Oil and gas operator Premier Oil is expected to shrug off recent exploration disappointments this year, with plans for at least 14 new wells.
Premier, which has several stakes in UK fields, has already started drilling a find in Indonesia but will return to the North Sea later this year as part of its prospecting programme.
David Barclay, divisional director for investment manager Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, said poor results from several wells last year had weighed on Premier’s shares and its pre-tax profits were likely to take a £105million hit in exploration write-offs in annual results next week.
Mr Barclay said turnover for 2012 was forecast to come in at about £925million, adding: “Production guidance for 2013 is expected to be in the region of 65-70,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, generally seen by the market as a conservative target.”
Premier’s North Sea Huntington field, where it holds a 40% interest, is seen as key to the company increasing daily output.
Mr Barclay said: “Recent news has been good; three of four wells have already flowed at 10,000boe (per day), and Premier expects production from the field to exceed forecasts by 20%. The improved outlook is encouraging, particularly after earlier delays at Huntington and weather-related issues at Premier’s Rochelle field forced the company to cut 2013 production guidance in November last year.”