A resurgent oil price was reflected in strong quarterly results for the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company. The investment company, commonly known as Taqa, more than doubled its third-quarter profit on high crude prices, a moderate production increase and additional power generating capacity.
Net profit rose to Dh537 million (US$146.1m), up from Dh218m in the same period last year, driven by surging revenue from oil and gas operations. Sales of fossil fuels rose by 68 per cent to Dh2.7 billion, as the price for Brent crude averaged $112 a barrel in the quarter. This contrasts with just $77 a barrel during the same period last year.
"We benefited from a robust commodity environment," Stephen Kersley, Taqa's chief financial officer, said yesterday. Taqa managed to increase output by 0.7 per cent, as additional fields came online in the UK's North Sea, boosting production there to an average 43,000 barrel per day (bpd). The North Sea output will be complemented further, with the company announcing yesterday that it intends to acquire 16.6 per cent non-operated working interest in two blocks in the Cladhan area for $54.8m from the UK's Premier Oil.
Outside the UK, Taqa owns oil and gas assets in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. Last month, it bought a stake in Canada's WesternZagros Resources, which operates in Iraq's Kurdish north. The firm started production in Kurdistan two weeks ago, supplying the domestic market with about 3,000 bpd, according to Carl Sheldon, the Taqa chief executive.
The oil and gas sector in Kurdistan could be set for rapid development, after it emerged that ExxonMobil will explore six blocks in the region, suggesting that an end of the dispute between the central government and the Kurds over oil contracts and payments is within sight.
Taqa aims to spend about $10bn in the years up to 2014 on power plants in Morocco and Ghana, natural gas storage in the Netherlands, and drilling in western Canada and the North Sea.
"Our priority is to make the most of our assets and to grow the asset positions we've created organically," Mr Sheldon said.