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Columbus Energy boosts half year revenues and sees cash inflows by year end

Company says cash inflows mean it can drill SWP target in Trinidad without a partner
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Production from Goudron can rise to 900bpd by mid-2018

Trinidad-based oiler Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP) expects to become cash flow positive by the end of 2017 following the start of a waterflood programme at the Goudron field.

The company, formerly known as LGO Energy, received a permit to start the programme yesterday and expects production to rise to 550 barrels per day by the end of 2017 and to 900bpd by mid-2018.

READ: Columbus Energy starts recovery journey with waterflood permit

READ: Columbus Energy gets approval to start production booster project in Trinidad

Production totalled 65,500 barrels (84,500) in the first six months of 2017 with Goudron averaging 327 daily.

The end of production from Columbus’ Spanish operation in January had dented output in the first half.

Interim revenues rose to £2.46mln (£1.92mln) as higher oil prices and timing of sales offset the producition decline while after tax losses were little changed at £1.96mln.

Cash holdings were £1.68mln at the period end since when financier Lind has agreed to top up a convertible loan to the group by a further US$750,000.

Leo Koot, executive chairman, added that this additional cash plus the money to come from the Goudron work means it can fund the first wells on the 'potetially tranformational'  South West Peninsula assets in Trinidad without a partner, though it may look for one over the medium-term.

"This will allow the business to drill, from our own cash resources, the most attractive exploration/appraisal wells in our under-explored SWP acreage. Preparation for drilling is expected to start mid-2018 when the commercial negotiations have been completed and all necessary Government approvals received."

House broker VSA said that interim results should mark a turning point with the restoration of profitability at the core operations, ie Goudron, to provide stable cash flow for unlocking the exploration potential.

Utilising water injection and other well stimulation techniques such as smart pumping systems are the basis of the 550bopd by year end target. Early injectivity tests have resulted in tenfold increases in production rates so far.

SWP, meanwhile, represents Comumbus’ transformational growth opportunity and the ability to develop the asset internally is a significant positive step in VSA’s view.

The broker’s target price remains 25p against 3.18p, down 4% today, currently, with ‘buy’ the recommendation.

--update for broker comment, share price --


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