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OMV First-Quarter Production Advances 3.5% on Libya Output

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April 24 (Bloomberg) -- OMV AG’s first-quarter oil and gas production grew by 3.5 percent on increased output in Libya.

OMV produced 299,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 289,000 in the previous three months, while its refining margin rose to $1.92 a barrel from $1.77, it said today in a statement.

Output in Libya, where operations resumed in November following a nine-month hiatus after contributing about 10 percent of 2010 volumes, averaged 25,000 barrels a day in the first quarter, OMV said. Average production was 7,100 barrels last year in the country, compared with 32,800 barrels in 2010.

Libya, with Africa’s largest crude reserves, is expanding output after operations were halted during an armed rebellion to oust former leader Muammar Qaddafi. The country is currently pumping about 1.5 million barrels of crude a day.

Oil hedges crimped first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes by 64 million euros ($84 million), OMV said.

Exploration costs of 130 million euros also exceeded the prior quarter after the write-off of the unsuccessful Peking Duck well in Norway and Aberlour well in the U.K., it said. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on May 9.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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