Indigenous oil exploration company, Seplat Energy Plc, grew its revenue by 36.9 per cent to $331m in the first quarter of 2023 compared to $241.8m in the same period last year.
The firm’s unaudited financial statement for the three months ended March 31, 2023, which was filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Thursday, stated that its core annual dividend target was raised by 20 per cent to US 12 cents with a quarterly dividend of three cents.
The growth in revenue during the period under review was underpinned by increased crude production, thus limiting the impact of lower oil prices.
According to the firm, the total crude volume lifted for the period was 3.6 MMbbls, up 63.6 per cent from the 2.2 MMbbls in Q1 2022, while the average pipeline loss factor for the group was 3.5 per cent.
Similarly, gas revenue rose by 29.1 per cent to $33.0 million (Q1 2022: $25.6 million) driven by the simultaneous increase in realised gas prices and sales volume.
The average realised gas price was higher at $2.88/Mscf (Q1 2022: $2.76/Mscf), while gas production increased by
Seplat claimed that the improvement in average realised gas price reflected the impact of upward price revisions with gas customers.
Pretax profit surged by 69 per cent to $198.3m from N117.3m in Q1 2022 at a margin of 60 per cent, compared to 48 per cent in the first three months of 2022.
“Overall, improved production across gas and liquids reflects the positive impact of the Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline, which has reduced downtime and enabled stronger liquids and associated gas production. In addition, the completed Oben-34 gas well provided further boost to gas production,” it stated.
In its statement to the Nigerian Exchange Limited and London stock exchange, Seplat’s Chairman, Basil Omiyi, said, “Seplat Energy’s management and staff have once again delivered excellent performance, with production volumes up, unit production cost down and strong cash generation enabling the Board to increase our annual core dividend target from US 10 cents to US 12 cents per share, paid in equal quarterly dividends. As a result, we have declared a Q1 2023 dividend of US 3 cents per share.
“The year has started strongly, and we are now seeing the benefits of the AEP, through which we are exporting significant amounts of oil. On the ANOH gas plant, our partners have made good progress in the quarter on delivering the OB3 and Spur pipelines, as well as the necessary gas wells, and we maintain Q4 2023 for the first gas. We continue to engage with all relevant parties in the proposed acquisition of MPNU and are confident of a successful outcome.
Omiyi noted that despite the leadership crisis the company had been embroiled in recently, members of staff focused on delivering this strong performance, “united in their support of Seplat’s management team, against a backdrop of unnecessary distractions that will not derail our progress and ambition to become Nigeria’s leading energy supplier”.