May 7, 2018 / 5:29 AM / a year ago

Aker BP Q1 operating profit rose more than expected

OSLO, May 7 (Reuters) - Norway’s Aker BP, partly owned by oil major BP, reported forecast-beating quarterly earnings on Monday, and said it may drill more wells this year than previously planned.

The company’s January-March operating profit (EBIT) was $472 million compared with average expectations of $449 million in a Reuters poll of analysts, and $273 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Aker BP now plans to participate in 12-14 exploration wells in 2018, of which 8-10 would be operated by the company itself. In February it said it would participate in 12 wells, of which it would operate seven.

The Norway-focused independent oil company produced 158,600 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd) in the first quarter, up from 145,300 boepd a year ago, mainly due to a higher stake in Valhall field, it said on April 17. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Ole Petter Skonnord)

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