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Tullow Oil plc Seeks To Reassure Shareholders

Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) has found life tough in the last 18 months, with its share price almost halving from its peak of £16 to less than £9 today. Today’s trading statement from the oil explorer contained a mixture of good and bad news, but still saw the share price fall a further 2% to 885p.

Production for the year is expected to be between 84,000 and 88,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, which would represent a 6-11% increase on the level seen in 2012.

In Ghana, a maintenance shutdown at its Jubilee field was completed ahead of schedule, and the first oil from its TEN development project is pencilled in for 2016. In Kenya, production has resumed after a 10-day stoppage caused by local demonstrations.

As usual, Tullow has its fingers in many different exploration pies, but it seems most excited by its recent light oil discovery at Wisting Central which it said “opens a new basin in the Barents Sea offshore Norway”.

Asset sales are proceeding in Bangladesh and Pakistan, but the sale of interests in the North Sea is being broken into smaller chunks, in order to get a better price.

On the financing front, Tullow’s net debt of $1.8bn leaves it with $2.5bn in unused financing facilities, which is handy considering capital expenditure will come in at $2bn this year.

Tullow also said it “remains confident that it will add 200 million boe to its resources this year — as it has averaged annually for the past six years — and exit 2013 with oil production at record levels.”

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> Stuart does not own any company mentioned above.