Afren CEO: 2013 Was Exceptional
Afren has today announced it expects to deliver record financial results for 2013, with sales revenue of circa US$1.65 billion and operating cash flow in excess of US$1.1 billion.
This is driven by a year-on-year 14% increase in like-for-like net production, principally from the Ebok and Okoro fields, offshore Nigeria. Afren recorded total gross production of 59,926 boepd in 2013, with net production of 47,112 boepd. Following exploration success in Nigeria during 2012 and 2013, Afren and its partners will start development of the Okoro Further Field Development, Ebok North Fault Block and Okwok in 2014, all of which will generate high margin cash flow for the Company. These new developments will ensure that Afren delivers double digit production growth over the next five years. Afren is expecting gross production of approximately 62,000 bopd in 2014 (approximately 40,000 bopd net to Afren), which factors in the shut-down associated with the additional platform installation on Ebok, cost recovery on Ebok, the ongoing regional developments in Kurdistan and the timing of rig arrival on OML 26 onshore Nigeria.
Afren continued its industry-leading exploration success in 2013 with the play opening Ogo discovery at OPL 310, offshore Nigeria, with P50 gross recoverable resources of 774 mmboe. The Company will now acquire 3D seismic ahead of appraisal and further exploration drilling. OPL 310 is located in the Upper Cretaceous fairway that runs along the West African Transform Margin and Afren has similar exposure on the adjacent OML 113 block, in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The syn-rift play which encountered a 280 ft gross hydrocarbon column in the Ogo well also exists on OML 113 and could deliver significant upside to the Aje project, which will be tested in 2014. In addition, during 2013 the Company successfully divested its interests in Block CI-11 and the Lion Gas Plant in Côte d’Ivoire, while negotiating additional acreage in two new blocks, CI-523 and CI-525, thereby increasing its exposure to the West African Transform Margin.
On the Ain Sifni block in Kurdistan, following the world class discovery with the Simrit-2 exploration well (1,509 feet of net oil pay and an aggregate flow rate of 19,641 bopd achieved), drilling was concluded on the Simrit-3 well, confirming the eastern extent of the Simrit anticline and achieving a cumulative test rate of 6,293 bopd. A declaration of commerciality has been submitted to the authorities and a resource upgrade is expected shortly. The Maqlub-1 exploration well, testing the high potential Maqlub structure is drilling ahead, with hydrocarbons encountered in the Cretaceous and Jurassic reservoirs. In East Africa, Afren has acquired over 11,000 km of 2D, 3,000 km2 of 3D and 19,700 km of gravity-magnetic data across the portfolio and has matured ready-to-drill prospects on the Tanga block in Tanzania and L17/18 and Block 1 in Kenya. The Company is currently participating on the El Kuran-3 well. Following hydrocarbon shows, the well has been extended to below the planned target depth to evaluate the deeper Gumboro zone.
The balance sheet is strong, with net debt of US$739 million at the end of 2013 and the Company has successfully extended the maturity of its liabilities and lowered the cost of its debt. The capital budget for 2014 is circa US$845 million and focusses on both high cash return projects and further exploration drilling.
Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive of Afren plc, said: “2013 has been another exceptional year for Afren, with a combination of record financial results, production ahead of guidance and industry leading exploration success. The play opening Ogo discovery in Nigeria was one of the largest global discoveries in 2013, and will be followed by further appraisal and exploration drilling. At the same time we will continue to allocate capital to the highest cash return projects. This will provide the necessary funding to continue to de-risk our material exploration opportunity set. With industry leading positions in three key global oil and gas regions, Nigeria, the Kurdistan region of Iraq and East Africa, we remain focused on maximising value for our shareholders.”