Oil Search revenue jumps on PNG production

Oil Search Ltd has nearly doubled its revenue over the previous quarter as higher oil prices and an uptick in production offset the impact of an earthquake in Papua New Guinea earlier in the year.

Revenue for the three months to September rose to $474.9 million (US$336) from $262.8 million (US$186 million) in the previous quarter, Oil Search's highest quarterly revenue since the last quarter of 2014, the company said in a statement.

The Australian company reported a near 40 per cent fall in its interim profit in August after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in February in the rugged highlands region halted operations at its partially held PNG LNG liquefied natural gas project.

“Current production is approximately 30 per cent above nameplate capacity,” Managing Director Peter Botten said in a statement.

The recovery prompted Oil Search to raise the lower end of its estimated annual production, which is now expected at 25 million to 26 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Oil Search's total production for the quarter was 7.5 million boe, with its share of production from PNG LNG amounting to 6.7 million boe. The project is managed by Exxon Mobil , with Oil Search holding a 29 per cent stake.

Oil Search said the partners in PNG LNG and the rival Papua LNG project, led by Total SA, aim to reach key agreements with the PNG government in November, which would pave the way for a proposed expansion of PNG LNG.

Reuters, citing sources, reported last week that Unipec Asia, the trading arm of China's Sinopec was in talks to buy more LNG from the PNG project.


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