Taqa Quarterly Net Falls as North Sea Field Halt Hurts Sales

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., the state-controlled oil producer, said first-quarter profit fell to about a fifth of the year-ago period’s net income, which included a non-recurring gain, and as a crude leak hurt output.

Net income declined to 106 million dirhams ($28.9 million) from 534 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, the company known as Taqa said in an e-mailed statement today. Taqa’s net income for the first quarter of 2012 included a one-time 378 million-dirham gain from the sale of Canadian assets. Revenue slipped 5.6 percent to 5.42 billion dirhams.

“This year’s first quarter was one of the most challenging,” Carl Sheldon, Taqa’s chief executive officer, said on a conference call. “The company showed a lot of resilience to the challenges it faced.”

Taqa, owned 75 percent by the Abu Dhabi government, holds stakes in businesses generating power or producing oil and natural gas in the Middle East, the North Sea, India and North America. The company expanded last year by taking over the operation of an oil field in northern Iraq and buying productive crude deposits off the U.K. coast from BP Plc.

‘Challenging’ Job

Oil and gas sales decreased after Taqa shut a platform at the North Sea Cormorant Alpha oil field, which produces 10,000 barrels a day of crude, because of a leak detected in March. No oil spilled into the sea, and the company is continuing maintenance work on the platform. The Brent pipeline system, which Taqa also operates, resumed oil flow after closures in January and March.

“The North Sea job is very challenging, but the company’s goal is to maintain output from that important asset for the U.K. for years to come,” Sheldon said. Taqa expects to complete maintenance at Cormorant Alpha in the second quarter, though the work may affect results for the period, he said.

Rising output from oil and gas fields in the Netherlands and higher natural gas prices in the U.S. helped Taqa offset some of the decrease in North Sea output, he said.

Taqa is also drilling its third well in a block it operates in Iraq’s Kurdish region, where the company submitted its development plan to authorities and is awaiting approval, Sheldon said. In the U.S., Taqa expects to receive authorization in this quarter to proceed with a wind-power project, he said.

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