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New Zealand Oil & Gas Profit Soars on Tui Production

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New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd., a partner in the country's Tui oil field, said first-half profit soared as production began at the project.

Net income rose to NZ$41.4 million ($34 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31 from NZ$491,000 a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement to the stock Exchange. The stock rose 5 percent to NZ$1.25 at the 5 p.m. market close in Wellington, the biggest gain in three months.

Tui, New Zealand's first offshore oil project in 11 years, produced 6.4 million barrels since flows began on July 30. New Zealand Oil & Gas, which has a 12.5 percent stake in the field, today said full-year production is expected to be 12 million barrels.

Sales increased to NZ$95.5 million from NZ$92,000. The company recorded oil sales of NZ$84.2 million as it benefited from record international prices. The average return on oil sales was about $89 a barrel after freight costs and adjustments for quality, New Zealand Oil & Gas said.

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