Oil Search’s sees 6pc increase in production


OIL Search Limited’s 2018 production was 25.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) and sales revenue of US$1.54 billion (K5.18 billion), six per cent higher than in 2017, says managing-director Peter Botten.
He said 2018 finished in a strong financial position with liquidity of US$1.5 billion (K5 billion), comprising US$600.6 million (K2 billion) in cash and US$900 million (K3 billion) in undrawn credit facilities, following a successful refinancing of, and increase in, committed bilateral bank lines. Botten said on yesterdays’ release of the company’s’ Dec 31 fourth quarter and the 2018 full year report.
“During 2018, the company repaid US$332 million (K1.1 billion) of PNG LNG project finance debt, with net debt at the end of 2018 of US$2.7 billion (K9 billion),” he said.
“This was only slightly higher than at the beginning of the year (US$2.6 billion/K8.8 billion) despite the shut-in of production in the first half following the Highlands earthquake and the completion of the Alaska North Slope acquisition early in the year, reflecting the strength of the company’s operating cash flows.
“Total oil and gas production for the fourth quarter was 7.4 mmboe, which was similar to levels achieved prior to the earthquake.
“Oil Search’s operated production increased 16 per cent on the previous quarter, to 1.0 mmboe, reflecting a full quarter of contribution from the Moran and Agogo fields, which resumed production in the third quarter.
“Earthquake remediation work, particularly at remote sites, continued and is now nearing completion.
“The PNG LNG Project produced at an average annualised rate of 8.8 MTPA during the second half of 2018, the highest half-yearly rate ever achieved.
“Fourth quarter production averaged 8.7 MTPA, marginally lower than the record levels achieved in the third quarter, due to two minor unplanned outages at the LNG plant.
“Both issues were resolved swiftly, and on both occasions the plant was brought back online without incident.”