22 Aug 2012

NZ Oil and Gas lifts earnings

4:28 pm on 22 August 2012

Energy explorer New Zealand Oil and Gas has lifted earnings due to higher oil prices.

The company made $19.9 million in the year to June, a turnaround from last year's $75.9 million loss, when it wrote down its investment in the Pike River Coal mine on the West Coast.

Revenue rose 9% to $116 million, with two thirds of that coming from the Kupe oil and gas field, and the remainder from the Tui oil field. Both fields are in the Taranaki Basin.

New Zealand Oil and Gas chief executive Andrew Knight says Kupe will provide the backbone of the gas market for the next 20 years, while the company and its partners are investing up to $60 million seeking further oil in Tui and lengthen the life of the declining field.

The explorer will focus on exploring onshore Taranaki, and overseas, and has taken some early steps into Tunisia and Indonesia.

It declared a higher dividend of 6 cents a share.