Tullow Oil plans to generate $7bn; focuses on Ghana project

Tullow Oil is projecting to generate $7 billion (€5.9 billion) over the next decade regardless of Ghana’s level of oil production and prices.

This is part of objectives outlined by the new Chief Executive, Rahul Dhir to achieve during his tenure.

According to the CEO, he can convince investors and creditors that the group can reduce its debt burden as it focuses on key oil-producing projects in Ghana even if oil prices remain low.

Mr. Dhir said his outfit was also looking to “unlock value” in its South American exploration portfolio.

Tullow Oil is burdened with about $2.4 billion of net debt but it indicated that it would consider further assets sales, having completed the $575 million disposal of its Ugandan assets earlier this month.

However, the focus of Mr. Dhir’s new strategy and plan is based on the potentials within Tullow’s large resource reserves and its assets where there is extensive infrastructure in place.

In Ghana, for example, Tullow has produced just 400 million barrels of oil from 2.9 billion barrels of oil in place. This equates to 14 per cent.

“Assuming an oil price of $45 per barrel in 2021 and $55 per barrel flat nominal from 2022 onwards, and with over 90 per cent of future capital expenditure focused on the group’s West African producing assets, Tullow forecasts it will generate circa $7 billion of operating cashflow over the next 10 years,” Tullow said in a statement ahead of a series of investor presentations.

Tullow said it plans to reduce its net debt to 1.2 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exploration, “while retaining appropriate liquidity”.

“Since joining Tullow in July 2020, I have been deeply impressed by the strength of the group’s assets, especially in Ghana. Following hard work by our team, and with input from our partners and external experts, we have a clear strategy and plan for the next 10 years,” said Mr Dhir.

“The plan focuses our capital on a deep portfolio of short-cycle, high-return opportunities within our current producing asset base and will ensure that Tullow can meet its financial obligations and deliver material value for our host nations and investors.”

The Irish-founded company in the past year saw its shares fall by more than 90% with 2019 seeing exploration disappointments in South America, production problems in Ghana and the exit of its then chief executive and exploration director.

Covid-19 served to hit oil prices this year, with Brent crude oil falling from almost $69 a barrel in January to just over $20 in April, before recovering somewhat to just over $48 currently.

Joy Business

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