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Oil Search 2017 profit surges; outlines PNG expansion



Australia’s Oil Search on Tuesday reported near threefold rise in annual core profit, underpinned by robust sales and rising oil and gas prices.

The development outlined major expansion in Papua New Guinea.

Core profit for the year ended Dec. 31 rose to 302.1 million dollars from 106.7 million dollars a year ago, just off analysts’ forecasts of around 310.3 million dollars, according to Media.

The Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas producer declared a full-year dividend of 9.5 cents per share, up from 3.5 cents a year ago.

Oil Search is working with global giants ExxonMobil Corp and France’s Total SA to develop new gas fields to expand exports from the PNG LNG plant run by ExxonMobil.

It said on Tuesday that the partners have broadly agreed on how they want to expand the project using gas from new and existing fields.

They are set to propose three new LNG trains with a total capacity of eight million tonnes a year.

The expansion would roughly double output from the PNG LNG plant.

“Oil Search has considerable discretion about when and how much to invest on other activities.

”It will prioritise the development of its LNG expansion projects in Papua New Guinea and the Nanushuk oil field in Alaska,” Peter Botten, its Managing Director, said.

The firm said total revenue for the year rose 17 per cent to 1.45 billion dollars, driven mainly by a rise in oil and gas prices.

Average realised oil and condensate price rose 24 per cent, while average realised LNG and gas prices were 21 per cent higher for the year, the company said.

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