January 9, 2019 / 6:15 AM / 13 days ago

UPDATE 2-TGS Q4 revenue growth lags on oil price volatility

* Q4 revenues grow to $188 mln vs forecast $205 mln

* Co sees uncertainty around 2019 spending by oil firms (Adds background, details)

OSLO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Oslo-listed seismic surveyor TGS posted a smaller-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter revenues on Wednesday and said a recent fall in crude prices created uncertainty around the spending plans of its customers in the oil industry.

The company sells its geological surveys to exploration and production (E&P) companies seeking to drill for hydrocarbons, as the data helps them determine the presence of oil and gas in offshore and onshore reservoirs.

Preliminary revenues for the October-December period stood at $188 million, up from $157 million a year ago but lagging a analyst consensus estimate of $204.6 million, according to Refinitiv data.

While oil companies have increased their exploration investments after years of cost cuts, the recent crude price volatility impacted their spending on seismic data in late 2018, and may also impact the coming year, TGS said in a statement.

“With oil prices currently trading below $60 per barrel, there continues to be some uncertainty on 2019 E&P spending, particularly offshore,” TGS Chief Executive Officer Kristian Johansen said.

“However, I’m confident that our quality data library and pipeline of new projects position TGS for another successful year,” he added.

On Monday, competitor Petroleum Geo Services reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and earnings numbers, driving its shares sharply higher.

TGS’ shares rose 20 percent in the last week, closing at 249.8 Norwegian crowns on Tuesday. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik and Rashmi Aich)

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