Iraqi Kurdistan-focused IOCs Shamaran and HKN are buying out Taqa from its 47.4% operating stake in the region’s Atrush field. Taqa has been present at Atrush since 2012 (MEES, 7 December 2012), but the firm’s upstream arm has appeared increasingly marginalized as the company doubled down on its power and water desalination operations (MEES, 3 July 2020). Indeed, Taqa has long spoken of reducing its exposure to the hydrocarbon sector and had been considering exiting even before last year’s halt to piped Kurdish exports sent production into a tailspin (MEES, 26 March 2021).

Taqa’s exit is a political blow for Kurdistan, but with the region’s oil sector in turmoil since the March 2023 closure of the export pipeline, it’s not a huge surprise. The biggest positive for Erbil is that HKN and Shamaran are willing to expand their footprint in the region. Financial details have not been released, but the transaction will likely have been at a much-reduced price. (CONTINUED - 947 WORDS)