Premier has provided a Trading and Operations Update for the period to 15 November 2018.
· Year-to-date production of 78.4 kboepd, up from 76.2 kboepd in the first half; forecast full-year production at around 80 kboepd
· Record Catcher Area production rates of over 70 kboepd (gross) frequently achieved; contractual oil production rate expected to increase from 60 kbopd (gross) to 66 kbopd (gross) shortly
· Tolmount Main gas project progressing to plan with platform construction to start in December; high value Tolmount East appraisal well scheduled to spud mid-2019
· Zama discovery ( Mexico ): pre-unitisation agreement approved; delivery of rig taken with first appraisal well to spud later this month
· 3D seismic acquisition across Andaman II ( Indonesia ) to commence by year-end; 3D seismic across Block 30 ( Mexico ) and the Greater Tolmount Area ( UK ) planned for 2019 1H
· Babbage Area ( UK ) disposal on track to complete by year-end; Pakistan sale also expected to complete around year-end with government approval now received
· Forecast 2018 operating costs unchanged at $17-$18 /boe; forecast development, exploration and abandonment expenditure now $365 million , reduced from previous guidance of $380 million
· Net debt reduced to $2.52 billion at 31 October; year-end net debt forecast at around $2.4 billion with covenant leverage ratio forecast to fall to 3x EBITDA, in line with guidance
Tony Durrant, Chief Executive, commented:
"Premier is now generating significant free cash flow. Our portfolio is currently producing 85-90 kboepd, our low cost base has been maintained and our capital spend is tightly controlled. We are on track to deliver material debt reduction in 2018 through 2019, substantially improving our balance sheet. We look forward to the appraisal of our world class Zama discovery, starting later this month, and the commencement of construction activities for our high value Tolmount gas project in December."