23 Aug 2016

Refining New Zealand half-year profit slides

2:28 pm on 23 August 2016

The operator of the country's only oil refinery, Refining New Zealand, has had a sharp fall in first half profit because of lower margins and an oversupply of fuel products.

An oil tanker at Marsden Point.

Refining New Zealand operates New Zealand's only oil refinery at Marsden Point. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

It's reported a net profit of $11.4 million in the six months ended June compared with $65.2 million a year ago.

Revenue fell by a quarter to $155.6 million and refining margins, which are the key driver of profit, were down by nearly a third on last year's exceptionally strong levels.

Chief executive Sjoerd Post said an international fuel glut had been pressuring margins, although the refinery processed 21.1 million barrels of oil in the six months - slightly up on last year.

"We expect this product overhang to be with us for the next few months and have lowered our capital spending programme as a result."

Mr Post said the company would look to bring in bigger crude shipments, increase its use of natural gas, and increase capacity on the Refinery-Auckland fuel pipeline.