24/JAN/2012 Oil Search revenue jumps on steady output
Oil Search's annual revenue has increased by 26 per cent, and the company has forecast steady production in 2012.
The Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas producer said its operating revenue in the year to December 31 was $US732.9 million, up from $US583.5 million in the previous year.
The rise was driven by a 45 per cent increase in realised oil prices, the company said.
In early trading, Oil Search shares were up as much as 21 cents, or 3.2 per cent, to $6.87.
Oil Search said it produced 6.69 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in the year to December 31, down 13 per cent on the previous year.
But production was within the company's guidance range of 6.2 to 6.7 mmboe.
"It is a pleasing performance, given the maturity of our PNG oil fields and the impact on production from the two-week planned facilities shutdown in the third quarter," managing director Peter Botten said in a statement on Tuesday.
Production in 2012 was expected to be in a similar range to 2011, within 6.2 to 6.7 mmboe, Mr Botten said.
Successful exploration and appraisal drilling within the company's oil fields was expected to largely offset a natural decline in production, he said.
Output would be impacted by a three-week shutdown of processing facilities in the first quarter of 2012, and two shorter shutdowns of a processing facility in the second and fourth quarters of 2012, he said.
"Present forecasts indicate that production is likely to remain largely flat into 2013, assuming planned development activities are successful," Mr Botten said.