TNK-BP profits up to $4.7bln in 1H08

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP's net profit went up 128% year-on-year to $4.7 billion in the first half of 2008, the company's chief operating officer said Thursday.

Tim Summers said the company's revenues increased 66% to $28.3 billion in the reporting period, and its EBITDA reached $7.5 billion.

He said TNK-BP produced 5.27 billion cubic meters of natural gas in January-June 2008, and planned to push its output to 10-11 billion cubic meters by yearend. Its production of liquid hydrocarbons in 2008 was expected to remain at last year's level, or 600 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The official also said that a $900 million cut in the company's investment program for 2008 to $3.5 billion would slash crude output by 1 million to 5 million metric tons.

However, he said there were no specific plans to cut 2008 investment, which has been approved at $4.4 billion.

TNK-BP's Russian shareholders have said that CEO Robert Dudley approved at least $900 million of extra investment for the year above the initial $3.5 billion.

The crude producer, Russia's third largest, has been torn by a shareholder conflict. Four Russian billionaire shareholders and the British oil major BP, each owning 50% in the company, have been divided over strategy. The Russian investors have also demanded cuts in the number of foreign staff on secondment from BP, and have sought to replace Dudley.

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