Amerisur reports surge in profits as it ramps up production at Colombian oil field

Oil and gas exploration and production business Amerisur has recorded a surge in earnings and profits in the first six months of this year.

In interim results announced today the Cardiff-based company, which operates from a number of sites in South America, reported that its revenues in the six months to the end of June were US$114.1m, up from US$64m in the same period last year.

Profit before tax increased from US$29.1m to US$50.8m over the same timescale, while operating profits rose from US$30.4m to US$51.5m

The increase in earnings was due to the bringing into production of new wells at its wholly-owned Platanillo field in Colombia.

In a company statement the chairman of the AIM-listed business Giles Clarke said: “In the first half, we have made considerable progress across our growing portfolio. At the Platanillo field we have increased production capacity significantly, we have drilled four new wells successfully, increasing proven developed reserves, de-risked the northern lobe of the block and moved forward the export pipeline project to be built under the river into Ecuador, which we expect to be operational by the end of 2014.

“After several years of preparation and study, including new seismic data acquired this year, we have identified drilling locations in the San Pedro contract in Paraguay and civil works at a two-cellar location have commenced near to the town of Chore. Drilling in our Put-12 block east of Platanillo is expected in 2015.

“Operating cash flows from the Platanillo field continue to run significantly ahead of the company’s capital requirements for its entire work programme and with a number of fully-funded value enhancing events to come in H2 2014 and into 2015.”

Mr Clarke added: “Amerisur is in a strong position to pursue further opportunities focused on our areas of interest and [the] board looks to the future with considerable excitement and confidence.”

Amerisur has a 100% interest in the 11,341 hectare Platanillo field in Colombia’s Putumayo basin, as well as a 60% interest in the adjacent 55,000 hectare Put-12 block. It also has a 100% interest in the 24,117 hectare Fenix block in the Middle Magdalena basin.

Its largest interest though is in Paraguay where it is the largest acreage holder in the country, with 6.2 million hectares over five wholly-owned oil and gas permits in the Chaco and Parana basins.

The company says it has significantly increased production capacity in the Platanillo field, drilling four new wells and increasing proven developed reserves.

It has also moved forward an export pipeline project to connect with the pipeline infrastructure in neighbouring Ecuador. Currently potential production is constrained to a maximum 10,000 barrels per day due to the need to carry oil out by truck.

Production in the six months to the end of June was 1,187,615 barrels, bringing total production from the Platanillo field to 3.7 million barrels. The company said that disruption to the transport network during the presidential elections in Colombia has cost it 242,000 barrels in lost production.

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