Venture Releases Interim Results for 1H 2005

Venture's Chief Executive, Mike Wagstaff commented 'The first half of 2005 highlighted the impact of Venture's North Sea development program. This year, production has risen threefold from 13,300 boepd in the first quarter to 40,000 boepd currently, with further growth anticipated for the remainder of this year and into 2006. Both of our key 2005 operated projects, Annabel and Gadwall, came on stream and are producing ahead of expectations. North Sea gas production, now represents over half of Venture's total production, and is set to increase further in the near term. As a result, Venture is well placed to benefit from the current tight UK gas market.

Our results for the first half of 2005 reflect the strong underlying operating performance of Venture's business, which was in line with expectations. However, our interim accounts were affected by issues relating to the introduction of IFRS and other non-cash adjustments. The effect of the majority of these is expected to unwind in the second half of the year.

With a broad and diversified asset base, an attractive development inventory and the key long term contracts in place, Venture is set to continue its current growth from delivery of its development program for the foreseeable future.'

Operational Highlights

  • Record production levels - average production up 35% to 24,255 boepd (2004 - 17,969 boepd)
  • 52% of total first half production North Sea gas - over 100 MMcfpd (16,700 boepd) of new gas production added already in 2005
  • Two new operated developments (Annabel and Gadwall) brought on stream - production from both exceeds expectations
  • UKCS development programme on track - currently operating three drilling units
  • Three North Sea acquisitions - adding to long term development inventory
  • Withdrawal from Trinidad agreed - Venture will be a pure UK North Sea company

Financial Highlights

  • Strong operating performance in line with expectations
  • Revenue up 59% to £56.1 million (2004 - £35.2 million) - driven by higher production levels and commodity prices
  • Underlying operating performance up 118% to £20.1 million (2004 - £9.2 million)
  • Pre-tax loss of £5.9 million (2004 - pre-tax profit of £5.8 million) impacted by non-cash items:

  • - IFRS - £16.0 million
    - Non-cash foreign currency loss - £6.0 million
  • Total capital expenditure (including acquisitions) of £82.3 million (2004 - £10.7 million)