Profits have jumped by more than 200% at oil giant TAQA thanks to record production in the North Sea.
Figures published by the Abu Dhabi-owned firm yesterday revealed that pre-tax profits topped £282million in the first half of the year – up from £85million at the same time last year.
The huge increase is partly down to the first full year of production from the Harding platform.
But the firm has also cut 100 jobs over the past year – and said yesterday it would continue to review staff numbers in Aberdeen, despite the turnaround.
It is now producing 61,500 barrels a day in the North Sea.
Pete Jones, managing director of TAQA’s UK business, said the increased earnings come against a backdrop of rising costs.
“We are now benefiting from a full year’s contribution from the Harding platform and associated assets in the Central North Sea which we acquired in 2013; increasing production for TAQA’s UK business to an average 61,500 barrels of oil per day,” he said.
“During the course of this year we have been driving industry-leading change in a number of areas as we strive to become the front-runner in safe and efficient operations and development.
“We continue to improve margins and cost performance against the backdrop of an industry environment that has seen significant cost escalation in recent years, including re-negotiation of key supply chain contracts and a reduction in the number of employees and contractors in the business.
“Our major investment projects continue, including development of the Cladhan field, as a sub-sea tie-back to the Tern platform, reactivation of the drilling rigs on our Eider and Cormorant Alpha platforms and further development drilling planned from our North Cormorant platform and Maclure and Morrone fields.”
TAQA has about 2,800 workers at operations in the UK, Canada, Ghana, India, Iraq, Morocco, the Netherlands, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the US.
Its UK assets include five operated platforms producing from 13 fields in the northern and central North Sea. Taqa also has stakes in central North Sea fields operated by others.
The company’s UK portfolio grew after the 2012 acquisition of assets from BP in a near-£700million deal, giving the Middle East firm stakes in the Harding, Morrone and Maclure fields.
Across the group, TAQA achieved record oil and gas production, averaging 158,000 barrels per day during the period, representing a 24% increase against the first half of 2013.