September 10, 2019 / 7:13 AM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-Gulf Keystone cuts 2019 output outlook, H1 profit drops 4%

(Adds details on outlook, CEO comment)

Sept 10 (Reuters) - Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd cut its annual gross production forecast and posted a 4% drop in first-half core profit on Tuesday as output fell due to operational delays.

The company now expects 2019 gross production to be between 30,000 and 33,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), compared with its prior forecast of 32,000-38,000 bopd.

Operational issues such as a delay in the start of a drilling campaign and a planned shutdown of its second Shaikan production facility in October led to lower production, the company said.

“As a consequence of the work to increase production in the longer term, the near-term production guidance for the full year has been reduced,” Chief Executive Officer Jón Ferrier said in a statement.

“However, the Shaikan reservoir, the cornerstone of our equity story, continues to behave strongly.” The oilfield in the Iraq’s Kurdistan has been undergoing expansion with targeted output of 55,000 bopd in the second quarter of next year.

Core profit for the six months ended June 30 fell to $59 million from $61.6 million a year earlier.

The Bermuda-based company said it was resuming the repurchase of the remaining $10 million shares that was announced as part of a $25 million stock buyback plan in July.

Shares of the oil producer were down 2.7% at 236.1 pence as of 0710 GMT. (Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur)

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