Murphy Oil posted a net profit of $108 million in the third quarter, turning round a $244 million loss a year earlier.

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In a call with analysts on 4 November, chief executive Roger Jenkins said the Houston-based company’s focus on de-leveraging its balance sheet was achieved with “continuous capital discipline”.

Excluding one-off items and discontinued operations, it posted adjusted net income of $37 million for the quarter, compared with an adjusted net loss of $24 million a year ago.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation from continuing operations attributable to Murphy were $288 million, up from $249 million a year ago.

Production averaged 155,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with 52% oil and 59% liquids.

“I am especially proud to maintain the low end of our original production guidance, exceed our original oil production volumes and achieve our debt reduction goals,” Jenkins said, stressing that the results were accomplished with less capital, and despite Hurricane Ida affecting facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

About 12.8 million boepd of Gulf of Mexico production was shut in due to Hurricane Ida, with downtime following the storm extended due to damage and power loss at third-party downstream facilities.

About 1 million boepd is expected to remain offline in the US Gulf in total for repairs through the first quarter of 2022.

“As a result of the hurricane, Murphy production for the year was reduced by approximately 4400 barrel equivalents per day. Fortunately, the long-standing agreements in place for our temporary shore bases ... enabled us to redeploy personnel quickly and safely only five days after the event,” said Jenkins.

Murphy was one of the first companies able to resume drilling after the storm, he added.

Drilling is underway at the second Samurai development well, with a third Khaleesi well completed in the third quarter. Once online, production from the these fields will flow through the King’s Quay floating production system (FPS).

“Project work continues and the FPS will soon be moved to its final location in the Gulf, ahead of receiving first oil in the first half of next year,” Jenkins said.

Brazil wildcat

Meanwhile, the Cutthroat-1 exploration well in the Sergipe-Alagoas basin in Brazil will be spudded this quarter by operating partner ExxonMobil, with a net cost to Murphy of $15 million.