Tullow hopes crude oil finds in Uganda will translate into production by 2011
Exploration and production firm Tullow oil says profits for 2009 were down 93% but it has made oil discoveries and upgraded prospects in Ghana and Uganda.
Pre-tax profits for the year ending in December 2009 were £20m ($30m), against £299m the year before.
Tullow said it was hit by lower oil and gas prices, and sterling's weakness.
Chief executive Aidan Heavey said the results "reflect a period of financial transition", and that Tullow was planning up to 30 new wells in 2010.
Tullow's assets are mainly undeveloped oil fields and land held for exploration.
They estimate their prospects in Ghana, including a new find at Tweneboa, equate to 4.5 billion barrels of oil.
And they hope to see the first oil from the $3.1bn (£2.1bn) Ghanaian Jubilee field by the end of this year.
In Uganda, Tullow say they have identified over 800 million barrels of oil, and highlighted a major 300 million barrel discovery at their Jobi-Rii field.
Tullow said French oil firm Total , as well as Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, will partner it to develop the Ugandan Lake Albert Rift Basin fields that it was formerly developing with Heritage Oil.
In a statement Tullow it expected the transactions "to be signed in coming weeks".
And they hope to see commercial oil production from Uganda from 2011.