OMV Petrom SA, Romania’s largest oil company, said stable production and cost reductions helped to increase third-quarter profit 46 percent on year.
Net income rose to 1.27 billion lei ($388 million) from 870 million lei in the year ago period, the Bucharest-based Petrom, majority owned by Austria’s OMV AG, said in an earnings statement on its website today. Sales fell 6 percent to 6.6 billion lei on lower crude sales volumes.
“In the third quarter, we continued to deliver a solid performance, benefiting from a favorable crude price environment and cost optimization,” Chief Executive Officer Mariana Gheorghe said in the statement. “In exploration and production, over the first nine months of 2013, we managed to achieve the first year-on-year production stabilization at group level since privatization, as a result of continuous investments.”
Petrom, which has invested about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) per year in Romania to stabilize output and reduce costs, is searching for new resources in the Black Sea with Exxon Mobil Corp. Petrom said today it aims to invest about 1.2 billion euros in Romania this year.
“Going forward, we will maintain our focus on delivering on our operational initiatives and investment program,” Gheorghe said. “These initiatives remain essential prerequisites for a sustainable performance and cash flow generation that will support our ambitious investment program in the Black Sea in the coming years.”
Petrom said it expects exploration drilling in its Neptun block in the Black Sea to start around mid-2014, compared with an initial estimate of early next year, as the drilling rig will arrive later on site due to previous commitments. An additional exploration well may be drilled in the Neptun block in the second half of next year, subject to results and studies, according to the statement.
The company’s total oil and gas production amounted to 182,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter, unchanged from a year earlier, Petrom said. Production costs of sales fell 12 percent to 4.3 billion lei in the third quarter from 4.86 billion lei a year earlier, according to the statement.
Petrom’s nine-month profit rose 26 percent to 3.66 billion lei from 2.9 billion lei in the year-earlier period, according to the statement.