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Premier Oil appeals for patience over lender talks

Premier Oil news
OGUK appoints Premier Oil boss to board

Bosses at Premier Oil today appealed for “a little bit of patience” after the North Sea explorer revealed an agreement with lenders over the firm’s debt pile had yet to be reached.

Premier Oil, the UK’s largest independent oil and gas firm, has been in talks with a consortium of banks for months regarding its net debts of $2.6billion (£2billion).

It was expected to reveal details of a restructuring plan today in its first half results presentation.

But Premier’s finance director, Richard Rose, said in a conference call that while talks were “progressing well”, an agreement was unlikely until the end of next month, or “shortly after”.

Mr Rose said: “With this renegotiation we are not just looking to revise our covenants. It’s more akin to a full refinancing of the company.

“We are dealing with 50 creditors so, clearly, it’s a complex process. They (the negotiations) are taking time, but that should not detract from the fact we have made progress.

“We’ve got broad agreement on covenant amendments.

“It’s going to take time. We expect full terms and implementation of agreements in the second half of this year. I ask everyone to be a little bit patient while we finalise negotiations.”

Earlier today the company said it had returned to profit despite a drop in operating cash flow.

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