13 January 2018, News Wires – Premier Oil Plc has revealed that it is planning to ramp up production from the Catcher field in the North Sea to 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) during the first half of 2018.
The field, which came online on December 23 last year, is currently producing at around 20,000 bopd. Analysts at investment banking firm Jefferies noted that this was ‘double the guided expectation at this point’.
“Catcher field ramp-up is ahead of expectations. Reaching its plateau target during 1H18 appears well on track,” the analysts said in a brief research note sent to Rigzone.
With the planned output ramp up at Catcher, Premier Oil has raised its production guidance to between 80 and 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2018. The company achieved full year production of 75,000 boepd in 2017, which was in line with guidance and five percent up on 2016.
“As Catcher builds up to 60,000 bopd, 2018 will bring higher production and cashflow,” Premier Oil Chief Executive Tony Durrant said in a company statement.
At current oil prices, Premier Oil expects its debt reduction to accelerate as Catcher output increases. As at Dec. 31, 2017, the company’s net debt stood at $2.7 billion, which Jefferies analysts said was higher than they had hoped for.
The Catcher field was discovered by the Catcher well drilled in May 2010. A development concept for the project was formally agreed by partners in December 2013 and UK government approval was received in June 2014. The field holds total reserves of 96 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to Premier Oil.