UPDATE 2-Abu Dhabi's TAQA to cut N.America spend after Q3 loss

Stanley Carvalho
Reuters Middle East

(Recasts, adds conference call details)

* Q3 loss 288 mln dirhams vs profit of 537 mln dirhams

* Results hit by lower prices, one-off items

* N.America capex to be cut by 30 pct in 2013 - CEO

ABU DHABI, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Energy Co

(TAQA) will cut spending in North America by 30

percent in 2013 to weather a downturn in commodity prices, its

chief executive said after reporting a third-quarter loss.

TAQA, which is 75-percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government,

will cut 2013 capital expenditure in Canada and the United

States to $500 million from the planned $750 million, Carl

Sheldon said in a conference call on Wednesday.

While oil prices continued to soften, natural gas prices

were 40 percent lower in third quarter compared with the same

period last year, the company said.

Though its North American spend will be cut, overall capital

expenditure will remain unchanged at about $2.2 billion to $2.3

billion, Sheldon added.

The company swung to a third-quarter net loss of 288 million

dirhams ($78.4 million), against a profit of 537 million dirhams

a year ago, largely because of 2.73 billion dirhams in

construction costs related to the Jorf Lasfar power plant in

Morocco and a 272 million dirham charge to account for tax

increases in the UK.

"Our financial performance over the past quarter has been

impacted by a series of one-off items - both cash and non-cash,"

Chief Financial Officer Stephen Kersley said in a statement.

Revenue rose 43 percent to 8.83 billion dirhams during the

quarter, from 6.2 billion dirhams a year ago. Oil and gas

revenue fell to 2.56 billion dirhams from 2.74 billion dirhams,

while fuel revenue dropped to 952 million dirhams from 1.15

billion dirhams.

TAQA said that it will either sell non-core acreage or

increase production in core areas in North America to counter

the downturn in oil and gas prices.

The company, which also runs power plants in Morocco, Saudi

Arabia, Ghana and India, added that it plans to start oil and

gas operations in northern Africa.

On Monday TAQA mandated five banks for a dollar-denominated

bond that could be issued before the end of the year.

TAQA last tapped global debt markets in December last year

with a $1.5 billion two-tranche bond to refinance debt.

Separately, sources told Reuters on Monday that TAQA is in

advanced talks to buy a stake in an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan

by taking a majority interest in General Exploration


TAQA shares shares were trading flat on the Abu Dhabi bourse

at 0900 GMT but are up about 9 percent this year.

($1 = 3.673 UAE Dirhams)

(Reporting By Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Dinesh Nair and

David Goodman)

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