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Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR - Analyst Report) has revised its fourth-quarter 2013 production guidance. The company has increased its quarterly production expectation by roughly 3% to about 205 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (“mboepd”) from 199 mboepd projected during the third quarter earnings call.

The upward revision in guidance was due to the shifting of planned downtime at the Kikeh Floating Production Storage and Offloading (“FPSO”) vessel in Murphy Oil’s Siakap North/Petai project offshore Malaysia to the end of Jan 2014 from early fourth quarter 2013. The company changed its plan due to climate as well as execution related delays.

One of Murphy Oil’s rigs, connected to the Kikeh Spar, was recently damaged by fire. This has delayed the company’s drilling activities under the Kikeh Field Development Plan owing to the repair of the dented rig.

Consequently, the delay in planned downtime at the Siakap North/Petai project and rig damage are expected to negatively impact its 2014 production by 5 mboepd. Murphy Oil expects 2014 production in the range of 235 - 240 mboepd, higher than the 2013 production estimate of 203 mboepd. The company’s 2014 production is expected to increase from the year-ago level, primarily backed by strong contribution from the Eagle Ford shale in the U.S.

Currently, Murphy Oil is focusing more on exploration and production activities and expanding its operations in Australia, Malaysia, Atlantic Margin and Brunei. In addition, the company is expanding its operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The successful completion of these projects will enable the company to improve its future reserves.

Murphy Oil currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include CVR Energy, Inc. (CVI - Snapshot Report), Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP (CLMT - Snapshot Report) and Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC - Analyst Report). While CVR Energy holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Calumet Specialty and Marathon Petroleum carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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