Progress at North Sea’s Catcher field gives boost to Premier

Tony Durrant. Picture; submitted
Tony Durrant. Picture; submitted
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Premier Oil has hailed progress at a major North Sea field.

Releasing a trading and operations update yesterday, the group said that consistent levels of production from its Catcher oil field had boosted its overall output.

Chief executive Tony ­Durrant said the performance from Catcher marked an “important milestone for ­Premier”.

The firm noted that “plateau” production rates in excess of 60,000 barrels of oil per day from Catcher were “consistently” achieved in May following commencement of gas export and water injectivity.

Durrant said: “Catcher delivering stable plateau production is an important milestone for Premier.

“This, coupled with the ongoing strong performance from our underlying portfolio and our continued focus on cost control, will result in ­significant free cash flow generation and material debt reduction in the second half.”

Alasdair Ronald, senior investment manager at Brewin Dolphin in Glasgow, said: “In recent months financial institutions have become increasingly positive on the prospects for Premier and their growing confidence has been justified by [this update].

“Analysts will also have been heartened with the news that [it] remains on track to deliver on previous guidance and this could be increased after summer maintenance programmes have completed.”