Meridian Petroleum plc, the US-focused oil and gas company will announce its preliminary results for 2007 in the second half of April 2008 and is providing the following update on its strategy and operations in advance.
Meridian moved into a cash-generative position in Q4 2007, and 2008 has begun strongly with record monthly production from Orion in January and a new daily production record of over 4mmcfd achieved in early February.
During 2007, the Company addressed weaknesses in its governance, management and control structure and also took the decision to rationalise its asset base to concentrate on US projects. Negotiations to dispose of the Australian assets are underway.
With a solid foundation in place, the Board has conducted a review of assets and strategy to identify ways of delivering increased shareholder value and has concluded that the current asset portfolio needs strengthening.
Consequently, the Board has decided to actively pursue deals to add existing and potential near-term US production. There will be a particular focus on opportunities in Michigan, Louisiana and Texas, where the Company has established working relationships and valuable experience with the local government and infrastructure. The Board will pursue both asset and corporate acquisitions and merger opportunities.
The Board would not rule out a sale of the company if it became clear that this would deliver enhanced value to shareholders, and as announced on the Feb. 6 2008, the Board has engaged in early stage discussions which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Company.
Stephen Gutteridge, Chairman, said, "We took a major step forward last year by bringing Orion into production, and that gives us a platform to look at more aggressive approaches to delivering value to our shareholders. Our current asset portfolio presents limited opportunities to move quickly, so we plan to keep momentum going by adding production through acquisition or merger. We have solid US operating experience and contacts and we are already seeing good potential opportunities in our chosen areas."
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