Malaysian Petronas' overall Q3 output dips 1% on year, but gas volumes grow

Singapore (Platts)--26 Nov 2017 1110 pm EST/410 GMT

Malaysia's national oil company Petronas Thursday posted a marginal 1% year-on-year decline in overall third quarter hydrocarbon production on the back of lower entitlements from Iraq and Canada.

Production declines have been consistent with maturing fields and the lack of new discoveries in the rest of Southeast Asia as state-owned companies like Petronas struggle to balance energy security concerns amid a low oil price environment.

Petronas said Thursday its overall production for the quarter ended September 30 was down 1% at 2.21 million b/d of oil equivalent from 2.23 million boe/d a year earlier.

The production declines were mainly due to a lower entitlement from Iraq, sluggish activity in Canada and higher decline rates in the Malaysia-Thailand joint development area and Egypt, the company said in its quarterly earnings statement.

However, the declines were largely in crude oil, and were mostly offset by higher gas production in regions like Sabah and Sarawak, and higher condensate volumes.

Petronas said the Kebabangan and NC3 fields registered an increase in gas production and two greenfield projects were brought on stream offshore East Malaysia during the quarter, adding 24 million standard cubic feet/day of output.

The company's total LNG sales rose 1% year on year to 7.22 million mt in Q3 from 7.12 million mt a year earlier, helped by higher gas production at Train 9 of Malaysia's Bintulu project, Australia's Gladstone LNG project and the Egyptian LNG project.

Gas production also benefited from the startup of Petronas' Floating LNG 1 project and was partially offset by lower volumes from trading activities, the company said.

Despite lower overall production numbers, Petronas benefited from higher oil prices.

It posted a profit after tax of RM9.96 billion ($2.42 billion) for Q3, up from RM6.1 billion a year earlier, helped by higher revenue and lower net impairment on assets and well costs. Petronas' group revenue for the quarter totaled RM53.7 billion, up 14% from RM47 billion a year earlier.

"In light of modest recovery in oil price and the continued drive for efficiency improvement, Petronas expects the group's overall year-end performance to be better than last year," the company said.

-- Erip Yep,, -- Edited by Wendy Wells,

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