Oil Search Q3 revenue nearly halves on coronavirus hit to LNG prices
Adds details of results
Oct 20 (Reuters) - Australia-listed Oil Search Ltd OSH.AX posted on Tuesday a 47.7% slump in third-quarter revenue, missing analysts' estimates, as the coronavirus outbreak kept crude prices subdued and hurt prices of its key liquefied natural gas (LNG) product.
The company, however, said it was seeing a return in appetite for oil products, with oil prices recovering from lows hit in the second-quarter which is expected to increase LNG contract prices going forward.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, average sales prices Oil Search received for its liquefied natural gas were 55% lower than the same period last year.
Plunging commodity prices have whacked Oil Search's first-half profit and driven its share price lower by nearly 60% this year. To tackle this, it has been trying to keep a tight leash on costs through various measures, including layoffs.
Posting its third straight quarterly drop, the Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas explorer said third-quarter revenue came in at $189 million, down from $361.1 million a year earlier and much lower than brokerage RBC's estimate of $261 million.
Helped by higher output at the PNG LNG project, production in the quarter rose about 7% to 7.30 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).
The company added that it will lay out long-term plans for the business as a result of a "wide-ranging" strategic review on Nov. 19.
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi & Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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