News Column

Taqa posts Dh274million profit

May 14, 2014



Surge in Q1 earnings due to recovery in UK North Sea oil output, gas prices



Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa's profits more than doubled to Dh274 million in the first quarter of the year, on the back of a recovery in UK North Sea oil output, stronger natural gas prices in North America and a growth in its international power generation.







The company announced on Wednesday that total revenues had risen 34 per cent to Dh7.3 billion in the period. Underlying revenues, excluding passed-through costs, were up 39 per cent to Dh5.9 billion. Chief operating officer Edward LaFehr said: "We are focusing on operational excellence and driving performance, and the results of the first quarter show we are moving in the right direction."







Hydrocarbon production in the UK North Sea increased by 118 per cent to 62,900 barrels of oil equivalent a day, thanks to restored production at the Cormorant Alpha platform in Britain'sNorth Sea, as well as the integration of new assets in the central North Sea and a successful drilling programme at North Cormorant.







In North America, oil and gas production was stable despite a lower capital expenditure environment, while net realised prices were up 22 per cent.







In addition to greater capital efficiency, the company's efforts to reduce costs yielded results as unit operating costs fell by 12 per cent.







Global power production saw an improvement year on year, with 13,482 GWh generated during the period and underlying revenue up six per cent at Dh2 billion.







The international fleet in particular performed well, with technical availability returning to normal levels after a series of outages in the comparable period last year. There was a slightly lower technical availability in the domestic market following forced outages at the Fujairah 1 and 2 and Umm Al Nar power stations.







Available liquidity stood at Dh14.9 billion, including Dh4.2 billion of cash on hand.







Growth projects showed significant progress, with the first of two new 350 MW units at the Jorf Lasfar power station in Morocco commissioned in April. The second unit is expected to be commissioned in June and will expand the facility's output to 2,056 MW.







The energy giant also made good progress with the expansion of the Takoradi 2 power station in Ghana, achieving 85 per cent completion.







In March, the company announced the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in two hydroelectric plants in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The plants have a combined power generation capacity of 1,391 MW. This acquisition is expected to complete at the end of the year.







Gas Storage Bergermeer in the Netherlands started preliminary commercial operations in April. When complete in 2015, Bergermeer will become the largest third-party access gas storage facility in Europe.







TAQA has sold all of the facility's long-term capacity and plans to auction the remaining short-term capacity in September 2014.







Meanwhile, the company's Atrush field development plan is proceeding on schedule in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, with first oil expected in 2015.







haseeb@khaleejtimes.com




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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


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