Talisman Energy posts $1 billion loss; plan $2 billion asset sales

Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:40am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO, Canada's No. 5 independent oil and gas producer, posted a $1 billion quarterly loss due to an asset impairment charge and said it plans to sell a further $2 billion of assets over the next 12-18 months.

Talisman has been slimming its operations and cutting debt in a effort to boost its share price to satisfy disgruntled and activist investors. The company has said that Chief Executive Hal Kvisle will step down in 2014.

The oil producer raised over $2 billion from asset sales in 2013, including the sale of 75 percent of its Montney assets and its equity interest in the Ocensa pipeline in Colombia.

Reuters reported in January that Talisman late last year rejected a $17 billion bid from French utility GDF Suez GSZ.PA.

Talisman said on Wednesday forecast capital expenditure of about $3.2 billion this year, unchanged from 2013, with over 70 percent of the budget to be invested in its focus areas of the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

The two regions are expected to deliver a 14-19 percent increase in liquids volumes in 2014, and account for over 90 percent of total production, the company said.

As a result, production from ongoing operations is expected to rise to 350,000-365,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) this year, from 345,000 boe/d in 2013.

The company's cash flow, a key indicator of its ability to pay for drilling and new projects, fell to $675 million, or 66 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $580 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Talisman's quarterly loss was $1.01 billion, or 98 cents per share, compared with a profit of $376 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier.   Continued...