Premier Oil raises its production forecasts

Premier Oil has lifted its full year production target as the sail-away date of the Catcher FPSO approaches.


During the first half of the year, Premier had a record production of 82.1 kboepd, up 34.5 per cent on the first half of 2016.


Strong production in the first half, and the expected start-up of the Catcher field later this year, have led the company to upgrade its expected production forecast for 2017, to 75-80 kboepd, an increase on its previous guidance of 75 kboepd.


In a half-year update on the 24th August, Premier said the Catcher FPSO sail-away from Singapore to the North Sea was imminent, and the field was on track for first oil before the end of 2017.


“The Catcher FPSO departed the Keppel shipyard on the 10th August and is now undertaking the last of the pre-sail commissioning operations at deep-water anchorage offshore Singapore. The vessel is fully crewed at anchorage with 112 personnel lodged on board, supplemented by additional commissioning personnel as required from on-shore. Departure to the UK is expected imminently,” the company said.


As for the North Sea field itself, the company said all the key elements of the subsea equipment there have been installed and “we have also completed the last of the twelve wells that we planned in advance of first oil.“


“Test flow rates and net pay calculations are above original prognosis and as a result we now expect to deliver an improved peak production profile of 60 kboepd ahead of the sanctioned estimate of 50 kboped (gross). Once on stream the Catcher field will provide a step change in our production levels, generating tax -free cash flows for the Group,” Premier Oil added.


From the free cash flow generated in the short-term, the company will be looking to reduce debt to enable the Group to achieve a leverage ratio of 3x EBITDA by the end of 2018.


“The combination of free cash flow and selective investment in new development projects within a strict disciplined framework will deliver future value for all stakeholders.