North Sea operator Premier Oil said yesterday a 30% jump in UK production had helped it to achieve record profits.
The energy firm said less downtime at some of its key North Sea assets during the first half of the year meant its UK output hit an average 13,600 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day.
Premier said this would be boosted further in the coming years as other major projects – including the £536million Solan field west of Shetland – came on stream.
The company turned over £469million in the six months to June 30, up from £216million in the same period last year.
Pre-tax profits were a record £122.6million, up from £20.5million last time, while operating profits jumped to £154.4million from £26.7million.
Premier said improved facility uptime at fields including Wytch Farm and Scott had helped to increase its UK output, contributing to group-wide production of 58,400boe per day.
It also said the development of two North Sea fields, Rochelle and Solan, was still on schedule.
First gas at its non-operated Rochelle field is expected before the year-end, while 40million-barrel Solan is forecast to start producing towards the end of 2014.
Chief executive Simon Lockett said: “We are delighted with our achievements in the first half of the year, with another set of record financial results underpinned by strong production from our portfolio of fields.”
Mr Lockett said he anticipated a further significant step up in production when the two new UK developments come on stream, adding: “With a fully funded programme and dividend commitment, our shareholders can continue to look forward to strong growth and attractive returns.”
Meanwhile, Oslo-listed Bridge Energy reported widening losses despite a rise in turnover.
Turnover in the second quarter of the year was £5.2million, up from £2.7million 12 months earlier, but pre-tax losses were £28.9million in the latest period, compared with a £539,200 deficit last year. Operating losses of £29million this time compare with profits of £91,800 in the second quarter of 2011.