Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) sank to a loss in the first quarter of 2016, as low oil and gas prices affected its upstream business.

Taqa posted a loss of AED475m ($129m) for the first three months of 2016, compared with a profit of AED380m in the same period of 2015.

The company said a 43-per-cent drop in the price of oil and gas sold reduced its revenues by 24 per cent to AED3.9bn, and lowered operating profit by 21 per cent to AED2bn year-on-year.

“We continue to execute our strategy to meet the challenges of the low commodity price environment,” said Edward LaFehr, Taqa’s chief operating officer. “Our cost transformation programme continued to deliver outstanding results in the first quarter, with savings of AED1bn while delivering one of the best operational performances in our history.”

Taqa increased power produced by 7 per cent to a record 17,022GW, with technical availability remaining at 87 per cent. The volume of water desalinated decreased by 5 per cent to 56,584 million imperial gallons due to lower demand and planned maintenance at facilities.

Hydrocarbons output dropped 3 per cent to 153,700 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d).

“Volumes were supported by the lifting of third-party pipeline constraints and strong performance at its unconventional liquids-rich gas assets in Canada,” the company said.

Taqa’s Atrush oil scheme in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq is expected to start oil production later this year, with a maximum capacity of 30,000 barrels a day (b/d), the firm said. Earlier this month, Taqa said it was not in talks to sell any oil and gas assets, after reports claimed the company was in talks to divest the Atrush asset to another Abu Dhabi state-owned entity.

Meanwhile, Taqa has invited banks to bid for a role in arranging an international bond issuance, according to UK news agency Reuters.

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