Dana Petroleum, the Aberdeen-based oil and gas operator with interests in the North Sea, Egypt and Morocco, yesterday brushed aside a slump in profits in the first half of 2009.
Chief executive Tom Cross said: “Dana has made substantial progress in 2009, despite difficult macroeconomic conditions and low commodity prices.
“The company has delivered a significant corporate acquisition and three material exploration discoveries already this year, together adding new oil and gas reserves of between 25 and 30million barrels of oil equivalent. Dana has also secured more than £240million of new debt on attractive terms and is now very well positioned for both organic growth and further acquisitions.”
The company noted yesterday that the acquisition of Bow Valley for £125million, including the assumption of £100million of net debt, had added interests in five UK fields and nine exploration licences to its portfolio.
It said it had made six discoveries during the half-year, including three significant ones: the South East Rinnes oil find in UK waters, the Fulla gas discovery in Norway and Anchois gas find offshore Morocco.
Mr Cross said Dana planned a further nine exploration wells this year, including on the Trolla prospect in Norwegian waters, where it has a 30% interest. He said this had the potential to be Dana’s biggest project yet, with Trolla having estimated mid-case reserves of 390million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
Other high-impact wells planned are at Tornado, west of Shetland (Dana 30%), and at Papyrus and Bamboo off Egypt (Dana 50% and Gaz de France 50%).
Dana said yesterday that production for the year to date was flat at 39,000boe per day, but Mr Cross said it was rising with the Ettrick oil field in the UK coming on stream this month.
He said this was contributing about 2,500 barrels per day net to Dana and should help the company to end this year with output of 41,000 to 43,000boe per day.
Mr Cross said the company remained unhedged and well placed to benefit from potential recovery in commodity prices.
Dana reported pre-tax profits of £21.9million for the period, down from £133.1million the year before, with 2009 results hit by write-downs on unsuccessful exploration costs.
Turnover was £165.1million, down from £314.5million a year earlier as oil and gas prices tumbled.
Dana’s shares closed down 3.7% at £14.08 yesterday.