Oil Search First-Quarter Revenue Almost Doubles as Prices, Production Rise

Oil Search Ltd., Papua New Guinea’s largest oil and gas producer, said first-quarter revenue almost doubled on higher prices.

Revenue climbed to $133.9 million in the three months ended March 31 from $68.6 million a year earlier, the Port Moresby- based company said today in a statement to the Australian stock exchange. Production rose 5 percent to 2 million barrels of oil equivalent from 1.9 million barrels.

Oil Search, a partner in a $15 billion liquefied natural gas project operated by Exxon Mobil Corp. in Papua New Guinea, seeks to increase reserves to support two more production units, it said April 23. The companies initially plan to build two units able to produce 6.6 million metric tons of LNG a year.

Oil Search rose 1 percent to A$5.82 in Sydney trading at 11:54 a.m. local time, while the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was little changed.

The Papua New Guinea LNG venture may produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas during its first 30 years of operation, Oil Search said in today’s statement. Gas deliveries are scheduled to start in 2014.

Oil Search sold crude oil for an average of $73.78 a barrel in the first quarter, up from $45.83 a year earlier. The company reported production gains during the three months from its Kutubu oil project northwest of Port Moresby.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney jpaton4@bloomberg.net.

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