By Pádraig Hoare
Shares in Tullow rose 3% as its new boss said he was confident legal issues and other factors “suppressing the share price are now all behind us”.
Chief executive Paul McDade said he expected “relative stability” in the global oil market in the coming months as the Irish-founded exploration company announced net profits of $55m (€47m) on revenues of $900m for the six months to the end of June.
Shares in the oil firm are down around 25% in the past 12 months. Earlier this year it reported its first operating profit in four years, of €22m for 2017.
Mr McDade said founder Aidan Heavey, who has now left the company, was a “great loss having built a phenomenon in Tullow” but that he was confident he could build on the legacy left behind.
“Issues suppressing the share price are now all behind us and we are confident heading into the future,” he said. The firm will use free cashflow of $401m to pay down debt and invest rather than pay an interim dividend, it said, after having raised the possibility of a return to payouts.
Tullow plans to drill an exploration well in Namibia in September and expand drilling in Ghana into next year. It aims for final investment decisions on Uganda towards the end of this year and Kenya in late 2019, which would open up those countries’ oil industries for exports.
In Kenya however, Tullow has stopped a pilot scheme producing oil and trucking around 600 barrels a day to the coast due to security issues around cattle rustling and banditry, Mr McDade said.