Profits at Austrian oil company dragged down by Arab unrest
VIENNA - Reuters
This file photo shows a Petrol Ofisi gas station in Istanbul. Vienna-based OMV owns the Turkish brand. Hürriyet photoTurmoil in Libya and Yemen ate into earnings at oil and gas group OMV in the third quarter and the Austrian company said it was unclear when its production would normalize.
OMV reiterated yesterday that output in 2011 would be below last year’s levels of 318,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day because of upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East which has triggered the shutdown of supplies.
It declined to give an outlook for when Libyan production would fully recover. It said last month that it could take up to two years for production in the North African country to reach pre-war levels, when it accounted for a tenth of OMV output.
Looking for stability
“All future activities are dependent on a stable security situation in the country. It is therefore premature to give guidance on when production will be back to significant levels,” OMV said in its quarterly report.
Shares slipped 1.4 percent to 24.96 euros by 0822 GMT, underperforming the sector index which was up 0.7 percent.
Net profit excluding one-offs and unrealized gains from valuing inventories fell 20 percent to 233 million euros ($321.7 million), lagging a 259 million euro estimate a Reuters poll of analyst forecasts.
The high oil price helped offset some of the production losses. Adjusted operating earnings were 581 million euros, above a 558 million mean estimate.
Libyan production fell sharply after Feb. 20 as the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule broke out, forcing OMV to withdraw staff over security concerns. It said production had restarted recently but was still well below the pre-war level.
The company has a long-term stake in Libya with 12 exploration and production licences and petroleum contracts running to 2032.
Last month Italian peer Eni reported a 7 percent rise in underlying net profit as strong oil prices offset disruption of production in Libya.