Max Petroleum cuts full-year forecast; shares tumble

Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:53am EST

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Dec 30 (Reuters) - Max Petroleum Plc cut its production forecast for the full year as delays in permits to start test production in several wells in Kazakhstan add to pressure from unsuccessful well drills.

Shares in Max Petroleum slid as much as 14.5 percent, making it the second-biggest percentage loser on the FTSE-100.

The company, which reported a 4 percent fall in first-half production, cut its full-year forecast to about 4,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from 4,500-5,000 bopd.

Max Petroleum said production fell to 3,630 bopd in the six months ended Sept. 30 from 3,770 bopd a year earlier.

Revenue fell 6 percent to $46.3 million.

"Results to date have not been encouraging with resource estimates lowered across all the main post-salt discoveries under appraisal," Macquarie Securities analyst Giacomo Romeo said, referring to the company's assets at Sagiz West, Uytas and Baichonas West.

The Piccadilly, London-based company has encountered at least two dry wells in Kazakhstan in the past two years.

Max Petroleum also said on Monday it would start test production at an appraisal well in Sagiz West field in West Kazakhstan and drill another well in the field.

Shares in the company were down 13 percent at 3.34 pence at 1245 GMT on Monday.

Romeo added that he expected shares to bounce back to the 4 pence level in the coming months on anticipation of an update on development of wells at Sagiz West. (Reporting By Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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