Lagos — With prevailing market realities especially as oil prices keeps tumbling globally, Nigerian indigenous oil and gas firm, Seplat said it will focus only on “highest-returning” projects in the coming year.
The company’s audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 on Monday, revealed that with the recent addition of Eland and the availability of new pipelines, its oil business is broadening and derisking its production fields and routes to market to assure even greater security of revenues in the future.
“In the coming year, we will focus our investment only on the highest-returning projects, whilst carefully balancing our future needs…,@ the company’s Media team disclosed in a statement.
“The challenges before us may be significant, but we are confident that the resilience and discipline of our business will help us consolidate our position as Nigeria’s leading independent oil and gas producer,” the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Austin Avuru, said this to the investment community and analysts.
Seplat recorded a revenue of US$698 million with total capital expenditure of US$125 million, US$114 million on oil and gas assets in the past year, while its cash flow from operations stood at US$338 million; cash at bank US$333 million and final dividend maintained at US$0.05 per share.
Despite the challenges beguiling global oil sector, the firm vowed to remain “very profitable” even at lower oil prices given its low production costs and strong investments in gas.
Avuru said: “As we enter a challenging phase for the global economy, Seplat will benefit from being a resilient company built on the solid foundations of prudent financial management and the careful mitigation of risk. We have previously been tested by crisis. We successfully navigated the twin challenges of the 2014/2015 oil price shock, which was immediately followed by the 16-month Trans Forcados shut-in, which drastically reduced our liquids production.
“Thanks to our flexibility in managing cash flows we emerged a stronger and better-funded company, ready to take advantage of new opportunities. Compared to those difficult periods, today’s Seplat has more cash on its balance sheet and is even more robust and diversified thanks to our continuing investments in gas, with its long-term contracts and independence from oil price volatility. We are a low-cost producer and will continue to manage our finances prudently.
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, as well as pressure on oil prices in March, have placed a premium on solid financial management that focuses upon low-cost production, robust cash management, a strong balance sheet and focused investment in high-return projects for sustainable future growth.
Seplat said the business is hedged against low oil prices and a significant proportion of our revenues now come from gas, which offers further protection from oil price volatility. “The Company has low production costs and can remain profitable even at lower oil prices. We have significant cash resources available and will manage our finances prudently in 2020”.
The firm now expects to invest just US$100 million of capital expenditure (US$50 million spent in Q1 2020), with a target of three new wells across its portfolio.
“We will also continue to focus on our investments in gas and the completion of the ANOH project remains a major priority”
At present it targets 2020 production of between 47-57 kboepd, including Eland production of 6-10 kbopd, subject to continuous evacuation being possible.
“Seplat has been tested in previous adverse conditions and we are confident that the stronger and more diverse business we operate today will be even more resilient against these unprecedented market events”.
“The integration of Eland Oil & Gas PLC will position the Group strongly when the market recovers and we are pleased to report that on 17 March 2020, OML 40 produced a record 17 kbopd as recorded by its LACT”, the statement read.