14 August 2014, News Wires – London-listed Ophir Energy has managed to move back into profit in the half-year to June 2014, after it posted a loss in the corresponding period in the previous year.
After selling off some of its blocks in Tanzania, the company booked $339.05 million-worth of profit in the six months to the end of June.
This is a jump from the loss of $19.37 million in the same period last year.
Ophir divested its 20% interest in blocks 1,2 and 3 in Tanzania to Pavilion Energy for $1.25 billion, with another $38 million due once a final investment decision is reached.
In total, it booked farm-out gains of $637.02 million in the first six months of the year, with nothing in that regard a year ealier.
This was enough to offset $67.71 million of exploration expenses, mainly relating to a $65.9 million writedown on the unsuccessful Affanga Deep-1 well in the Gnodo block off Gabon.
The board has approved a share buyback programme of up to $100 million.
Ophir drilled four wells over the past half-year, with one discovery and three uncommercial wells across its acreage.
Drilling will continue in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea with three exploration wells, two appraisal wells and two flow tests expected by the end of November.
Work will continue at the onshore Tanzanian liquefied natural gas facility.
Ophir chairman Nicholas Smith said the sale was the highlight of the company’s half-year.
“ The proceeds from the deal leave the company well financed through 2015,” he said.
“After assessing our near-term capital needs and, in the opinion of the board, with our shares trading below the core value of the business, a capital return to shareholders has been approved via a share buyback programme announced today.”