28 Aug 2013

Oil company looks to new opportunities

7:06 am on 28 August 2013

New Zealand Oil & Gas has lifted its profit by a third, helped in part by a one off insurance payment.

The company made $25.9 million in the year to June, compared with $19.9 million in the previous year.

Excluding one-off items, which includes a payment related to its Kupe gas field, New Zealand Oil & Gas' normalised profit nearly halved to $16.7 million.

Revenue fell 15% to $99 million, due to declining production at the Tui oil field, which is getting closer to the end of its productive life, and a planned maintenance shutdown at its Kupe gas field.

Chief executive Andrew Knight says spending to find more oil and gas quadrupled to $42 million.

"Those two assets provide us with reasonably strong cash flows and we're able to take those cash flows and develop an investment programme and exploration programme that we think has a chance of replacing the reserves that we're chewing through as we produce."

Mr Knight says the company will pay a dividend of 3 cents a share.

The energy explorer has cash reserves of $158 million, and no debt, after repaying the $46 .6 million it owed

The company is searching for more oil and gas in New Zealand, including trying to extract more from Tui.

The Kupe gas field, in which New Zealand Oil & Gas holds a 15% stake, accounts for about two-thirds of the company's sales.

It is also drilling a second well in Indonesia.