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ALMATY Aug 6 KazMunaiGas Exploration Production
(KMG EP) on Wednesday reported that
first-half net profit increased 4.6 times year-on-year, mainly
due to a significant pre-tax foreign exchange gain as a result
of the tenge devaluation.
KMG EP is the London-listed arm of Kazakhstan's state oil
and gas group KazMunaiGas, which last month made an
approach to buy the remaining shares in the company.
Bringing the cash-rich exploration arm back into the
state-owned group is widely seen by analysts as a move towards
the eventual public listing of the national company, which
operates some of the largest oil and gas fields in the world.
KMG EP's first-half profit came in at 210.3 billion tenge
($1.193 billion), on revenue of 464.4 billion tenge ($2.635
billion), which increased by 21 percent compared to the same
year-ago period, the company said in a statement.
Kazakhstan, central Asia's largest economy and the
second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia, devalued
its tenge currency by 19 percent in February.
The central bank's devaluation aimed to ease speculative
pressure on the domestic foreign exchange market, support the
country's exporters of commodities such as oil and industrial
metals, and stimulate economic growth.
KMG EP's first-half capital expenditure totalled 58 billion
tenge ($329 million), which is 12 percent higher than in the
same period of 2013 mainly due to an increase in production
drilling at OzenMunaiGas, KMG EP's largest producing asset
located in western Kazakhstan.
KMG EP said last month that its first-half oil output rose
by 0.2 percent year-on-year to 6.106 million tonnes (250,000
barrels per day).
The company's crude output rose by 2 percent to 12.4 million
tonnes in 2013.
KMG EP said the average price of Brent crude in the first
six months of 2014 was 1 percent higher than in the same period
of 2013, up from $107.5 per barrel to $108.9 per barrel, KMG EP
(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov. Editing by Jane Merriman)