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Oil Search recovers after quake

Oil Search has recorded a significant first half drop in profits and production levels resulting from the PNG earthquake earlier this year.

Despite the setbacks, high output since the disaster has seen the company make a strong recovery.

The company announced a net profit after tax of $107.7 million for the first six months of the year, 39 per cent lower than last year’s corresponding period, while production and total sales volume both fell 31 per cent to 10.24 MMboe and 9.77 MMboe respectively.

However, due to excellent output at the PNG LNG Project since production recommenced, Oil Search was able to upgrade its full year guidance for output to 24-26 MMboe.

Oil Search Managing Director Peter Botten said while the effects of the earthquake were undeniable, the company and its venture partners had responded well.

“Oil Search’s financial performance for the first half of 2018 reflected the impact of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake, which struck the PNG Highlands in late February 2018 and resulted in the temporary shut-in of all Oil Search-operated production at the PNG LNG Project,” he said.

“Pleasingly, all production facilities are now back online, a major achievement by our and ExxonMobil’s operational teams, with PNG LNG presently operating above pre-earthquake levels and productions from Oil Search’s operated facilities progressively ramping up.”

The PNG LNG Project, operated by ExxonMobil and including venture partners Oil Search and Santos, recently announced new LNG sales agreements with BP Singapore and PetroChina.

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