OMV quarter up on Libya

Increased output from Libya, recovering from the turmoil of civil unrest, helped Austria’s OMV boost production slightly in the first quarter, the company said in a trading statement released on Tuesday.

The company’s total hydrocarbon production rose to 299,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day for the March quarter from 289,000 in the previous quarter, the company said.

“Overall production increased compared to the previous quarter mainly due to the recovery of production in Libya,” it said, putting average production there at around 25,000 barrels per day.

“This increase was, however, partly offset by reduced production in Romania caused by severe weather conditions, as well as lower volumes in New Zealand,” it added.

The Libyan recovery also saw overall sales volumes rise, generating 11.2 billion cubic metres of gas sales during the quarter, up from about 8.53 bcm in the fourth quarter of 2011.

But exploration expenses of about €130 million ($171.2 million) was higher than in the fourth quarter following the write off of the unsuccessful Peking Duck well in Norway and Aberlour well in the UK.

The group’s refining margin, an indicator of profitability, widened to $1.92 per barrel in the quarter from $1.77 in the previous three months. Total refining sales slipped to 4.55 million tonnes.

Libya had provided a tenth of its global output in 2010 before a civil war halted production last year that is now coming back on line, Reuters reported.

OMV said it benefited from the strengthening of the US dollar against the Euro during the first quarter of 2012, with the company set to report its quarterly financial results on 9 May.

The company expected its reported tax rate to increase versus the last quarter of 2011 given the recovery of production in Libya, partly offset by the positive tax effect of writeoffs in Norway and Britain as well as the treatment of a cartel fine in Romania in the fourth quarter of 2011, Reuters reported.

(Source: Upstream Online)

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