Afren expects full-year production to be at upper end of forecast


Afren expects full-year production to be at upper end of forecast 


LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Afren Plc, a UK oil and gas producer in Africa and Iraq, said higher flows from Nigeria will push 2013 output toward the upper end of its forecast.

Production will approach the top of a 40,000-barrel to 47,000-barrel-a-day range, the London-based company said today in a statement. It reported an 18 percent increase in year-to-date output to 48,573 barrels of oil equivalent a day, citing growth at Nigeria’s Ebok and Okoro fields.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil-producing nation, accounts for most of Afren’s sales, providing the company with cash to invest elsewhere including in South Africa and Kurdistan. Afren rose as much as 3 percent to 152.3 pence in London trading, the highest intraday price in seven months. The stock was at 150.2 pence as of 11:20 a.m. local time.

Ebok production averaged 35,102 barrels of oil a day in the nine months through September, a jump of 22 percent from a year earlier, while Okoro’s output rose 17 percent to average 18,214 barrels a day, Afren said. The company also said it found a “significant” light-oil accumulation at Nigeria’s Ogo-1 well.

“There are two clear positives today: firstly that exploration is delivering and secondly that production is delivering,” Mark Wilson, an analyst at Macquarie Bank Ltd. in London, said in an email. “For an exploration and production company, it’s as much as you can ask for.”

Profit after tax totaled $128.6 million in the third quarter, a 4.7 percent increase from a year earlier, according to today’s statement.

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