(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.
The loss in the latest quarter was due to a $826 million asset and goodwill impairment charge for the company’s operations in the North Sea, Norway and the TSEUK joint venture - its main UK operating subsidiary in which China’s Sinopec holds a stake.
Talisman’s loss from operations, which excludes most one-time items, widened to $116 million, or 11 cents per share, from $107 million, or 10 cents per share.
The results lagged the average analyst forecast of break even on a per share basis, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue in the quarter fell 44 percent to $929 million.
Talisman shares have fallen about 5 percent in the past year until Tuesday’s close of C$11.68 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza