Talisman Energy set on selling $2 billion in assets by mid-2015

Talisman Energy Inc has said that it is optimistic about achieving its goal of selling off $2 billion in assets by mid-2015, even as oil prices sink.

The Canadian oil giant posted better than expected third quarter results, saying that buyers are interested despite oil prices down to three year lows.

Hal Kvisle, Talisman Chief Executive, expects to make at least one sale announcement before the end of the year.

One of the largest assets it will be selling off is its pipeline and processing assets in the Marcellus shale gas field in the northeast area of the US – this asset is not affected by oil prices.

In an interview Kyisle said:

“It’s more dependent on low interest rates than high commodity prices,” adding “It’s the low interest-rate environment that makes it attractive.”

Talisman posted earnings of $425 million (38 cents per share) in the third quarter, up from a loss of $54 million (8 cents per share) last year.

Crude prices are now 25 percent lower than they were in June because of weak demand and excess supply. As a result, production in the quarter fell to an average of 353,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), from 371,000 boepd in 2013.

The drop in production and oil prices was offset by a 49 percent decrease in expenses.

Even though Talisman posted profit figures that were higher than forecast, its share price nosedived by 12 percent to C$6.10 – its lowest level since 2002.