OGPar swings to profit in Q1

Beyond Batista: OGPar records profit as billionaire faces inquiries

Brazil's Oleo e Gas Participacoes (OGPar) reported a net profit of 213 million Brazilian reais ($95 million) in the first quarter compared to a loss of R$805 million during the same period of 2013.

The upstream vehicle formerly known as OGX and controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista said that fresh output from its Tubarao Martelo and Tubarao Azul oilfields had boosted its fortunes compared to this time last year.

The company, which is presently operating under bankruptcy protection pending a reorganisation that would see Batista become a minority shareholder, also made an R$173 million net gain during the three-month period on a weaker Brazilian currency rate.

Tubarao Martelo has produced almost a million barrels of oil since it came online in late December, OGPar said, with a daily average of 11,000 barrels in the first quarter, while Tubarao Azul added 4200 barrels to daily production.

OGX and its sister companies suffered a dramatic reversal of fortunes last year after it emerged four of its five flagship oil fields were sub-commercial, leading to a string of heavy loss-making quarters.

Batista is now being investigated by federal police over claims he may have used privileged information in his dealings during the rise of and just before the collapse of the EBX group.

Brazil’s securities and exchange commission, the CVM, is already looking into suggestions that OGX issued over-optimistic assessments of its exploration results then delayed communications about below-par results as the discoveries went into the development.

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