Premier Oil achieves first oil from new N Sea field

Shares of North Sea producer Premier Oil jumped 5% after it said it achieved first oil from the Catcher field, 174 km off the coast of Aberdeen.

Premier is the operator of the Catcher project and partners are Premier (50%), Cairn (20%), MOL (20%) and Dyas (10%).

“Premier is pleased to announce that first oil from the Catcher Area was safely achieved at 15.45 hours on 23 December 2017,” said Premier.

“Initial stabilised production from the Catcher field will be at an expected rate of around 10,000 bpd.

“This will be ramped up in phases with production from the Varadero field followed by the Burgman field, as previously guided …

“Production in the Catcher Area as a whole will increase to approximately 60,000 barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2018, adding 30,000 bopd (net) to Premier’s daily production.”

Premier CEO Tony Durrant, Chief Executive, commented: “Delivery of first oil from the Catcher Area represents a significant milestone for Premier.

“I congratulate and thank all our colleagues, partners, suppliers and regulators who have played such an important part in successfully delivering the project on schedule and almost 30% under budget.

“Catcher is an example of Premier Oil’s capability to deliver full cycle FPSO projects from exploration through to production.

“As production ramps up in the first half of 2018, the increased cash flows will play an important role in Premier’s plans for debt reduction.

“The Catcher Area project also demonstrates Premier’s continuing commitment to invest in the UK.”