(Corrects to say free cash flow at $410 mln, not $400 mln in third paragraph)
* Uganda farm-out’s $208 mln inflow slips into 2019
* 2018 free cash flow at $410 mln
* Net debt at $3.1 bln
LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Tullow Oil’s production is set to grow to between 94,000 and 102,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day (boed) this year, it said in a trading update on Wednesday, from 90,000 boed last year as it increases output in Ghana.
The Africa-focused company had previously expected around $208 million from selling part of its stake in Ugandan oilfields to come in before the end of 2018, but the timeframe slipped which weighed on free cash flow and debt reduction.
Free cash flow stood at $410 million. It had previously said its cash flow for 2018 could reach as much as $700 million. Crude oil slumped by more than a third in the second half of 2018 to below $50 a barrel.
Tullow’s net debt at the end of last year stood at $3.1 billion, higher than the $2.8 billion forecast.
Uganda’s energy minister said on Dec. 20 that she had given Tullow conditional approval to sell part of its stake in Ugandan oilfields to France’s Total and China’s CNOOC but only after $167 million of tax on the deal is paid, a view Tullow disagrees with.
Tullow said in November it would return to paying dividends, which it suspended in 2015 due to the oil price crash, and expects to pay out at least $100 million from 2019 with an option for a special dividend for this year.
Tullow said it had hedged around 55,700 barrels of oil per day (bopd) at a floor of $56.24 a barrel this year.
Its 2020 hedging position locked in 25,000 bopd with an average floor price protected of $59.00 a barrel.
Reporting by Shadia Nasralla, editing by Louise Heavens