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PetroTal production meets guidance in first quarter

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 11 Apr 2024

PetroTal production meets guidance in first quarter

(Sharecast News) - PetroTal said in an update on Thursday that its average production in the first quarter was 18,518 barrels of oil per day, consistent with its guidance.
The AIM-traded firm said that marked an increase of 23% and 54% from the fourth and first quarters of 2023, respectively.

Over the last 30 days, production had maintained an average of approximately 20,500 barrels per day.

Operationally, the company reported successful sales deliveries via Brazil and Iquitos routes during the quarter.

Additionally, PetroTal's recently-drilled 17H well started production on 1 March, achieving a production rate of about 4,000 barrels per day within its initial 30 days online.

Subsequently, with the activation of the electro submersible pump two weeks ago, the well had sustained a production rate of around 4,500 barrels per day, aligning with PetroTal's expectations.

The company was currently pursuing its 2024 development programme, with the drilling of well 18H underway, expected to be in production in May.

In terms of environmental initiatives, PetroTal said it was advancing its preventive erosion control programme, designed to safeguard the Bretana oilfield, with the adjacent community. project construction set to start in the third quarter.

Permitting processes, the finalisation of detailed engineering, and the procurement of long lead items was underway.

Financially, PetroTal exited the first quarter in a "robust" position, with $63m of unrestricted cash and $22m of restricted cash, totaling $85m as of 31 March.

That liquidity included reserved amounts for social trust funds to be deposited at a later date.

Despite a decrease in cash liquidity from the end of 2023, attributed to increased capital spend from starting the drilling programme, dividend distributions, and revenue payments, PetroTal said it remained financially stable.

During the first quarter, it executed a share buyback programme, purchasing 4.7 million shares at an average price of 58 cents apiece, and disbursed dividends of $18.4m on 15 March, relating to fourth quarter operations.

At the close of the first quarter, outstanding accounts receivable and accounts payable amounted to $111.7m and $73.6m, respectively, due within 50 days.

"The company achieved its strongest annual start to a year in PetroTal's history generating quarterly average production of over 18,500 barrels of oil per day," said president and chief executive officer Manuel Pablo Zuniga-Pflucker.

"First quarter liquidity was as expected, with the company receiving an average oil price above its 2024 guidance of $77 per barrel Brent, bolstering first quarter financial and operational metrics."

Zuniga-Pflucker said the two recently completed horizontal wells brought the company's well count to 18 oil producers, setting the stage for record first half and annual production.

"This will allow us to continue returning capital to our shareholders while growing the company."

At 1025 BST, shares in PetroTal were up 0.67% at 47.82p.

Reporting by Josh White for


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