Tullow Swings to Profit. CFO to Step Down

Africa-focused Tullow Oil’s finance chief Les Wood will step down by the end of March, the oil and gas company said on Wednesday, after it swung back to profit in the first half of 2021.

Tullow, which has been operating in Africa since 1986, said profit after tax came in at $93 million for the six months ended June, from a loss of $1.33 billion last year due to impairment charges.

The process to find a new chief financial officer is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2022, it said.

The company, which refinanced its $2.3 billion debt pile earlier this year, on Wednesday raised the lower end of its 2021 production target to reflect increased output from its Simba field in Central Africa while it deferred the planned maintenance shutdown of the Jubilee plant in Ghana into 2022.

It now expects 2021 output between 58,000-61,000 barrels Of oil equivalent per day (boepd) compared with its previous forecast of 55,000-61,000 boepd.

Production for the first half fell by 21%, in line with Tullow’s expectations, largely due to natural declines in its Jubilee and TEN [offshore] fields and reflected the recent disposals of its Equatorial Guinea assets and the Dussafu Marin permit.

“Strong operational performance in the first half of the year and a transformational debt refinancing have put Tullow on a firm footing to deliver our business plan,” Chief Executive Officer Rahul Dhir said.

Tullow said the company and its joint venture partners have completed the redesign of the Kenya development project, adding the total gross capex for the project is expected to be about $3.4 billion, higher than the previous outlook.

The company which entered Kenya in 2010, now expects gross oil recovery from the project of 585 million barrels of oil(mmbo) over the full life of the field, which JP Morgan analysts said in a research note was at least 14% higher than their estimate. 

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