Hungary's MOL Holds to Production Forecast after Quarterly Downturn


BUDAPEST, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Hungarian oil group MOL expects to meet its forecasts of rising crude output through 2018 on the back of investments in fields including in Iraq's Kurdistan region, it said on Friday after posting a sharp drop in production in the past quarter.

Budapest-based MOL, which reported a 17 percent drop in core earnings or EBITDA in the second quarter, mainly due to weak results in its upstream operations, said it still expected to meet its 2015 and 2018 output targets.

MOL's average daily output was 92,000 barrels per day in the second quarter, falling 7 percent from the first quarter and 13.4 percent in annual terms.

"Looking ahead, we are confident that we can meet our production forecasts," CFO Jozsef Simola said in a video interview posted on MOL's website.

Simola said output was expected to rise to between 105,000 and 110,000 barrels per day in 2015 and to 125,000-135,000 by 2018, in line with MOL's targets set out earlier.

Tamas Pletser, an oil sector analyst at banking group Erste, said the targets looked realistic, provided MOL is able to export its crude drilled in the Kurdistan region where political risks are the main obstacle.

MOL shares were 0.4 percent higher at 0710 GMT, in line with the main BUX index. The stock has underperformed the Budapest market in the past three months, falling 10.3 percent, while the BUX gained 1.2 percent, according to Reuters data.


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