Serica Energy announces AGM results



    LONDON, June 25 /CNW/ - Serica Energy plc ("Serica" or the "Company") is
pleased to announce that all of the resolutions set out in the Notice of
Annual General Meeting dated 26th May 2009 were duly passed at the Annual
General Meeting held today.
    Serica also announces that a statement made by Tony Craven Walker,
Chairman, given at the AGM today is attached and the AGM presentation is
available to view at www.serica-energy.com

    Forward Looking Statements

    This disclosure contains certain forward looking statements that involve
substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, some of which are
beyond Serica Energy plc's control, including: the impact of general economic
conditions where Serica Energy plc operates, industry conditions, changes in
laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and
regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased
competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management,
fluctuations in foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility
and market valuations of companies with respect to announced transactions and
the final valuations thereof, and obtaining required approvals of regulatory
authorities. Serica Energy plc's actual results, performance or achievement
could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward
looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of
the events anticipated by the forward looking statements will transpire or
occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits, including the amount of
proceeds, that Serica Energy plc will derive therefrom.

    
    Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as
    that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts
    responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

    To receive Company news releases via email, please contact
catarina@chfir.com and specify "Serica press releases" in the subject line.

    TEXT OF CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT AT SERICA ENERGY PLC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
    - JUNE 25, 2009
    

    The following is the text of the presentation made by Tony Craven Walker,
Chairman of Serica Energy plc, to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting
held at 10:00am on Thursday, 25th June, 2009 at Central Court, 25 Southampton
Buildings, London, WC2A 1AL
    Our meeting last year was held on 19 June. In the intervening 12 months
we have experienced a collapse and partial rebound of oil prices, a virtual
meltdown of financial markets and the onset of a serious recession - a perfect
storm. None of this was forecast by market analysts and many much larger
companies have suffered severe contractions to their businesses as a result.
    For a small oil and gas exploration company such as Serica steering a
business through such turbulence brings excessive demands on management. That
the Serica team has been able to do so and still maintain growth prospects is
a testament to the skills of the management team and to shareholders and to
our bankers who have been consistent in providing continuing support.
    In my address to shareholders last year I said that we were cautious on
the oil price which had then reached dizzying heights. In the event we were
proved right to be so. I explained then that we were conducting a strategy
aimed at reducing our exposure to falls in the oil price and also containing
the costs resulting from the very high prices of services and equipment. I
said that we would be seeking to manage these exposures through asset
disposals and farm-outs.
    It is pleasing to be able to report that we have been very successful at
achieving both of these objectives and this has, in large part, been the
reason for our healthy position today. In August we completed the sale of a
15% interest in the Kambuna field for cash proceeds of US$52.7 million and a
profit of US$36.6 million. The sale implied a value for the part of the field
retained by Serica of US$175 million or some 78 pence per share at current
exchange rates when taken together with the cash received from the part sale.
    We also raised a large part of our exploration costs through successful
farm-outs, namely the Chablis appraisal well, the Bandon wildcat well in
Ireland and the three well exploration programme in Vietnam. The total
contribution to drilling costs through these farm-outs is expected to be over
US$50 million. To achieve this contribution in addition to the US$52.7 million
cash received from the Kambuna sale was no mean feat when set against the
collapsing financial markets in which management has had to operate. This
policy of judicious management of our assets by selective sale and farm-out is
a major plank in our strategy to enhance shareholder value and is one which we
plan to continue.
    We need also to combine this with a strategy to expand our portfolio of
exploration and production assets. The Company's business is the growth of
value through the combination of technical skills and the management of risk
and this can only be done against a growing and changing portfolio of
properties. An added objective is to supplement our sources of income in order
to reduce reliance on financial markets which are normally counter-cyclical to
financial needs and to the availability of opportunity. So, in addition to a
programme of asset realisation and capital raising through farm-down, we are
also continually evaluating opportunities for acquisitions through which we
might improve liquidity for shareholders, expand the borrowing base for banks
and thereby enhance options for raising capital and reducing the cost of doing
so.
    In parallel we continue to build our portfolio by application for new
licences over blocks where we feel our particular technical skills can
generate value. At the end of last week we announced that we had been awarded
two licences over 12,700 square kilometres in the Atlantic margin offshore
Morocco and today we are announcing the award of North Sea Block 22/19c, close
to our Columbus block, in which we see prospects analogous to Columbus. We are
very pleased with these awards.
    Serica is sitting on an enviable base from which to grow. We expect
shortly to start production from the Kambuna field in Indonesia. I am told
that we are basically putting finishing touches to all the equipment in
preparation for the commissioning process. Paul and Peter will give a precise
update in their presentation. In the UK, armed with the knowledge derived from
BG's drilling in the block neighbouring Columbus we are now able to move the
Columbus Development Plan forward and we shall be looking at ways in which we
can accelerate the value which we see in the Columbus area.
    In Ireland, we have made a most interesting oil discovery in an area
which is largely known for its gas prospects. The significance of this
discovery is that it potentially opens up the possibilities for serious oil
accumulations in a basin which is very under-explored. The knowledge that
Serica and its partner RWE of Germany now have as a result of this drilling is
unique and is the reason why we have not released much more information. A
full analysis of the drilling results and of the oil samples recovered is now
underway but is very likely to result in further drilling by Serica in the
area. The full extent of what we have discovered remains to be evaluated but
we have already identified further prospects, both oil and gas, in the blocks
that we hold and are looking to see how we can bring a drilling programme
forward.
    All this, of course, requires capital and the commencement of production
is very important to us as we look at the financing alternatives. We can of
course, continue to farm down, and we are planning to do so in relation to our
100% owned block in the East Irish Sea, where we have identified a large
prospect to drill close to Centrica's Morecambe Bay field, and in our Kutai
licence in Indonesia where we hold a 54.6% interest, but it would not be in
the interest of shareholders to base our entire programme on a farm-out
process. We shall therefore be seeking to balance the farm-out process with
new investment in order to maintain shareholder exposure and maximise return.
    Needless to say this is a complex process and leads to much debate on
strategy but the industry is largely opportunity driven and, with the
continuing support of shareholders and our bankers I believe that we have the
management experience and knowledge to achieve these objectives.

    %SEDAR: 00022686E




For further information:

For further information: Enquiries: Serica Energy plc: Paul Ellis, CEO,
paul.ellis@serica-energy.com, +44 (0)20 7487 7300; Chris Hearne, CFO,
chris.hearne@serica-energy.com, +44 (0)20 7487 7300; JPMorgan Cazenove: Steve
Baldwin, +44 (0)20 7588 2828; Tristone Capital Limited: Majid Shafiq,
mshafiq@tristonecapital.com, +44 (0)20 7355 5872; Pelham: Philip Dennis,
philip.dennis@pelhampr.com, +44 (0)20 7337 1516; Andy Cornelius,
andy.cornelius@pelhampr.com, +44 (0)20 7337 1514; CHF - Canada: Cathy Hume,
cathy@chfir.com, (416) 868-1079; Catarina Cerqueira, catarina@chfir.com, (416)
868-1079

Organization Profile

SERICA ENERGY PLC

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890