UPDATE 2-OMV says production up as Yemen output recovers

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:38am EDT

Related Topics

* Production up 1 pct to 309,000 boepd as Yemen recovers

* Refining margin up 27 pct q/q to $5.28 per barrel

* Shares down 1.5 percent (Releads on Yemen, adds details of attack, shares)

By Georgina Prodhan

VIENNA, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Austrian energy group OMV said its production rose in the third quarter thanks mainly to a recovery in Yemen after repairs to its oilfields and pipelines from rebel attacks, although it made no oil shipments out of the troubled country.

OMV, whose activities range from exploration to filling stations, said total production edged up 1 percent to 309,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), helped also by higher production in Austria and Tunisia that offset a weaker Britain.

Sales volumes were down, however, as OMV shipped no oil from Yemen and less of its output in Tunisia and Libya, which have been rocked by last year's Arab Spring uprisings and their aftermath.

OMV shares fell 1.5 percent to 28.40 euros by 0850 GMT, underperforming a flat European oil and gas index and a 1.2 percent-lower ATX, the Vienna benchmark.

Yemen can produce up to 7,000 boepd, or about 2 percent of the group's total. OMV had several months of outages there, with repeated attacks on oil and gas pipelines by Islamic militants or disgruntled tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011.

Violence there has intensified in recent weeks. On Friday a suspected al Qaeda attack on an army base in the country led to 26 deaths.

Libya accounted for 10 percent of OMV's production before the civil war, which toppled Muammar Gaddafi. Chief Executive Gerhard Roiss said on Thursday that production in Libya was steady, after reaching about 90 percent of pre-crisis levels in the second quarter.

OMV's refining margin rose 27 percent in the third quarter to $5.28 per barrel as crude oil prices eased from the previous quarter's highs and gasoline and middle distillate spreads rose. Total refining output rose 6 percent to 4.87 million tonnes.

The company added on Friday that its third-quarter results, due to be reported on Nov. 7, would contain net special charges of 38 million euros ($50 million), mainly related to a legal case in Kazakhstan.

OMV had said after the second quarter that refining margins had spiked and were expected to deteriorate as crude oil prices recovered, while petrochemical and marketing margins would suffer from the subdued economic environment.

Supply concerns have been pushing up oil prices but have diminished in the past weeks with the imminent restart of Britain's largest oilfield.

Brent crude held above $112 a barrel on Friday but remained on track for its third weekly fall in five weeks.

($1 = 0.7638 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Michael Shields and Jane Baird)

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