High earner

Venture Production, the Aberdeen-based North Sea oil and gas company, has announced record earnings for 2008.

The company, which acquires, develops and brings into production undeveloped oil and gas fields in the UK and Dutch sectors of the North Sea, reported a 38 per cent increase in revenue to £494.9m. The higher sum, which was £358.3m in 2007, is reportedly due to increased production volumes and commodity prices. The company reported that average production increased by nine per cent, which is equivalent to 45,006 barrels of oil per day.

Even when operating expenses are subtracted, Venture claims this extra production helped it generate a total of £305m, which represents a 27 per cent rise for the year.

‘After a challenging start to 2008, Venture delivered increased production levels, which combined with high oil and gas prices resulted in a record financial performance,’ said Mike Wagstaff, chief executive of Venture.

‘2008 has been very good for all key areas of our business, production, development, drilling and acquisitions.’

Wagstaff added that in the second half of 2008 Venture began drilling in three new fields. ‘This positions us well for 2009 and our active drilling and development programme will continue to drive growth,’ he said.

‘Record levels of acquisition activity in 2008 have significantly strengthened our asset base for the longer term and we are rapidly moving these newly acquired assets towards development,’ he added. ‘As a result, we are well placed in the current challenging economic conditions and uncertain commodity price outlook.’