Venture Production said yesterday it had achieved a record financial performance in the six months to June 30 thanks to higher production and strong oil and gas prices.
The Aberdeen-based oil and gas operator, said production volume had risen 8% year-on-year to 45,534 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), it had three successful gas appraisal or development wells during the period: Ensign, Chiswick and Barbarossa.
It added that the Chestnut development was within weeks of first oil, while it had more than 10 wells planned in the remainder of this year and in 2009.
Chief executive Mike Wagstaff said: “The first half of 2008 has seen Venture back on the growth path as demonstrated by strong operating and financial performance across all areas of our business.
“With the exception of a delay to the start-up of Chestnut, field production and operating performance was in line with our expectations and, combined with high commodity prices, has led to a record financial performance.
“Our successful drilling results this year, together with our active field-development programme means that we have seven new development projects which are expected to come on stream over the next two years.
“In addition, 2008 is proving to be a very busy period for acquisitions which has added to our longer-term appraisal and development inventory.
“In particular, we have continued to strengthen our gas business at a time when the market fundamentals for UK and European gas markets appear very favourable. Venture is extremely well capitalised and we remain poised to pursue new business-development opportunities to continue this growth.”
Venture also said it expected production for the full year to be 45,000-47,500boepd, representing a 9-15% increase over 2007.
Mr Wagstaff added that 2008 was proving a bumper year for the company so far, and the second half of the year was off to a good start.
He said that with growth had come increasing employment and Venture now had about 140 staff in Aberdeen and the Netherlands, 110 of them in Aberdeen. It also has about 70 contractors working in its Aberdeen offices, with total numbers having increased by about one-third in two years.
He said: “It’s difficult to find good people but probably easier for us than five years ago because Venture is now well known, a significant player, and still growing.”
The company posted pre-tax profits of £113.2million for the half-year, up 67% on a year earlier, with revenue up 55% at £240.5million.