Spain’s Repsol notches profit win on strong production

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Nov. 3 (UPI) — Spanish energy company Repsol reported a strong profit for the first nine months of the year on the back of large production gains and big new discoveries.

Through September, the company said it earned a net profit of $1.8 billion, a 41 percent increase over the same period last year. The company said the performance showed its resilience and discipline in a market where crude oil prices are still low by historical standards.

“International raw material benchmark prices remained in a low range throughout the period, although in September Brent crude reached $59 per barrel, a level that hadn’t been seen since July 2015,” the company said.

Lower crude oil prices last year starved energy companies of the capital needed for robust exploration and production programs. Repsol added that its debt over the last 12 months was down 30 percent.

For exploration and production, known as the upstream segment, Repsol reported a net income of $567 million, driven by “significant” wins in the United States and in Trinidad and Tobago.

Most of the production from the United States comes from inland shale basins, though Repsol noted part of its success came from the start of operations at its Buckskin project in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

In August, production started at the Juniper gas field in Trinidad and Tobago, where reserve estimates are the equivalent of two years of gas demand from the Spanish economy.

Production for the company averaged 688,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Output was boosted by the resumption of operations in Libya, which has moved in fits and starts over the year. Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but exempt for a production cut agreement so it can use oil revenue for national security.

Last month, the chairman and board of directors at the Libya National Oil Corp. met in London with representatives from Spanish energy company Repsol to review production planning, security challenges and ways to mitigate risk.

The company reported a net loss of $2.26 billion for fourth quarter 2015, just as crude oil prices were targeting historic lows. For full-year 2016, however, the company, also one of the largest refiners in the world, said it recorded its highest net income in the last four years.

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