Abu Dhabi’s Taqa seeking to sell North American assets

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., the government-run company known as Taqa, wants to sell some higher-cost wells in North America after reporting a record $5.2 billion loss in 2016.

After a two-year program to cut costs, Taqa’s oil and gas businesses in North America and Europe are “cash-flow positive,” Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri, acting chief operating officer, told Bloomberg.

Taqa plans to invest more in oil and natural gas in Canada’s Alberta Province, Kallanish Energy learns.

The company has written off assets, sold businesses and cut jobs and spending after losing money due to acquisitions and lower crude prices over the past two years. The company earlier this month reported a loss of 19 billion dirhams ($5.17 billion) on one-time impairments for 2016. It lost 1.8 billion dirhams ($490.06 million) the previous year. Taqa currently has a market capitalization of 3.4 billion dirhams ($925.67 million).

Abu Dhabi, with about 6% of the world’s crude and natural gas reserves, is merging government-owned companies to cut costs and help weather the slide in oil prices from more than $115 per barrel (Bbl) in 2014, to roughly $55/Bbl for Brent crude today.

Taqa “will continue to review our assets in order to evaluate options to optimize the portfolio,” and it may sell some oil and gas assets in the U.S. and in Canada outside of central Alberta, Al Dhaheri told Bloomberg.

“We are looking to sell some wells and deploy that capital to core assets, and we are still committed to our core business in North America,” he said.