Aker BP continued its positive development and strong growth in 2018. Total income increased by 46 percent from 2017 and all major field development projects progressed as planned. Reserve replacement was above 100 percent and the company continued to grow its resource base through acquisitions and exploration success. The debt level was significantly reduced and the company paid a dividend of USD 450 million (USD 1.25 per share) in 2018.
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-I am very pleased with Aker BP’s development in 2018. We delivered strong operational performance, and continued to build our portfolio to enable further profitable growth in the years to come. I am also pleased by our ability to return value to shareholders through increasing dividends, says Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP.
For the full year 2018, the company’s net production in 2018 was 155.7 (138.8) thousand barrels of oil equivalents per day (“mboepd”). Total production volume was 56.8 million barrels of oil equivalents (“boe”). Total income amounted to USD 3,750 (2,563) million for the year. Average realised oil price was USD 72 (56) per barrel, while the realised price for natural gas averaged USD 0.29 (0.21) per standard cubic metre (“scm”).
Production costs amounted to USD 689 (523) million in 2018, or USD 12.1 (10.3) per boe. Exploration expenses amounted to USD 296 (226) million. Total cash spend on exploration amounted to USD 359 (262) million. The company’s exploration activities in 2018 resulted in the Frosk discovery and a positive appraisal of the Gekko discovery. In addition, the company expanded its licence portfolio, further strengthening its position as the second largest licence holder on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Profit before taxes amounted to USD 1,805 (811) million. Tax expense was USD 1,328 (536) million, representing an effective tax rate of 74 percent. Net profit increased by 73 percent to USD 476 (275) million.
In the fourth quarter 2018, production volumes increased due to improved efficiency and new wells. Net production was 155.7 (135.6) mboepd. Profit before taxes amounted to USD 359 (248), and Net profit was USD 54 (34) million. The company completed several transactions, reduced its debt level significantly and paid a dividend of USD 112.5 million (USD 0.3124 per share) during the fourth quarter.
Investments in fixed assets amounted to USD 1,313 (977) million in 2018. All field development projects, including Johan Sverdrup, Valhall Flank West and Ærfugl, progressed according to plans.
Aker BP’s 2P reserves increased to 917 (914) mmboe, as the total additions and revisions exceeded the year’s production. The company also made two significant acquisitions in 2018, adding 171 mmboe to its 2C contingent resource base. In total, contingent resources grew by 23 percent to 946 mmboe.
The company’s net interest-bearing debt was USD 1,973 million at the end of 2018, down USD 1,183 million from 2017. This was mainly driven by the repayment of a USD 1.5 billion bank loan following the refund of the tax losses in Hess Norge. Total available liquidity at the end of 2018 was USD 3.1 (2.9) billion.
Total dividends for 2018 amounted to USD 1.25 or NOK 10 per share. The Board has resolved to pay a quarterly dividend of USD 187.5 million (USD 0.5207 per share) in February 2019.
Kjetil Bakken, VP Investor Relations, tel.: +47 91 889 889
Tore Langballe, VP Communications, tel.: +47 907 77 841
Ole-Johan Faret, Press Spokesman, tel.: +47 402 24 217