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WesternZagros closes $46.6 mln financing with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company

Crude oil and natural gas explorer WesternZagros Resources (CVE:WZR) reported on Tuesday that it has closed a previously announced strategic investment with the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), raising proceeds of $46.6 million.

WesternZagros sold TAQA through private placement 74 million units for a cost of 63 cents each, the Calgary-based company said.

TAQA now holds roughly 19.9 percent of the company’s issued and outstanding common shares.

“We are pleased to close this financing with TAQA and pursue our objectives to achieve significant growth from the company's well-positioned exploration Blocks. 2012 should be an exciting year for WesternZagros and all of its shareholders,” chief executive Simon Hatfield said in a statement.

Proceeds from the financing will be used toward the company’s 2011 and 2012 capital and operating program.

In addition to the financing, the company said that executive officer and head of upstream, David Cook, has been appointed to the WesternZagros board of directors.

Cook holds a bachelor of science in geophysics, and has more than 20 years of experience in the upstream oil and gas sector through his previous positions at Amoco, BP (NYSE:BP) and TNK-BP.

Prior to joining TAQA, Cook was vice president for BP Russia. He has held a variety of global technical, commercial and managerial positions in the U.S., the U.K., and Russia, as well as board directorships.

WesternZagros is an international natural resources company engaged in the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas in Iraq. It holds two production sharing contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government, in Iraq.