Feb 7 (Reuters) - Africa-focused oil and natural gas producer Tullow Oil reported on Wednesday a surprise annual operating profit after three years in the red, and said it expected first oil from Kenya in 2021 or 2022.
The company reported an operating profit of $22 million for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $755 million in 2016. Analysts were expecting a loss of $103.6 million, according to company-compiled consensus.
Tullow said working interest production was 32 percent higher at an average of 94,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2017. It forecast 2018 production in the range of 86,000 to 95,000 boepd.
The company said it planned phased development in Kenya, with final investment decision expected in 2019. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)