Output at Premier Oil surges

Explorer Premier Oil yesterday unveiled its first dividend payment since 1998 as it posted record profit. Profit after tax was logged at $252m (£166m) for 2012, up from £171.2m the previous year, marking a 47 per cent increase. Production of 57,700 barrels of oil equivalent a day, which climbed 43 per cent year-on-year, flattered profits. Premier confirmed an output forecast of 65,000 to 70,000 barrels a day this year, a 13 per cent jump.