August 21, 2012 / 9:22 PM / 5 years ago

RPT-NZ Oil and Gas back in profit on oil sales

(Repeats without change)

WELLINGTON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd reported on Wednesday a return to profit as higher oil and gas prices boosted earnings.

The company posted a profit of NZ$19.9 million ($16.2 million) compared with last year’s loss of NZ$75.9 million, which followed the loss of its investment in the Pike River coal mine, where a massive explosion killed 29 miners in 2010.

NZOG announced a dividend of 6 cents a share compared with last year’s 2 cents a share.

Shares in NZOG closed on Tuesday at NZ$0.84. So far this year the stock has gained around 19 percent compared to an 11 percent rise for the benchmark NZX-50 index.

NZOG’s main revenue sources are a 15 percent stake in the Kupe oil and gas field, where estimates of proven and possible reserves were raised last month, and a 12.5 percent stake in the Tui field.

It is also involved in exploration ventures in Tunisia and Indonesia, as well as in several prospective areas in New Zealand.

The company has recouped some of its losses in Pike River Coal, which has been sold to state owned coal mining company Solid Energy.

$1=NZ$1.23 Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu

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