January 17, 2019 / 6:26 AM / 6 months ago

Oil firm Aker BP to hike dividend and spending in 2019

OSLO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Norway’s Aker BP will increase its dividend payments between now and 2023 and will step up its investment spending in developing oil and gas fields offshore Norway next year, the independent oil company said on Thursday.

The company is the result of the 2016 merger between the Norwegian operations of BP and the Det norske oil firm owned by Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke. It has become one of the biggest players offshore Norway.

“The board proposes dividends for 2019 of $750 million, up from $450 million in 2018, with an ambition to increase dividend payments by $100 million per year to 2023,” Aker BP said in a statement.

The 2019 payout was an increase of $200 million from its previous plan.

Aker BP will also raise its capital expenditure by a third to $1.6 billion between 2018 and 2019 and its exploration spending by 40 percent to $500 million over the same period;

Aker BP expects its production to be between 155,000 and 160,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd) in 2019 compared to an average output of 155,700 boepd in 2018, it added. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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