Posted by OilVoice Press - OilVoice
Sterling Energy plc (‘Sterling' or the ‘Company'), together with its subsidiary undertakings (the ‘Group'), is an upstream oil and gas company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. The Company is an experienced operator of international exploration and production licences, with a primary geographic focus on Africa and the Middle East. The Group has a high potential exploration asset in Somaliland and an active strategy to deliver shareholder value through disciplined, material exploration and production projects; leveraging the Company's experience, with an emphasis on securing near term cash flow generative opportunities.
Post year end
Though 2017 was a year of partial oil price recovery, the question remains if this is a sign of reduced volatility and that the global oil market is finally finding its supply-demand balance.
Since 2014, a prolonged period of volatility has led to junior natural resource companies facing operational challenges and restricting their access to capital markets. We successfully navigated through this period without significant losses in our core values, and given the markets were still unsupportive, we managed to reduce our exposure to mid-term exploration. In 2017, we implemented our strategy of exiting from the Mauritanian C-10 block at low cost and also reduced our position in the Somaliland Odewayne block.
Oil production from the Chinguetti field ceased at the end of the year. Following a negotiated Deed of Termination settlement in January 2018, we are no longer exposed to this asset and the potential for escalating costs and project scope creep.
Following a period of instability in the oil market, many large portfolios of assets have been available for reorganisation and divestment. Numerous technically sound and material upstream opportunities have come to the market and were pursued by our team during 2017. No deals were concluded in the year, although due diligence is ongoing on a number of opportunities.
In 2017, business costs were further reduced by continued rationalisation of our structure and overheads. The Group had cash resources of $81.4 million at the end of 2017 (prior to the Chinguetti Funding Agreement termination settlement) and we remain free of debt with our work programme for 2018 fully funded.
Board and changes
In December 2017, Eskil Jersing elected to accept another appointment and resigned from the CEO role. The Board is currently reviewing options to further optimise the governance of the Company and will make appointments in due course. We would like to thank Eskil for his excellent contribution and achievements during his CEO tenure.
Outlook for 2018 and beyond
The outlook for 2018 to 2019 is positive. The Company is now in a good shape to pursue real time opportunities in our regions of focus and with strong expertise. Should market conditions worsen, we will preserve our capabilities and strengths, accordingly.
I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their continuing support and all of our management and staff for their diligent efforts during 2017.
Michael Kroupeev – Chairman
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