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Premier Oil Drops as Production Forecast Misses Estimates

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Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Premier Oil Plc, a U.K. explorer operating from Brazil to Vietnam, fell the most in more than two years in London as an output forecast missed analyst estimates.

Premier dropped 6.5 percent to 288 pence, the biggest decline since Aug. 25, 2011, and the lowest price since June 2010. It was the worst performer on the Stoxx 600 Oil & Gas Index.

“Our output in 2014, after taking into account production efficiency and planned maintenance periods, is expected to be in the region of 58,000 to 63,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day,” the company said in a statement. That’s below its 75,000-barrel-a-day capacity.

“This morning’s update may raise the specter of missed production targets,” Oswald Clint, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in London, wrote in an e-mailed report. The forecast missed his estimate by about 10 percent.

Production in 2013 rose just 0.8 percent to 58,200 barrels a day, having been curbed by field shutdowns in the North Sea. London-based Premier plans to drill 13 wells in 2014, targeting more than 160 million barrels of oil and gas resources.

The company has suffered setbacks including disruption at the BP Plc-operated CATS pipeline, which exports gas from its North Sea Huntington field, and damage to a link from the Chim Sao deposit in Vietnam.

Sales rose about 7.1 percent to $1.5 billion last year, the company said, in advance of its annual results on Feb. 27. Premier plans to increase project investment this year by 12 percent to about $1.2 billion.

Separately, Premier and partner Rockhopper Exploration Plc said today they agreed on an oil platform for use at their Sea Lion discovery off the Falkland Islands.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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