Oil Search Eyes Eyes PNG Expansion As Profit Triples

Oil Search Eyes Eyes PNG Expansion As Profit Triples”

Oil Search has more than tripled full-year net profit of $US302.1million ($A381.9 million), compared to last year's $US89.8 million profit, with stronger oil prices and a lower tax rate in Papua New Guinea helping drive revenue.

Shareholders were rewarded with a jump in the full year dividend from 3.5 USA cents to 9.5 United States cents full franked with the payment of a final of 5.5 U.S. cents a share (2.5 U.S. cents in 2016).

Papua New Guinea's total proven gas reserves stood at 7.4 trillion cubic feet at the end of 2016, far less than Australia's 122.6 trillion cubic feet.

ExxonMobil of the US and Total of France, two oil supermajors, along with Oil Search of Australia, are likely to give the go-ahead by next year for more than $6 billion-worth of additional liquefied natural gas export capacity in the resource-rich South Pacific nation.

For the year, production is expected to be between 28.5 and 30.5 mmboe. Oil Search said total revenue for the year rose 17% to $US1.45 billion, driven mainly by the rise in oil and gas prices.

Average realised oil and condensate price climbed 24 percent to $55.68 per barrel.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2018, the company expects production, operating costs and non-cash costs to be similar to 2017, while capex is forecast to be higher, as activity on growth projects accelerate.

Total, on behalf of partners ExxonMobil and Oil Search, controls the undeveloped Elk-Antelope gas fields project in Papua New Guinea's southern Gulf Province, which will fuel the country's export expansion.

Botten added: "Two of these trains are likely to be dedicated to Papua LNG, supplied with gas from the Elk-Antelope fields, with an additional expansion train underpinned by gas from the existing PNG LNG fields and the P'nyang field".

Oil Search managing director Peter Botten said that the preferred development concept is planned to be presented to the PNG Government and other PNG LNG and PRL 3 joint venture partners for approval.

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