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Austria's OMV slightly reduces 2019 output target

Austria's OMV slightly reduces 2019 output target
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Austrian oil and gas group OMV is seen at a gas station in Vienna, Austria, October 30, 2018. Picture taken October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader -
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HEINZ-PETER BADER(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian oil and gas group OMV <OMVV.VI> slightly reduced its output target for the full year on Wednesday after posting a 44% rise in second-quarter core profit, which was helped by record production volumes.

Depending on the security situation in Libya, the company said it expects 2019 total production now to be slightly below 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) after a previous forecast of around 500,000 boe/d.

OMV resumed production at El Sharara in March after state guards and tribesmen had closed the country’s biggest oilfield in December seeking salary payments and development funds.

The oilfield was shut again for several days earlier this month after an unidentified group shut a valve on the pipeline.

Chief Executive Rainer Seele said in May he was optimistic to reach an average production rate in Libya of 35,000 barrels of oil per day for the remainder of the year. Now the group hopes to reach that from April.

OMV’s overall oil and gas output in the second quarter was up 3.4% on the first quarter and 17% on the second quarter 2018, at 490,000 boe/d.

Clean current cost of supplies (CCS) earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), which exclude special items and inventory gains or losses, came in at 1.05 billion euros (£962.8 million). That was slightly above an average forecast of 966 million euros in an OMV poll of 16 analysts, published on the company’s website.

This was mainly thanks to greater diversity in its production base, including Russian gas, its stakes in two Abu Dhabi oil fields, and the 15% stake in Norway’s Aasta Hansteen gas field, which started producing in December.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Thomas Seythal and John Miller)

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