Afren hails record performance in 2012

FTSE 250 oil and gas group Afren said Monday that production levels last year hit a record-high as it labelled its exploration and appraisal (E&A) campaign a 'significant success'.

FTSE 250 oil and gas group Afren said Monday that production levels last year hit a record-high as it labelled its exploration and appraisal (E&A) campaign a 'significant success'.

Net production in 2012 totalled 42,830 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd), in line with the guidance range of 42,000-46,000 boepd given at the half-year results statement in August.

Afren hailed three "significant exploration discoveries" last year: the Okoro Field Extension, the Ebok North Fault Block and the Simrit-2. Meanwhile, seismic data and prospect maturation upgraded Afren East Africa Exploration prospectively.

The company said it expects to produce 40,000-47,000 boepd in 2013, excluding the Barda Rash project which was initiated in the third quarter of 2012.

As well as output hitting record levels, the firm said it also anticipated record financial results for last year: 2012 sales revenue is expected to rise 151% year-on-year to $1.5bn, despite the realised average oil price slipping slightly to $107 per barrel, down from $109 per barrel in 2011.

"2012 saw record production and financial performance combined with significant exploration success in Nigeria and the Kurdistan region of Iraq," said Chief Executive Osman Shahenshah.

The firm spent $520m on capital expenditure in 2012, and expects to spend a further $620m this year. Net debt by December 31st 2012 had come down to $488m, from $548m the year before.

Shahenshah added: "In 2013 we expect to further grow our reserves base through a multi-well exploration and appraisal drilling campaign in both established and new basins, while continuing to grow our production base. We are financially well positioned with robust cash flows, a strong balance sheet and the necessary financial capacity and flexibility to optimally explore and develop our high quality portfolio of growth opportunities well into the future. There is much to look forward to in 2013 and beyond."

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