Dubai: Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa), the state-run oil and gas utility firm, said third-quarter net profit more than doubled, aided by higher crude oil prices.

Taqa, which is 75 per cent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, reported third-quarter net profit of Dh537 million ($146.2 million) for the quarter ended on September 30, compared with Dh218 million a year ago, it said in a statement.

"Global demand for fuel and power continues to grow, with Middle Eastern markets, in particular, demonstrating attractive supply/demand dynamics," Chief Executive Carl Sheldon said in the statement.

Taqa forecast capital expenditure of $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) for 2011 but the company has spent only $1.3 billion so far, Sheldon told Reuters in a telephone conversation.

"Our spending plans were delayed a bit this year. The budget for next year hasn't been set but we would expect capex to be roughly similar to 2011," he said.

Quarterly revenues surged to Dh6.2 billion compared with Dh5.2 billion year ago.

Taqa's oil and gas revenues rose 68 per cent to Dh2.7 billion, it said in the statement.

Foreign exchange gains

Third-quarter results were also helped by foreign exchange gains of Dh85 million and a Dh45-million gain from changes in fair value of derivatives.

However, the company booked a Dh2.35-billion comprehensive loss for foreign exchange differences at its overseas subsidiaries.

The loss was an accounting adjustment mainly related to the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Kersley said.

The company is a major shareholder in the Dutch Bergermeer field, Northwest Europe's largest storage facility with capacity of 4.1 billion cubic metres. It also operates and has shares in more than 20 producing oil and gas fields in the Netherlands.

The Bergermeer field will not be ready for use in 2014 as planned, the operator said, after a court ruled that work at the site must stop because of environmental fears, Taqa said in August.

Taqa also runs power plants in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, India and the US and now wants to start oil and gas operations in Northern Africa.

Taqa, which has invested in a handful of Canadian companies in recent years, named Carl Sheldon as its new CEO in late October. The firm has also set up a 3.5-billion ringgit (Dh4.1 billion) Islamic bond or sukuk programme to tap the Malaysian market.