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    Mol's gas output slides in key markets in Q2


Books lower gas extraction in Hungary, Croatia, but still sees earnings rise in the second quarter.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), News By Country, Hungary

Mol's gas output slides in key markets in Q2

MOL saw gas output from its Croatian and Hungarian upstream concessions slide by 2% and 5% yr/yr, respectively, in the second financial quarter, it announced August 5.

Hungarian gas assets contributed 20,100 barrels of oil equivalent/day, down from 20,500 boe/d in 2021, while Croatian gas fields produced 12,700 boe/d, a decrease from 13,000 boe/d on the year.

The production declines were attributed to natural reserves drainage and, in Croatia's case, high water cuts across its onshore and offshore acreage. In addition to Hungary and Croatia, MOL has upstream oil-focused assets in Kurdistan, Pakistan and Azerbaijan, as well as in the UK and other international markets.

Lower gas output from core central European territories was a minor setback given MOL's headline earnings result. EBITDA reached 473.1bn forint ($1.2bn), from 292.2bn forint yr/yr. Soaring fuel prices helped push upstream EBITDA, excluding special items, by 66% on the year to 208bn forint in the quarter, while first half upstream EBITDA amounted to 371bn forint, rising 136% on last year's result.

Shareholders have had good news from MOL in recent weeks. MOL said July 18 investors stood to receive a 302.70 florints/share dividend, for the 2021 financial year.

At its INA joint venture with the Croatian government, however, MOL is experiencing gradual production declines. It yielded 27,200 boe/d in 2020, with the oldest deposits dating back to the 1970s.

INA has launched an enhanced oil recovery project focused on Croatian concessions Ivanic, Zutica North and Zutica South. The recovery project is now two years into operation.

Similarly in its core Hungarian market, which accounts for 30% of MOL's overall output, an ongoing field development extension is expected to boost yields across west and east Hungary.