offshore oil production, Taqa said.

Last year, Taqa paid US$631 million (Dh2.32bn) to acquire seven oilfields from Shell and Exxon Mobil, as major international oil companies shed mature assets in the North Sea. The acquisition also included a 16 per cent interest in the Brent System and a 24 per cent stake in the Sullom Voe terminal. The Brent field was not among the assets that Taqa acquired. Shell and Exxon are still the biggest equity partners in the Brent System, with interests of 25.2 per cent and 26.3 per cent respectively.

Mr Koot said Taqa had recruited experienced staff and installed "first-class" information technology and infrastructure to enable the company to advise and liaise with its Brent System partners. Taqa also owns gas producing assets in the Dutch North Sea and has said it is looking for acquisition opportunities in Norwegian waters. @Email:tcarlisle@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 A sign points the way to an outdoor market popular with German visitors on the Polish side of the German-Polish border. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In pictures: A decade since the European Union went east

May 1 will mark 10 years since the European Union expanded east, taking in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states as new members. And though the border region between Germany and Poland is flourishing with trade and cultural exchange, the open border has also brought a sharp rise in crime.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National