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Talisman Energy profit rises on robust oil prices

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc. said on Wednesday fourth-quarter profit rose sharply on robust oil and natural gas prices and said production momentum would stay strong through this year.

The Calgary-based company, which operates in Canada, the United States, southeast Asia and the North Sea, said net income rose to C$533 million ($468 million), or C$1.42 a share, up from C$121 million, or 31 Canadian cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Cash flow, used by investors as a gauge of ability to fund new projects, was C$1.47 billion, or C$4.01 a share, up from C$679 million, or C$1.78 a share, a year earlier.

Production in the fourth quarter averaged 516,000 barrels of oil equivalent, up 14 percent from the 451,000 barrels of oil equivalent produced in same period in 2004.

(Additional reporting by Christopher Kaufman in New York)

($1=$1.14 Canadian)

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