x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Taqa rebounds into the black after restarting North Sea operations

Abu Dhabi National Energy, known as Taqa, swung to a profit of Dh146 million for the quarter ending September 30, compared with a loss of Dh288 million in the corresponding period of 2012, the company said in a statement.

Abu Dhabi National Energy swung to a Dh146 million profit in the third quarter, reversing a year-earlier loss of Dh288m.

The earnings rebound came as the state utility, also known as Taqa, revived production at its Cormorant Alpha platform in the North Sea. The platform suffered from leaks in January and March and was restarted in June after repairs.

In the third quarter, revenue reached Dh6.1 billion, up 35 per cent from Dh4.5bn in the second quarter.

Taqa, which has oil production and power generation facilities overseas in Ghana and Iraq, reported a net profit of Dh80m for the first nine months of this year, down 88 per cent from Dh693m for the same period last year.

The year-on-year profits are skewed because of the North Sea leak and asset sales from last year, when Taqa divested its North American assets and sold its holdings in the electric car maker Tesla Motors.

Carl Sheldon, Taqa’s chief executive, said the firm was in the process of planning its budget for next year. “High on our agenda is completing the integration of our assets in the North Sea as well as completing and bringing on our projects in the power business,” Mr Sheldon said.

Shares of Taqa on the Abu Dhabi bourse remained unchanged yesterday at Dh1.29 apiece. The Abu Dhabi Government is the majority owner of Taqa.

Last month the company won approval to pump its first oil in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where it is investing US$300m to develop the Atrush block.

It expects to start pumping 30,000 barrels per day in 2015.

Some of its 162 employees who lost their jobs at Taqa’s North American operations following the asset sale have joined the company in the Kurdish region.

“We’re happy with our progress in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and we’ve very pleased to have our field development plan approached smoothly,” Mr Sheldon said.

Bergermeer, Taqa’s ambitious underground gas storage project in the Netherlands, was 68 per cent completed, and it was on track to be fully operational in April 2015, he said.