Africa-focused Tullow Oil sees 2018 as a productive year

Company said it freed up cash following the resolution of disputes for emerging oil basins offshore West Africa.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Nov. 29, 2017 at 7:32 AM
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Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Refinancing $2.5 billion in loans means that, after resolving potentially pivotal West African issues, Tullow Oil enters 2018 on good footing, an officer said.

The company said Wednesday it completed the refinancing of $2.5 billion in credit facilities, leaving it with about $900 million in free cash.

"The transaction, which was formally launched in early October following the resolution of the Ghana - Ivory Coast border dispute, was materially over-subscribed and extends the maturity of the Group's existing reserves-based lending credit facilities," the company explained.

Tullow, which has its headquarters in London, posted a loss of around $519 million for the first half of the year, after taking a pre-tax profit of $24 million during the same period last year. It reported an operating loss of $395 million, said its realized oil price of $57.30 per barrel for first half of the year was 6 percent lower than last year, and lowered its spending guidance for the year by 20 percent to $400 million.

Past maritime border disputes between Ghana and Ivory Coast interfered with the development of the TEN oil field, operated by Tullow. A floating production platform for TEN has the production capacity of about 80,000 barrels of oil per day.

Tullow already works in Ivory Coast, with a 20 year legacy as an explorer and producer. It holds a non-controlling interest in the nation's Espoir field, taking a net 4,000 barrels of oil per day.

"The success of this transaction clearly demonstrates the high quality of the group's assets, our ability to generate free cash flow and the strength of our long-standing banking relationships," Chief Financial Officer Les Wood said in a statement. "Following this refinancing, we have no material near-term debt maturities and will enter 2018 in a strong financial position."

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