Abu Dhabi National Energy company TAQA said on Monday it has received approval from the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq to develop the first phase of the Atrush oil field, Emirati news agency WAM reported.
According to the report, the Atrush block, located 85 km northwest of Arbil, the capital of the Iraqi autonomous region of Kurdistan, is expected to initially produce around 30,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). With the approval, TAQA won the right to operate in the oil field for the next 25 years.
TAQA, which is the biggest energy company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said the first barrel of oil from the Atrush field is expected to be extracted by early 2015.
The Abu Dhabi-based company plans to invest more than 300 million U.S. dollars in the first phase in drilling three production wells and the construction of a central processing facility.
"The Kurdistan region of Iraq is an exciting exploration frontier and has tremendous potential," said David Cook, executive officer and head of oil and gas department at TAQA.
Cook added that it was the company's ambition "to build an integrated business in the Kurdistan region of Iraq including potential power and water projects in addition to oil and gas infrastructure developments."
TAQA shares, which are listed on the Abu Dhabi stock market ADX, fell by 0.78 percent on Monday, closing at 1.28 Dirham (0.35 U.S. dollar). The share gained six percent over the last 12 months.