Dragon Oil Says 2013 Output to Be at Lower End of Target

Dragon Oil Plc, an explorer focused on Turkmenistan, said production growth in 2013 will be at the lower end of its 10 percent to 15 percent target.

Output increases will return to about 15 percent next year as it seeks to achieve 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2015, it said today in a statement in London. Profit slipped 7 percent in 2012 to $600 million.

Dragon has added assets in Iraq and Tunisia to diversify from its main production base in Turkmenistan and plans to use five drilling rigs this year, up from three in 2012. The company raised its dividend to 30 cents a share from 20 cents in 2011 and it bought back $200 million in shares last year.

“We’re on target to meet our production growth potential in 2015,” Chief Executive Officer Abdul Jaleel Al Khalifa said in a phone interview. “Drilling is mostly focused on the second-half of this year and there will be more in 2014, but 2013 still has a lot of potential.”

Shares rose 1.6 percent to 592 pence in London. The stock has gained 13 percent in the past year.

The company will continue to seek acquisitions in Africa and Asia, Al Khalifa said, without naming specific countries. Dividends will remain in the same range as 2012’s in the coming years and may see some “modest growth,” he said.