Markets News

UPDATE 2-Lundin Energy raises output target as Q3 profit beats forecast

* Q3 EBITDA $515.6 mln vs poll forecast $506.1 mln

* Gets permission to raise output in Q4

* Shares are down 47% year-to-date (Adds quotes, background)

OSLO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Swedish independent oil firm Lundin Energy, a partner in Norway’s giant Johan Sverdrup field, reported on Friday a bigger-than-expected rise in core profit for the third quarter and raised its full-year output target.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to $515.6 million from $411.3 million a year earlier, beating the $506.1 million seen in a Refinitiv poll.

Lundin revised its 2020 output guidance to a range of 161,000-163,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) from 157,000 boed previously, while maintaining its plan to boost production next year to 170,000-180,000 boed.

Norway in May joined OPEC and other producers in voluntary output curbs to help prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are pleased to report that in the fourth quarter 2020, our fields have been granted increased production permits by the authorities, meaning we will now target approximately 175,000 boed for the fourth quarter,” Lundin said in a statement.

“At Johan Sverdrup, performance has continued on or above expectations and we look forward to the results of the next Phase 1 oil capacity testing, which will occur during the fourth quarter of this year,” the company said.

Lundin has a 20% stake in Equinor-operated Sverdrup, western Europe’s largest oilfield, whose current production capacity is at 470,000 boed.

Lundin Energy’s shares have fallen 47% this year, in line with a 46% average decline in European oil stocks.

“Following a volatile and unpredictable first half of 2020, the third quarter was one of financial and operational discipline and delivery,” Chief Executive Alex Schneiter said.

“I am also very pleased that we have restarted our 2020 exploration programme with the Polmak well in the Southern Barents Sea in October 2020,” said Schneiter, who is stepping down at the end of the year.

British-born Nick Walker, 58, Lundin’s chief operating officer, was appointed in August to lead the firm from the start of 2021. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Christopher Cushing)