JKX Oil & Gas Says Output to Rise as Focus Shifts to Ukraine

JKX Oil & Gas Plc, an energy producer active in eastern Europe, said production will rise as it focuses on expanding capacity in Ukraine.

The company will exceed 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Paul Davies said in a telephone interview. Output slipped 8 percent to 8,281 barrels a day in 2012.

JKX shares have slumped more than 40 percent since the start of 2012 amid delays to a gas project in Russia and falling output in Ukraine. While the company gets more than 60 percent of production from Russia, where gas prices are lower, its investments in Ukraine will increase the ratio coming from that more profitable market by the middle of next year, Davies said.

“More than 70 percent of our capital expenditure is focused on Ukraine and our big program in Russia is behind us,” Davies said. “Our reserves and resources grew last year and will grow again this year.”

JKX said operating profit fell 37 percent to $51.6 million last year. The shares fell 7.7 percent to 70.5 pence in London.