Murphy hit with $370m Congo charge

Charged:Murphy forced to take $370 million asset impairment charge at Azurite field

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.

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