US player Murphy Oil said on Monday that weaker-than-expected output from its Azurite field off the Republic of Congo forced it to take a $370 million asset impairment charge.
The “non-cash charge to earnings” came “as the result of an asset impairment due to lower than expected production rates and ultimate oil recovery from the [Azurite] field”, Murphy said in a statement on its website without elaborating.
The charge will more than wipe out the company's fourth-quarter profit, which analysts had expected to be $277 million, according to the average on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
It is another setback for Murphy in the country. A year ago, it said three dry wells drilled off the Republic of Congo had cost it $36 million.
Those wells led the company to look more closely into a tie-back to its Azurite development option, Murphy said at the time.