elandWest Africa-focused Scottish firm, Eland Oil and Gas Plc,  Wednesday said its loss before taxation doubled in the first half of 2013 as it invested in staff and conducted seismic studies in preparation for crude oil production at its Opuama Field in Nigeria’s Oil Mining Lease (OML) 40.

In its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2013, the exploratory oil and gas company, which was yet to generate revenue, said its pre-tax losses grew to $11 million from $5.4 million.

The company, however, said it would remain on track to bring OML 40 back into production in October 2013 as the re-entry into the asset, would be a key landmark for the company and its partner and operator, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Leslie Blair, said his focus was to bring in the company’s first cash revenues from OML 40.

“Our immediate focus is on returning OML 40 back to production and with that, bringing in the company’s first cash revenues. We have worked hard to achieve this in close co-operation with the operator of OML 40, NPDC, and look forward to the start of oil production in October. We will then turn our attention to the development drilling programme, for which we have a rig identified, and the task of building our production revenues over the long term,” he said.

One of the major highlights of the results was the installation of new flow lines in the Opuama Field, which was nearing completion with the export pipeline survey and repairs underway.

The Opuama Flow Station integrity survey had also been completed and recertification and repairs of the Flow Station underway, with first oil production scheduled for October 2013.

The company also said it would commence the drilling of the initial development wells within the Opuama Field after the release of the Depthwize Imperial swamp rig currently on a single well assignment with Conoil on Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 2007.

It also disclosed that the technical evaluation of the option to acquire 40per cent equity in OPL 452 in the Eastern Niger Delta was ongoing.

The company said the loss recorded in the first half of 2013 reflected the additional investment in staffing and studies undertaken by the company in preparation for re-starting production and the drilling programme.

The Opuama Field was in production from 1975 to 2006 when Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) undertook a controlled shut down of the facility due to the militant attacks on oil workers and installations in the Niger Delta.

The field, which was producing 2,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (bopd) at the time of the shut-in, also has a flow station with a nominal capacity of 30,000 bopd and pipeline access to the Shell operated Trans Escravos Pipeline and Forcados Terminal.


Information from This Day was used in this report.