VIENNA, April 23 (Reuters) – Austrian oil and gas company OMV's first-quarter production rose 12 percent thanks to Norwegian assets bought from Statoil and a partial return of Libyan production.
Output rose to 311,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) from 277,000 in the fourth quarter, also helped by a resumption of production after a shutdown in New Zealand and the completion of development projects in Pakistan, OMV said.
OMV's refining margin rose to $1.63 per barrel, an improvement over the fourth quarter's $1.16 but still well below the $3.01 of a year earlier as economic weakness continued to hurt European oil demand.
"The improvement, however, was more than offset by lower sales volumes, a lower domestic market price level in Germany and the longer than planned turnaround in Bayernoil," OMV said on Wednesday, referring to the German refinery it is selling.
OMV said production in Libya, which accounted for about 10 percent of the company's output before the 2011 uprising that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi, was hit by security issues again in the quarter and had been shut in since mid-March.
It added that its gas margin in Turkey was negative in the quarter due to higher supply costs resulting from the unfavourable dollar-lira rate.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Mark Potter)
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