COOPER Energy has reported oil price-inflicted falls in production, revenue and capital expenditure for the December quarter, and says no further drilling is planned this financial year for three of its Senex-operated Cooper basin permits.
Cooper’s sales revenue was down to $8.8 million in the December quarter, having been $14.2 million in the previous quarter and $18.6 million in the December 2013 quarter.
“The movement in revenue compared with the previous quarter was principally the result of lower prices,” Cooper said in its December quarterly report.
“The average oil price for the quarter of $78.50 per barrel was 32% lower than the $114.71 in the September quarter.”
Chief executive David Maxwell said despite the effect of the price plunge, Cooper was still producing oil at an average cost of $34 per barrel during the quarter for an average sale price of $78 a barrel.
“We are optimising costs and capital expenditure for the lower oil price environment and expect to provide an update on revised capital expenditure and drilling activity in our forthcoming half-year reporting,” Mr Maxwell said.
Cooper’s production in its namesake basin has steadily fallen from 138 kbbl in the December 2013 quarter, to 113 kbbl in the September 2014 quarter, to only 102 kbbl in the most recent reporting period.
Capital expenditure fell from $6.4 million in the September quarter to $4.4 million in December – a reflection of the company’s decreased drilling activity during the quarter.
Further drilling in the Senex-operated permits in the Cooper basin – PELs 90, 100 and 110 – would not take place this financial year, Cooper said.
Wells drilled in two of the permit areas had delivered only disappointment for the joint venture partners.
PEL 100’s Jenners 1 was plugged and abandoned after encountering poor oil shows, while PEL 110’s Akela 1 showed trace-to-poor oil shows and was cased and suspended.
The most positive shows were seen in the Birkhead formation, though poor borehole conditions meant sampling was unsuccessful.
“No further drilling is planned for the northern permits in PELs 90, 100 and 110 in 2015 financial year, with additional review and analysis to be undertaken during the second half,” Cooper said.
Cooper also provided an update of its progress in selling its Tunisia assets, admitting the low-price environment and “industry sentiment” had left the company struggling to divest the assets.
Cooper said it was confident of completing an exit from Tunisia, but said it would be at a later date than planned.
“The company is working to achieve this at the earliest date possible within financial year 2015,” it said.
Discussions were ongoing with a number of buyers, but interest was directed at individual permits or combinations rather than a whole portfolio sale.