UK oil and gas independent Premier Oil confirmed Thursday production guidance of between 65,000 and 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) for 2013.
Reporting its final results for 2012, Premier said that it should achieve an exit rate for 2013 of 75,000 boepd once its Huntington and Rochelle fields in the North Sea come on stream. First oil is expected from Huntington at the end of this month, while Rochelle is now expected to be on stream around mid-year after storm damage occurred to the initial development well on the field.
The firm's production in 2012 increased 43 percent to 57,700 boepd from 40,400 boepd in 2011.
Key project milestones expected in 2013 include the completion of the first phase of development drilling on the Solan project and the final sanction of the Catcher project, both in the UK North Sea. Meanwhile, concept selection for the Sea Lion project off the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic is also expected to be completed during 2013 (Premier entered the Falkland Islands by acquiring operatorship of the estimated 300 million-barrel Sea Lion field in 2012).
Premier also said that it plans 15 exploration and appraisal wells for 2013. Five of these will be high-impact wells targeting in excess of 150 million boe, including Luno II (already spud), Matang (Indonesia) and Bonneville (UK), whose well results are expected imminently.
Premier added that, as well as its Sea Lion prospect in the Falkland Islands, it has a number of maturing play-opening prospects ongoing in Kenya, Norway and Iraq that are set for drilling in 2014 and 2015.
"Premier has built a strong asset portfolio which will act as a springboard for significant further growth over the medium-term. We have a number of development projects coming on-stream in the short-term, an exploration portfolio with increasing materiality and another key leg to our business as a result of our entry into the Falkland Islands," Premier Chief Executive Simon Lockett commented in a statement.
"Over the last seven years, our team has transformed the size and profitability of our business; the strategy we put in place in 2005 has delivered this growth. The next three years will see a further transformation of the business as we increase production and generate significantly greater cash flows."
Premier reported a record profit after tax for 2012 of $252 million (2011: $171.2 million). The company also said it had increased its reserves and resources by 51 percent to 773 million boe.
Analysts at London-based investment bank finnCap described the results as containing "a good set of numbers".