Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Production boomed and third quarter income for oil and gas explorer Aker BP came in nearly twice as high as it did last year, the company said Monday.
"Aker BP continued to deliver a solid performance in the third quarter with stable, safe and efficient operations," CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said in a statement.
The company, which formed as a result of a tie up with the Norwegian subsidiary of BP, said third quarter production was up more than 120 percent from last year, with an average realized price for oil at $55 per barrel. Income of $596 million was 140 percent higher than last year, when it realized a price for oil at $47 per barrel.
The price for Brent crude oil early Monday was slightly more than $60 per barrel, supported by an effort from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an over-supplied market with coordinated production cuts.
Production cost per barrel for Aker BP, however, was more than double the level from last year.
The company focused primarily on operations in Norwegian waters and said its output was mixed, though new production gained over losses from planned maintenance during the third quarter. Most of the company's output came from the Alvheim license area, which draws oil using a floating production facility from four fields in the greater region.
Aker BP has a role in the development of the giant Johan Sverdrup oil field offshore Norway, which should account for 25 percent of total Norwegian oil production at peak capacity. Johan Sverdrup is one of Norway's five largest offshore oil fields, and contains an estimated 3 billion barrels of oil. Phase 1 of the field's development is currently underway, with the first deliveries expected to begin in late 2019.
To Aker BP, Hess Corp. last week sold its stake in the Valhall and Hod fields, which put an average 26,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in its portfolio for the first six months of the year.
"The transaction will strengthen Aker BP's production and resource base, and we will increase shareholder dividends following the transaction," the Aker BP CEO said.
Norway is an important energy exporter to the European economy. Preliminary data show oil production was 1.44 million barrels of oil per day, which was about 11 percent lower than expected.