Oil Search lifts H1 profit

Resources giant reaffirms expects slight spike in operating costs in second half.

Oil Search (OSH) has reaffirmed its full-year production guidance after posting a slight lift in first-half profit on the back of lifted its first-half profit lower exploration and tax expenses.

In the six months to June 30, Oil Search posted a net profit of $US113.5 million, a 5.6% increase on the $US107.5 recorded in the previous corresponding half.

Analysts were expecting a net profit of $107.1 million for the year.

In the same period revenue was $US381 million, a 4% decline on the $US398.5 million recorded in first half of 2012..

Oil Search will pay an interim dividend of two US cents on October 8.

"Normalised cash operating costs in the second half of 2013 are expected to be slightly higher than in the first half, due to expenditure on preparations for the supply of gas to the PNG LNG Project, partially offset by more favourable exchange rates," the group said (see Tim Treadgold's A gas giant in the making).

"Nonetheless, operating costs for the 2013 full year are still expected to be within our previously advised guidance range of $US24 – 26 per boe."