Monument profits sag

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The Independent Online
MONUMENT Oil and Gas, the North Sea independent, yesterday reported a decline in after-tax profits from pounds 3.65m to pounds 1.9m for the half-year to 30 June, on turnover up from pounds 16.3m to pounds 21m.

The fall in profits stems largely from interest costs of about pounds 200,000 in the first half compared with pounds 1m income previously. The decline reflects a high level of expenditure in exploration and production.

However, oil production rose marginally to 10,000 barrels thanks to the Harriet field coming on stream in Australia. Average crude prices were virtually unchanged at pounds 10.74 a barrel.

The company has achieved considerable exploration success in Liverpool Bay this year with significant oil and gas discoveries in block 110/13.

The block, in which Monument has a 25 per cent stake, will require capital spending of about pounds 1bn in the next two years. Monument expects to fund its share of costs through project finance.