US company Murphy Oil saw profits slip during the fourth quarter of the year as a loss from discontinued operations dragged down results.
Net income for the three months to 31
December totalled $75.4 million, down from the $158.7 billion profit
booked during the same period in 2012.
Accounting for the slip in profits was
a $105.1 million loss booked from discontinued operations which
Murphy said was primarily generated from a $73 million charge to
reduce the recorded value of its UK downstream business plus the
effect of weak margins in the 2013 quarter.
Income from continued operations was
higher year-on-year, bringing in $180.5 million compared to $123.9
million a year earlier which Murphy attributed to lower
costs in the Republic of the Congo
higher income tax benefits associated with investments in foreign
locations that the company is exiting.
saw output fall in the fourth quarter to 206,255 barrels of oil
equivalent per day, down 3% on the 211,833 boepd produced in the same
quarter of 2012.
5% increase in oil production was offset by a 16% fall in gas
production, largely due to lower volumes being produced at
the Tupper area in Western Canada and at the Kikeh field off
company said that Tupper volumes were lower in the recent quarter due
to a voluntary curtailment of drilling activities caused by low
sales prices while it blamed the fall in Kiteh production on a
third-party onshore gas receiving facility being offline for a
majority of the quarter.
also noted that its fourth quarter results included $82.5 million
of abandonment and other exit costs related to the Azurite field in
Republic of the Congo.
company also booked a more than 14% increase in exploration expenses
year-on-year, totalling $157.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2013,
due to higher dry hole costs of $10.1 million largely
associated with the unsuccessful Madagascar and Dufresne wells in the
Gulf of Mexico and Australia respectively.
anticipate total worldwide production volumes of 205,000 barrels
of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2014,” Murphy
chief executive Roger W Jenkins said.
volumes of oil and natural gas are projected to average only
196,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the quarter.
Total exploration expense in the first quarter of 2014 is
expected to be in a range of $60 million to $150 million.”