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Aker BP cuts 2019 oil output guidance on North Sea field delay

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OSLO (Reuters) – Aker BP ASA <AKERBP.OL> cut its full-year oil output target on Tuesday, as optimism around the early opening of its Johan Sverdrup field in Norway was overshadowed by production problems at the oil explorer’s Valhall field in the North Sea.

The company, jointly controlled by oil major BP Plc <BP.L> and Norwegian holding company Aker ASA <AKER.OL>, now expects its daily 2019 output to average 155,000 barrels of oil equivalents (boepd), down from a July forecast of 155,000-160,000 boepd.

The company blamed the lower forecast on a delay in starting new wells at the North Sea Valhall field, following maintenance in June, adding that there was no impact on reserves.

Meanwhile, Aker BP’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to $480 million in the third quarter from $698 million a year ago, in line with a $478 million forecast in a Refinitiv poll of analysts.

The company had warned on Oct. 14 that third-quarter output was weaker than expected as seasonal maintenance at some fields had taken longer than expected.

It had also warned in advance of $80 million goodwill impairments and additional costs from repairs of some $14 million, which helped push its third-quarter net result to a loss of $43 million.

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Rashmi Aich)

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