OSH 1.08% $7.32 oil search limited

PNG PIPELINE ON COURSE

  1. 99 Posts.
    From Oil & Gas.

    PNG-Qld pipeline on new course
    Brisbane, 30 August, OGT—Oil Search said that the consortium behind a A$6.8 billion Papua New Guinea to Queensland gas pipeline was now planning to bring the gas directly to Moomba, a key distribution hub for south-eastern Australia.

    The rerouting of the pipeline, which was originally planned to go down the Queensland coast, comes as the Exxon-Mobil-led consortium continues talks to firm up potential customers.
    Oil Search chief executive Peter Botten said: "In Queensland and south-east Australia we have agreements with a number of customers that have reached an advanced stage."

    The update on the PNG gas pipeline project came as Oil Search reported yesterday that its first-half profit had more than quadrupled to A$33.6 million.

    The result for the six months to 30 June compared with a net profit of A$6.2 million for the same period last year.

    It was was driven by stronger commodity prices and the initial benefits from the company's A$1.4 billion merger with Orogen Minerals.

    The merger was finalised on 1 April, so the result included only three months of revenue from Orogen.

    A stronger realised crude-oil price of US$22.78 a barrel - a 50% improvement - was a big contributor to the stronger result after Oil Search reduced its hedging costs during the first half.

    Initial revenue from Orogen's Porgera and Misima goldmines contributed US$10.5 million while the company also made US$6.9 million from the sale of shares in Lihir Gold.

    However the stronger result failed to boost Oil Search's share price, which closed steady at A$0.84 yesterday and continued to be tied to the fortunes of the gas pipeline.

    Oil Search is the largest equity holder in the pipeline project behind ExxonMobil.


    Botten said the partners would need firm commitments from customers very soon to enable the project to commit to front-end engineering by the end of 2002.

    The decision to reroute the pipeline follows a strategic review after the project failed to secure a crucial gas contract for the Queensland Government's new Townsville power station.

    Oil Search did not declare a dividend.

    Mark.........
 
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