Seplat to prioritise gas business, as lower oil price, exports shut-in drag losses to N54b

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Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, a leading indigenous Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company have announced the decision to place priority on its gas expansion plans to avoid losses.

Speaking at the company’s Post annual general meeting press conference in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Austin Avuru said that the company would continue to prioritise expansion of its domestic natural gas business to provide a revenue stream away from oil.

He added that the company would ensure right-sizing of capital investments to match prevailing environment and continued downward pressure on cost base.

According to the company’s audited results, the significantly lower oil production, lower oil price and shut-in of exports at the Forcados terminal from 2016 mid-February onwards adversely impacted revenue and more than offset the higher gas volumes and prices.

Seplat Petroleum Development Company declared a loss after tax of N45 billion for the 2016 financial year, a 245 percent decline  from profit after tax of N31 billion for the 2015 financial year.

Seplat also reported a revenue decline of 44 percent at N63billion as against N113 billion reported in 2015

Owing to the exceptional circumstances as a direct result of force majeure events at the Forcados terminal the company declared no dividend for the 2016 financial year.

Dr ABC Orjiako, the company’s Chairman, assured investors and stakeholders that the company would continue to deliver enhanced value.

The chairman said that the company decided not to pay dividend during the year under review in order to maintain the necessary level of financial flexibility.

He added that the decision would enable the company to deploy the available capital in its portfolio of production opportunities while preserving a tight liquidity buffer.

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