Lundin Petroleum Q1 Beats Forecast, Raises Sverdrup Capacity Estimate


OSLO, May 11 (Reuters) - Sweden's Lundin Petroleum raised output estimates for the first phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup field on Wednesday as it beat first-quarter core earnings expectations helped by a strong production and a forex exchange gain.

Lundin raised its daily output estimate for the first phase of the Sverdrup field in the North Sea, the largest oil find in Norway in 30 years.

"We have recently completed a de-bottleneck study for Phase 1 of the project which concludes a potential of an increased processing capacity from the previously guided range of 315,000 to 380,000 bopd up to a revised 440,000 bopd," it said in a statement.

The operator of Sverdrup is Statoil, while other partners include state-owned Petoro, Det norske and Denmark's Maersk Oil.

First-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 45 percent to $125 million, well above a mean forecast for $66.9 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Lundin swung to a net profit of $114 million from a loss of $231 million a year earlier.

This "was mainly driven by the excellent production performance and a net foreign exchange gain (of $158.6 million) as a result of the weakening USD against the Norwegian Krone and the euro," it said.

First-quarter production rose to 62,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from 25,800 boepd a year earlier buoyed by output from the Edvard Grieg field which came onstream at the end of 2015.

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; editing by Gwladys Fouche and Jason Neely)


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