May 15 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas producer Premier Oil , which has struggled to contain its $2.8 billion debt pile, said it expected to slash debt significantly in 2018 with planned asset disposals this year and lower capital spending.
The North Sea-focused company, which had said its debt restructuring deal was expected to complete by May, lowered its 2017 capital expenditure forecast to $350 million from $390 million.
It maintained the full-year production guidance of 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, excluding any contribution from its Catcher field in the North Sea, which is scheduled to deliver first oil in 2017.
The company reported a 44 percent rise in its production to 82,600 boepd for the four months ended April 30.
Shares in the company rose as much as 5.5 percent, before paring gains to trade up 4.1 percent by 0823 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)