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Paladin Resources (PLR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 18 May, 2005

Paladin Resources

AGM Statement

Paladin Resources PLC
18 May 2005

Paladin Resources plc
("Paladin", "the Company" or "the Group")



AGM Statement



The following statement was made by Paladin's Chairman, Malcolm Gourlay, at the
Company's Annual General Meeting held today:



"Since 1997, Paladin has followed a consistent strategy which has delivered
excellent returns for shareholders. I am pleased to report that 2004 saw a
continuation of the positive trend with another set of record financial results,
strong operating results and good progress in developing the Company through an
active capital investment programme, exploration successes and further
acquisitions.



With regard to the outlook for 2005, results to date have been very encouraging.
We are currently producing oil and gas at net rates in excess of 50,000 boepd,
we are generating cash at record levels and have enjoyed further exploration
success.



Net production for the year to date has averaged 48,000 boepd, which is in line
with our expectations.



After taking account of planned maintenance programme shutdowns on the MonArb
and Veslefrikk Fields which begin at the end of this month, and positive
contributions from the ongoing capital investment programme, we anticipate that
annualised Group production for 2005 will be some 20 per cent higher than 2004
at around 50,000 boepd.



In the UK, the single subsea production well for the Brechin Field has recently
been successfully drilled and the development is on schedule and budget for
first oil in early July. An infill drilling programme on the Montrose Field is
now also well underway, and development plans for the Wood Field and for export
of gas from the MonArb field complex have recently been formally approved.
Production will start in late 2006, peaking at over 5,000 bpd of oil and
21MMscfd of export gas (some 5,000 boepd net to Paladin).



Excellent progress is being made towards formal approvals within the next few
months for the development of the Paladin-operated Blane and Enoch oil
discoveries which straddle the UK-Norwegian median line. We anticipate first
production from both fields in the second half of 2006.



In Norway, initial production from recent infill wells on the Njord and
Veslefrikk Fields has exceeded expectations. Firm plans are now in place to
drill two Paladin-operated wells in the second half of the year. One will test
the Aimee prospect adjacent to the abandoned Yme Field, which is a candidate for
redevelopment, and the other will test the Hummer Prospect, some 10 km to the
north of the Blane Field.



In Australia, the acquisition of BHP Billiton's interests in the Laminaria and
Corallina Fields late last year, and the subsequent agreement to acquire part of
Shell's interests in these fields, with completion expected later this month,
has added a new material producing area for the Company. We share the view of
Woodside, the operator, that there are attractive investment opportunities in
and around the Laminaria and Corallina Fields. As planned, a mobile rig is now
preparing to drill a pilot hole for an infill production well on the Laminaria
Field, which will be followed by an exploration well on the North Petalonia
prospect. Paladin will open an office in Perth, Western Australia in the near
future to manage our acquired interests and to identify new business
opportunities.





On the exploration front, in southern Tunisia the Nour-1 exploration well has
recently encountered an aggregate 48 metres of net oil and gas condensate pay
and 10 metres of net gas pay which on cleanup test produced at rates of
approximately 2,800 bpd and 15.6 MMscfd of oil and gas respectively. As with the
three previous discoveries, we anticipate that Nour will be tied back to
existing process facilities and be in production within two to three months of
discovery.



As far as business development is concerned, the Company remains very active. As
well as establishing an Australian position in the last few months, we entered
into agreements to secure an operated interest in the Fiddich gas and condensate
discovery, which lies some 20 km to the southeast of our MonArb Fields. Subject
to ongoing detailed engineering studies, Fiddich is a further potential
development project within Paladin's core area in the North Sea.



In summary, Paladin and its shareholders have another excellent year in
prospect. Group production is currently at record levels in excess of 50,000
boepd which, with current commodity prices, augurs extremely well for 2005
financial performance. For the longer term, we are making good progress on a
capital investment programme which will deliver significant production growth in
the coming years. We are also well placed to make further acquisitions which
complement the existing portfolio as and when attractive and material
opportunities present themselves."


                                                                     18 May 2005





ENQUIRIES

Paladin Resources plc
Roy A. Franklin, Chief Executive              Tel: 020 7024 4500
Cuth McDowell, Finance Director               Tel: 020 7024 4500



College Hill
Jim Joseph                                    Tel: 020 7457 2020
Ben Brewerton                                 Tel: 020 7457 2020


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            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange