OPHIR Energy’s share price soared over six per cent yesterday, after the oil explorer unveiled a $100m (£59.9m) share buyback programme to return cash to investors.
The FTSE 250-listed firm has seen its market value halve since the start of the year, due to a string of disappointing exploration results.
Ophir swung back into profit in the first half of the year, making $339m after selling a stake in a Tanzanian asset, compared to a loss of $19.4m year-on-year.
The company drilled four exploration wells in the first half of the year, leading to one discovery and three dry holes.
It plans to continue its drilling programme in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, with three exploration wells and two appraisal wells expected by the end of November. Capital expenditure in 2015 will be around half the level of 2014, the company said.
“After a difficult period for Ophir and the independent exploration and production sector, capital expenditure will be reined back in 2015 as we position Ophir for the next phase of drilling,” said chief executive Nick Cooper.
“Exploration will remain central to Ophir’s future business model, but may over time be supported by more mature assets if these are in the best interests of shareholders.”
Shares closed 6.7 per cent higher at 211.70p.