Galp beats expectations with big oil output increase

LISBON, April 15 Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:14am EDT

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LISBON, April 15 (Reuters) - Portuguese energy company Galp's oil and natural gas output jumped over 19 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, exceeding market expectations, while its oil refining volumes fell 23 percent due to scheduled maintenance.

Galp said in a statement on Tuesday its working interest share of output from oil and gas projects mainly in Brazil and Angola rose to 28,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which also represented an 11 percent rise from the previous quarter.

"Exploration and production output ... beat our estimate and company guidance by 8 percent, with both Brazil and Angola outperforming expectations," Espirito Santo Investment Bank analysts wrote in a note.

Despite a stronger-than-expected impact of the Sines refinery outage on Galp's capacity utilisation, analysts said the numbers had an overall positive effect on Galp shares, which were helped also by a near 21 percent rise in sales of natural gas thanks to trading operations.

Galp shares were up 0.5 percent at 12.47 euros, while the broader market in Lisbon was down 1.2 percent.

The 225,000-barrel-per-day Sines refinery is due to gradually resume production starting this week and reach full capacity by mid-May.

The company is set to report quarterly earnings on April 29. (Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Mark Potter)

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