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NZOG posts $2.9m loss despite improved Kupe, Maari performance

Tuesday 27th August 2019

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New Zealand Oil & Gas has reported a $2.9 million full-year loss with improved production from its Kupe and Maari interests insufficient to offset exploration losses in the first half.

The firm, currently under a takeover offer from its major shareholder, reported a $4.8 million profit a year ago. Excluding the minority holdings in its Cue Energy Resources subsidiary, this year’s loss to NZOG shareholders was $7.5 million.

NZOG reported a 21 percent increase in group revenue to $43.3 million in the year to June 30. That was mostly driven by higher sales from its 4 percent stake in the Kupe gas field.

Operating earnings roughly doubled to $15.9 million, buoyed by higher oil prices, $1.1 million in insurance proceeds for repairs to the Maari platform, lower costs and higher second-half production at the Maari oil field.

NZOG said earnings from Kupe climbed to $10.3 million, from $5.6 million a year earlier. Earnings from Melbourne-based Cue, which owns 5 percent of Maari, jumped to $13.2 million from $5.2 million the year before. That included reimbursement of almost $1 million of costs from the Ironbark venture off Western Australia and lower production costs from Cue’s Sampang project in Indonesia.

In February, NZOG reported a $4.8 million first-half loss after spending $4.6 million on the unsuccessful onshore Kohatukai well in Taranaki and writing $7.2 million off the value of its Kisaran interests in Indonesia.

NZOG shares last traded at 61.5 cents, having fallen as low as 47 cents earlier this year.

Last month, NZOG’s independent directors recommended a scheme of arrangement in which 70 percent shareholder OG Oil & Gas offered to buy out the other shareholders at 62 cents a share. That was a 25 percent premium at the time. Investors are awaiting an independent appraisal expected from Northington Partners in late September.

NZOG is not paying a dividend and said its cash balance at June 30 was $105.6 million, up from $98 million a year earlier.

It noted that about $23.5 million of that is committed for its share of the Ironbark well, due to be drilled by partner BP in the gas-rich Carnarvon Basin in late 2020. NZOG has a direct 15 percent stake in venture, with Cue holding a 21.5 percent interest.

(BusinessDesk)

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