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UAE's Taqa posts Q1 loss on low oil prices

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), the state-owned oil explorer and power supplier, on Wednesday reported a first-quarter net loss, hurt by low oil prices

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Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), the state-owned oil explorer and power supplier, on Wednesday reported a first-quarter net loss, hurt by low oil prices.

TAQA, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's government, made a net loss attributable to equity holders of 608 million dirhams ($165.5 million) in the three months to March 31, versus a net profit of 256 million dirhams in the same period of 2015, it said in a bourse statement.

A 43 percent drop in the price of oil and gas sold by TAQA reduced the group's first-quarter revenue by 24 percent to 3.9 billion dirhams.

Revenue from electricity and water fell slightly to 2.1 billion dirhams in the quarter versus 2.2 billion dirhams in the first quarter of 2015.

TAQA, in March, said it slashed its proposed capital expenditure for 2016 by 42 percent to no more than 1.8 billion dirhams in response to lower oil prices.

Despite significant cuts in capital expenditure, TAQA produced 153,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter, down 3 percent versus a year earlier, the company said.

"We continue to execute our strategy to meet the challenges of the low commodity price environment," TAQA chief operating officer Edward LaFehr said in the statement, adding this had resulted in savings of 1 billion dirhams in the first quarter.

Earlier this month, TAQA said it was not in talks with any entity to sell its oil and gas assets after Reuters reported that TAQA was considering whether to sell its overseas oil and gas assets to another Abu Dhabi state-owned entity.

TAQA is also considering an international bond issue, IFR reported on Monday, citing sources. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho and Tom Arnold; Editing by Matt Smith and Gopakumar Warrier)

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