Oil Search first half profit down
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Oil Search has maintained its full year production target despite the impact of the shutdown of a loading facility in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Oil Search on Tuesday posted a net profit of $US107.5 million ($A103.34 million) for the six months to June 30, down six per cent from $114.5 million in the previous corresponding period.
Higher exploration costs were the main reason for the drop in profit, with production down slightly from the previous first half, but sales revenue higher.
Oil Search recently suspended loading operations at its Kumul Marine Terminal in PNG, after a minor oil spill.
Inspections had failed to uncover a source for the leak, and operations were set to resume soon, Oil Search said on Tuesday.
But the halt at the terminal had impacted production and, as a result, production in the six months to December 31 was expected to be lower than in the half year to June 30.
"Nonetheless, production for the 2012 full year is still expected to be within the previous guidance range of between 6.2 and 6.7 mmboe (million barrels of oil equivalent)," managing director Peter Botten said in a statement.
Total cash costs in the first half of 2012 were 39 per cent higher than in the previous first half, at $US88.4 million ($A84.98 million).
That equated to $US21.04 per barrel of oil equivalent, and Oil Search forecast costs for the full year to be in the range of $US23 and $US25 per barrel of oil equivalent.
The company declared an interim dividend of two US cents per share, in line with the previous year's interim dividend.