Oil Search lifts output

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 23rd, 2013

 OIL Search lifted production during the September quarter but sold less oil and gas. 

Production in the three months to the end of September was up 10% from the preceding quarter to 1.78 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).

That takes total production for the first nine months of 2013 to 4.97 mmboe, up from 4.59 mmboe last year.

The Papua New Guinea-based group, among the top 25 companies on the local share market, still expected full-year production towards the upper end of a range between 6.2 to 6.7 mmboe.

Oil Search’s operating revenue for the September quarter was down 14% to US$175.3 million (K423.43 million), on sales that were 19% weaker at 1.53 mmboe.

Its average realised oil price of US$112.36 (K271.40) per barrel was up 7%.

The lower sales than production were blamed by chief executive Peter Botten on the timing of shipments.

The US$19 billion (K45.89 billon) ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG project that Oil Search is a 30% partner in, was on track for first deliveries in 2014, it said.

Gas from Oil Search’s Kutubu fields was delivered into the LNG plant during the quarter.

Oil Search flagged a need to top up its liquidity before PNG LNG comes online so it can afford to develop new discoveries for oil projects at Mananda in PNG and Taza in Kurdistan.

Oil Search shares gained A$0.01 (K0.023) to A$8.65 (K20.17). – AAP