InterOil Exploration & Production ASA reached consolidated revenue of US $28.9 million with an EBITDA of US $0.1 million in 4Q 2009.
Higher production combined with higher oil prices resulted in increased operating revenue compared to prior period; however the decrease in EBITDA can mainly be traced back to an accrual of US $9.9 million in connection with the tax claim pertaining to related parties. The production decreased by 15% compared to 4Q 2008 and increased by 2% since last quarter. InterOil incurred a net loss before tax of US $ -11.8 million for the period.
InterOil started the 2009 drilling campaign in Colombia and Peru at the end of the third quarter 2009. The drilling of new wells, fracturing and dual completion (completion and production from two separate reservoir zones simultaneously) in 4Q 2009 counteracts the decline in production experienced in previous quarters and the production has increased by 2.4% since 3Q 2009. Increased production combined with higher oil prices has resulted in US $28.9 million operating revenue in 4Q 2009, which is 12% higher than in previous quarter. The EBITDA of US $0.1 million is down from US $13.9 million since prior quarter. The decrease in EBITDA can mainly be traced back to a provision of US $9.9 million in connection with the tax claim pertaining to related parties. InterOil has also had higher exploration cost especially in Colombia where we have acquired a new 3D seismic on the Altair license in amount of US $5.3 million. The EBITDA also includes exploration expenses in Angola of US $6.9 million and a net profit of US $2.8 million connected to the sale of 7.5% of the Cabinda North license in Angola. Hence, the normalized EBITDA from our operation exclusive all "one offs" is US $19.4 million, which is 25% higher than in prior quarter.
InterOil has during the last eight months worked for full repayment of all outstanding debt. The company has the opinion that both a sale and a refinancing will secure the full repayment of all outstanding debt. The Board of Directors is aiming to find a solution acceptable for the bondholders, the shareholders and the company. The plan is to conclude this process in the near future and as soon as practically possible.
InterOil has during 4Q completed eight wells of which seven wells are set in production and one is under final testing. Five wells are located in Colombia and three in Peru. In the South Mirador area in Peru, InterOil has also throughout December dual completed five wells. The campaign has contributed to InterOils steady production in 4Q. InterOil plans to start the 2010 drilling campaign in the second quarter of this year. The plan is to drill seventeen wells in Peru and eight in Colombia. In Colombia InterOil currently signed a deal with a major Colombian drilling contractor to drill two exploration wells in the Altair license in March/April 2010 at their cost. By doing this the contractor will receive 10% of the Altair License. InterOil production guidance for 2010 is 8'500 - 9'500 boe/day.
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