FREDERICIA, Denmark, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Danish energy group DONG Energy said that after gaining success from its renewable energy portfolio, it was leaving the oil and natural gas business behind.
The company said in an interim financial report its operating profit increased 7 percent, driven in part by a 19 percent increase in wind power. In late October, the company said that, in coordination with a pending initial public offering, it was moving its portfolio closer to clean-energy options like bioenergy and offshore wind.
"We have decided to initiate a process with the aim of ultimately exiting from our oil and gas business," President and CEO Henrik Poulsen said in a statement. "This should be seen in the context of DONG Energy's strategic transformation towards becoming a global leader in renewables."
Already in September, the company entered an agreement with a state-owned company in Denmark to sell its entire gas distribution network and related operational activities.
The company said it would manage any of its oil and gas options for cash, steering any capital toward its low-carbon interests. It retained the services of J.P. Morgan last month to help assess its holdings and strategic priorities.
The company said its profit for the third quarter was better than last year, which it attributed in part to the divestments tied to its oil and gas portfolio. Some of its gains, however, were offset because of the lower market price for oil and natural gas. Its net debt increased.
Poulsen said the oil and gas portfolio performed relatively well overall and what's left in its holdings should result in positive cash flow for the company. On the exit, he said "there can be no assurance as to the outcome or the timing of the completion of the process."
DONG has seven offshore wind farms in various stages of construction. In September, the company announced it was installing the turbines at its Burbo Bank extension project off the British coast. At 640 feet, the turbines are the largest of their kind in the world.