Despite massive profit, Oil Search braces for tough times

8:22 pm on 26 February 2015

A near tripling of production of Papua New Guinea's massive LNG project has helped Oil Search achieve a 72 percent rise in annual profit, even with a sharp fall in global oil prices.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea.

Production from PNG's massive Liquefied Natural Gas project has helped Oil Search achieve a 72% rise in profit. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The explorer made a net profit of 353 million US dollars in 2014, up from 206 million dollars the year before, as production nearly tripled and revenue more than doubled, largely boosted by the start of LNG shipments.

However, Oil Search has reduced the value of its exploration assets by 130 million US dollars because of falling oil prices.

It has also cut its expected expenditure for 2015 by 20 percent, and cut production costs by 20 percent, including a freeze on new hirings, as well as contractor and supplier arrangements.

Managing director Peter Botten says Oil Search is financially and operationally strong enough to weather a long period of lower prices.