Murphy Oil abandons offshore Congo well and acquires Australia interest Murphy Oil announced the results of its recent drilling offshore Republic of the Congo in the Mer Profonde Nord permit and entry into a new block offshore Australia. The Opale Marine - 1 well in the MPN Block was unsuccessful and has been plugged and abandoned. The total net cost of the well is estimated at $48M and will be expensed in Q4. As a result, Murphy will also take a noncash charge of $29M in the quarter to write off the Titane Marine - 1 well. The company has also expanded its position in the Browse Basin offshore Australia by picking up a 20% working interest in Block WA-408-P where drilling is expected to begin in December this year.
Murphy Oil downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS UBS analyst William Featherston downgraded Murphy Oil to Sell citing the stock's premium valuation relative to peers and the company's declining production and below average inventory. The analyst cut his price target for shares to $41 from $45.