Edinburgh-registered oil and gas explorer Premier Oil may upgrade its 2014 production forecast after stronger-than-expected output in the first half of the year, pending the outcome of summer maintenance work.
Premier Oil’s new prospect at Solan, west of the Shetland Islands, is expected to come on stream by the end of the year – but progress also depends on weather conditions.
The company reported a 7% rise in first-half profit after tax yesterday, helped by strong oil production from its N. Sea oil fields – Kyle, Balmoral and Huntingdon.
Premier Oil produced 64,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the first half of the year, ahead of the firm’s expectations of around 60,000 boepd.
“We would like to see the end of the summer maintenance programme before upgrading guidance,” said newly-appointed Chief Executive Tony Durrant at the company’s London head office.
Premier Oil’s current 2014 output target is 58,000-63,000 boepd.
The Shetlands are tipped as Britain’s frontier oil region as other areas in the North Sea are slowly running out of oil.
Durrant added: .”Our focus continues to be on maintaining momentum and delivery of our near-term priorities, including first oil from Solan”
Analysts expect Solan to produce about 24,000 barrels per day from a total field estimate of 40 million. Bifab are presently constructing the top-side rig and first production is expected by December 2014.