Tap Oil turns on the profit

West Australian oil company Tap Oil reported a 63% rise in net profit to $9.35 million for the half year to December 2002. Revenues rose 37% to $24.9 million, compared with $18.2 million in the previous corresponding.

Tap said the results were underpinned by a surging production levels from the Harriet Joint Venture with Apache Energy and by the strong oil price.

Liquids production was up by 42% to 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent due to three new Simpson oil wells coming on stream as well as earlier than expected commissioning of the Victoria Area oil field. The oil price was a robust $49 a barrel.

Tap said the Woollybutt field is scheduled to come on stream in mid-March at a rate of 35,000 barrels a day. Woollybutt is expected to have a major impact on Tap's profit in future years, delivering more 60% of the company's forward production.

A strong balance sheet has been maintained with a net debt to equity ratio of just 1% at December 2002. The company did not declare a dividend.