Noble flat despite sales hike

by on July 26, 2012 11:57 am BST

A vastly-increased depreciation bill and a much lower
contribution from gas and natural gas liquids damaged the bottom line.

Net profit for the three months to the end of June was $292
million, a slight fall on the $294 million seen a year earlier.

Revenues, however, soared from $842 million to $966 million
with crude oil and condensate revenues ballooning from $490 million to $769

Sales of natural gas were, however, down from $226 million
to $117 million.

Total operating expenses rose from $617 million to $828
million and, while financial instruments were more positive than a year
earlier, a higher tax bill sank net profit.

Chairman and chief executive Charles Davidson said: “Production
and operating costs were in line with our expectations, and we brought online
our second major project at Galapagos. 

“The growth of crude oil and liquids continues to be a key
driver of our results as they accounted for nearly 50% of production and 85% of
revenue for the quarter. 

“Galapagos, as well as the horizontal programs in both the
DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, will make significant contributions to our
production growth in the second half of the year.  

“We continue to make excellent progress on our major
international developments, which will extend our growth profile into 2013 and

“Exploration activity will move forward into the second half
of the year, as we test and appraise several sizable opportunities in our key offshore