Russian privately held oil producer Lukoil reported improvements in its first-quarter results, both in terms of production and in the top and bottom lines.
In oil and gas production and financial metrics, Lukoil outperformed its Russian industry peers — such as Gazprom Neft, Rosneft and Surgutneftegaz — in growth margins in the quarter.
Lukoil's oil and condensate output rose by over 3% to 1.62 million barrels per day compared with the fourth quarter of last year.
Gas production was also in the upward movement, increasing by 7% to 8.8 billion cubic metres.
Quarterly revenues jumped 23% to 1.88 trillion roubles ($25 billion) as against the last three months of 2020, and by 13% compared with the first quarter of last year.
Improvements in the bottom line were larger, with Lukoil's net profit in the first quarter growing by 440% to hit more than 157 billion roubles as against the previous quarter.
In the first quarter of 2020, the oil producer posted a net loss of 46 billion roubles on oil and condensate production of 1.84 million bpd.
Lukoil said it also achieved healthy positive cash in this year's first quarter, with cash and equivalents growing by 42% to 489 billion roubles by 31 March.
Just over 90% of its cash reserves were denominated in US dollars and euro.
Lukoil also said it still has unused production capacity because of limits imposed by Russian authorities.
Last year, the Kremlin joined production curbs made by Opec+ — an alliance of Opec members and countries that joined their initiative to reduce supplies last year in response to economic troubles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although Opec+ agreed to partially lift production restrictions for Russia earlier this year, Lukoil said it still had about 180,000 bpd of spare producing capacity during the first quarter.
Analysts in Moscow said Lukoil is likely continue to see improvements in its business this year because Opec+ is expected to further increase Russia's production quota after a meeting scheduled for late this month.
- 'It's not us': Rosneft denies involvement in Black Sea oil spill
- Russia's Surgutneftegaz piles on cash but oil output slumps in Covid-hit market
- Fears spill from Russian oilfield could threaten Barents Sea
- City emergency declared as oil spill hits remote Russian river
- Putin orders talks on new tax incentives for unconventional oil projects