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Repsol Net Income Jumps 36% as Production Surges in Libya

Repsol Net Income Jumps 36% as Production Surges in Libya
Increased production from Repsol’s new discoveries is starting to replace the loss of YPF SA, Argentina’s largest oil producer, which was seized by the government earlier this year. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Repsol SA, the Spanish oil producer that had its Argentinian unit nationalized this year, said third-quarter profit jumped more than expected as Libyan oil wells returned and new fields started in Bolivia and the U.S.

Net income rose 36 percent to 760 million euros ($970 million) from a year earlier, the company said today in a regulatory filing. That beat the 587 million-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Increased production from Repsol’s new discoveries is starting to compensate for the loss of YPF SA, Argentina’s largest oil producer. Output in the third quarter averaged 339,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, up 20 percent on the year. Higher profits at refineries in Spain and liquefied natural gas trading also contributed to earnings.

“Upstream returns and margins will exhibit one of the greatest improvements within the sector over the next few years,” Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said in a note. “Repsol produced another strong quarter of results, with all of its business reporting operating income ahead of expectations.”

Production in Libya was 44,000 barrels a day in the third quarter, reaching levels seen before the conflict that ousted Muammar Qaddafi’s regime.

Repsol rose 0.7 percent in Madrid today to close at 15.11 euros.

Refining Margin

Repsol’s adjusted operating income from refining and marketing climbed 47 percent from a year earlier as the average margin from refining crude oil more than tripled to $6.40 a barrel.

“Today’s figures show that there is a lot of Repsol after YPF,” Kristian Rix, a spokesman for Repsol, said from Madrid.

The explorer accelerated disposals, including the sale of LNG assets, and cut dividend payments after the seizure of YPF. Net financial debt fell 252 million euros in the third quarter to 4.92 billion euros.

“While underlying operations were on track, the critical issue for Repsol remains progress on asset sales especially in the LNG business,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Peter Hutton said in a note.

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