Even though it was forced to take a hit on fourth quarter results, Lundin Petroleum said it was primed for growth as it focuses heavily on offshore Norway.
"I am very pleased with Lundin Petroleum's performance during 2016 which was a transformational year with record high production and record low operating costs per barrel," President and CEO Alex Schneiter said in a statement.
Schneiter ascended to president and CEO in 2015 after taking over for Ashley Heppenstall, who led the company since 2002. The shakeup came in earlu 2015 after Lundin joined its peers struggling to navigate the weak crude oil market. For the fourth quarter, the company said it was expecting to take a $632 million charge after sidelining reservoirs outside of Norway that were deemed non-commercial.
Looking forward, the company, which has headquarters in Sweden, said it planned to spend about $1.3 billion on development, appraisal, exploration and production this year, with nearly all of the focus on offshore Norway. The capital budget for 2017 is dominated by construction activity tied to the Johan Svedrup project, one of the largest oil fields ever discovered off the Norwegian coast.
Johan Sverdrup will be developed using four fixed facilities. Slated for production in 2019, the field should account for up to 25 percent of total Norwegian petroleum production once at peak capacity.
Elsewhere, Schneiter said the appraisal and exploration program for 2017 "is more exciting than ever" with the Barents Sea as a target. Lundin in late December was given approval from Oslo for an exploration well in the Barents Sea, which holds a good deal of what's left in terms of oil and natural gas reserves off the coast of Norway.
Norwegian major Statoil last year spent $538 million to acquire an 11.9 percent stake in Lundin. Both sides said it was a transformative deal as it consolidated focus offshore Norway.