Norway's DNO beats forecast, sees MidEast growth.
Q3 EBIT 17.4 mln crowns vs forecast 1 mln crown loss; Predicts stable Tawke output, may upgrade capacity; Sees itself as "larger player" in Middle East after RAK merger; Aims for secondary listing in London "around mid-2012C
Norwegian oil firm DNO posted third-quarter operating results that beat expectations and said it aimed to "expand and grow" in the Middle East and North Africaafter shareholders approved a merger with Dubai-based RAK Petroleum.
The company, with production in Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, said it swung to an operating profit of 17.4 million Norwegian crowns ($3.1 million) in the third quarter from a 124 million crown loss a year ago.
That beat the 1 million crown loss forecast on average by analysts in a Reuters poll yet fell well short of DNO's second-quarter operating profit of 355 million crowns, which included a special payment under erratic Kurdish export terms.
DNO had already said output at its key Kurdish Tawke field slowed in the third quarter due partly to pipeline problems, and said on Wednesday production would likely "continue at current levels" ahead.
It also said it would seek to upgrade capacity if its contract terms were clarified.
The legal framework of DNO's Iraqi operations remains uncertain as the central government challenges the validity of the Kurdish regional government's contracts with DNO and dozens of other companies.
DNO said it was now preparing for a planned second share listing in London, which it said "could be achievable around mid-2012." ($1 = 5.601 Norwegian Kroner) (Reporting by Walter Gibbs; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)
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