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Taqa’s global output down but Premier gets UK boost from Solan

Premier's Solan
Premier's Solan

North Sea producer Taqa said global oil and gas operations maintained “robust” levels of output during the first quarter despite significant cuts in capital expenditure.

The Middle East-based firm said it produced 153,700 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day during the period, which was down by 3% from a year ago.

Taqa gave no regional breakdown for production but UK managing director Pete Jones said North Sea operations “continued a strong performance” in safety, reliability, cost control and operated production.

“Overall production was impacted by reduced non-operated volumes,” he said, adding: “We remain focused on core operations to ensure our long-term sustainable future in the UKCS (UK continental shelf).”

A 43% drop in the price of oil and gas sold by Taqa globally reduced the group’s revenue by 24% year-on-year to about £730million.

The company reported pre-tax losses of £159million for the three months to March 31, against losses of £51.5million previously.

Cost-cutting measures generated £187million of savings during the latest period, while Taqa said it booked a tax credit worth nearly £3.4million following changes to the UK oil and gas taxation regime.

Meanwhile, Premier Oil said yesterday the UK North Sea Catcher project remained on schedule and below budget.

First oil from Catcher, for which Premier is operator, with a 50% stake, is expected next year.

The latest trading and operations update from Premier reported production of 57,300boe per day between January 1 and April 30.

The total was boosted by daily output of more than 14,000 barrels of oil from Solan after start-up on the west of Shetland field on April 12.

Premier said it was on track to deliver at or above upper end of 2016 guidance of 65,000-70,000boe per day for the full year.

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