LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - North Sea and South East Asian-focused oil explorer Premier Oil produced more oil than expected over the first six months of 2014 mainly thanks to higher output from its UK fields.
The positive production results allow newly-appointed chief executive Tony Durrant a smooth start to leading the energy company that is under pressure to restore its production credentials after a string of downgrades last year.
"In the second half, we will focus again on achieving our production targets, on the installation of the Solan facilities and on progressing the Sea Lion project," Durrant said in a statement.
The Sea Lion field in the disputed Falklands Islands is one of Premier Oil's flagship projects and the company plans to carry out a geotechnical survey at the site in the coming months to kick start its appraisal process.
The firm produced around 56 percent more oil in Britain than over the first six months of last year, mainly due to the inclusion of new fields such as Huntington.
Its output averaged 64,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) over the first half of the year, 10 percent above the same time last year.
The company maintained its full-year forecast of 58,000-63,000 boepd, incorporating summer maintenance. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Kate Holton)