Abu Dhabi Taqa Cuts Capital Spend as Oil-Drop Curbs Revenue

  • Taqa to divest stakes in U.S. wind farm, U.A.E. transport
  • Company's oil, gas revenue tumbled by almost half on prices

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., the government-controlled utility pumping crude and natural gas from Canada to the U.K., said it’s cutting capital expenditure and planning to sell assets after low prices slashed oil and gas revenue by almost half.

The company, known as Taqa, said its 50 percent stake in the Lakefield wind farm in the U.S. state of Minnesota is up for sale and that it’s divesting its holding in Abu Dhabi-based transport company Massar Solutions PJSC. Taqa reduced capital spending for this year by 42 percent to 1.8 billion dirhams ($490 million), according to an e-mailed statement.

Taqa narrowed its loss to 1.8 billion dirhams in 2015 from 3 billion dirhams a year earlier, while revenue slid to 19.3 billion dirhams from 27.3 billion in 2014, it said. Oil and gas revenue dropped to 7.3 billion dirhams last year, down 47 percent from 13.9 billion in 2014. The company took a pretax impairment charge of 835 million dirhams in 2015 for writedowns of gas storage assets in the Netherlands and a hydroelectric power plant in India, according to its consolidated financial statements.

Job Cuts

Abu Dhabi-based Taqa has eliminated more than 900 jobs, or about 25 percent of its global workforce, it said. The company cut 32 percent of its oil and gas positions and 55 percent of its headquarters workforce, according to the statement.

The company made “significant advancements” at its Atrush project in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where the development’s first phase is to come on stream in the second half of the year, it said.

With debts totalling $28.7 billion, Taqa is studying proposals from banks to refinance $1 billion maturing in October, Bloomberg reported on March 24. The company hired investment and advisory firm Blackstone Group LP to review options for managing its debt, two people with knowledge of the matter said in June. The company reported two consecutive annual losses in 2013 and 2014.

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