KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 – Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s pre-tax profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014 was slightly lower at RM27.2 billion from RM28.8 billion in the same quarter last year. However, revenue was higher at RM84 billion from RM76.7 billion in the first quarter last year. President and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas said the better revenue was from higher petroleum products trading volume on the back of stronger demand and higher production due to production resumption in South Sudan.
He said total production for the quarter under review rose to 2,262 thousand barrels oil equivalent (BOE) per day from 2,156 thousand BOE per day in the same period last year. “The weaker pre-tax profit is due to the fall in oil price, favourable movement of the US dollar, impairment expenses mainly in its Egypt operations and higher operational costs due to increases in exploration activities,” he told a media briefing on the national oil corporation’s first quarter financial results Wednesday.