North Sea firm MOL Group more than doubled first quarter profits after its global oil and gas production surged to its highest level since the final quarter of 2012.
MOL, based in Budapest, Hungary, said UK operations contributed strongly to the output growth, thanks to start-up from the Cladhan field and production increases from Scott, Telford and Rochelle.
Taqa-operated Cladhan lies about 60miles north-east of Shetland. It came on-stream late last year in a welcome boost for an industry hit hard by the collapse in crude prices.
MOL, which employs 26,000 people in more than 30 countries, has a 33.5% stake in the field, alongside partners Taqa (64.5%) and Sterling Resources (2%).
Reporting first quarter net profits of £189.4million, up from £73.2million a year ago, MOL said UK assets grew production by 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day during the period.
Year-on-year, UK daily output was up by 6,000boe – helping to boost the firm’s total oil and gas production by 8.5% to 112,000boe per day.
MOL said its Scott, Telford and Rochelle assets benefited from improved uptime and a first infill well on the Scott field.
First quarter earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation totalled £314.7million, excluding one-off items, a year-on-year decrease of 11%.
Net sales for the latest period came in at £1.7billion, down from £2.3billion previously.
The company opened offices in Aberdeen in 2014, having previously focused its upstream operations on central and eastern Europe as well as interests in Kurdistan, Syria and Pakistan.
A first North Sea raid in 2013 saw it take over assets worth £220million, including non-operated stakes in the Broom field, interests in the Catcher, Cladhan, Scolty and Crathes developments and a share in Shetland’s Sullom Voe terminal.
A £76million deal with Premier Oil later gave MOL a 21.8% stake in the Scott field, a 1.6% share in Telford and a 15% interest in Rochelle. MOL was also successful in the 28th UK offshore licensing round, being awarded four blocks.