UK oil explorer Premier Oil said it expects oil and gas production to be flat in 2010, compared to 2009, after a big achievement lifted 2009 output by 21 percent.

Premier Oil’s 2009 exploration spend was approximtely $110 million. Eight wells, out of the 12 drilled, successfully encountered oil and gas, including four successes out of five wells on the NW Gemsa Block in Egypt, which has now been sold. 

Premier said it was sticking to its medium term output target of 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boepd), though they previously announced an expected strongest growth in 2011 and 2012. 

Premier said oil and gas production averaged 44,200 boepd in 2009, helped by its acquisition of the North Sea unit of troubled Canadian oil producer Oilexco.

Planned spend for 2010 is around $150 million, with 12 wells currently planned.