May 1, 2013 / 8:19 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 3-Talisman Energy shares drop on loss, Ocensa stake for sale

* 1st-qtr loss $0.21 vs profit $0.28/shr year earlier
    * Production falls 19 pct to average 372,000 boepd
    * Selling stake in Colombian oil pipeline
    * Could sell Norwegian assets
    * Shares down 3.9 pct

    By Scott Haggett
    CALGARY, Alberta May 1 (Reuters) - In the midst of a
restructuring, Talisman Energy Inc, the Canadian oil
and gas producer put more assets up for sale on Wednesday as its
shares fell sharply on a quarterly loss that disappointed
    Hal Kvisle, Talisman's chief executive, said the company is
looking to sell its 12.15 percent stake in the Ocensa pipeline,
which carries 650,000 barrel of oil per day from Colombia's
interior to Covenas, an oil port on the country's Atlantic
    Speaking to reporters following the company's annual Calgary
meeting, Kvisle said he expected to be able to quickly find a
buyer for its stake in the line. He declined to say what
Talisman expected to receive for the stake, the company earlier
this year valued its interest in the line at $650 million. 
    "I think we can find a buyer within six months," Kvisle
said. "That would be my target."
    Kvisle, who took over as chief executive last September
following the abrupt departure of John Manzoni, is refocusing
the company's sprawling global operations to concentrate
operations in North and South America and Southeast Asia and
restructuring its production away from low-value natural gas.
    He said he expects all its assets outside its core regions
could potentially be sold, including its properties in Norway's
North Sea and its new discoveries in Iraq's Kurdistan region.
    "The Norway asset will come to market at some point," Kvisle
said. "Right now there's a lot of enthusiasm in Norway as a
result of big discoveries that Statoil and others have made.
People are kind of excited about it and we've got some
interesting acreage there, so ... we could do quite well on that
    Talisman is looking to raise as much as $3 billion from
asset sales this year. Along with the Ocensa stake, the company
is looking to sell lands in the North Duvernay shale-gas region
of Alberta and parts of its holdings in the Montney field, which
straddles Alberta and northeastern British Columbia.
    The company completed the sale of a 49 percent stake in its
North Sea operations to Sinopec for $1.5 billion in December. 
    Talisman posted a net loss of $213 million, or 21 cents per
share, in the first quarter, compared with a profit of $291
million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier. 
    The company's loss from operations was $60 million, or 6
cents per share, compared with a profit of $167 million, or 16
cents per share, a year earlier.
    Production fell 19 percent to average 372,000 barrels of oil
equivalent per day (boe/d). Adjusting for the UK transaction,
production was essentially the same as in the fourth quarter. 
    Talisman said its North American natural gas volumes
continued to decline during the quarter, reflecting limited
investment in the current price environment. This decline was
largely offset by growth in Norway and Asia-Pacific.
    The company's cash flow, a key indicator of its ability to
pay for new projects and drilling, fell 39 percent to $517
million, or 50 cents per share.
    Revenue and other income fell 45 percent to $1.12 billion in
the quarter.
    Talisman, however, maintained its production forecast of
375,000 to 395,000 boe/d for the year, and said liquids volumes
were expected to rise in the second half in North America,
Colombia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
    The company stood by its 2013 capital budget of about $3
billion, with 90 percent of spending directed at high netback
liquids and international gas opportunities.
    Talisman shares were down 47 Canadian cents to C$11.61 by
late afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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