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Record first-half production helps Premier Oil cut debt further

Record production levels helped Premier Oil put another dent in its debt pile in the first half of 2019.

The UK-headquartered oil firm pumped out 84,100 barrels of oil per day during the six months, the most Premier has managed in a first half reporting period.

London-listed Premier’s net debts have been cut to £1.77 billion, from £1.92bn at the end of last year.

The business completed a sweeping refinancing process in 2017.

The Catcher Area in the central North Sea was the jewel in the crown, with high plateau rates of 70,000 barrels per day maintained, and operating efficiency of 99%.

In light of the area’s strong performance, Premier expects to increase Catcher reserves as part of its formal year-end reserves assessment.

Chief executive Tony Durrant said: “I am pleased to report another strong performance for Premier where we have exceeded our financial and operational targets for the period. 

“The company’s strong cash flow is driving debt reduction and the Zama divestment and Sea Lion farm-down processes are targeting further strengthening of the balance sheet, which remains the group’s highest priority.

“Premier’s operated Tolmount gas project, due on-stream next year, and the addition of good quality exploration and appraisal acreage offer significant low cost opportunities for future value growth.”

More to follow.

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