May 16, 2018 / 6:42 AM / 3 months ago

Premier Oil says debt reduction on track as output grows

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Premier Oil said on Wednesday it is heading for a “material” reduction of its $2.7 billion debt pile, with its Catcher field ramp-up reaching a promised 60,000 barrels per day as oil prices trade at their highest in more than three years.

In a trading update, Premier reiterated it was on track to meet its full-year production guidance of 80,000-85,000 bpd.

A final investment decision for its Tolmount gas field in the southern North Sea is due in the second half of the year, it said.

“We are on track to deliver our plan of material debt reduction in 2018 and 2019 with selective investment in our future growth projects from 2020, once balance sheet strength has been restored,” Chief Executive Tony Durrant said.

Premier hedges parts of it output to guard against falls in oil prices. It has expanded its hedging for next year to benefit from current high oil prices.

It said it had hedged 21-28 percent of its output through the third quarter of next year at an average price of $66-$67 a barrel. For this year, it insured 40 percent of its oil output at $58-$60 a barrel. (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Jason Neely)

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