Dragon Oil posts 68% profit hike for 2011 to $648m

Company exited 2011 pumping 71,751 bpd from the Cheleken Contract Area

Dragon Oil drilled 13 wells in 2011, and aims for up to 15 in 2012.
Dragon Oil drilled 13 wells in 2011, and aims for up to 15 in 2012.

Dragon Oil posted record annual results on 21 February, with the Turkmenistan-focused company revealing $648 million net profit for 2011 on sales of $1.15 billion.

The figures, powered by booming production growth and high oil prices, beat analysts’ forecasts of $621 million and $1.14 billion respectively, and showed a dramatic increase over 2010, with net profit up 68% and revenue up 47%.

The company exited 2011 pumping 71,751 barrels per day from the Cheleken Contract Area in Turkmen waters of the Caspian Sea, a hike over 2010 of 26%, and is aiming for production of 100,000 bpd by 2015. To meet a 15% production growth target, Dragon has a 13-15 well drilling program scheduled this year and a $250 million infrastructure cap-ex budget set.

The firm acquired a farm-in agreement for a 55% participating interest in an offshore exploration block in Tunisia, and has successfully extended its oil marketing arrangements through Baku until the end of 2012. It is currently sitting on $1.8 billion in cash, and has revealed this month that it may bid for BowLeven, a small cap independent with assets in Cameroon. In a recent presentation to investor’s CEO Abdul Jaleel Al-Khalifa confirmed the company is still interested in the fourth round auction for exploration blocks in Iraq.

"Dragon Oil continues to screen and evaluate targets that fit our criteria within Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and selectively south-east Asia in order to create a diversified balanced portfolio," the firm said in a statement.

Dragon Oil is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and is 52% owned by Dubai’s ENOC. It has announced a total dividend for 2011 of $0.20 a share, up 43% on 2010.

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