Heritage Oil boosts hopes of a dividend as production rises

Suzie Neuwirth
HERITAGE Oil yesterday showed that its Nigerian problems are well and truly over, as it updated the market on soaring production levels and dangled the promise of a dividend for shareholders.

Shares in the FTSE 250-quoted oil explorer skyrocketed over 10 per cent in early trading and closed up 13.54 per cent.

Production from the OML 30 oil field in Nigeria averaged approximately 15,600 barrels of oil per day in the first part of this year, a 17 per cent increase from the fourth quarter of 2013.

Further increases in production are expected this year, the company said.

“OML 30 operations are progressing in line with expectations, providing significant revenues and cash flow to Heritage which should enable the company to achieve its goal of paying a sustainable dividend stream to shareholders,’ said chief executive Tony Buckingham.

“Our interest in OML 30 will be used as a platform to grow and obtain additional interests in Nigeria and in other core areas.”

Last year, engineering issues and local worker strikes sent Nigerian output plummeting down to 6,932 barrels of oil per day after a number of fields were shut down.

Heritage also said that talks with the Nigerian government about its tax status have “concluded successfully” but it is still quantifying the impact of this.