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Abu Dhabi’s TAQA Q3 profit more than doubles

Expects 2012 capex "roughly same" as 2011; Q3 profit 537 mln dirhams vs 218 mln dirhams year-ago; Oil & gas revenues rise 68 pct in Q3; Shares rise 0.9 pct on Abu Dhabi bourse

November 15, 2011 11:42 by

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), the state-run oil and gas utility firm, said third-quarter net profit more than doubled, aided by higher crude oil prices.

TAQA, which is 75 percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, reported third-quarter net profit of 537 million dirhams ($146.2 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with 218 million a year ago, it said in a statement.

“Global demand for fuel and power continues to grow, with Middle Eastern markets, in particular, demonstrating attractive supply/demand dynamics,” Chief Executive Carl Sheldon said in the statement.

TAQA forecast capital expenditure of $2 billion for 2011 but the company has spent only $1.3 billion so far, Sheldon told Reuters in a telephone conversation.

“Our spending plans were delayed a bit this year. The budgets for next year hasn’t been set but we would expect capex to be roughly similar to 2011,” he said.

Quarterly revenues surged to 6.2 billion dirhams compared with 5.2 billion dirhams year ago. TAQA’s oil and gas revenues rose 68 percent to 2.7 billion dirhams, it said in the statement.

Third-quarter results were also helped by foreign exchange gains of 85 million dirhams and a 45 million dirhams gain from changes in fair value of derivatives. However, the company booked a 2.35 billion dirhams comprehensive loss for foreign exchange differences at its overseas subsidiaries.

The loss was an accounting adjustment mainly related to the drop in value of Canadian dollars against the US dollar, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Kersley said.

The company is a major shareholder in the Dutch Bergermeer field, Northwest Europe’s largest storage facility with capacity of 4.1 billion cubic metres. It also operates and has shares in more than 20 producing oil and gas fields in Netherlands.

The Bergermeer field will not be ready for use in 2014 as planned, the operator said, after a court ruled that work at the site must stop because of environmental fears, TAQA said in August.

TAQA also runs power plants in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, India and the U.S, and now wants to start oil and gas operations in Northern Africa.

TAQA, which has invested in a handful of Canadian companies in recent years, named Carl Sheldon as its new CEO in late October. The firm has also set up a 3.5 billion ringgit Islamic bond or sukuk programme to tap the Malaysian market.

TAQA wants to invest in power production in Europe, which would allow it to integrate its existing gas production and huge storage facility in the Netherlands, a company executive said in October.

The company’s shares rose 0.9 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse at 0800 GMT. They have fallen 18.6 percent year-to-date. (By Dinesh Nair; Editing by Jane Merriman)

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