Petroceltic announce operational update
Petroceltic International plc (AIM: PCI) (“Petroceltic” or the “Company”), the oil and gas exploration, development and production company focused on the Middle East and North Africa, the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, today provides an operational update together with guidance for its 2014 production outlook and exploration and development work programmes.
2013 production in-line with guidance at 25.2 Mboepd; 2014 forecast production range of 20.0 to 22.0 Mboepd
Shakrok well in Kurdistan Region of Iraq drilling ahead at 1818 m in Jurassic; testing programme anticipated
High impact exploration drilling campaigns continuing in Romania and Kurdistan
Three new high potential exploration licences ratified in Egypt, increasing core Egyptian exploration acreage position by over 300%
Significant progress on Ain Tsila project in Algeria; Front End Engineering and Design award and signature of detailed Gas Sales contract anticipated during Q1 2014
Completion of new subsea well tie-back in Bulgaria and facilities expansion projects in Egypt
Significant cash receipts from EGPC in December 2013; EGPC receivable has decreased by 25% year on year
Year-end net debt of US$246 million (2012 – $213 million)
Brian O’Cathain, Chief Executive of Petroceltic commented:
“2013 was a year of solid progress, with highlights including the successful farm-out of the Ain Tsila Field in Algeria and the completion of a US$500 million debt facility, with availability for projects in Algeria, Egypt and Bulgaria. We have successfully integrated the Melrose business into Petroceltic, and have continued to build good relations with Governments in all of our areas of focus. We are looking forward to significant progress on the Algerian Ain Tsila development in 2014, and to potentially exciting exploration results in Romania and in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In particular, the planned well test programme for the Shakrok-1 well in Kurdistan should give some interesting results in the first quarter of 2014. As always, we look forward to updating shareholders on progress throughout the year”
Business Performance and Production Outlook
Average 2013 production from the Company’s interests in Egypt and Bulgaria was in line with prior guidance at approximately 25.2 Mboepd on a working interest basis. Current production is approximately 25 Mboepd and the average daily production rate for 2014 is expected to be in the range of 20.0 to 22.0 Mboepd, comprising approximately 85 per cent gas and 15 per cent liquids. Egypt and Bulgaria are expected to contribute 83 per cent and 17 per cent of the total production volume, respectively.
Financial Performance and Capital Programmes
Throughout 2013, the Company received regular payments for production in Bulgaria. Receivables in Egypt decreased by over 30% during the second half of 2013 and by 25% over the year as a whole. Two part cargo shares in September and December (funds to be received in January 2014 ) were augmented by a significant additional payment from EGPC in December. This more than negated a slowdown in payments during the summer months. As a result, the level of receivables in Egypt now stands at approximately US$80 million (2012 – US$108 million) and year end net debt was US$246 million (2012 – US$213 million). We will continue to work closely with our counterparts in EGPC to manage the continuing payment of receivables.
An active exploration and development programme is scheduled for 2014 with a capital expenditure budget of US$130 million. The carry following completion of the second stage Ain Tsila farmout to Sonatrach is expected to reduce Petroceltic’s overall net capital expenditure budget to approximately US$100 million.
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