Faroe Petroleum falls to a loss but hikes production targets

Jessica Morris
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Cabinets From Both UK And Scottish Governments Meet In North East Scotland
Faroe's net cash still stood at £60m as of 30 June (Source: Getty)

Shares in independent oil and gas explorer Faroe Petroleum rose as much as 1.53 per cent to 66p after the North Sea player hiked its production forecasts.

The figures

Revenue fell 54.8 per cent year-on-year to £23.1m in the six months ended 30 June, down from £51.1m a year earlier.

Lower revenue and higher exploration costs helped Faroe post an operating loss of £34.3m during this period, down from a profit of £6.7m in the first half of 2015.

It also reported a drop in capital expenditure from £25m to £14m.

But the company hiked its production guidance for this year to 16,000-18,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up from 15,000-17,000 boepd. It attributed this to a better performance at a number of fields.

Why it's interesting

Crude prices tumbling from more than $110 per barrel in the middle of 2014 piled pressure onto oil majors' balance sheets. But Faroe's finances held up much better than some of its other North Sea rivals (many of whom have racked up large debts) and it's moved to capitalise on this.

Earlier this year Faroe bought some of Danish firm Dong Energy's Norwegian fields for $70.2m (£53.82m). The company subsequently announced it had raised £66m to fund this and accelerate the Brasse discovery, thought to have between 43m to 80m barrels, towards development.

The company said today its net cash still stands at £60m due to its fundraising round in the wake of the Dong acquisition.

What Faroe said

Graham Stewart, chief executive of Faroe Petroleum, described the first half of this year as a period of strategic delivery.

With another significant discovery in Norway at the Faroe-operated Brasse exploration well; production performing above guidance; and post period end, the transformational acquisition of a portfolio of Norwegian production assets from DONG was announced in July 2016.

What the analysts said

Energy investment bank FirstEnergy said:

The lower capital expenditure is also encouraging but requires explanation and particularly if it includes capital expenditure associated with the Dong assets or not.

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