Talisman Steers Clear Of Repsol Comment, Posts 2Q Loss


CALGARY, Alberta, July 29 (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc , Canada's fifth-largest independent petroleum producer, declined to offer additional details on its talks with Spain's Repsol SA on Tuesday, after it reported a surprise loss, hurt by lower gas prices in North America and higher royalty payments on production.

Hal Kvisle, Talisman's chief executive, declined to offer further detail on the negotiations, saying on a conference call that he could not offer any comment beyond what the company acknowledged in a press release last week.

"We've been approached by Repsol with regards to various transactions," Kvisle said on a conference call. "There is no assurance that this will result in any transaction. I hope you understand that I can't comment further on the matter."

Talisman shares rose more than 11 percent last week after reports emerged that Repsol may be interested in the Canadian oil producer whose profits and stock has been hampered by low natural gas prices and weak results from its North Sea operations.

Expenses Jump

The company on Tuesday reported a second-quarter loss of $237 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with a profit of $97 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

The loss included a $171 million charge related mainly to hedging losses, Talisman said.

Excluding items, the loss was 1 cent per share, while analysts on average had expected an operating profit of 4 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total production increased 4 percent to 375,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, higher than most analysts expected.

Total revenue rose 4.4 percent to $1.24 billion, but total expenses jumped 47.4 percent to $1.4 billion.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company's stock closed at C$11.93 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, up 21 Canadian cents.

(Reporting by Scott Haggett in Calgary and Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Joyjeet Das and Bernard Orr)


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