Tullow Oil, Europe's biggest independent oil and gas company, expects a busy start to the year for drilling news as its only significant African producing field, the Jubilee field offshore Ghana, ramps up to full capacity.
In a trading statement after a year of mixed results for one of the industry's best performing drillers of recent times, Tullow had no new drilling results, and said it would write off €165m for dry holes and licence relinquishments in the full-year results to be announced next month.
The company said it would continue to focus on "high value oil and early monetisation" in its exploration-led growth strategy - selling assets where it has found oil relatively early in the development and production.
In Kenya and Ethiopia, Tullow said it was expecting a result from its high-risk PaiPai-1 well in February and a flow rate test completion at its Twiga-South-1 well in the same month. It plans to start drilling at the Sabisa-1 well within two weeks.
At another important prospect in French Guiana, drilling at Priodontes-1 (GM-ES-3) adjacent to the already drilled Zaedyus prospect started at the end of December 2012, and is expected to continue for four to five months, Tullow said.
Tullow has long targeted 120,000 barrels a day of output at Jubilee and had once hoped to reach that by 2011. The company said it was now producing 110,000 barrels a day "therefore allowing the current FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) capacity to be tested over the coming weeks."
Tullow holds a 36.05pc stake in Jubilee. Other shareholders include state oil firm GNPC with 13.75pc, private investment group Kosmos with 23.49pc, Anadarko Petroleum Corp with 23.49pc, and Sabre Oil and Gas with 2.81pc.
Tullow is trying to sell assets to help finance its capital expenditure programme which is expected to total €1.5bn in 2013, up from €1.43bn in 2012, but it had no news on disposals in its trading update.