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Lotos Heads for Five-Week Low on Norway Oil Production Delays

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May 8 (Bloomberg) -- Grupa Lotos SA, Poland’s second-largest oil refiner, headed for the lowest in more than five weeks after saying the probability that an oil field off the coast of Norway starts production in January next year is “very, very low.”

The shares declined as much as 1.7 percent to 27.91 zloty, the weakest level on a closing basis since March 30, and traded 1.4 percent lower at 27.99 zloty as of 10:57 a.m. in Warsaw. The benchmark WIG20 Index fell 1.1 percent.

The probability that the Yme field begins oil production in January 2013 is “very, very low,” Chief Financial Officer Mariusz Machajewski said on a conference call today.

The Polish refiner will run additional valuation tests on the oil field once its operator Talisman Energy Inc. prepares a timetable for the start of the production from the project, the company said in a statement today. Lotos, which had planned for Yme production to start in 2010, wrote down the value of the field in its fourth-quarter earnings statement.

First-quarter net income fell to 597.1 million zloty ($185 million) from 636.4 million zloty a year earlier, Lotos said today in a statement. That beat the 475 million-zloty mean estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Piotr Bujnicki in Warsaw pbujnicki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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