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Amid reshuffling, Africa-focused Tullow Oil ready to grow

Company's CEO stepping aside as West African portfolio performs as expected.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Amid reshuffling, Africa-focused Tullow Oil ready to grow
Africa-focused Tullow Oil keeps spending plans in check as its portfolio performs as expected. Photo courtesy of Tullow Oil.

April 26 (UPI) -- With a reshuffling in the front office underway, Tullow Oil said Wednesday its production offshore West Africa for the first quarter met expectations.

Tullow CEO Aidan Heavey is handing the reins over to Paul McDade. The reshuffling follows what Heavey said was an "exceptionally busy" first quarter for the Africa-focused explorer. So far, the company has offered a greater stake in its operations in Uganda and is working to remediate some of the production infrastructure offshore West Africa, which was hampered last year by equipment problems.

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"As I hand over my role as CEO to Paul McDade, I am confident that Tullow has the financial and operational flexibility to prosper in 2017 and beyond," Heavey said in a statement.

For full-year 2016, the company said it ended the year with $1 billion in free cash. Tullow is one of the premier players in emerging West Africa and said in February its production for 2017 would likely average 78,000 barrels of oil per day at the low end, a marked increase from the previous year.

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In its latest statement, the company said its working interest in West African oil production for the first quarter averaged 85,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

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"Tullow's 2017 full year production forecast is unchanged with West Africa working interest oil production, including production-equivalent insurance payments, expected to average between 78,000 and 85,000 barrels of oil per day," the company stated.

Spending last year for Tullow was $900 million and the forecast for capital expenditures this year is lower by more than 40 percent. The company's full-year 2016 revenue of $1.3 billion was 21 percent lower year-over-year, though its losses improved considerably over 2015.

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The company said Wednesday its capital spending plan for the year remains unchanged.

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