- Production beats guidance by four per cent
- Revenue down 2.2 per cent, EBITDA down 4.7 per cent
- Cashflow down six per cent
Soco International beat its own 2013 oil and gas production volume guidance, pumping just shy of 17,000 barrels of hydrocarbons per day.
Revenues fell 2.2% to $608.1m, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and a non-cash $92m exploration write-off down 4.7% to $472.9m.
Soco's gross production from its Te Giac Trang field (TGT) exceeded 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) in April's first testing phase with a new offshore floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel before it reduced by up to 15,000 BOEPD when a neighbouring field began production into the shared vessel in May.
President and Chief Executive Ed Story said: "Whilst revenues are slightly down due to both lower product prices and our previously announced FPSO sharing agreement in Vietnam, the future looks extremely bright with the TGT field extension as a result of the hugely successful H5 exploration well."
The TGT H5 exploration/appraisal well tested over 27,600 BOEPD making it one of the highest flow rate wells ever in Vietnam.
Net group annual production averaged 16,694 BOEPD for the group as a whole, all from its offshore Vietnam interests, which was well above the prior year's 14,757 and 4% higher than Soco's guidance.
Operating cashflow was down to $314.4m due to a lower realised oil price
offset by the higher sales volumes.
But management returned $213.3m to shareholders in October, having purchased and canelled all outstanding convertible bonds in May.
Story said: "The company is pleased that we have been able to create value for shareholders from cash returns and a 100% success ratio in our Vietnam and operated drilling programmes."
He added: "Given our strong cash generation and high potential portfolio, the company looks forward to sustaining value creation in 2014 and beyond."
Soco said that using previous guidance of returning 50% of free cashflow, the magnitude of the cash return in 2014 "would be approximately US$100m".
Production will be boosted as Soco and its partners have approved a three-rig development and production drilling programme in Vietnam for 2014, with all three already under contract and the first having arrived on site on TGT on 1 March 2014.
Additional activity is underway to bring H5 on-stream with an anticipated start date in the third quarter of 2015.
Final negotiations should be completed shortly for a rig to drill an exploration well offshore Congo Brazzaville to probe what is expected to be an extension of the Litchendjili field discovery made by oil major ENI several years ago. This field is slated to begin production in 2015.
Shares in Soco were down 4.9% to 441.5p at 08:44 on Wednesday.