Norwegian independent oil firm OKEA will ask its bondholders for a waiver of bond covenants and sees a risk of the Yme field development being delayed until 2021, the company said on Tuesday.
The firm co-founded by Norway's former oil minister Ola Borten Moe and majority-owned by Thailand's Bangchak Corporation operates the Draugen oilfield and has a 15% stake in Repsol's Yme project.
"The current plan is to start production at Yme by the end of 2020, but given the situation with COVID-19... there is a clear likelihood that we will go into 2021," Knut Gjertsen, OKEA's head of projects and technology, said as the company presented first-quarter earnings.
The company booked a non-cash impairment of 634 million Norwegian crowns ($60.47 million) on assets due to the sharp fall in oil and gas prices.
OKEA's Chief Financial Officer Birte Norheim said the company hired DNB Markets to advise in talks with bondholders as it prepares to seek waivers on bond covenants that were at risk of a temporary breach in 2020 due to the fall in oil prices.
The company's Oslo-listed shares were down 1.7% by 0859 GMT, underperforming a 0.2% rise in European energy stocks, and have fallen by 55% year-to-date.
($1 = 10.4852 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik)