* Q1 EPS $0.04 vs 0.19 year ago
* Q1 production up 16 pct
* Oil revenue up 59 pct
* Says difficult to predict when situation in Yemen will normalize
* West Gharib project in Egypt to be key focus in 2011-2012 (Follows alerts)
May 9 (Reuters) - Canada’s TransGlobe Energy Corp , which has properties in the Middle East and North Africa, posted a 77 percent drop in first-quarter profit and said the situation in Yemen is still unsettled.
The oil and gas company said although it expects the political crisis in Yemen to be resolved and production to resume, it is difficult to predict when.
There has been a 2,300 barrels of oil per day (bopd) of shutdown in production at the company’s Block S-1 in Yemen since mid-March.
The company, which said its primary producing asset is the West Gharib project is Egypt, delayed payment of expenditures in the first quarter due to the political unrest in the country.
While total production in the first quarter averaged 11,218 bopd, up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter, production from West Gharib averaged 8,738 bopd.
The focus of the 2011-2012 drilling program continues to be the expanding Arta/East Arta pools in the West Gharib project, the company said.
About $5.6 million of expenses were not included in cost recovery for the first quarter in West Gharib. These expenses are expected to be added to the cost recovery in the second quarter, the company said.
In March, TransGlobe said it was buying all the Egyptian assets of The Egyptian Petroleum Development Co Ltd (of Japan) for $60 million. [ID:nL3E7ES2AZ]
Net income in the first quarter fell to $2.9 million, or 4 cents a share, from $12.6 million, or 19 cents a share, a year ago.
Oil revenue rose 59 percent to $98 million.
Funds flow from operations was up more than a fourth to $24.3 million, or 33 cents a share, in the quarter.
Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company closed at C$12.30 on Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)