Exploration Costs to Hit 4Q 2012 Profit, Lundin Says (Sweden)

During the fourth quarter of 2012 Lundin Petroleum, a Sweden-based oil and gas exploration and production company, achieved a production rate of 35,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) resulting in production for the full year of 35,700 boepd. The average Brent oil price for the fourth quarter of 2012 was USD 111.67 per barrel.

In a press release issued this morning, the company says that the profitability of the fourth quarter of 2012 will be negatively impacted by certain exploration costs and asset impairment charges. These items are non-cash charges which will impact profitability but will have no impact on operating cash flow or EBITDA.

Exploration Costs

During the fourth quarter of 2012, exploration costs of MUSD 135 will be expensed. In Norway, the costs of drilling the Albert prospect on PL519 of MUSD 37 and drilling of the Juksa prospect and associated license costs on PL490 of MUSD 50 have been expensed resulting in an after tax charge to the income statement of MUSD 19. In Malaysia, the costs of drilling the Merawan Batu prospect and associated license costs on PM308B of MUSD 36 have been expensed. Other exploration costs amounting to MUSD 12 have also been expensed in the quarter.

Asset Impairment

Lundin Petroleum commenced production from the Gaupe field, offshore Norway, on 31 March 2012. Following poor performance from the field, the 2P reserves have been reduced based on the conservative assumption that no further production wells will be drilled resulting in an impairment charge of MUSD 206. This charge is offset by a release of deferred taxes of MUSD 161 resulting in a net charge to the income statement of MUSD 45. Poor reservoir performance from the onshore Russian assets has led to an impairment charge of MUSD 32. The net charge to the income statement is MUSD 28 after adjustment for deferred taxes.

The net debt position of Lundin Petroleum at 31 December 2012 amounted to MUSD 335. This low net debt position combined with strong operating cash flow generation and the USD 2.5 billion credit facility means that Lundin Petroleum is well placed to meet the funding requirements of its ongoing developments and exploration programme.

Press Release, January 21, 2013

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