Premier Oil is interested in increasing its 50% interest in the Catcher North Sea oil field that produced first oil in December, CEO Tony Durrant told Reuters on Thursday, after the news agency reported – citing banking sources – that Hungary’s Mol is planning to sell its 20% stake in the oil field.
We would love to have more of Catcher. It depends on the structure of the sale
, Durrant said when asked whether Premier was looking at a 20% stake in the field that banking sources said is earmarked for sale by Mol.
Catcher is expected to reach production of 60,000 bbl/d in April, bringing Premier’s 2018 output guidance to between 80,000 bbl/d and 85,000 bbl/d, up from 75,000 last year. Increased production will be key to reducing Premier’s debt pile of about USD 2.6 billion.
Durrant said it would be “very reasonable” to expect net debt to fall to about USD 2.3 billion by the end of the year, with debt reduction accelerating in 2019.
On Thursday afternoon, Mol’s share price rose by more than 2% on the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) and is now above HUF 3,000 again.
Premier Oil soared by more than 5% on the London Stock Exchange.