(Adds details on Zora gas project)
May 5 (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates energy firm Dana Gas posted a 73.3 percent drop in its first-quarter net profit on Tuesday due to lower hydrocarbon prices but said it was pressing ahead with an offshore gas project in its home country.
The privately-owned energy firm made a net profit of $12 million in the three months to March 31, down from $45 million in the prior-year period, it said in a statement.
The company is owed $243 million in Egypt, and $770 million in the Kurdistan region of Iraq as of March 31, Dana said.
The company also said precomissioning work has begun on the Zora natural gas field in the UAE. The offshore Zora field is expected to produce up to 6,650 barrels of oil equivalent per day and “first sales remain on track for mid-year 2015,” Dana said.
The company’s cash position declined to $144 million, compared with $184 million at the end of last year, partly due to expenditure linked to the remaining equity investments required for the Zora project, Dana said. (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)