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Premier Oil more than doubles first half profit

“We have progressed our development projects while maintaining strict capital discipline," said Tony Durrant, Premier chief executive
oil and gas operations
Production averaged 76,200 boepd for the year

Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) confirmed its strengthened financial performance, with profit more than doubling in the half year ended June 30

Net profit rose to US$98.4mln from US$40.7mln in the comparative period last year. Earnings (EBITDA) amounted to US$388.9mln, up 19% from US$325.9mln, and the group reduced net debt to US$2.65bn from US$2.72bn.

Production averaged 76,200 barrels oil equivalent per day for the year, and, reached 86,200 boepd in July following the ramp up of the Catcher field to its plateau peak rate.

Cash flow from operations measured US$276.6mln, compared to US$282.7mln, and operating expenditure was reported at US$17.2 per barrel which was 5% below budget.

READ: Premier Oil greenlights development of new North Sea gas field

Tony Durrant, Premier chief executive, said: "Premier met its operational targets for the period. The Catcher Area is now at plateau production rates which, together with higher commodity prices, is driving free cash flow generation and net debt reduction.

“We have progressed our development projects while maintaining strict capital discipline. We can also look forward to a high-graded exploration and appraisal programme which has the potential to deliver very significant value for the business."

Looking to the current financial year, Premier maintained prior guidance for production between 80,000 and 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It said that operating expenditure for the year is forecast at US$17-18 per barrel and capex is forecast at US$380mln.

It aims to reduce net debt by between US$300mln and US$400mln for 2019.

New projects are expected to be advanced, following the project sanction for the Tolmount field development in the North Sea and Premier also intends to progress the Zama discovery with a new appraisal drilling programme.

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