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Retrospective Tullow 14/1/2009

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1Retrospective Tullow  14/1/2009 Empty Retrospective Tullow 14/1/2009 le Mer 14 Jan - 19:30



Weekly Review
Tullow Oil, which we must now call a mid cap company rather than a junior has this week announced significant oil discoveries in Uganda and Ghana. It shares have been motoring up since October as investors regained their nerve and realised the huge potential the company is unlocking in an area like Uganda once dismissed as barren.

I must declare, as they say, an interest in Tullow. Not that I have a! ny shares in the company, I do not. But I have a soft spot for the group, because when we were starting in the early 2000s, Tullow was one of the first companies to subscribe to our website. Importantly, the company agreed to present at our first conference in June 2004. They have come back every year since then and have added greatly to’s credibility. In a sense writing about companies like Tullow and getting them in front of investors encapsulates what oilbarrel is all about.

Tullow Oil was set up in 1985 at the start of the oil price depression which followed the second oil “shock “ in 1979 in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution. It was founded by Irish accountant Aidan Heavy who had no oil experience but a solid business background in distribution companies.

In the 1980s and 190s oil and gas exploration was dominated by the National Oil Companies (NOCs) and the major like Exxon, BP, Shell. As price tumbled they fell to just ove! r US$10 barrel at one point. There was a wave of mergers BP/Amoco, Exxon/Mobil, Chevron Texaco. This meant the big boys divesting them selves of staff, explorers and engineers but more importantly gave small companies the chance to pick up so called marginal acreage cheaply, because the big companies not longer considered the assets “material” to their needs, at low oil prices.

In the UK, in particular, the discovery of North Sea oil created a steady stream of personnel and expertise in companies such as Lasmo, Enterprise, Pict, British Borneo, Monument, Cairn. In Ireland names such as Tuskar, Atlantic Resources, Oliver Resources ,Bula, Tullow, Eglington were founded during this period.

From 1990 to 2000 Tullow steadily expanded its team and resources acquiring acreage and production in the UK, South Asia and Africa. But it was still a small played producing a few thousand barrels of oil equivalent a day.

In 2000 ! just as the oil industry was starting to regain its energy and opportunity for growth, Tullow acquired a portfolio of gas producing interests in the southern North Sea from BP, who were forced to dispose of them by the EU. This gave Tullow a big step up in output.

In 2004 Tullow announced the acquisition of Energy Africa, A South African listed company for US$570 million. This group had a large portfolio of exploration assets in little explored areas of Africa. So Tullow went from growth by deal making to growth by successful exploration.

Today Tullow is producing over 80,000 barrels of boepd. It earns more than £600 million a year in revenue -more a day than all of 1999. And the share price, well this has gone from around 40 p in 2003 to over 730p recently.

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