Fundamental Research targets Permex Petroleum at Buy ahead of growth plans Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:02:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum OIL (CNSX:OIL) CEO Mehran Ehsan tells Proactive Investors the junior oiler has had a 'buy' rating bestowed upon it by Fundamental Research.

Permex’s current portfolio includes eight producing properties, including six in Texas, and two in New Mexico. In the past few months, Permex has made a significant number of acqusitions, Mehran saying, "Fundamental looked this as a strategy for Permex as a junior to not only grow on the current holdings it has but in the shadow of a large cap as well." 

]]> Permex Petroleum started at Buy at Fundamental Research ahead of accelerated growth plans Wed, 18 Jul 2018 17:42:00 +0100 Horse Hill oil stocks advance on initial production test results Wed, 18 Jul 2018 14:54:00 +0100 Tlou Energy says core drilling rig has arrived for Lesedi project Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:42:00 +0100 FuelCell to add over 100 manufacturing jobs at Connecticut facility Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:40:00 +0100 Still Standing anti-swelling foot spray attracting celebrities like Viola Davis and Selena Gomez Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:41:00 +0100 Still Standing LLC CEO Lyn Butler tells Proactive Investors the company the produces anti-swelling foot spray is attracting celebrities like Viola Davis and Selena Gomez.

Butler says the company has done more than half a million dollars in sales, and have spent less than $3,000 in marketing. Butler says the company is looking to raise $2 mln to spend more money on marketing. 

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Carr’s Group#: H2 Trading Update Wed, 18 Jul 2018 09:07:00 +0100 Carr’s Group#: H2 Trading Update

Carr’s Group (LON:CARR)#, the agriculture and engineering group, has provided a trading update for the 17 week period ended 30 June 2018.

  • Trading slightly ahead of expectations and significantly ahead YoY across both agriculture and engineering
  • Second interim dividend of 1.075p declared, +13% YoY (2017: 0.95p)
  • Preliminary results to be released on 12 November

VSA Comment


In its interim results on 16 April, CARR had already confirmed that it was experiencing much better trading conditions this year, with a more than 20% YoY increase in PBT recorded for H1. This trading update confirms that, as we forecast, conditions have improved further into H2 across both divisions.

In agriculture, CARR has seen improvement in feed volumes, retail sales, machinery sales, fuel sales and feed block sales. UK milk prices remain high with the average DEFRA price recorded at c27p as of May (last available data) and many UK milk processors announcing price increases for August.

It looks positive for CARR going into this winter as well, as the recent hot weather will be impacting the quality and amount of silage cut for storage and use during the period. Therefore, farmers will need to purchase additional animal feed.

In our opinion, the recent increases in feed wheat pricing are likely to be maintained given the hot weather will now likely impact the size and quality of the 2018 harvest. These higher prices will be passed onto farmers and should result in higher revenues for the group in FY 2019.

Having highlighted an “excellent recovery” across its various engineering businesses in H1, it is encouraging to see this has carried through into the second half as well, with a strong recovery in UK manufacturing particularly notable. Acquired in August 2017, integration of US nuclear engineering business NuVision is progressing well and significantly strengthening the group’s order book in this area. The group has also highlighted potential new opportunities for the division in the US and China, which continue to be explored. 

Current FactSet consensus forecast for FY 2018 (Y/E 1 September 2018) is for revenue of £380.1m, EBITDA of £18.5m and a PBT of £15.7m.


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]]> Mosman Oil and Gas looks forward to new drilling Wed, 18 Jul 2018 08:22:00 +0100 Kosmos Energy wins rig fees arbitration against Tullow Oil Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:43:00 +0100 Severn Trent maintains outlook after 'good start' to the year Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:41:00 +0100 88 Energy remains upbeat over potential of Alaska shale play Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:04:00 +0100 Mosman Oil & Gas announces strategic alliance - drilling to begin in August Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:00:00 +0100 Mosman Oil And Gas Limited's (LON:MSMN) technical director Andy Carroll discusses with Proactive their participation in the Stanley Development Drilling Project, located onshore Texas through a new strategic alliance with the privately owned company Baja Oil & Gas.

The first joint project will be to drill the Stanley well located in the Livingston Oilfield which is scheduled to begin during July and August this year.

]]> W Resources pushing into gold with positive drilling results from Sao Martino site Wed, 18 Jul 2018 06:37:00 +0100 W Resources chairman Michael Masterman spoke with Proactive Investors and says “everybody understand gold… and a small, growing gold deposit can provide very substantial value to shareholders”

The Portuguese site, once operational, will help the company diversify its offering, but the world’s most durable metals tungsten still remains a core focus for the business.

“[La Parilla] will be the largest tungsten mine development in Europe and development is going very well”

]]> Haydale Graphene notes new graphene characterisation service at University of Manchester Wed, 18 Jul 2018 06:30:00 +0100 SDX Energy lands US$10mln funding with EBRD Wed, 18 Jul 2018 06:18:00 +0100 Golden Rim Resources makes its third gold discovery in Burkina Faso Wed, 18 Jul 2018 04:13:00 +0100 Golden Rim Resources (ASX: GMR) is an exploration company which has just made a new gold discovery at its Kouri project in Burkina Faso.

Local knowledge and years of experience have allowed the company to operate in what is one of the most gold-rich and under-explored countries in the world.

Managing director Craig Mackay spoke with Proactive Investors about the find and says “we certainly think that we’ve got a very prospective area and that it could be one of the next in line [for production]”

The company focuses its energy mainly on projects in the West African country as well as having projects in Chile.

]]> Consolidated Zinc 'in production before the end of the year' with under US$5M Capex Wed, 18 Jul 2018 03:56:00 +0100 Consolidated Zinc Ltd (ASX:CZL) chief executive Bradley Marwood speaks to Proactive Investors about the company's Plomasas Project in Mexico, a historical mine with a large-scale, high-grade legacy.

"We've had a new discovery where we have found a parallel structure in the limestones, which is called the Tres Amigos [Resource]... We have found three separate structures, one of which we have defined for 400 metres vertically, and the two parallel structures sitting underneath it are yet to be well-defined. So we've got continuity along strike of 600 metres, but we have surface expression over seven kilometres," says Marwood.

Existing infrastructure from historic mining operations gives the company good access to the orebody, and a processing plant that will be refurbished.

The project will be developed in three phases, with the Stage 1 development happening this year. Marwood says, "we're anticipating that we'll be in production before the end of the year... we're currently looking at less than US$5 million to bring the mine into production."

Angela Pankhurst will join the board as non-executive director effective August 1st.

]]> Carnarvon Petroleum surges 51% on oil discovery at Dorado-1 well on North West Shelf Wed, 18 Jul 2018 01:12:00 +0100 Alto Metals drill holes at Sandstone show "very encouraging" results Tue, 17 Jul 2018 23:12:00 +0100 Alto Metals Ltd (ASX: AME) is a gold exploration company with a key project in the East Murchison Mineral field in Western Australia.

Alto’s most recent assays from the Hancock Prospect show some promising results with managing director Dermot Ryan telling Proactive Investors “the potential I think is there for multi-million ounce deposits at Sandstone”.

The company aims to ultimately mine at least 5 million ounces of gold at the Sandstone project, which sits in a well-established gold mining area of the country.

“We intend to turn some of these targets into resource ounces over next six to 12 months” says Mr Ryan.

]]> The Environmental Group signs $7 million contract Tue, 17 Jul 2018 22:21:00 +0100 Crop Infrastructure Corp tenant at The Park in Washington state expects harvest within six weeks Tue, 17 Jul 2018 16:40:00 +0100 DGOC continues its ambitious, acquisitive strategy Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:46:00 +0100 Mosman Oil and Gas jumps as it reports a sales revenue increase of almost 200% Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:17:00 +0100 Welch proving to be a 'star performer' as Mosman Oil And Gas increases production Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:24:00 +0100 Andy Carroll, Mosman Oil And Gas Limited’s (LON:MSMN) technical director talks Proactive through the company's first half operations update.

Mosman saw total gross production of 12,260 boe over the 6 months to the end of June - a 28% increase over the previous 6 months.

Net production to Mosman during the period increased to 4,417 boe.

]]> The Pay Zone - Oil price, Genel Energy, Independent Oil & Gas And finally... Tue, 17 Jul 2018 09:38:00 +0100 WTI $68.06 -$2.95, Brent $71.84 -$3.49, Diff -$3.78 -54c, NG $2.76 +1c

Oil price

Yesterday prices fell sharply with the usual combination of factors, mainly on supply this time weighing down on crude oil. Maybe it was the blog ‘wot did it’ as I read this morning that there are worries that the USA may start to release supplies from the SPR to keep a lid on prices as mentioned here yesterday…

It was probably more a combination of Chinese demand stats, small increases in production from Nigeria and Libya and words from Mr Mnuchin that really caused it. Whilst he did say that some special cases would be considered for waivers, I think what he actually said/meant was that the administration would temporarily help countries who needed to change their suppliers with a glance at India as a big customer of Iran.

Genel Energy

An update on the Tawke PSC this morning from Genel which states that there has been a 2/3 increase in production at the Peshkabir field to 25/- b/d following completion of the Peshkabir-4 well testing process. The well is producing at 10/- b/d through a 72/64″ choke with 790 psi wellhead pressure through capacity restrained test facilities. The well was drilled 4km west of the Peshkabir-3 well and 11 zones were tested which flowed between 1,500 and 7,000 per zone.

The next well, Peshkabir-5 has been drilled 7km west of Peshkabir-3 and has already successfully tested the westward extension of the field. It is undergoing trial testing and will be brought onstream in August making the operator DNO confident that it will ‘reach and surpass’ their summer target of 30/- b/d of production. With wells P-6 and P-7 drilling ahead confidence is high that yet further gains in production will be made.

The company say that the field ‘continues to exceed expectations’ in particular as the field is part of the Tawke PSC and accordingly will ‘bolster free cash flow’ currently exceeding $10m per month. Yesterday Genel went into the Bucket list and this is a welcome early boost for investors, I am expecting significantly more to come.

Independent Oil & Gas

IOG has updated on the Thames pipeline integrity confirmation, analysis shows that 60km of the offshore sector  indicates that the pipeline condition is ‘as new’. The company are now completing this integrity test by inspecting the Bacton end of the line in the coming weeks.

As a result of these tests the company are now not going to do the intelligent pigging until first gas although given that the last test was ‘inconclusive’ it will surely need to be done. I imagine that doing it all when the extra 7km has been added is where the cost savings lie given the nature of the process. Finally there has been a small delay in the FID which is now expected at the end of September. I am meeting with the team next week so will update more after that.

Reminder- Bucket list and London South East Investor Evening

Just in case you didn’t see it yesterday, or that two blogs in one day went under the radar, here is the interim bucket list update.

The 2018 Interim Bucket list

And I am very much looking forward to seeing a number of you at tonight’s LSE investor evening.

And here is the interview I gave to LSE ahead of tonight’s show.

London Sout East interview: Rockhopper tops Malcy’s 2018 Interims Bucket List gains

And finally…

I have been reminded that I didn’t mention the England victory over India in the ODI at the weekend, very remiss of me as victories in white ball cricket are quite rare against India…

Ronaldo signs for Juve which should liven things up a bit, who will Real replace him with, Eden Hazard?

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) Tue, 17 Jul 2018 09:23:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has provided an update on the integrity of the Thames Pipeline which demonstrates that further testwork and analysis of the existing data has demonstrated that the condition of the pipeline is “excellent”. Testwork on the cut section by Oilfield Testing Services demonstrated less than expected internal corrosion which shows the pipeline can be considered virtually new.

As a result, of these encouraging results IOG has updated its integrity confirmation plan. It will run a 24 hour hydrotest required under the Pipeline Code in July and August on the section of the pipeline most likely to have suffered from degradation since decommissioning in 2015 i.e. between the Bacton terminal to 1km offshore. However, further intelligent pigging is not now expected to be required until shortly ahead of first gas when the entire export route will be tested, including extensions.

The Thames Pipeline is a critical part of IOG’s project providing a 100% owned export route for its Southern North Sea gas project. These results confirm our view that the pipeline will save the company hundreds of millions in development capital overall, significantly enhancing the economics of the project. Furthermore, at peak production we anticipate c180mmcfd indicating a minimum 120mmcfd spare capacity on which IOG could benefit from exporting third party gas for additional tariff revenue which would further strengthen returns.

There will consequently be some expected cost savings in relation to the updated plan although Field Development Plan approval has now been pushed back to the end of September. With the project approaching FDP and following significant positive announcements regarding the pipeline and resource expansion the shares have rallied 87% since our initiation in March 2018. Although historically sharp rallies in the shares have eased back, with FDP now approaching we believe that further positive progress towards first gas is likely to result in stronger support for the stock.


We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 96p.

]]> Independent Oil and Gas works on ‘key’ pipeline matters Tue, 17 Jul 2018 07:51:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy due US$1.3mln of tax refunds Tue, 17 Jul 2018 07:23:00 +0100 Genel Energy highlights Peshkabir field production growth Tue, 17 Jul 2018 06:57:00 +0100 Drone firm Deveron UAS Corp gets national special flight operations certificate Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:23:00 +0100 CUI Global’s UK energy subsidiary wins major contract for its large-scale biomethane-to-grid skids Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:00:00 +0100 The Pay Zone - Oil price, SDX Energy, Zenith Energy, Pantheon Resources And finally... Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:26:00 +0100

WTI $71.01 +68c, Brent $75.33 +88c, Diff -$4.32 +20c, NG $2.75 -4c

Oil price

With the rally of some sort at the end of the week, crude posted only modest falls after black thursday. WTI fell $2.79 and Brent $1.78, it could have been worse but conflicting pressures remain obstinate even confusing. For example, Libya was the primary reason for the Thursday fall as traders expected a swift return of a short 1m b/d onto the market, as it happened  two workers at the Sharara field were kidnapped and now we are back to square one.

Along with the Norwegian strike escalating and France being refused an Iran waiver the oil market is delicately balanced, with increased production primarily from Saudi Arabia and Russia as well as a modest amount elsewhere it will be fine but margins for error are strictly limited, it may come down to using the US SPR… And the rig count shows us little with overall units up 2 at 1054 and oil u/c at 863 last week.

SDX Energy

More good news from SDX as they announce a successful production test at the SD-4X well at South Disouq in Egypt. The well flowed at a maximum rate of 30.4 MMscfd during an 8 hour clean up period then was shut in for 8 hours with no pressure decline. Then by varying the choke sizes the well flowed for two successive 12 hour periods at average rates of 5.4 MMscfd and 8.6 MMscfd respectively and one extended flow period of 24 hours at 10.5 MMscfd. The well is now shut in for 120 hours then it will be suspended before being connected to local production facilities, in total 23.38 MMscf of gas was produced in the test.

The company has also announced that the acquisition of 240km² of 3D seismic has commenced in the Gharb Centre in Morocco, this should take between 45 and 60 days and will be processed and interpreted in the 4th quarter of this year.

This news from Egypt means that the company’s plan to achieve a plateau of 50 MMscfd of conventional natural gas looks like being easily met, ‘additional confidence’ is the phrase Paul Welch uses and with more drilling ongoing is likely to be exceeded, maybe by quite a bit. The share price, virtually unchanged this morning, does not do justice to what is the firing up of a key part of the company’s strategy.

Zenith Energy

Zenith has provided a detailed RNS this morning regarding its proposed acquisition in Indonesia and also with regard to operations in Azerbaijan. News that the company is not proceeding with the proposed acquisition does not come as a surprise after the due diligence process ‘evidenced negative discrepancies largely exceeding 5% of the book values declared in the financial statements dated February 28th 2018’. Zenith is not the only company that has experienced such difficulties in country and whilst this is disappointing it leaves the management clear to concentrate on Azerbaijan.

In Azerbaijan, the company report that Mr Mike Palmer has resigned and that they have appointed David Sadoway as Operations manager with effect from 1st September. Mr Sadoway has significant experience in workovers and completions in the country and elsewhere so should be able to hit the ground running. This should coincide with the arrival of the new rig and the autumn months will be crucial as Zenith starts to prove up the significant hydrocarbons in country.

Pantheon Resources

Following the sad death of Bobby Gray it seemed inevitable that Pantheon would have to shake up the relationship in the Tyler and Polk County project and today they announce that they hope to acquire Vision’s interests there. The challenge is substantial, the company say it is to be non cash, unsurprisingly, accretive to PANR shareholders and will be financed either by equity, warrants (premium priced of course), a success based royalty or some other non equity consideration. This would bring with it operatorship after which Pantheon are intending to enter a farm-out process to bring in partner(s) to ‘finance future drilling operations’.

Although it is a daunting task, with equally challenging chance of success, this scenario is probably the only one available to the company. It has to buy out Vision whilst maintaining their upside, take over operatorship and then sell down a good chunk of the project to finance the drilling campaign. And this with a notably tricky operational history but also still with potential upside.

And finally…

The World Cup ended with France beating Croatia 4-2 with two dodgy goals and poor reffing but VAR comes out of the process mainly with credit. England looked a touch dispirited and lost the 3rd place play-off to Belgium 2-0. Harry Kane however, has the Golden Boot award for his trophy cabinet.

At Wimbledon Djoko beat Anderson in straight sets after both had had extended semi finals, I know they want to change the rules but these long final sets are rare fun…

At the German MotoGP Jorge Lorenzo’s improving Ducati stormed away from the line, followed by his next years team mate Marquez on the Honda. Marquez hounded him for 12 laps before diving into the lead. Valentino Rossi, also passed Lorenzo who was struggling with deteriorating tyres, and tried hard to stay with Marquez until the Honda rider got the message and pulled away to his 9th successive Sachsenring win and a 46 point Championship lead. Rossi’s 2nd. place was his best result this year, followed by Yamaha team mate Maverick Vinales in 3rd. but Lorenzo’s tyre problems saw him slip back to finish 6th.
Cal Crutchlow slid out of a strong 6th position with 20 laps to go but KTM mounted Bradley Smith sporting his St. Georges flag helmet came a superb 10th showing that, along with Lorenzo, receiving their P45s was perhaps the wake up call they needed.


]]> AFC Energy gears up for commercial push of fuel cell technology Mon, 16 Jul 2018 06:51:00 +0100 Iofina confirms expected sharp increase in output in 2018 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 06:45:00 +0100 SDX Energy “very pleased” with successful production test result at SD-4X Mon, 16 Jul 2018 06:35:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum shares halted pending Dorado-1 well exploration results Mon, 16 Jul 2018 02:04:00 +0100 Core Exploration sees strong financials and short payback period for Finniss Lithium Project Mon, 16 Jul 2018 01:00:00 +0100 Core Exploration Ltd (ASX:CXO) managing director Stephen Biggins speaks with Proactive Investors about the key Finniss Lithium Project.

"Core is developing one of the Australia's highest grade lithium deposits...we've got a project that will deliver high profits, good margins, high NPV"says Mr Biggins.

The company has completed its pre-feasibility study on the deposit and sees an operating profit of around 60% with a payback period of 12 months. Core Exploration has already established an offtake agreement with Chinese lithium producer Yahua, which will also provide a pre-payment facility to help develop the project.

Lithium demand worldwide is going from strength to strength with the rise of electric vehicles and China's tighter environmental controls being key drivers.

]]> White Rock Minerals advancing Red Mountain Project at pace following Sandfire deal Sun, 15 Jul 2018 21:50:00 +0100 White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) managing director and chief executive Matt Gill speaks to Proactive Investors about the explorer and developer's two projects; the Mt Carrington Project in north New South Wales, Australia, and the Red Mountain Project in Alaska, USA.

The flagship Red Mountain Project is the focus of development efforts, which are continuing at pace following a newly-established strategic partnership with Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR). "As we speak we've got over 20 people on the ground doing geochemistry, geophysics and drilling," says Gill.

]]> Daily CryptoCann™ Report: American Express files blockchain patent; Crop Infrastructure’s tenant grower begins Nevada planting Fri, 13 Jul 2018 20:58:00 +0100 The Daily CryptoCann Report™ is where we report on news trending in the cannabis and cryptocurrency spaces.

]]> Daily CryptoCann™ Report: American Express files blockchain patent; Crop Infrastructure’s tenant grower begins Nevada planting Fri, 13 Jul 2018 17:50:00 +0100 Red Oak Mining set to acquire vaporizer company CB Holding Group Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:52:00 +0100 Crop Infrastructure says tenant The Hempire Company has started planting in Nevada Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:47:00 +0100 Macquarie ups SIMEC Atlantis Energy target to 55p from 41p in wake of power producer's transformation Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:24:00 +0100 Europa Oil & Gas sees immediate interest in South Porcupine farmout Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:35:00 +0100 Hugh Mackay, chief executive of Europa Oil & Gas Holdings Plc (LON:EOG), tells Proactive that on the same day they opened up the data room and launched a farmout process for three of their  licences in the South Porcupine Basin they've seen immediate interest from potential partners.

''We already have the target market in our virtual data room looking at the data ... this isn't our first rodeo but that has never happened before''.

Mackay also talks through the updated prospect inventory for the Frontier Exploration Licences 1/17 and 2/13 as well as the recent Wressle planning application submission.

]]> Oil price, Columbus, Solo, *Bucket list alert* And finally... Fri, 13 Jul 2018 09:53:00 +0100

WTI $70.33 -5c, Brent $74.45 +$1.05, Diff -$4.12 +$1.10, NG $2.80 -3c

Oil price

Some recovery yesterday as the IEA report showed concern that with all participants now flat out the market is very vulnerable to serious price swings. Funny that, in 2016 when oil was collapsing and the majors were in panic mode, cutting capex to the bone only a few of us forecast exactly this situation…

But the gloom has returned this morning as Chinese oil consumption data has proved bad and oil is down again, ensuring a down week. The Libyan situation is roughly as expected, not a return to 1.2m b/d but according to tanker watchers already up to 720/- b/d.

Columbus Energy Resources

Columbus has announced the acquisition of Steeldrum Oil Company for £4.4m to be paid in 92.7m in shares plus add-ons. The acquisition, which seems to be a pretty good fit, bring with it 200-250 b/d (5.6m bbls) from the Innis-Trinity and South Erin fields plus a 83% WI in the Cory Moruga development (1.1m bbls). The sellers will hold around 18% of CERP shares in the enlarged company and have a lock-in period of only six months which should be noted.

Columbus are also raising £3.25m via a convertible with Lind AM excersisable at 8.1p as ‘the establishment of such a facility would, in effect, provide an appropriate “financial insurance policy” for the Company for the next six months whilst the new integrated organisation beds-in’.

All in all this is another sensible deal by Columbus which is synergistic and paid for with shares as per their ‘financial discipline’ regime. I think that Leo Koot wants to build the company and has very high ambitions and whilst this is relatively small, it is part of the grand scheme to expand. Keeping his new shareholders on board will be important as I’m sure there are plenty more deals down the road.

Solo Oil

Following the Aminex announcement earlier this week Solo has said that it is ‘reviewing’ its own position in the project although believes that the AEX move is a positive development. It also says that it is in discussions with potential financing partners and more interestingly ‘in parallel with the ongoing marketing process for Solo’s interest in the project’. This confirms, if confirmation was needed, that Solo cannot afford to finance the project and the current shake-up at the company is at last bringing with it a large dose of realism.

Also in the announcement the company say they are waiting for testing at Horse Hill and that there is a shake-up of the board which sees the departure of current Executive Chairman Neil Ritson. Recent moves at Solo indicate that at long last the company is being shaken up and given this morning’s share price move, much appreciated by its shareholders.

*Bucket list alert*

This week I have written the interim Bucket list which due to so much company news this week I intend to publish over the weekend so watch out for a blog then.

And finally…

The MotoGP circus moves to Sachsenring in Germany this weekend for possibly the final time following record losses in 2017. Marc Marquez is unbeaten here in all classes since 2010 so will be looking to add to that record whilst Brit Cal Crutchlow will be hoping to consolidate his Independent Rider lead despite viewing this track as “horrible”

England lost the first ODI to India in what is going to be a hard summer as the visitors are a very special side, at least in white ball cricket.

There is the small matter of two more World Cup games with the useless 3rd place play-off tomorrow with England playing Belgium and France play in the final on Sunday.

Wimbledon is now starting to become interesting, Rafa v Djoko will probably be worth watching…

Racing at Ascot and Newmarket tomorrow looks worth watching, not much else on in the afternoon…


]]> Columbus Energy broadens footprint in Trindad with Steeldrum acquisition Fri, 13 Jul 2018 08:49:00 +0100 Columbus Energy builds on presence in Trinidad with Steeldrum deal Fri, 13 Jul 2018 08:47:00 +0100 Solo Oil executive chairman Neil Ritson to retire later this year Fri, 13 Jul 2018 06:40:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum continues to receive positive drilling results from Dorado-1 well Fri, 13 Jul 2018 01:10:00 +0100 Petroteq Energy stock climbs as company eyes Nasdaq up-listing Thu, 12 Jul 2018 15:45:00 +0100 Echo Energy's Fiona MacAulay delighted with Argentina exploration programme Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:01:00 +0100 Echo Energy Plc's (LON:ECHO) Fiona MacAulay spoke to Proactive's Andrew Scott following the completion of their four-well programme in Argentina.

''To have encountered hydrocarbons in each of those four wells has been very exciting for me and specifically for the team''.

MacAulay says they're now looking forward to the beginning of testing on the ELM 1004 well - the first well to be tested in this programme.

]]> ADES International in good shape for exploration upturn Thu, 12 Jul 2018 11:57:00 +0100 Oil price, Premier, Ophir, Reabold, Europa And finally... Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:30:00 +0100

WTI $70.38 -$3.73, Brent $73.40 -$5.46, Diff -$3.02 -$1.73, NG $2.83 +4c

Oil price

Oil prices crashed yesterday amidst a welter of news, ironically not all bad which left traders to be frank, a bit shocked. Primarily it was the news that export ports in Libya were reopening but that was in the blog, the realisation that tankers were loading hit the market hard. Whether they get back up to over 1m b/d we don’t know but it was the sentiment. Also the extension of trade wars didn’t help as China retaliated by threatening US oil imports. Finally on the negative side there seemed to be some slippage of the hard line case on Iranian sanctions as Mike Pompeo seemed to suggest that there may be some special cases.

On the bullish side the Opec report indicated that 2H of this year would remain pretty tight whatever the supply situation is, an argument with which I concur, it’s next year when supply potentially becomes a problem. Finally the EIA reported a huge stock draw of  12.6m barrels, way in excess of forecasts and primarily due to higher than expected imports. This morning WTI has rallied by 66c and Brent by $1.43 after more contemplation of the news.

Premier Oil

A trading and operations update from Prems this morning but little to get one’s heart beating much, production was in line with expectations, Catcher is going very well offset slightly by early summer maintenance work at Huntingdon and Solan. Guidance of 80-85/- boe/d is unchanged with more maintenance but recent run rates of 90/- boe/d keeping the number up. Tolmount has received approval by the Prems board and should be partner approved in Q3.

In Mexico the new Government appears to be transitioning quite smoothly with no sign of any reversal of policy and PMO has a team down there at the moment. Assuming no change, all is in train to progress with appraisal of Zama 4Q of this year and with regards to the new licences seismic work is also expected to start later this year.

Sea Lion progresses with much work being done, the recent appointment of Standard Chartered indicates that the process is very much under way as is formalising contractors LOI’s and Governmental contributions likely to take ‘most of the year’ as expected.

2018 forecast operating costs remain at $17-18 boe and all other expenditure remains at $380m in line with guidance. Debt reduced to $2.65bn in the period and is expected to fall by $300-400m by the year end and the covenant leverage ratio is forecast to fall to 2.5x EBITDA by end Q1 2019. All in all things going according to plan for Premier with an exciting line up of developments to look forward to this year and moving forward.


Ophir Energy

Things at Ophir would be going quite well if it wasn’t for Fortuna and the resultant departure of former CEO Nick Cooper. No replacement has been found although there is it seems a short list of ‘highly experienced and qualified external candidates’ has been identified. Given that the Fortuna licence expires at the end of this year and still no financing options have been concluded it is not surprising that the shares are stagnant although there is plenty of built in upside should this change.

I had become more optimistic about Ophir at the beginning of the year as I felt that the worst was behind it but absence of financing for Fortuna made my bullishness premature, this is the key to Ophir’s fortunes for the time being which is a shame as I think that the Santos deal is a very good one indeed.

Reabold Resources

Reabold announced yesterday that it had received the CPR for their Romanian assets which confirm previously announced contingent resource estimates and exceed previously announced prospective resources estimates. The company expect to spud later this year and consider the assets to have ‘extremely attractive economics’.

Europa Oil & Gas

EOG has updated its prospect inventory for the FEL 1/17 and 2/13 licences in the South Porcupine Basin offshore Ireland. It has also launched a farm-out process for three licences, FEL 1/17, 2/13  and 3/13 ‘which together are estimated to hold gross mean un-risked prospective resources of 4.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent’.

CEO Hugh Mackay said that the ‘PSDM reprocessing of our proprietary 3D seismic data sets over our South Porcupine licences has transformed the prospect inventory’ so with the farm-out process now underway the proof of the pudding, so to speak, will be in the eating…


And finally…

The excellent run by the English team in the World Cup ended last night as they visibly ran out of steam against an improving Croatian side. Still much credit must go to Gareth Southgate who has indeed restored some faith in football.

On the subject of football I notice that the Boropa Cup is back and Rangers play tonight at Ibrox in the Qualifying preliminary round, first leg against Shkupi who finished fourth in the Macedonian First Football League last season, never an easy game, Shkupi….

Nor was it for Roger Federer who thought he was coasting to an easy victory against Kevin Anderson yesterday before realising that he was chasing the game.


]]> AFC Energy focused on slashing cost of hydrogen power Thu, 12 Jul 2018 08:52:00 +0100 Ophir Energy focuses on “marginally ahead” production in wake of CEO departure Thu, 12 Jul 2018 08:29:00 +0100 Premier Oil says Catcher field consistently achieves plateau production rate Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:32:00 +0100 Aminex agrees 'transformational' farm-out deal for Ntorya in Tanzania Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:30:00 +0100 Jay Bhattacherjee, chief executive of Aminex plc (LON:AEX), discusses with Proactive Investors what's been described as a transformational  farm-out agreement with Omani industrial conglomerate The Zubair Corporation.

In exchange for 50% of Aminex's working interest in the Ruvuma production sharing agreement, Zubair will conduct a minimum work programme including the drilling, completion, and testing of the Chikumbi-1 well; acquiring, processing and interpreting 3D seismic data over a minimum of 200 square kilometres within the Ntorya project area and establish an early production system to achieve accelerated first gas development at Ntorya to a minimum gross rate of 40mln cubic feet of gas per day (MMcf/d), around 6,700 barrels equivalent.

]]> AFC Energy picks up first fuel cell order from Australian partner Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:29:00 +0100 Itaconix to raise up to £4.3mln through a share issue Thu, 12 Jul 2018 06:56:00 +0100 ADES bolsters Middle East presence with US$288mln onshore rig purchase Thu, 12 Jul 2018 06:47:00 +0100 Europa Oil & Gas bolsters exploration inventory as it steps up farm-out efforts Thu, 12 Jul 2018 06:24:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum shares rise on promising drill intersects for Dorado-1 well Thu, 12 Jul 2018 02:58:00 +0100 Technology Metals Australia leveraged to growth of vanadium flow battery markets Wed, 11 Jul 2018 23:59:00 +0100 Technology Metals Australia (ASX:TMT) executive director Ian Prentice discusses with Proactive Investors, key developments in the vanadium market, and progress with the company's flagship Gabanintha Vanadium Project in Western Australia.

Prentice recently completed a China road trip where he met with "all the major players in the Chinese vanadium industry... We can see a fantastic opportunity in this marketplace. The vanadium market is screaming out for new supplies."

At Gabanintha, definitive feasibility study (DFS) planning is well underway, with a target start date of August 1st. The company last week announced the acquisition of a neighbouring tenement, which Prentice says, "it just gives us a bit more flexibility around our operations, a bit more optionality on where we can place our infrastructure. It's a really key location next  door to the area where our main open pit's going to be. It adds a lot of value to the longer term life of the operation."

]]> Crop Infrastructure Corp's Italian joint venture partner plants up 25 acres Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:20:00 +0100 SIMEC Atlantis Energy says two Meygen project turbines removed for inspection and maintenance Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:16:00 +0100 Aminex shares soar as it inks farm-out agreement with Omani conglomerate Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:57:00 +0100 Oil price, Savannah Petroleum, Sound Energy, Providence, Aminex And finally... Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:00:00 +0100

WTI $74.11 +26c, Brent $78.86 +79c, Diff -$4.75 +53c, NG $2.79 -4c

Oil price

Yesterday wasnt so bad for oil bulls, the Norway strike meant some shortage appearing and after the close the API stats showed a 6.8m draw in crude and  1.6m  in gasoline even if distillates did build by 2m barrels. Also the Iranian NOC conceded that they might lose ‘up to 500/- b/d’ due to sanctions, in your dreams matey…

This morning is a very different matter with Brent in particular easier ($1.61 as I write) mainly due to an indication from one of the Libyan NOC’s that production and exports are about to resume. And with trade wars sharpening up as Mr Trump arrives in Europe to see NATO, the UK and the Mr Putin politics isn’t getting any more relaxed.

Savannah Petroleum

Yet more good news from Savannah who have announced that  Kunama-1 is an oil discovery. This is the third consecutive discovery in the R3 portion of the R3/R4 area in the Agadem Rift Basin in S E Niger. Preliminary results indicate a total estimated 9m of net oil bearing sandstones in the E1 and E5 reservoir units within the primary Eocene Sokor Alternances objective.

Reservoir properties as indicated by wireline logs, show good quality, light oil, equivalent to that found at Amdigh-1 and consistent with offset wells along trend and the depth/API trend observed across the basin. The drilling of this well was incredibly efficient, only 14 days to TD against an estimated 22 and the whole well was completed in 23 days against an estimate of 30-35 days which clearly has a knock-on effect on budgets. Clearly delighted with this campaign so far, the company has elected to exercise the first of six individual options with Great Wall and the rig will move to drill Eridal-1 also in R3 of R3/R4 PSC only 6km from Amdigh.

These discoveries will now almost certainly mean that the company can seriously consider an early production system that can be put in place quite quickly as the three wells should underpin a commercial development in a short space of time.

This is not the only piece of good news for SAVP this week as yesterday the Group MD of NNPC detailed the seven critical projects, 5 by them and 2 by NPDC one of which includes ‘full utilisation of the Uquo Gas Plant to deliver 200 mmscfd through its Utapate gas in OML 13’. This is aimed at bridging the supply shortage in the domestic market and will be achieved by expanding the Uquo gas processing facilities owned by Accugas, currently being taken over by SAVP and AIIM as part of the Seven Energy deal. Under the Seven agreement SAVP are carried by AIIM for any expansion costs which would make Uquo of strategic value as a local infrastructure hub.

The market are clearly waiting for Seven to close but investors should be aware that the tide is turning very strongly in Savannah’s favour and the shares should be significantly higher.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that J.J. Traynor, its CFO has joined the Board of the company, a continued beefing up of the team in recent months and with much work ahead of it in Morocco.

Providence Resources

The site survey for the Newgrange exploration well has been completed with ‘exciting’ new data now available. All this is to be shared with potential farminees who are being approached at present. Sealed pock marks are present at the site which could be seepage indicating a petroleum system or of course a risk to the seal.Overall I get the impression that the new data is much better than expected.

Aminex- Stop press…

Just going to press but as I write the long awaited deal from Aminex has been announced, more to follow after I’ve spoken to Jay. It seems that they have indeed signed a farm-out of Ruvuma to Zubair Group which will accelerate the development of the project whilst reducing costs to Aex. They will receive $5m in cash plus carry costs of $35m in respect of their remaining 25% interest. The new company will drill one new well and 200km² of 3D seismic which has never been done before. A fast track EPS should provide a minimum gross production rate of 40 MMcf/d. Finally, it is worth noting that the Zubair Corporation has existing businesses in Tanzania and enjoys a good relationship and has an excellent reputation, this will almost certainly lead to a flourishing development of Ruvuma in which Aex will maintain a stake.

More to follow but a great deal for Aminex as expected.


Here is the link to this week’s Voxmarkets Podcast only slightly out of date with reference to SAVP!

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Echo Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Rockhopper, Premier Oil and Amersur Resources

And finally…

There is only one thing on sports fans minds today and that is England v Croatia in the World Cup Semi final tonight….They have been an inspirational group from coach downwards and it is for once good to be proud of such a squad…


]]> Aminex signs "transformational" farm-out agreement for Ruvuma PSA with Zubair Corp Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:30:00 +0100 Providence Resources buoyed by Newgrange survey; new data should provide momentum to discussions with potential farm-in partners Wed, 11 Jul 2018 06:40:00 +0100 Sound Energy appoints CFO to board of directors Wed, 11 Jul 2018 06:19:00 +0100 Greenland Minerals’ optimisation test work progressing to final pilot plant operations Wed, 11 Jul 2018 02:37:00 +0100 Australian Vanadium preparing to release PFS on Gabanintha project 'imminently' Tue, 10 Jul 2018 23:50:00 +0100 Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) managing director Vincent Algar provides Proactive Investors with updates on pre-feasibility study (PFS) works at the company's flagship Gabanintha Vanadium Project in Western Australia, which include a revised JORC resource estimate just announced.

In addition to improving the grade of vanadium in the Measured and Indicated Resources, the emerging producer has put out a Maiden Resource for nickel, copper and cobalt, which it discovered it can extract from tailings.

Algar also shares his assessment of the future of the vanadium markets.

]]> Obtala looking to apply a veneer of success Tue, 10 Jul 2018 12:27:00 +0100 Petro Matad shares easier as Snow Leopard exploration well programme kicks off Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:00:00 +0100 Oil price, Petro Matad, IOG And finally... Tue, 10 Jul 2018 08:59:00 +0100

WTI $73.85 +5c, Brent $78.07 +96c, Diff -$4.22 +91c, NG $2.83 -3c

Oil price

Yesterday it was Brent’s time to shine primarily as the Libyan NOC chairman stated that his country’s production was ‘falling every day’. With little signs of this impasse being settled it is another blow to world supply that will have to be filled by the KSA and Russia.

In North America whilst some of the Syncrude facility is returning it seems that most will not be back until September.

Petro Matad

So, for those with long memories MATD have returned to the scene of the crime and have announced the spud of Snow Leopard-1 in the Taats Basin of Block V in Mongolia. This 100% well for MATD is targeting 90 MMBO and is the first in a four well campaign this year.

When I met with CEO Mike Buck he was full of confidence although since then the selection of well sites has changed and the company has had an opportunistic fund raise that to be fair the shareholders lapped up. No pressure here then as the next 70 days will prove.

Independent Oil & Gas

Fiona MacAulay has been appointed to the Board of IOG as Independent Non-Executive Director with immediate effect. As if being CEO of Echo, on the Board of Coro Energy and serving as European President of the AAPG is not enough! I am sure that the Board of IOG will be seriously strengthened by her arrival and is a very good move for them.

And finally…

Today sees the first of the World Cup semi finals as Belgium take on France. This will be an opportunity for both squads to show that they have some of the best players in the world at their disposal and it will be a fascinating clash.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Shefa Yamim (LON:SEFA) Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:38:00 +0100 Shefa Yamim (LON:SEFA)


Shefa Yamim (LON:SEFA) has announced results from the first of five bulk samples from Zone 2 in the Kishon Mid Reach. The initial sample (BS-1230) consisted of 568.9t of largely basal gravels yielding a Gem Box grade of 242.59cpht; this covers all nine types of gemstone included in the Gem Box target mineral assemblage. This compares favourably to the overall grade of 154cpht in Zone 1 (6,384t). However, we highlight the variable grade distribution typically associated with alluvial type deposits and this applies to both the overall grade and that of the constituent types of gemstones.

Overall, 1,381ct of gemstones were discovered in BS-1230 and this was dominated by spinel (57%), followed by garnet (18%), ilmenite (15%), sapphire (5%) and Carmel Sapphire (3%). As with Zone 1, based on the updated data, spinel continued to have a dominant presence and in this bulk sample also produced the largest single gemstone at 6.20ct whilst a 3.61ct garnet was also found. The size distribution data indicates that 4.6% of the findings were above 1.2ct, with a further 5.2% between 0.66-1.19ct. We believe the continuing presence of Carmel Sapphire and sapphire is encouraging and look forward to the remaining results from Zone 2.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation. 

]]> Red Sky Energy shares spike on oil and gas acquisition with near-term production potential Tue, 10 Jul 2018 05:40:00 +0100 Pulse Oil shares pump up as it acquires 50-year seismic data licence for Queenstown assets Mon, 09 Jul 2018 18:07:00 +0100 Crop Infrastructure expecting first harvest from Humboldt County property before end August Mon, 09 Jul 2018 18:02:00 +0100 Echo Energy encounters gas in fourth Argentina exploration well Mon, 09 Jul 2018 12:35:00 +0100 Premier Oil is a ‘top pick’ for RBC Capital which eyes production growth Mon, 09 Jul 2018 10:47:00 +0100 Obtala Ltd 'progressing well' with record sawn timber production Mon, 09 Jul 2018 10:21:00 +0100 Miles Pelham, chairman of Obtala Limited (LON:OBT), tells Proactive Investors they produced a record amount of sawn timber in the last three months.

Output from its Gabon sawmill was 3,800 cubic metres with June’s average 30% higher than the first three months of the year.

Pelham adds their new veneer factory in Gabon is expected to start production this month and this should be the group’s highest margin product.

]]> Centamin slumps amid 25% drop in gold production at flagship Sukari mine Mon, 09 Jul 2018 10:13:00 +0100 Oil price, Echo Energy, Cairn Energy And finally... Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:49:00 +0100

WTI $73.80 +86c, Brent $77.11 -28c, Diff -$3.31 -$1.56, NG $2.66 +2c

Oil price

Oil price diverged on Friday as Brent eased with a bit more crude on international markets but WTI strengthened as continued distribution difficulties and of course Syncrude not helping matters. The rig count moved back up a bit as overall units were up 5 at 1052 and oil up 5 also at 863 units.

Echo Energy

Echo has announced successful completion of its fourth well in Argentina in what looks like another very positive result. The well has interpreted a ‘notable’ gas column in the Tobifera indicating some 30m of potential net pay which suggests wet gas (with liquids) and at the upper end of the range in both contingent and prospective resource estimations. Targets of 19 bcf of gross best case contingent and 18.7 bcf prospective as per the CPR should be hit.

Echo seems to be in a good position now that the four well drilling campaign has completed and the Quintana-1 completion and testing rig rolls into town. ELM 1004 will be tested first and all the other potential discoveries will undoubtedly reveal exciting further news as work continues and thus giving a chance to make an early decision on monetisation options for Fracción D.

Cairn Energy

Cairn has announced that all written submissions have been made by them and the Indian Government and final arbitration will commence in The Hague on 2oth August and last for two weeks. With a result not due until next year Cairn shareholders will have to wait a while but as I have always said this is a bit of a side show given value created particularly in Senegal in the last few years. Having said that I find it galling that the Indian authorities have not only seized dividends from Vedanta but also sold off a stake in the company which must be against both the letter and the spirit of the law, as if that mattered….

And finally…

On Friday France beat Uruguay and Belgium knocked out Brazil in this mad crazy World Cup. On Saturday England beat Sweden 2-0 and Croatia beat Russia on penalties…

Over at Silverstone Kimi managed to force Lewis off and received only a 10 second penalty, imagine what if he had passed him and ended up in front….

India won the T20 series 2-1 and look very dangerous ahead of the ODI series which starts this week.

Wimbledon goes into the second week looking very much for specialist viewers only, few thrills and in the ladies draw few seeds also..

And I was reminded about the T de F which I have never covered even though I am aware that it is now clean….


]]> UKOG seeks permission to take controlling stakes Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:17:00 +0100 Cairn Energy writes down value of Vedanta investment as Indian tax row rumbles on Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:46:00 +0100 Sigh of relief from Union Jack Oil after Wressle re-submission Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:37:00 +0100 David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO), talks to Proactive's Andrew Scott after Egdon Resources Plc (LON:EDR), the operator of the Wressle project in which UJO and Europa Oil & Gas PLC (LON:EOG) have stakes, submitted a new planning application for the development of the Lincolnshire oil field.

Egdon said the new application “comprehensively addresses” the reasons for the refusal of the original planning applications and subsequent appeals over the past year.

]]> Greka Drilling share trading resumes as delayed results reveal improved revenues Mon, 09 Jul 2018 07:20:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum at 3640 metres depth in Dorado-1 offshore well Mon, 09 Jul 2018 02:13:00 +0100 Impact Minerals active on five projects over next six months Sun, 08 Jul 2018 23:59:00 +0100 Impact Minerals Ltd (ASX:IPT) managing director Dr. Mike Jones speaks to Proactive Investors about various drill programs, and also provides updates on the company's project portfolio as a whole, following some asset sales and acquisitions.

A step-out drilling program is underway at the Silica Hill prospect of the gold-silver-base metal Commonwealth Project in NSW. The Clermont gold project in Queensland is officially coming off the back burner in the coming days, with five targets due to be drilled. In the coming months, drilling will also recommence at the gold and nickel Mulga Tank Project in Western Australia.

The project generation company recently sold its least advanced Pilbara conglomerate-hosted gold project to Pacton Gold Inc (CVE:PAC), garnering shares in the Canadian exploration company in the process. It has also picked up an 18-month option on a historical conglomerate-hosted project in Queensland, with plans to commence survey and sampling work in the next quarter.

Jones is a geologist specialised in conglomerate-hosted gold, having completed his PhD studying this style of mineralisation.

]]> Crop Infrastructure shares zoom up as it buys 49% interest in Nevada farm Fri, 06 Jul 2018 20:26:00 +0100 Hurricane Energy says Lancaster well operations are complete Fri, 06 Jul 2018 14:12:00 +0100 SDX Energy 'looking good' after successful operations in Egypt and Morocco Fri, 06 Jul 2018 12:59:00 +0100 Proactive Investors oil and gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft looks back on what’s been a busy first half of the year for SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX)

This week they spudded the SD-3X well at the South Disouq project in Egypt.

It is the second of two planned appraisal wells for South Disouq, both of which are precursors to production.

In Morocco, SDX has identified a significant volume of low risk/high value drilling opportunities which they plan to target in their next drilling campaign next year.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane Energy, Echo Energy, Links And finally... Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:34:00 +0100

WTI $73.19 -95c, Brent $78.06 -18c, Diff -$4.87 +77c, NG $2.85 +1c

Oil price

Oil drifted yesterday led by WTI after the EIA inventory figures disappointed (compared to API) although they were a bit mixed. Crude built 1.245m barrels as opposed to scribblers guesses of a draw of 5.2m but stocks at Cushing drew 2.1m b/d and gasoline stocks drew on a 0.4% fall in refinery utilisation.

The KSA announced that June production was 10.488m b/d so had jumped the gun a tad but it hasn’t worried money managers who are again increasing long positions.

Hurricane Energy

Hurricane has announced the completion of well operations at Lancaster and the rig has left the field. Both production wells for the development are now ready to be tied-in to the subsea infrastructure. This was the first of the three main elements of the installation campaign, in addition the mooring installation is underway to be followed by SURF installation. These are the key elements prior to the arrival of the FPSO and first oil remains on target for 1H 2019.

Just in case anyone was away at the time, I recently interviewed CEO Dr Robert Trice on Core Finance TV and the link is here.

Core Finance CEO Interview: Dr Robert Trice of Hurricane Energy

Echo Energy

Echo has announced that the mobilisation of the Quintana 01 testing/completion rig to FC, FD and LLC assets in Argentina is under way. Work is expected to commence the week beginning 8th July and will start at ELM 1004 for 2-3 weeks, after which the rest of the wells in the four well programme will be done in an order yet to be decided. This is because the design of the EMS-1001 is still to be finalised and its position in the order uncertain dependent on that design.

Echo has said that whilst they have the rig on contract they are considering a number of additional well interventions and workover in Estancia La Maggie, FC and FD to either restore or increase well productivity from existing wells. I put Echo in the bucket list in February as although I knew that quite a lot of the work was likely to be 2H of 2018 and beyond they might get an early wiggle on, thank goodness I did, the shares are up 32.4% since inclusion and are in 6th position as a result. (All being well the interim Bucket list will be in Monday’s blog)


Yesterday I was delighted to interview Brian Mitchener, Exploration Director of Sound Energy who came in to talk about the huge amount of technical work that he and his team have been doing in Morocco. The link is here and it does give an interesting insight into the detailed studies that have been going on in this exciting basin.

Core Finance interview: Brian Mitchener, Exploration Director of Sound Energy

I was also in the Core Finance studios yesterday with myself and Tim Gregory, Chief Investment Officer of Vermeer Investment Management being interviewed by Core CEO Nick Batsford. We talked about oil in the context of Tim’s overall investment strategy within his portfolio.

Core Finance interview: Brent Oil up 19%, NASDAQ up 9%, Bitcoin down 58%p;

And finally…

What a weekend of sport is approaching, indeed this very afternoon we have Uruguay v France and this evening Brazil v Belgium. Tomorrow of course sees England play Sweden and Russia take on Croatia.

Not just that but the F1 British Grand Prix is on Sunday with Lewis and Mercedes trying to do better than last week’s disaster….

The cricket this weekend is two more ODI’s against the visiting and very good Indian team who are at the moment certainly better than us and out No 1 world ranking must be in jeopardy…

And at Sandown it is the Coral-eclipse Stakes with a small but quality field headed up by Derby winner Masar.

Wimbledon continues and situation normal for England as by the end of the first week only one player remains in the competition. Good luck to Kyle Edmund in the next round….


]]> Fertoz 'on track to be largest seller of organic inputs in North America' Fri, 06 Jul 2018 08:00:00 +0100 Fertoz (ASX:FTZ) executive chairman Pat Avery speaks to Proactive Investors about the integrated organic fertiliser producer's end to end operations, and also about organic standards and markets as a whole.

The company mines phosphate at a number of projects in Canada and the USA, and processes it into a range of organic fertilisers sold in North America and Australia. Its phosphate rock has been certified by the Canadian Organic Standards (COS) and the USDA National Organic Program.

"We really went back to basics. We wanted to find where good phosphate was, we wanted to make sure it was close to a marketplace... we also looked at agrinomics... so we mine, crush, screen, but then we put it in a form that's most predominantly used by growers, either powder or granulated. All of that process is tracked... to keep our standards intact," says Avery.

According to Avery, organic crops bring in approximately double the margin of traditional crops, thus organic inputs represent a premium product to farmers. Fertoz projects sales of 100,000 tonnes in 2020.

Avery says "it's a very attractive field... Our goal is to help the organic distributors and dealers, and the organic growers, receive a great margin for yield increases and for the product. And for Fertoz, we're going to bring that margin return in value back to our shareholders."

]]> Angus Energy chairman steps down amid investigation into “potential violation” over shares transfer Fri, 06 Jul 2018 07:56:00 +0100 Range Resource updates on Perlak well programme Fri, 06 Jul 2018 07:19:00 +0100 Echo Energy readies for Argentina well testing programme Fri, 06 Jul 2018 06:54:00 +0100 PowerHouse Energy raises £594,030 via a share placing and subscription to further its commercial activities Fri, 06 Jul 2018 06:50:00 +0100 Bulls, Bears & Brokers: Alto Capital's Tony Locantro on new financial year strategy 2/2 Fri, 06 Jul 2018 02:00:00 +0100 In Part Two of a two-part special, Alto Capital's Tony Locantro speaks to Proactive Investors' Danielle Doporto about the end of financial year (EOFY) fallout on stock markets, and his fresh financial year strategy, with a particular focus on junior mining stocks.

“I think the key is quality. I always look for the quality juniors that have the good geologists, have the good ground, and basically have resources that underpin the valuation. Now a lot of these quality stocks don’t get much airplay at all, and you’ve got to sift through hundreds and hundreds of mining companies... a lot of those quality junior have become what I consider to be stupid cheap,” says Locantro.

To hear Tony's Tips regarding promising junior mining stocks, watch our video interview.

]]> Tlou Energy updates on RFP re-tender and plans for Lesedi drilling Thu, 05 Jul 2018 14:58:00 +0100 Tlou Energy Limited’s (LON:TLOU) Colm Cloonan and executive director Gabaake Gabaake spoke to Proactive’s Andrew Scott from Botswana.

The company’s currently planning a drilling programme for production wells at its Lesedi coal bed methane (CBM) project to start in the third quarter of this year.

They also update as the wait continues for information from the government of Botswana on their proposed re-tender of the Request for Proposal (RFP) for development of up to 100MW of CBM fuelled power plants in Botswana.

]]> Praxair, Linde eye merger close this year after European gas plant sales to Taiyo Nippon Thu, 05 Jul 2018 14:10:00 +0100 Union Jack and Europa confirm Egdon has submitted new planning application for Wressle Thu, 05 Jul 2018 14:09:00 +0100 Block Energy happy to watch and learn to tap Georgia potential Thu, 05 Jul 2018 13:52:00 +0100 Crop Infrastructure hails partnership deal with Ocean Green for California Thu, 05 Jul 2018 13:10:00 +0100 Columbus Energy shares tipped to soar Thu, 05 Jul 2018 12:17:00 +0100 BP ups stake in major UK North Sea oil field after asset swap with ConocoPhilips Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:30:00 +0100 EnQuest Energy and Tullow Oil in favour as Barclays upgrades oil sector Thu, 05 Jul 2018 11:03:00 +0100 Impax Environmental believes green investment has never been more relevant Thu, 05 Jul 2018 09:35:00 +0100 Rockhopper, Amerisur, SDX Energy Thu, 05 Jul 2018 09:22:00 +0100


The main news this morning fron RKH is the confirmation that Standard Chartered bank has been appointed to lead the work on the senior debt for Sea Lion. This is another welcome tick in the box as Premier and Rockhopper move towards sanctioning a project that as I said in my bucket list video yesterday must throw off huge money at these oil prices and project economics. The release also welcomes the imminent start of the drilling campaign at Abu Sennan which is to be welcomed as the ‘Greater Med’ area is an important part of the company’s funding.

Amerisur Resources

Amer has announced its monthly production numbers, 5,171 b/d with a peak of 5,400. The OBA did 4,332 b/d with a peak of 4,530. Plat-22 restarted at 650 b/d but dropped again to 350 b/d and is being monitored. This production is benefitting from continued work on upgrading well performance at the moment. Having said that the upside increasingly looks like being the upcoming drilling campaign which is pretty much on target despite dreadful weather conditions. Pintadillo-1, where the company is targeting the key ‘N’ sand anomaly, should spud in July. Elsewhere both the Miraparriba-1 and the Indico-1 wells are on schedule for Q3 spudding.

SDX Energy

SDX has announced the spud of appraisal well SD-3X at South Disouq in Egypt. If successful this will be connected to the SD-1X infrastructure. They have also announced that testing of the SD-4 discovery is expected in the next ten days.


]]> Obtala raises timber production in second quarter Thu, 05 Jul 2018 08:02:00 +0100 Premier Oil and Rockhopper hire Standard Chartered to assist Falklands oil field financing Thu, 05 Jul 2018 07:34:00 +0100 Energean Oil and Gas says Karish-Tanin project is “on track” as Israeli court dismisses environmental petition Thu, 05 Jul 2018 07:27:00 +0100 SDX Energy kicks off SD-3X appraisal well in Egypt Thu, 05 Jul 2018 06:24:00 +0100 Energy major Enbridge shares higher as it unveils latest C$4.3bn asset sale Wed, 04 Jul 2018 18:18:00 +0100 InfraStrata Plc in a strong position as it advances gas storage project Wed, 04 Jul 2018 14:25:00 +0100 InfraStrata Plc (LON: INFA) CEO Adrian Pocock updates Proactive’s Andrew Scott on progress with the Front End Engineering and Design on their 100% owned gas storage project in Islandmagee, Northern Ireland.

The FEED is due to be completed in Q4 2018.

Pocock says there’s potential for a 40 year operational life compared to the 20 year life upon which the Project economics have been modelled.

He adds detailed discussions are continuing with construction financing providers in respect of Project level finance.

]]> Permex Petroleum completes acquisition of West Texas assets to grow company Wed, 04 Jul 2018 14:22:00 +0100 Ceres Power sees strong demand for £20mln share issue Wed, 04 Jul 2018 13:50:00 +0100 Kosmos Energy vs Tullow Oil - Jefferies picks its favourite Jubilee oiler Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:24:00 +0100 Oil price, BP, Tullow, Links And finally... Wed, 04 Jul 2018 09:36:00 +0100

WTI $74.14 +20c, Brent $77.76 +46c, Diff -$3.62 +26c, NG $2.87 +1c

Oil price

With the US markets closed for Independence Day today the chance for traders to have a mash up was too good an opportunity to miss and according to my spy, WTI in particular was all over the place. Up before a crash and followed by a very decent rally saw the bulls eventually win the day.

The Saudis said that they ‘will use spare capacity to deal with any future changes in oil supply and demand rates’ which translated says that they will do as they feel. Inventory stats are split by the holiday, the API came out last night with a 4.5m draw in crude and a 3m draw in gasoline and unless the EIA numbers, out on Thursday this week are much different then we will remain on the strong side.


BP has announced that it has bought a 16.5% stake in the Clair field West of Shetland from ConocoPhillips and as part of the transaction sold it some Alaska production. BP now has 45.1% of the giant Clair complex and tenuous as it is just shows how hot the West of Shetlands is right now…

Tullow Oil

Tullow has announced that it has lost its case to Seadrill re the termination of a rig contract in December 2016 in which it declared Force Majeure.  Tullow retain the right to appeal but if it doesnt the sums are now relatively speaking quite small. The net amount Tullow will have to pay is $140m of which $128m was already provisioned in the end 2017 accounts. The Kosmos part of the litigation is expected to be handed down soon.


It is time for the interim look at the bucket list and ahead of my speaking at the London South East Oil & Gas investor evening on July 17th here is at least a sneak preview as to how the numbers look and maybe a change or two…

London Sout East interview: Rockhopper tops Malcy’s 2018 Interims Bucket List gains

And details of the event are here…

And relegated to Tuesday again my VoxMarkets Podcast finally aired yesterday. For a look at one or two companies in the news here is the link.

VOX Markets podcast: Sound Energy, Echo Energy, Victoria Oil & Gas, Faroe Petroleum, Diversified Gas & Oil and Rockrose Energy

And finally…

Well I never, after the rather boring Sweden 1-0 v Switzerland the evening match was as about as full of drama as one could get with England finally prevailing 4-3 on penalties. We now have two footy free days, it will feel a bit strange and now til Saturday isnt long to prepare for a Q/F with Sweden.

England’s cricketers came up against quality opposition last night in the form of the Indian touring team who demolished the home side, fortunately everyone was watching the footy but I think the bowling machine in the nets has to be set to wrist spin for a while…


]]> UKOG raises more capital as Horse Hill remains in the spotlight Wed, 04 Jul 2018 08:29:00 +0100 Eland Oil & Gas updates on Opuama field production growth Wed, 04 Jul 2018 06:27:00 +0100 Atlantic Power to acquire remaining 50% stake in Koma Kulshan hydro project Tue, 03 Jul 2018 22:14:00 +0100 'A lot to look forward to' as Echo Energy begins final well in Argentina programme Tue, 03 Jul 2018 14:11:00 +0100 Proactive Investors oil and gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft discusses the news that Echo Energy Plc's (LON:ECHO) begun drilling the fourth and final well in its Argentina programme - with the spudding of the CSo-2001d well at the Fracción D asset.

The well is targeting a prospect that was identified on 2D data and it is due to have a 1,514 metre measured depth.

]]> Tullow Oil ordered to pay Seadrill by court Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:28:00 +0100 Mirabaud analyst reckons Lekoil shares could double over the next year Tue, 03 Jul 2018 12:15:00 +0100 Water companies bob higher in spite of move by water regulator to change 2019 price review methodology Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:33:00 +0100 Rose Petroleum set for substantial upside in Utah’s Paradox basin - broker Tue, 03 Jul 2018 10:21:00 +0100 Sound Energy has an investment case to be heard - analyst Tue, 03 Jul 2018 09:28:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Shefa Yamim (LON:SEFA) Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:52:00 +0100 Shefa Yamim (LON:SEFA) has announced that it has updated its target mineral assemblage of gemstones to better reflect the make-up of its Kishon Mid Reach Deposit. Previously the gemstone focus was on Diamond, Moissanite, Corundum and Hibonite (DMCH) although now spinel is being added along with garnet and ilmenite to this target group which will be renamed the “Gem Box”. This has been retroactively applied to Zone 1 and will be applied to the bulk sampling for Zone 2. The overall grade from Zone 1 bulk sampling has therefore increased from 45cpht to 154cpht.

In Zone 1 a total of 2,177ct of garnets were recovered and subsequent polishing and cutting has demonstrated gemstone quality of the garnets having previously been conservatively classified as industrial quality. The overall garnet grade for Zone 1 was 34.09cpht.

Spinel is now considered the most abundant mineral within the Gem Box suite with a total Zone 1 recovery of 3,953ct (69.91cpht). The largest of which was 6.2ct and SEFA have indicated that much of the recovered spinel is of gem quality. Spinel data and stones have been stored through the bulk sampling process since it is a kimberlitic indicator mineral although given its potential as a gemstone is now being included in the gem box suite.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> The Pay Zone - Oil price, Savannah Petroleum, Echo Energy And finally... Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:36:00 +0100 WTI $73.94 -21c, Brent $77.30 -$2.14, Diff -$3.36 -$1.93, NG $2.86 -6c

Oil price

There was little change in the market fundamentals although the differential closed up with August Brent expiring making all look worse than it was, both crudes are up this morning. The market could have been forgiven for being worse, Reuters suggested that the Saudis were already up to 10.7m b/d and Russia to 11.7m b/d which shouldn’t come as a surprise except to those bears with very little brains.

Savannah Petroleum

SAVP has updated the market today which is very wise as there are people out there who worry about the Seven Energy Transaction not completing. The company are completing formalities and whilst these cannot be taken for granted are expected to complete in the 3rd quarter of 2018. As a reminder the company has previously received a letter of authorisation to proceed from the authorities in Nigeria, and I note the quotes from both the Accugas banks and private equity partner AIIM in the release giving their support.

On the production front, average daily numbers from Jan-May were 18.8 kboepd of gross gas with sales down Q2/Q1 due to power plant maintenance which should be back to normal in H2. With the Accugas GSAs are subject to take or pay provisions higher than anticipated 2018 production volumes, and it’s reassuring to see Andrew Knott talking about the impact the World Bank payment guarantee is having on cash flows. Also they have applied to extend the Accugas pipeline network, which is part of the growth story to generate more, higher paying customers. Finally, the company are cancelling the share premium account which will provide the directors the flexibility to pay dividends and buy back shares.

SAVP might have been held back by length of time the completion has taken but with such success in Niger once these technicals have been seen to I consider that the shares should move materially higher.


Echo Energy

Echo has announced that drilling has started on CSo-2001(d) in Fracción D in Argentina. It is targeting a Tobifera high identified by 2D data and looking for 19 bcf of gross best case contingent resources plus a further 18.7 bcf gross best case of prospective resources all identified by Gaffney Cline in their CPR.

And finally…

Last night saw yet more exciting footy in this years World Cup as after Brazil despatched Mexico Belgium left it late to finally beat Japan 3-2 with 15 seconds left on the clock. This afternoon it is Sweden v Switzerland and this evening Colombia take on England….

]]> Peninsula Mines has 'done the hard work,' expects more progress on many fronts soon Tue, 03 Jul 2018 07:59:00 +0100 Managing director of Peninsula Mines Ltd. (ASX:PSM) Jon Dugdale updates Proactive Investors on progress at the company's base metals project, and on both the mining and processing ends of its graphite operations. The explorer, developer and aspiring producer holds a large diversified portfolio of projects in South Korea. 

Both the Ilweol and Python prospects at the Ubeong Zinc-Lead-Copper Project have been producing high-grade drilling results, with an announcement out today that the strike length at Ilweol has been doubled.

On the graphite front, Peninsula Mines is resource drilling whilst simultaneously conducting metallurgical tests on the processing of spherical graphite for lithium-ion battery anodes. There has been ongoing drilling and sampling work at the Eunha Project, with drilling planned to commence soon at the Gapyeong Project. Offtake discussions are well underway.

]]> Angus Energy shares rise as Lidsey gets Kimmeridge boost Tue, 03 Jul 2018 07:42:00 +0100 Andalas Energy now “in a good position” - chairman Tue, 03 Jul 2018 06:39:00 +0100 Echo Energy kicks off final well in current Argentina campaign Tue, 03 Jul 2018 06:23:00 +0100 Resolute Mining's Syama Gold Mine DFS Update shows substantially reduced costs Tue, 03 Jul 2018 00:00:00 +0100 Resolute Mining Ltd (ASX:RSG) managing director and chief executive John Welborn talks Proactive Investors through the multinational gold producer’s definitive feasibility study (DFS) update on the flagship Syama Gold Mine in Mali.

The update includes a reserve upgrade, and demonstrates a material reduction in the all-in sustaining costs across the whole life of the mine, which has been extended by four years.

"We've been doing a lot of work primarily on implementing automation as part of our underground mine, improving our power infrastructure at Syama, and continuing our processing journey to get higher recoveries from the ore. And all of that's come through in a really exciting announcement today," says Welborn.

Sandvik has been appointed to manage the automation process at Syama.

]]> Powerhouse Energy's shares surge following weekend press report Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:34:00 +0100 Lenigas tweets update from Horse Hill, sends UKOG share price soaring Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:04:00 +0100 The Pay Zone - Oil price, Sound Energy, Zenith Energy, Wentworth Resources, Columbus E R And finally... Mon, 02 Jul 2018 10:53:00 +0100 WTI $74.15 +70c, Brent $79.44 +$1.59, Diff -$5.29 +89c, NG $2.92 -2c

Oil price

A good week for oil with WTI up $5.57 and Brent up $3.89 for all the reasons written about at the time. As we head into July some supply shortages remain, Venezuela of course but Libya is increasingly worrying with export terminals remaining blocked. Longer term buyers will have to decide whether or not to buy Iranian crude with the strongest of all sanctions if they do..

There is no doubt that, following the Opec+ meeting that some reasonable production increases will be made although quite how much and how soon are up for debate. President Trump Tweeted that he had spoken to his ‘good friend’ King Salman of Saudi Arabia who had promised an increase of 2m b/d to get the price of oil down. Mutual distrust of Iran aside, 2m b/d of extra production, especially during the summer is just not possible at short notice and it transpired that the President actually asked for an increase in capacity, not production.

I suspect that 1m b/d is doable quite soon, 1.5m by the 3rd quarter and 2m a bit further down the line, either way, with or without Mr Trump’s intervention, the KSA is fully able to manage the oil price on the upside or the downside on their own…

If the President really wants to get world oil production up he should facilitate more and faster pipeline expansion in the US onshore. Baker Hughes reported on Friday that oil wells actually decreased last week probably as a result of shortage of capacity, ‘the price of oil is too high’ as they say in the best Washington circles…

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that it has raised $15m at 37p (a 7.5% discount) to ‘strengthen the company’s cash position before initiation of the high impact 3 well exploration programme in Eastern Morocco’. This is contingency money so to speak which puts Sound in a strong position at the negotiating table at a later date as they have enough cash at this stage anyway and therefore a smart move I suspect.

Zenith Energy

Zenith has announced that its results have been posted and brings an update on their proposed acquisition in Indonesia. The due diligence has evidential negative discrepancies ‘exceeding 5% of the book values’ and ‘therefore Zenith intends to renegotiate the total consideration of $6.6m. I am aware that a number of companies are attempting to do asset deals in the country at the moment and this story is familiar to many of them.

It is also worth noting that there have been some interesting share purchases announced lately with Brian Clark, Mirabeau and most recently Miton adding to holdings…

Wentworth Resources

Wentworth has announced that June payments for Mnazi Bay in Tanzania total $3.1m net to the company. Payments from both TPDC and Tanesco were received for one months gas sales. The company also announces that June gross production was 87 MMscfd which is in line with expectations.

Columbus Energy Resources

Columbus has announced that it is rolling over the practice of paying Directors and senior management partially in shares which will now be done at 5.1p. I think that there is little doubt that CERP are doing the correct thing here although the market has trimmed the shares this morning. Later this month I am on a panel with Leo Koot amongst others, the link is here and the evening should  be most interesting…

And finally…

At the Austrian GP at the Red Bull circuit Max Verstappen cruised home unaware of the carnage behind him. With tyres blistering and engines failing the Ferrari’s came in behind him and unusually both Mercs DNF’d.

The MotoGP at Assen became one of the best motorcycle Grand Prix races ever with six riders taking it in turn to lead.The resurgent Lorenzo stormed off the line from 10th place to 2nd and quickly took the lead from Marquez leading a train of eight riders all within a second.The close racing caused Vinales to collide with Marquez which temporarily upset his rhythm and Rossi to ram Lorenzo but all stayed onboard. Marquez’s Honda finally escaped the bunch to take the chequered flag followed by Alex Rins on the improving Suzuki and Vinales’ Yamaha took 3rd. meaning Spain dominated the podium, small compensation for events in Russia later on. Cal Crutchlow struggled with tyre wear at the end but managed to hold 6th place and be the top independent rider again.

Apologies, tiredness at the end of a  long blog promoted Poland and Senegal beyond their station! At the weekend France ko’d Argentina, Uruguay beat Portugal, Croatia got past Denmark on pens but most surprisingly Russia held Spain to a draw and went on to win also on pens.

Today sees Brazil play Mexico and Belgium take on Japan in what might have been England’s side of the draw…

Wimbledon starts today, usually the signal for torrential rain which particularly in the North West would be grateful for at the moment with many moors in the area burning and out of control.

Finally I notice that having gone out of contract, LeBron James has signed a massive contract with the LA Lakers, I wonder if that consecutive number of finals will be added to next year?

]]> Galena Mining's Abra Project has 'one of the highest-grade concentrates in the world' Mon, 02 Jul 2018 08:55:00 +0100 Chief executive of Galena Mining Ltd (ASX:G1A) Ed Turner talks to Proactive Investors about the scoping study recently completed on the company's flagship Abra Base Metals Project in Western Australia. Even based on long-term metal price estimates well below today's market spot prices, the project represents an NPV of almost $400 million, with an IRR of 61%.

"We're getting 95-96% recovery, which is very good, and the [lead] concentrate grades are probably going to average about 75%, but we're even getting some better results than that. So that's one of the highest-grade concentrates in the world, and does make it very attractive to the smelters. Our high-grade resource, which we announced earlier in the year is about 11 million tonnes at 10% lead, within a much larger 36 million tonnes at 7.3% lead, so we have a lot of different production scenarios we can look at there," says Turner.

Pre-feasibility works are well-advanced, with the Abra project PFS due to be completed in September. Mine design engineering studies, as well as infill drilling to convert inferred resources to indicated status, are happening now. Production from Abra is slated for late 2020 or early 2021.

Meanwhile, diamond drilling at regional copper and other base metals prospects is expected to produce assay results that confirm Galena Mining has doubled the footprint of known mineralisation there.

]]> Arkoma operations temporarily disrupted by thunderstorms, says Mosman Oil and Gas Mon, 02 Jul 2018 08:53:00 +0100 88 Energy suspends Icewine#2 but remains upbeat on potential of HRZ play Mon, 02 Jul 2018 07:37:00 +0100 Diversified Gas & Oil raises US$250mln to help fund its largest acquisition Mon, 02 Jul 2018 07:15:00 +0100 Rusty Hutson, chief executive of Diversified Gas & Oil plc (LON:DGOC), tells Proactive Investors they've raised US$250mln via an oversubscribed placing priced at 97p per share to part fund the recently announced US$575mln acquisition of additional assets in the Appalachian Basin.

''We're now by far the largest conventional player in the Basin ... [the acquisition] gives us a lot of scale and size which we can also use from the stand point of capital advantage going forward for other acquisitions''.

]]> Sound Energy raises US$14.25mln via placing to strengthen cash position as it initiates exploration programme Mon, 02 Jul 2018 06:44:00 +0100 TAG Oil has solid cash flow to pump back into operations, says broker Mackie Fri, 29 Jun 2018 15:57:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum acquisition increases held-by-production by a third Fri, 29 Jun 2018 13:08:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum Corporation (CSE:OIL) CEO Mehran Ehsan tells Proactive Investors the junior oil producer is set to expand its presence in the Delaware Basin of New Mexico with a new US$100,000 strategic acquisition.

The acquisition represents a 33% held-by-production increase to Permex's New Mexico land portfolio.


Contact Christine Corrado at
Follow her on Twitter: @ChristiCorrado

]]> Block Energy increases stake in ‘highly prospective’ West Rustavi licence Fri, 29 Jun 2018 11:15:00 +0100 Paul Haywood, director of Block Energy Plc (LON:BLOE), tells Proactive Investors they've acquired an additional 20% interest in the ‘highly prospective’ West Rustavi licence in Georgia - taking their stake to 25%.

Haywood says the West Rustavi licence has proven reserves and multiple gas discoveries have already been made in the Lower Eocence and Upper Cretaceous within the licence.

]]> Permex Petroleum to begin waterflood EOR program at Texas asset Fri, 29 Jun 2018 06:01:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum Corporation (CSE:OIL) CEO Mehran Ehsan tells Proactive Investors the junior oil producer is set to boost oil recovery at its Pittcock North Tannehill unit in Texas through a waterflood program.

Crews will be mobilized this week and the reservoir is successfully pressured up and increased oil can be recognized in five receiver wells, the work will be expanded to cover all 21 oil wells on the North and South lease.


Contact Christine Corrado at
Follow her on Twitter: @ChristiCorrado

]]> New Age Exploration drilling to demonstrate 'Redmoor is a truly world-class deposit' Fri, 29 Jun 2018 03:41:00 +0100 New Age Exploration Limited (ASX:NAE) managing director Gary Fietz provides Proactive Investors with updates on the company's recent capital raising, drilling at the flagship Redmoor Tin-Tungsten Project, and talks over the Lochinvar Coking Coal Project.

The Redmoor project is being handled by Cornwall Resources Limited, which is co-owned by NAE with JV partner Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML). Priority Drilling Limited is carrying out the 4,000 meter, 7-hole drill program that is underway there. Fietz explains, "we're pretty confident about the continuation of resource down to where we're drilling. And there definitely is a trend of the grade increasing with depth, so we're hoping that we're going to get some high grades in this area as well. So the drilling program's all about 1) adding tonnes - we're trying to convert as much of that four to six million tonne exploration target to resource as we can - and 2) increasing the grade of the resource."

Speaking about efforts to create value for shareholders from the Lochinvar Coking Coal Project, Feitz says "it's a relatively early stage project still, with an inferred resource and a scoping study. But the project has an NPV of some US$400 million, which is very significant, and unfortunately I don't think any of that's reflected in NAE's share price."

]]> Impax Environmental Markets 'all about growth & investing in pure play businesses' Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:32:00 +0100 Jon Forster, co-portfolio manager of Impax Environmental Markets (LON:IEM), tells Proactive they're investing globally across a full range of environmental markets.

''This is all about growth and we're investing in pure play businesses across these markets''.

''Performance has been very good - against both global equities and also our sector benchmarks over most time horizons''.

]]> W Resources 'very much on schedule, on budget' with construction at La Parrilla Thu, 28 Jun 2018 08:04:00 +0100 W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) chairman Michael Masterman provides Proactive Investors an update on development works at the tungsten, copper and gold exploration and development company's flagship La Parrilla tungsten project in Spain.

In a $25 million endeavor, W Resources is building a processing plant on site, consisting of a crusher, a jig & mil, and concentrator. Concrete and civil works are now complete for the crusher. Crusher equipment has been fabricated in a plant, and is being delivered and erected on site in time with structural steel works. A contract has been awarded for the fabrication of the jig & mill and the concentrator. Earthworks to support the jig & mill are nearing completion. Engineering work for the installation of the concentrator is now complete, with steelworks engineering underway, and civil works and concrete foundations set to follow.

Production from La Parrilla is expected to commence in Q1 2019.

]]> i3 Energy grants exclusivity period to potential farm-in partner for Liberator blocks Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:21:00 +0100 i3 Energy PLC's (LON:I3E) Graham Heath tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've granted a period of exclusivity to an unnamed company for a potential farm-in deal for both the Liberator and Liberator West blocks in the UK North Sea.

Heath says the contractual negotiations would, if successful, result in i3 being fully funded for both the Liberator field development and the appraisal of Liberator West.

]]> All eyes on Kimmeridge flow rates as Horse Hill testing gets underway Wed, 27 Jun 2018 12:07:00 +0100 Independent oil & gas analyst Barney Gray gives his views on the announcement that planned flow testing operations at the Horse Hill-1 well have started.

UKOG, which is the largest London-listed stakeholder in the project with a 32% interest, said all key equipment necessary to carry out a 150-day long-term extended flow test campaign at HH-1 is now on site.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas PLC enters into exclusive CNG partnership Wed, 27 Jun 2018 10:38:00 +0100 Kevin Foo, chairman of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG), tells Proactive their wholly-owned subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun SA (GDC) has entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with Europe's largest compressed natural gas (CNG) supplier and distributor, Naturelgaz Sanayi ve Ticaret AS.

The purpose of the long-term partnership will be to design, build and operate CNG infrastructure and solutions for customers who need mobile energy, and to market CNG products, including bulk CNG and gas-to-power to industry and businesses.

]]> Anson Resources has busy year of exploration ahead, with key news in coming months Tue, 26 Jun 2018 22:47:00 +0100 Anson Resources Ltd (ASX:ASN) managing director Bruce Richardson speaks to Proactive Investors about advancements at the battery minerals-focused explorer's three projects.

In Western Australia the company has two exploration projects, searching for graphite and cobalt, whilst its flagship Paradox Lithium Project is located in Utah in the US. In addition to lithium, sampling results have also turned up bromine, iodine, magnesium and boron. Richardson also explains the the company's process to extract lithium minerals.

Anson Resources has MOUs in place with some Chinese companies regarding potential lithium offtake arrangements, and they will be receiving samples for testing in August or September.

]]> Xebec Adsorption on cleantech regulation and changing the company’s name Tue, 26 Jun 2018 14:49:00 +0100 Xebec Adsorption Inc (TSXV:XBC.V) president & CEO Kurt Sorschak spoke to Proactive about global goverments pushing for lower carbon output and how the company is addressing that need through renewable biogas.

He said the company has grown its order backlog from $7 million last year to $70 million today, and expects revenue growth of 60%-80% next year.

]]> Highview Power switches on world's first liquid air energy storage plant Tue, 26 Jun 2018 11:56:00 +0100 Gareth Brett, chief executive of Highview Power, tells Proactive's Andrew Scott the company's been going since 2006 and they've been developing a new type of long-duration energy storage system based around liquid air.

''It's a totally different approach to storing electricity to lithium-ion batteries''

''The key differentiator here is that it's a thermo-mechanical storage system .. so it's not based on electrochemistry, it's not a blackbox type of technology and it comprises a bunch of industrial components which are proven, available from all the large manufacturers and are widely distributed throughout industry''.

]]> Haydale Graphene partners with graphene engineering innovation centre Mon, 25 Jun 2018 10:08:00 +0100 Ray Gibbs, chief executive of Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD), tells Proactive they've been selected as a core tier one partner of the University of Manchester's recently completed £60mln Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

Under the partnership, the company will install and commission one of its HT60 plasma reactors into the new facility in Manchester.

]]> New prospects give Eon NRG potential to 'quadruple the size of the company overnight' Mon, 25 Jun 2018 02:05:00 +0100 Eon NRG Ltd (ASX:E2E) managing director John Whisler speaks to Proactive Investors about the energy company's portfolio of projects, spanning oil and gas and battery minerals, with an emphasis on a recently-identified high-return prospect opportunity in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, USA.

Speaking about the expected impact on the company's production profile, Whisler says, "we're going to drill six wells; four of those with a probability of success, will actually be 300-400 barrels a day. So that will put us well over 1,000 barrels of oil a day, [whereas] we're currently only about 500 of BOE per day. So, we'll actually double in size overnight, but the real upside of it is, we can replicate it. For every four successful wells,  we can drill three to four offset wells or infill development wells on each one of those prospects. So we can easily quadruple the size of the company overnight."

]]> Emmerson Resources adds to gold mine portfolio at Tennant Creek Mineral Field Sun, 24 Jun 2018 21:30:00 +0100 Emmerson Resources Ltd (ASX:ERM) managing director Rob Bills speaks to Proactive Investors about the latest  news from the Tennant Creek Mineral Field, in Australia's Northern Territory. The explorer and producer holds a lot of land in the area, with a number or projects at various stages of development, from early-stage surveying work through to gold bar production.

Bills describes RC drilling results from the Mauretania and West Gibbet prospects as showing, "thick, high-grade intercepts of gold, copper, and also we're seeing some bismuth and cobalt. Fantastic results, some of the best we've seen, certainly the best at West Gibbet." 

"Excitingly, the drilling has shown that there's a lot of gold quite close to the surface, so it's amenable to open pit mining, which is obviously quite economic... we've also intersected a new zone of mineralisation - ten meters at about 7.6 grams per tonne gold - a bit deeper down, a totally new zone we didn't know was there before. So it opens up that potential of having some shallow high-grade [mining] up higher, and then potentially opportunity for an underground development," explains Bills.

Additionally, an airborne geophysical survey of the Northern Corridor at Tennant Creek has been completed, with results due to shore up targets for another drilling campaign next quarter.

]]> Small-Cap Snapshot: Gevo jumps after it inks pact to supply renewable alcohol-to-jet fuel to Avfuel Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:55:00 +0100 Small cap names on the move today are: Gevo Inc. (NASDAQ:GEVO), Park Electrochemical Corp (NYSE:PKE), Tandem Diabetes Care Inc (NASDAQ:TNDM), WillScot Corp (NASDAQ:WSC). 

]]> Rose Petroleum announces CPR results for Paradox basin in Utah Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:38:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive officer of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) tells Proactive that the company has presented a new competent person's report (CPR) assessing its Paradox basin in Utah, United States.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into the geological assessment and these were roughly in line with the numbers that we had expected,” Matthew Idiens said. 

]]> Rose Petroleum, Savannah Petroleum Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:42:00 +0100 Rose Petroleum

Am on the move already this morning but had to mention the Rose announcement regarding the updated CPR on the Paradox project in Utah. Bearing in mind that this was focused solely on the single reservoir, the Cane Creek reservoir one of the multiple prospective areas in the Paradox formation it is incredibly good news .

I couldn’t put it better than CEO Matt Idiens who says ‘ we are hugely encouraged by the reclassification of Contingent Resources within the 3D seismic area reporting net to Rose a 2C Contingent Resource of 9.25 million barrels of oil, 18.5 bscf of gas and an unrisked pre-tax NPV-10 of $122m’.

Patient investors will welcome this extremely good news bearing in mind the significant upside potential and thus prospectivity of the Paradox project. More next week when I’ve chatted to Matt Idiens whom I’m sure will be delighted by this news.

Savannah Petroleum


SAVP has announced that it has spudded Kunama-1 in the R3 portion of the R3/R4 Area in the Agadem Basin in Niger. Primary target is Eocene Sokor Alternances and secondary is Eocene upper Sokor which would be considered as upside.

]]> TAG Oil CEO pleased with latest oil reserves assessment in New Zealand Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:39:00 +0100 TAG Oil Ltd (TSE:TAO) CEO Toby Pierce tells Proactive Investors the company has unveiled its latest independent reserves assessment on its producing oil and gas assets in New Zealand.

Pierce said he expects consistent production over the next 12 months, steady cash flow and further development work.

]]> Powerhouse Energy's connection to the microgrid an historic feat says CEO Allaun Wed, 20 Jun 2018 15:25:00 +0100 Keith Allaun says joining to the grid has proved Powerhouse's technology can turn waste into a green electricity source.

It's like the first spike in the creation of the US intercontinental railway, Powerhouse's (LON:PHE) CEO tells Proactive.

Talks are underway with a number of commercial customers, including billon-pound companies that recognise the value of micro-scale solutions to waste problems, distributed electricity and the hydrogen economy.

"We are starting to get traction and visibility."

]]> Touchstone Exploration's drilling programme continuing to provide significant growth Wed, 20 Jun 2018 15:16:00 +0100 Paul Baay, chief executive of Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP), spoke to Proactive's Andrew Scott to update on current production as well as exploration plans for 2019 following on from the company's AGM.

''The first ten days of this month were north of 1800 barrels a day, which is great,  we've talked previously about that target of two 2000 barrels a day and wanted to be there by the end of the summer and it certainly looks like we're going to get there''.

''We've now spudded our sixth well in the ten well drilling programme so that's underway so everything's rolling out just the way we've talked about previously''.

]]> Oil price, Genel, Lamprell, Empyrean And finally... Wed, 20 Jun 2018 10:30:00 +0100

WTI $65.07 -78c, Brent $75.08 -26c, Diff -$10.01 +52c, NG $2.90 -5c

Oil price

What can I say that hasn’t already been said ahead of Friday, and possibly Saturday’s Opec meeting? For the first time in a while this will be an ‘unfriendly’ meeting as those who can’t increase production oppose increases suggested by those who can. The final reckoning in my view will still probably be an increase in allowances, but for all the reasons I have said this week, will be unlikely to be enough to push the oil price down, if at all. It might be a busy afternoon at Royal Ascot though……

Genel Energy

Genel has announced that the Tawke Partners have received $62.19m from the KRG for their March crude sales of which $15.51m is net to them. For Taq Taq the number is $6.2m gross and $3.41m net and there is also the override payment of $8.37m representing 4.5% of the Tawke gross licence revenues for March as per the terms of the RSA. In total the company has therefore received a total of $27.29m and with a good deal of exciting news to come will be almost certain of inclusion in the next bucket list changes.


Lamprell posted this week an update on Saudi Arabia which they now call ‘core’ to the Group’s growth strategy which must mean all is bedding down well with the JV with Saudi Aramco, Bahri and Hyundai on the maritime yard. Now the objective is to qualify as a contractor  for Aramco for EPC projects which means complying with the IKTVA process. This is the In Kingdom Value Add programme which is to ensure local investment and so LAM has partnered with Asyad Holdings which has had a double whammy as its owner also owns Blofeld which now has 10% of LAM equity.

Empyrean Energy

Tom Kelly has been saying there is more to come away from Dempsey and he has announced further positive news from China this week. His oil migration study on 29/11 its offshore China block has indicated that both Jade and Topaz are ‘potentially filled’ from at least two different pathways and the Pearl prospect is interpreted to be filled via a pathway from a large oil and gas field to the North. With news from Indonesia still due shortly I consider EME to be looking in a very good place just now.


Two links today, the first is my Monday VoxMarkets Podcast which was aired late and thus only in today. The second is a highly informative CEO interview with Paul Welch of SDX Energy which I urge you to watch, it is one of the best, even though I say it myself…

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on SDX Energy, Cabot Energy, President Energy, Diversified Gas & Oil, Echo Energy, Petro Matad, Reabold Resources, Block Oil

Core Finance CEO interview: Paul Welch of SDX Energy

And finally…

Yesterday Russia almost completed getting out of the group stages with an easy win over Egypt for whom Mo Salad was clearly still in recovery. Japan beat Colombia who had a player sent off after only three minutes and Senegal beat Poland. Today sees Portugal play Morocco, Uruguay v Saudi Arabia and Iran play Spain in that competitive group.

Yesterday England broke the world record for runs scored on an ODI posting 481-6 at Trent Bridge and won the game to go 3-0 up in the five match series.

At Royal Ascot John Gosden and Frankie Dettori had a great day  and might come back for more this afternoon especially with Cracksman up their sleeve but also with Stream of Stars and Tricorn ridden by James McDonald.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Wynnstay Group: H1 2018 Results Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:21:00 +0100 Wynnstay Group: H1 2018 Results

Wynnstay Group (LON:WYN), a UK manufacturer and supplier of agricultural inputs, has announced results for the six-month period ended 30 April 2018 (H1 2018).

  • Revenue: £218.5m, +10.3% YoY (H1 2017: £198.1m)
  • Adjusted Group PBT: £4.9m, +15.5% YoY (H1 2017: £4.3m)
  • Net debt of £6.9m at 30 April 2018 (30 April 2017: £8.3m).
  • Interim dividend: 4.41p, +5.0% YoY (H1 2017: 4.2p).
  • Agriculture Division: Revenues £160.1m, +9.9% YoY; operating profit £2.1m, +33.1% YoY (H1 2017: £145.8m, £1.5m).
  • Specialist Retail Division: Revenue £58.3m, +11.4% YoY; operating profit £3.1m, +6.2% YoY (H1 2017: £52.3m, £2.9m).

VSA Comment

WYN’s trading statement on 20 March confirmed that it had begun the year in an encouraging manner with increased demand for most of its products (feed, fertiliser, grain volumes, seeds, retail products). Although the onset of spring farm activities was delayed by weather, arable product volumes have now recovered to normal levels, with particularly strong demand reported in April and May.

In the fertiliser sector, although margin pressure remains, yesterday’s Q3 trading update from Origin Enterprises (LON:OGN), which reported higher like-for-like volumes in its Q3 (WYN’s Q2) as well as an expectation that volumes would continue to be favourable in Q4 (WYN’s Q3) may finally indicate the start of an improving market in this area.

Grain trading has continued to be a difficult place to make money as grain prices have shown little volatility and margins have therefore been hard to achieve. However since March, we have seen a bit more volatility enter the market with the benchmark UK feed price breaking out of its range and moving above £155/t earlier this month.

In animal feed, DEFRA data has continued to show good UK market demand. WYN has also reported the positive impact of the prolonged winter and subsequent wet weather, which has limited grass growth and led to increased animal feed demand as on-farm fodder stocks have depleted.

In retail, as previously announced on 30 April, WYN bought eight stores from the administration of Countrywide Farmers to expand significantly its retail presence into the South West of the UK. It also acquired two others stores during the period (in mid-Wales and Cornwall) to bring its total retail network to 60 stores.


These results are not surprising given the March trading update, the bullish trading update from NWF Group (LON:NWF) last week and well-publicised improvement in the underlying UK agriculture market. Despite these factors, WYN has been the only stock in the sector not to experience a significant share price increase. We think this is unjustified and is perhaps a hangover from the issues experienced with Just for Pets last year.

WYN looks well on track to meet or even exceed current consensus (revenue of £407.6m, +4.3% YoY, and an adjusted PBT of £8.2m, +2.5% YoY).

]]> Rockhopper Tue, 19 Jun 2018 09:57:00 +0100


RKH has announced an Egypt update this morning and progress is certainly being made in the ‘Greater Med’. At Abu Sennan production is being maintained at 4/- boe/d gross, net 880 to RKH. They have also announced the drilling campaign for the summer which comprises exploration and development wells and a water injection programme.

The rig is mobilising and should spud the first of two development wells by the end of June. This will be followed by the second and then the exciting exploration well on ‘prospect S’ which is targeting the Roash reserves as at Al Jahraa. There is also water injection programme at the Al Jahraa field ongoing. This programme is planned to take around six months with total capex net to RKH of $3m.

At El Qa’a the Raya-1X spudded on 17/06 targeting the Nukhul Formation reservoir, here the net cost is less than $1m. The market’s eyes may be focused further south but the Greater Med is an important part of RKH’s strategy as it pays the G&A keeping the powder dry for Sea Lion

Financially the situation in Egypt is improving all the time, with EGPC making ‘a number of payments’, recoverables are falling and now only $2.2m. With the oil price steady enough here and the Sea Lion economics looking robust ali is looking good for RKH and patience should be rewarded.

And finally…

I don’t normally do an and finally in a flash blog but it’s not normally the day after an England win in the first match of a World Cup campaign and the start of Royal Ascot!


]]> Bannerman Resources' managing director shares expert insights on uranium market Tue, 19 Jun 2018 06:54:00 +0100 Bannerman Resources Ltd (ASX:BMN; NSX:BMN) managing director Brandon Munro speaks to Proactive Investors about the company's Etango Uranium Project in Namibia, and also provides insights on the wider uranium market.

The company completed a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the Etango Project in 2012, which it is currently in the process of updating. Several de-risking and optimisation initiatives have been completed in the meantime.

"It will be a top-10 producing mine in the world once it's up and running, and its also very simple. Technically it's very simple, it's an open pit, low stripping ratio project, it enjoys all of the efficiencies of being a very large bulk mining operation. And we're quite unique in that we can process our ores through a low cost heap leaching operation.... arguably we're the most developed project in the world that isn't already in construction,” says Munro.

Earlier this month, Bannerman Resources raised $8 million in a heavily oversubscribed placement at 4.6 cents. Munro explains, "in undertaking the raise we really had two objectives. One was to try and improve the quality of our register, try and ascertain if there was institutional interest out there, and if so try and build our register with that, and we certainly achieved that and we're extremely happy with how that went. But secondly, with $8 million, because of all the advanced study work that we've done over the years on our project, what that means is we're now fully funded all the way to an investment decision."

Speaking about the global uranium market in general, Munro says, “it’s a very interesting position that we’re in in the market. Yes, the spot price has ticked up a little, but I would still describe it as being in a situation of inertia. The spot price certainly hasn’t responded to the market fundamentals that we’re seeing unfolding… We’re moving from surplus into deficit, and that inflection point in itself is very insignificant for a commodity, but when you start to look at what’s coming literally around the corner, developments that are happening in days and weeks at the moment, you start to realise that not only are we inflecting from surplus to deficit, we’re moving into a very deep deficit over the next few years… From a prospective producer who is very well advanced, who has an excellent technical basis to their project, that optionality is boosted enormously by the volatility that we would expect from this pricing inertia.”

]]> Intermin Resources will 'drill, grow, and move into that million ounce category' this year Tue, 19 Jun 2018 03:52:00 +0100 Intermin Resources Ltd (ASX:IRC) managing director Jon Price speaks to Proactive Investors about the Australia-focused company's progress as it works to "enter the realms of mid-tier gold production."

The company recently embarked upon one of its largest-ever drilling programs, focused on the Teal Gold Project and others in the wider Kalgoorlie neighbourhood. “The gold mine itself has been completed and that’s put $10 million of cash in the bank. That’s enabled us to self-fund our own growth and now we’re drilling heavily with 20,000 metres completed. We’ll have a lot of news coming out in the next month or so on those results and resource upgrades. But we’re also drilling outside of Teal on the Zuleika Sheer; two key projects for us is the Anthill Gold Project and the Blister Dam Gold Project. We see the opportunity there for them to be a million ounces each in size, but we have to let the drilling do the talking, and that’s what we’re about this year is drill, grow, and move into that million-ounce category,” says Price.

In addition to a number of wholly-owned gold projects, Intermin Resources holds a portfolio of joint venture projects prospective for other commodities. In particular, the large-scale Richmond Vanadium Project, partnered with AXF Resources, is progressing rapidly. Price comments, "there is a lot of excitement in the vanadium space. I think, as we've said a number of times, people probably need to wake up and smell the vanadium. The lithium has topped out, it's a great battery metal, but I think there's an emerging battery coming called the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery. It has the ability to, I think, revolutionise the electricity industry... it really is about grid scale.”

Price concludes, "the focus this year is resource growth, the focus next year is reserve growth through to a half million ounce target, and then we can look at a mill and becoming a producer in our own right.”

]]> SDX Energy makes new gas discovery at South Disouq project Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:03:00 +0100 SDX Energy Inc's (LON:SDX) Paul Welch tells Proactive that the company has made a new gas discovery at the South Disouq Concession in Egypt.

He adds that that with the two current wells and a third one planned, the project is expected to generate around 50mln cubic feet per day of gas production.

]]> Parkway Minerals looking to partner at Dandaragan Trough as it develops Lake Barlee Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:49:00 +0100 Parkway Minerals NL (ASX:PWN) managing director Patrick McManus speaks with Proactive Investors about the company's two fertiliser projects in Western Australia, and its proprietary K-Max® potassium extraction process.

Aircore drilling is underway at the large-scale Lake Barlee Potash project. At the more advanced Dandaragan Trough Project, the company's patented K-Max® potassium extraction process is set to add value to the large greensand deposits there, according to scoping studies. Parkway Minerals is looking to take on a partner to develop that project, beginning with the Dinner Hill resource, as it focuses on developing Lake Barlee.

The K-Max® process could potentially be licensed to extract a number of elements from micaceous minerals.

Additionally, Parkway Minerals recently increased its stake in Davenport Resources (ASX:DAV) from 26% to 34%. Davenport Resources through its 100% owned subsidiary, East Exploration Gmbh, is exploring for potash in the highly prospective South Harz region of central Germany. "There's a lot more work to be done on that project, but it's really turning up some very strong positive resources," says McManus.

]]> Serinus Energy PLC on the verge of commissioning gas plant in Romania Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:05:00 +0100 Jeffrey Auld, chief executive of Serinus Energy PLC (LON:SENX), runs Proactive's Andrew Scott through current operations and plans for development across their projects in Romania and Tunisia.

Auld says their latest Romanian well was drilled on time and below budget, gas deliveries are imminent and the company is in talks with a trading house, which will handle gas sales on its behalf.

Formerly listed on the Toronto exchange, Serinus floated in London last month, raising £10mln via a share placing.

]]> FAR Ltd turns to The Gambia as SNE oilfield approaches commercialisation milestone Mon, 18 Jun 2018 05:50:00 +0100 FAR Ltd (ASX:FAR) managing director Cath Norman speaks to Proactive Investors about the oil and gas exploration company’s exciting advancements off the west coast of Africa.

The company’s efforts are currently focused on The Gambia, and in particular on the Samo prospect. “Drilling an 800 million barrel prospect is large by any company standards... when you consider that at the moment we have a net 140 million barrels to our name in Senegal, and our market cap’s $500 million, it’s wonderful to think about what our market capitalisation could be after we’ve drilled this Gambian well and have access to maybe another 300 million barrels to FAR’s name. And we’ll have the results of that well by mid to late November at the latest, if we spud on October 1,” says Norman.

FAR Ltd’s Senegalese operations are much more advanced, approaching a key milestone on the path to commercialisation. Norman explains, “we’ve got past the three principal hurdles of size, deliverability, and connectivity; so we understand everything about the oilfield now enough to progress to development. We are in a position today where we’ll be submitting the discoveries evaluation report to the government in about two weeks, which is a statement of commerciality, which I know a lot of our shareholders will be very pleased to see. And with that we’ll be progressively releasing some information about the final size for the development, and also the economics. The field will be developed in a phased development approach... we’ll be looking to get approval of our development plan by the end of this year, we’ll take the final investment decision in mid-2019, and then we’ve got an ambition to have first oil in about 2022.”

]]> Lithium Australia's proprietary SiLeach® process is a 'silver bullet' for lithium extraction Mon, 18 Jun 2018 04:04:00 +0100 Adrian Griffin, managing director of Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT), speaks to Proactive Investors about the integrated battery metal producer’s proprietary SiLeach® lithium processing technology.

Last week the company applied for two global patents relating to the production and recovery of lithium phosphate and lithium sulphate from lithium-bearing silicates.The enhancements will reduce capital and operating costs and improve product quality.

"For us it is the silver bullet because potentially it reduces capital costs and operating costs, so that's quite significant. It also helps us produce a lithium chemical with a much higher purity; we can take the lithium through to carbonate or hydroxide, or as the phosphate as the case may be. And that step - removing the lithium as a phosphate - is not only a step that takes the lithium out of solution at lower concentrations, but also helps us to purify that solution as we do that process," explains Griffin.

]]> Outcome of 88 Energy’s Icewine-2 well testing ‘pivotal’ for investor confidence Fri, 15 Jun 2018 11:14:00 +0100 Proactive's oil and gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft discusses the restarting this week of 88 Energy Ltd's (LON:88E, ASX:88E) Icewine-2 well testing programme.

The well is flowing back fracking fluid that was previously injected into the well to stimulate the HRZ shale formation.

]]> Predictive Discovery 'looking for a big field season' after West Africa rainy season Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:09:00 +0100 Predictive Discovery Ltd. (ASX:PDI) managing director Paul Roberts speaks to Proactive Investors about the gold project generator's progress across its portfolio of projects and exploration licenses in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali. The company is additionally doing some preliminary project generation work on other neighbouring nations in West Africa.

After the rainy season, Predictive Discovery will be drilling at various promising prospects in Côte d’Ivoire with JV partner Toro Gold Ltd, and in Burkina Faso the company will drill along strike from the Bira prospect with JV partner Progress Minerals International.

Roberts says there is "certainly a real possibility as we run into 2019 that we could be looking towards expanding any one of those projects into a pre-resource state."

]]> Triangle Energy's Cliff Head Asset Life Extension program advancing Fri, 15 Jun 2018 05:14:00 +0100 Triangle Energy (Global) Ltd (ASX:TEG) managing director and CEO Rob Towner speaks to Proactive Investors about the oil and gas exploration and production company’s advancements developing the Perth Basin, off the coast of Western Australia.

The company has been remodelling its Cliff Head reservoir for the past three months, with completion of the static modelling stage expected within the coming month. Towner says, “the last 18 months of restructuring the project and business was very much focused on getting the cost of production down. When we purchased into the project, we were running operating or lifting costs at about US$45 a barrel, we’ve now got that down to US$27 a barrel, so these last three months of increased oil prices at above $60 even [means] we are making a good operating margin. So give us six months and we can start to reflect that in the bottom line.”

The onshore Arrowsmith Stabilisation Plant has also been getting plenty of care and attention. It’s regarded by Triangle as a key asset for both the company and the State, with excess production capacity which potentially lends itself to other historic projects and new discoveries, such as the Xanadu joint venture.

]]> Danakali announces new Executive Chairman and CCO as Colluli project advances Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:15:00 +0100 Danakali Ltd (ASX:DNK) outgoing chief executive Danny Goeman speaks to Proactive Investors about the binding offtake agreement for up to 100% of module I sulphate of potash (SOP) production from the Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea, East Africa.

"We've been on this journey for nearly two years now, and ultimately what we wanted to achieve is basically what transpired this week... with a very credible offtake party, which is EuroChem... this particular offtake deal will assist greatly in progressing the funding discussions with the various partners that have expressed an interest in the project thus far," says Goeman.

Danakali announced today that previous non-executive chairman, Seamus Cornelius, has been appointed as executive chairman, and that Niels Wage will join as chief commercial officer (CCO); as Goeman moves on from the company having led it to this milestone.

]]> Emmerson Resources makes 'a very exciting discovery' at Whatling Hill in NSW Wed, 13 Jun 2018 23:32:00 +0100 Emmerson Resources Ltd (ASX:ERM) managing director Rob Bills tells Proactive Investors about the explorer and producer's discovery of what could be a large porphyry copper system at Whatling Hill; part of the Fifield Project, which in turn is part of the company's exploration portfolio in NSW, Australia.

"It is very significant, I do emphasize however it is early stage... it's the most exciting discovery so far across our five projects in New South Wales... discovery is the biggest value driver in any exploration or mining company," says Bills.

]]> Polish approval for 'SuperFuel' product a 'shot in the arm' for Active Energy Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:27:00 +0100 Richard Spinks, chief executive of Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've received market certification and environmental clearance by the Polish government for their ‘SuperFuel’ product.

Testing by the Polish government laboratory showed that the new fuel met requirements under new AntiSmog legislation for the certification of solid fuels and means it can now be used both domestically and in Polish/EU coal plants.

''We're now in execution mode ... we know what we need to do, we know where the market is,  what our margins are going to be, what it's costing us and this has really been a great shot in the arm''.

]]> Haydale Graphene expects recovery after tougher than expected 2017 Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:08:00 +0100 Ray Gibbs, chief executive of Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD), tells Proactive Investors they're expecting to generate revenues of between £3.45mln and £3.60mln for its current financial year.

He says they made 'significant progress' in the year but suffered in the second half from a combination of timing differences of recognising revenue before the financial year end and longer than anticipated lead times by customers to reach commercial volumes.

Gibbs thanks shareholders for their support over the period and adds: ''It's taken a little longer than we thought, that's not an unusual thing to happen in business but we're on track to get to some serious growth''.

]]> Lithium Australia's purchase of Sadisdorf further aligns it to European EV industry Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:11:00 +0100 Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) managing director Adrian Griffin speaks to Proactive Investors about the integrated battery metal producer’s recently announced purchase of the Sadisdorf Lithium Tin Project in Saxony, Germany from Tin International AG.

It was a farm-in and joint-venture with Tin International. The recent drilling that we’ve done does confirm the size of the deposit, and it’s open, so will grow... We’ve looked at the mineralogy, we know what the lithium distribution is, we’ve got access to underground workings so we’ve re-sampled much of that. So we can see the deposit in three dimensions, you can walk through it, and that gives you a lot of confidence. Not only that, we have produced lithium concentrate from it, and taken that right through to the extraction of lithium. So we see it as relatively low risk," says Griffin.

]]> Ironbark Zinc 'on the cusp' of developing what could be a global Top 5 zinc mine Wed, 13 Jun 2018 05:53:00 +0100 Ironbark Zinc Ltd (ASX:IBG) managing director Jonathan Downes speaks to Proactive Investors about the base metals-focused company's Citronen Zinc-Lead Project in northern-Greenland.

"This year we’re taking a ship to site and on board will be about $1 million worth of fuel and we’re planning to allow a very rapid ramp up next year, so that’s really the key, to get that up there. We are taking a mining team and commencing the early site works, some foundation works, a portal and a box cut into the main orebody as well. So we’ll start active mining, and next year will be the major construction event, and the following year we hope to be in early commissioning stage of the process plant, so heading into being a world-class mining operation there after," explains Downes.

Ironbark Zinc has also identified germanium in the orebody, a commodity associated with rapidly increasing demand worth around US$2.3 million per tonne.

]]> 'A fantastic step forward' for commercial production at Emmerson Resources Tue, 12 Jun 2018 23:28:00 +0100 Emmerson Resources Ltd (ASX:ERM) managing director Rob Bills tells Proactive Investors all the details of the explorer and producer's recent agreement with Territory Resources Ltd (ASX:TTY).

"This is a fantastic step forward for Emmerson. It solves a remaining key requirement for commercial production of gold in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field. So, it's the development of a modern, centralised processing facility at Warrego... we've obviously got the exploration, we've got the mining, but obviously we didn't have the processing up until this development," explains Bills.

The agreement unlocks the potential of a number of assets in the area for Emmerson Resources, which has a strategy of producing gold from small mines in order to fund exploration work.

Approvals have been obtained from the Northern Territory government for the Black Snake Mine, which will be Emmerson's second small mining operation to come online after Edna Beryl.

]]> Origami Energy 'providing a real-time marketplace for the energy world' Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:59:00 +0100 Origami Energy's Peter Bance tells Proactive Investors he founded the company in 2013 with a vision to create a real-time marketplace for the energy world.

''All of this renewable power is coming and yet if you don't make a smart system you can't go green economically - you need a technology solution to really make that happen''.

''We don't allow people to buy and sell the power but we allow people to buy and sell the flexibility in the energy market''

''So on one side of the marketplace if you have an asset which can provide some energy flexibility such as a generator or a battery you can then sell that to someone who wants to access that flexibility like a trader or utility company for example''.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources (LN:CERP) Tue, 12 Jun 2018 10:04:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced full year results for the year ending December 2017. The new team, which took charge in May 2017, has recapitalised the company, which ended the year with a cash position of £4m, and began an ambitious operational overhaul seeking to realise the significant value potential of the underlying assets whilst instilling capital discipline.

Revenues were up 5% YoY, to £4.8m while the loss from operations widened to £4.3m from £4m, largely due to the costs associated with closing the Spanish assets. Due to a lower impact from impairments, the net loss narrowed from £11.9m to £5m YoY.

These results, however, largely reflect the last of the old regime and the turnaround being enacted is yet to show through fully. Operational improvements began to take effect from August and so the full year numbers reflect little of the positive working practices and low cost enhancements which took production from 365bopd in July 2017 to a peak of 562bopd by the end of the year.

Group production averaged 368bopd, down 21% YoY, primarily as a result of the reduced contribution from the Spanish assets which have been shuttered. This was modestly lower than our estimate based on management guidance of 399bopd for the full year and was largely due to the challenges of coarse sand impacting on pumps. CERP has now applied new techniques to alleviate this. Group revenues were, however, up 5% YoY at £4.8m driven by a recovery in oil prices and the increased production contribution from Goudron in the latter part of the year. We highlight that revenues from Trinidad increased 24% YoY to £4.5m while Spanish revenues declined 68% YoY to £0.3m and these have been discontinued for 2018.

Cost of sales were modestly higher, up 8% YoY to £3.6m reflecting CERP’s largely fixed operating cost base, however, as a result of a stronger top line CERP generated a small gross profit of £78k versus a loss of £148k in the prior year. The closure of the Spanish operations did, however, increase SG&A costs by around £700k and following the successful agreements in Q1 2018 in relation to the La Cora concession these can be considered a one off. Excluding Spain, CERP reduced SG&A by 11.5% YoY. However, as a consequence the loss from operations widened YoY to £4.2m from £4m.

Finance charges increased to £824k from a negligible net amount YoY owing to the use of the Lind facility which the new team successfully renegotiated during 2017 raising the conversion price to 4.5p. CERP reduced its outstanding debt through the year from £1.87m to £1.21m despite Lind exercising its right to lend a further US$0.75m during the year. The debtposition at the end of March was approximately £0.69m demonstrating continued further progress in this regard. Indeed, having raised £4.1m in October, CERP has considerably strengthened its balance sheet and is well placed to carry out its operational turnaround at Goudron as well as initial exploration on the South West Peninsula, now due in H1 2019.

Post year end, CERP completed a renegotiation of the license ownership in relation to the SWP which paves the way for the much anticipated exploration programme necessary to unlock the significant value potential we believe exists. In addition, the company announced the potential Icacos acquisition which we believe is attractive for both CERP and Touchstone (TXP CN) since its completion better aligns the interests of the relevant parties with their core strategies and will enable CERP to take advantage of potential synergies between Bonasse and Icacos.

Although the financial data for 2017 shows little of the initial benefits from production and operational enhancements managements’ impact on capital discipline is clearly demonstrated in these results. The improvements in production of around 50% during H2 have resulted from minimal capital spending of just £1.38m. Although this was significantly higher than the prior year (£310k), this lack of investment owed to the company’s constrained financial position and we believe that capital spending of £8m in 2015 and £10m in 2014 are more reflective of the prior management’s approach. We believe that this is the key takeaway from these results and is the most clear indication of the change of direction for the company.  

The full year 2017 results represent only a small part of the early impact that the new management team has had, in our view. We believe that the financial benefits of the operational turnaround will be more fully reflected in the coming periods and much of the first 12 months for the new team has been about building a robust platform on which to build; resolving legacy issues at the SWP with regard to the BOLT transaction and in Spain now mean that the company is well placed to fully reflect the financial turnaround at Goudron in 2018 and begin exploration on the SWP.


We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 26p target price.

]]> Pacific American Coal's Elko Coking Coal Project 'looking really exciting at the moment' Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:20:00 +0100 Pacific American Coal Ltd (ASX:PAK) IR general manager Simon Klimt updates Proactive Investors, just ahead of the start of an 8,000 meter drill program at its flagship Elko Coking Coal Project in British Columbia, Canada.

Klimt explains that the fully-funded campaign has "the ultimate goal of getting both some core out, so we can have commercial discussions with potential partners; as well as heading us towards reserves."

"We are fully funded, which is really good for an exploration company. We're going to be fully funded for this project, and we've got cash in the bank to look at other opportunities, which we're actively pursuing at the moment," says Klimt.

]]> Peninsula Energy transitioning to 'a much more robust and effective process chemistry' Tue, 12 Jun 2018 02:48:00 +0100 Peninsula Energy Ltd (ASX:PEN) managing director and CEO Wayne Heili speaks to Proactive Investors about the transformational work the uranium mining company has been undertaking at its flagship Lance Project in Wyoming in the US; known as the 'low pH transformation initiative.'

Peninsula Energy has already submitted amendment applications to the relevant authorities, and is in the midst of preparing a process feasibility study.

"The low pH lixiviants have proven to be the most cost-effective way to recover uranium globally. In fact the top 40% of the low-cost producers worldwide utilise this technology and this specific chemistry. So, we anticipate being able to move our project into the  top quartile," says Heili.

One of the "strengths and defining characteristics of Peninsula, that sets us apart and differentiates us from our peer group," according to Heili, is the company's contract book. It extends to deliveries in the year 2030, at an average price of over US$50 a pound. Currently, spot prices range from $20 to $22 per pound.

]]> Block Energy begins trading on AIM amid plans to enhance production Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:52:00 +0100 Block Energy Plc's (LON:BLOE) Paul Haywood tells Proactive that the company holds three licenses in the country of Georgia, an area that is starting to appear on the radar of several oil majors.

Haywood adds that the firm, whose shares have just begun trading on AIM, is currently producing around 20 barrels of oil per day of light crude, with an immediate plan to enhance existing production through a work programme expected to start within the next few months.

]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, Block Energy And finally... Mon, 11 Jun 2018 12:40:00 +0100

WTI $65.74 -21c, Brent $76.46 -86c, Diff -$10.72 -65c, NG $2.89 -4c

Oil price

Oil was down modestly on Friday and pushed it into negative territory for the week, WTI lost just 7c and Brent 33c after the usual ups and downs. There are still opposing forces operating which will likely keep things range bound at least until the Opec meeting on 22nd of this month. With 11 days to go posturing is very much underway, at the weekend Iran, unsurprisingly, took offence at the US appeal to the Saudis to increase production to keep prices down.

What Opec/Non-Opec will do may well be decided on Thursday as I understand that senior Saudis have been invited to Moscow to watch the opening fixture of the World Cup which is between Russia and Saudi Arabia, who would have guessed at such a coincidence?

Some oil watchers are still pinning their hopes on a price fall led by ever increasing US production, last week it reached 10.8m b/d but still short of having any real impact of the market. The rig count showed a rise of 2 units overall, and up by only 1 in oil to 862 units which won’t rock the boat too much I would have thought, to put it into perspective Venezuelan production has fallen by more this year than the US has risen…

At this stage I still think the Opec meeting will decide to carefully monitor the situation and where necessary ensure that the market is supplied with crude oil as and when the situation demands, or something similar, certainly not a free-for-all which would delight Iran.

Echo Energy

Echo has announced that it has successfully completed its EWT on the CSo-85 well on their Fracción D acreage in Argentina. They report 16 days of stabilised gas production at a variety of choke sizes from 6-14mm achieving a maximum rate of 2.5 mmscf/d at tubing head pressure of 432 psi. After this the pressure gauges were left on for 19 days to monitor pressure build up, the results of which were very positive and indicate that the well is in direct communication with a volume of the 4 bcf in the Springhill reservoir.

Integration of this data indicates that it will be possible to convert some or all of the currently classified gross best case prospective resources of 15.3 bcf immediately into contingent resources. Also, the deeper Springhill C3 reservoir has some 11.6 bcf which may have a similar expectation of reclassification. The company, along with partner CGC are evaluating drilling an additional Tobifera gas well on the western flank of Cañadon Salto to target 18.8 bcf of total gross prospective resource of 18.8 bcf (best case) in addition to confirming existing contingent resources of 19 bcf (gross best case) in the current campaign. Success on this would support an early decision for a gas development at Fracción D and the companies are working on a fully costed development plan, including pipeline and associated gas processing facilities, upon which such a process could go ahead and on what timeline.

Echo have had remarkable success with amongst their first projects in the portfolio of Argentinian assets they purchased only last year already potentially going ahead. With a recent raise with high quality institutional investors made to take advantage of current low prices in oilfield service companies, and significant potential from the current drilling campaign it seems odd that the market has yet to take this onboard, a pick up in the share price must be on the cards before long.

Block Energy

First day of dealings today for Block Energy the latest Georgia based company to appear on the market. The company has raised £5m at 4p which I am led to believe is significantly more than they had originally expected and has some high quality institutional backing. I am meeting with the management tomorrow so will report back after that as there are some important questions to ask them.

Finally the arrival of another Georgian based company on the market can only be good news for Frontera Resources as it will surely highlight the huge potential in the country which up until now has been to a large extent missed by the market.

And finally…

In my haste to complete Friday’s blog I left out half of the important sporting events due at the weekend…

Although the F1 roadshow is providing us with a number of potential winners which is refreshing, the actual races are turning out to be remarkably boring. With extra wide cars and circuits that prohibit overtaking, qualifying now generally is way more fun than the race itself. Yesterday’s procession proved that and whilst the table is very close, the racing is not.

Talking of not close is the mismatch arranged for Tyson Fury who fought an Albanian five stones lighter and a foot shorter than himself. Woefully out of touch it took him four rounds to despatch someone he should have done in four seconds…

The Scotland v England cricket match yesterday was close and with England treating it like a warm-up match for the series against the Aussies this week they deserved what they got. Very poor bowling on a pocket handkerchief of a pitch deservedly got despatched and when it came to cruising to victory the middle order folded in a typically cavalier fashion reminiscent of ye old England.

The rugby was also interesting and close, notably England just losing in South Africa and Ireland shaded in Australia, whilst Wales won in Argentina and Scotland in Canada. Round two next weekend should provide more good games. France provided interest by going in at half time against the All Blacks 8-11 ahead and promptly lost 48-11….



]]> Premier Oil PLC in a strong position to generate significant free cash flow Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:54:00 +0100 Tony Durrant, chief executive of Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO), runs Proactive's Andrew Scott through their portfolio of production and exploration assets as well as plans for further acquisitions in the UK North Sea.

''We're at 85,000 barrels a day - most of that comes from the UK''.

''We've been investing significantly in the UK North Sea over the last few years ... of course the industry has gone through a difficult period with low oil prices, we've continued to invest in that period - specifically we've pushed ahead with our Catcher project in the North Sea''.

]]> Sound Energy entering increasingly busy period with multiple work-streams underway Fri, 08 Jun 2018 12:30:00 +0100 Proactive Investors oil and gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft spoke to Andrew Scott as shares in the Morocco-focused gas junior Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) enjoyed a 25% rise this week after the company issued five stock market statements in five days.

The daily communications included progress reports for the group field development and separate exploration efforts at the Tendrara project, as well as the launch of a partnering effort for the Sidi Moktar exploration venture.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Sound, Ascent, Zenith, Empyrean And finally... Fri, 08 Jun 2018 12:21:00 +0100

WTI $65.95 +$1.22, Brent $77.32 +$1.96, Diff -$11.37 +74c, NG $2.93 +3c

Oil price

Oil prices got back down to $65 and $75 so it was time to rally and apart from the strong greenback most of the news was positive. Firstly, news gets worse in Venezuela where PDVSA are apparently not meeting their contractual obligations leading to empty tankers queuing around the block and no sign of anything getting any better. The two Chevron workers have been released from jail but i’m sure that their tales will hardly inspire anyone to work there.

In the discussion about whether to increase production or not two countries yesterday helped the price spike by suggesting that there should be no increase in production. The Algerian Oil Minister wants to keep the market tight but balanced whilst the Iraqi minister went further by saying that no production increase is to be discussed at the June 22nd meeting. As I said earlier in the week, positions being taken for the meeting even earlier than ever and it also looks like $75 is the price to defend.

Amerisur Resources

Sometimes there is just too much data around which can obfuscate the longer term message, in this case seeing monthly data from each well from AMER is fine but can create unnecessary panic. Today’s news from the company is a case in point, we knew that there was a rolling programme of treatment and maintenance ongoing and also that it was being successful, that didnt stop the market from banging the shares as the raw data was assessed.

May production of 4,807 b/d was indeed down and a peak of 5,344 b/d didn’t seem to help offset the gloom however well it was explained by the good Doctor. The 6 well had seen some increase in water cut which is being investigated but the treatment on both the 11 and 20 wells was effective. The 21, 22 and 24 wells are now being reviewed for intervention but this should come as no surprise, in his latest presentation JW stated that ‘some sleeve erosion’ is inevitable but also treatable.

The excitement for AMER in coming months is the drilling campaign across three or more important areas of the acreage. There is a modest delay to the Pintadillo-1 well due to appalling weather conditions but a July spud date is expected, both the other wells at Indico-1 and Miraparriba-1 are still on schedule for Q3 2018.

Whilst I can understand that these monthly figures look disappointing, a 14% fall in the share price from an already remarkably low number is difficult to reconcile. If you combine this years substantial revenue with the ongoing and largely successful work on the wells, with the potential for one or all of the big prospect wells to come in then AMER looks like very attractive option money to me at this level.

Sound Energy

If there is a y in the day it must mean an RNS from Sound who have now completed the full house of announcements this week. Today they announce that their application for a development concession relating to the Tendrara gas discovery has gone into the Moroccan Ministry of Energy in the hope of a successful result later this year. The company say that this will be a ‘significant step to both de-risk and commercialise this gas discovery’ and also say that they are advancing discussions with regard to a GSA, not a bad week all round I would suggest.

Ascent Resources

Life has been tough for Ascent Resources, the highs of 2.75p last August have been forgotten as troubles pile up in all corners. News today is mixed but overall should bring some, modest comfort. The Pg-11A update is that it is up and running again after kit was brought in to stem the water production problem. Regarding the IPPC permit application I detect some infuriation from Colin Hutchinson with the seemingly never ending delay in a process that the Slovenian authorities should be fast tracking to enable further in-country investment. It is still a watch this space situation but a combination of an acceptable flow rate at Pg-11A and a decision re the permit should ameliorate things somewhat, and that’s about the best of it…

Zenith Energy

Following the announcement earlier in the week regarding the new, bigger rig for the Zardab and Muradkhanli which I wrote up briefly on Wednesday I managed to spend some time with the CEO who talked me through the situation in the field. I have visited the operations within the last year and whilst the challenges have been significant there is little doubt that they are being met head on.

With the bringing in of a much bigger rig, which will in all likelihood start to clear up the most important wells at Z-21, Z-28, Z-3 and then at MOC-1,  the chances of opening up even one of these wells would be transformational. The share price seems to reflect only the chance of operational failure whereas should any success occur it must be, with a market cap of less than £10m, at a huge discount to what it should be remembered are 2P reserves of 31.7 mmbo in Azerbaijan and 16.4 bcf in Italy. The 1/- b/d target in Azerbaijan is not unreasonable and with costs of $19 a barrel would be highly profitable and the company is worth watching.

Empyrean Energy

As suggested in my report after recently chatting to Tom Kelly he snuck in some good news this week about his asset in China where the interpretation of the 3D seismic has now been completed. The Jade and Topaz prospects are both being described as ‘highly material opportunities’ with best estimate prospective un-risked resources of 625 MMbbl with further prospect Pearl also adding to the total figure of 774 MMbbl.

As Tom Kelly put it himself ‘put simply the potential size of the prize in China just got materially bigger’ and with Dempsey still offering substantial potential the portfolio is looking good. Indeed the prospects from Indonesia, which we havent heard from recently, may well also be looking interesting, all in all EME is beginning to look very attractive indeed…

And finally…

England played their last friendly before next week’s World Cup last night and the whole squad has had a few minutes to prepare themselves. Costa Rica weren’t quite the side they were the last time we played them but neither were we… Certainly Marcus Rashford looked sharp enough and may get a slot.


]]> Jericho Oil now placing focus on development of oil and gas properties Fri, 08 Jun 2018 01:50:00 +0100 Jericho Oil Corp (CVE:JCO; OTC:JROOF) CEO Brian Williamson tells Proactive Investors the company is shifting efforts to development as the oil and gas company continues to grow.

The company acquires, explores, and develops natural gas and crude oil properties in North America

Jericho has assembled a 55,000 net acre position across Oklahoma, including an interest in 14,000 net acres in the STACK play.

The company has a portfolio of oil-focused, stacked-pay assets – some of which is located in the Anadarko basin STACK play of Oklahoma, says Williamson.

The acronym STACK describes both its location – Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian and Kingfisher County – and multiple, stacked productive formations present in the area.

The company is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, with operational headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

]]> Petroteq Energy CEO sees 'very aggressive' growth pattern in next four years Fri, 08 Jun 2018 01:32:00 +0100 Petroteq Energy CEO David Sealock Interview tells Proactive Investors the integrated oil and gas company is facing strong growth as it continues to develop and implement proprietary technologies for the energy industry. 

According to Sealock, the environmentally safe and sustainable technology can be used for the extraction of heavy oils from oil sands, oil shale deposits and shallow oil deposits. Sealock says the proprietary process produces zero greenhouse gas, zero waste and requires no high temperatures.

Sealock says the company is currently fully funded, with a recent raise of $2.5mln in February and $3mln last month.

]]> Arcimoto's 'fun utility vehicle' helps reduce environmental footprint Wed, 06 Jun 2018 18:55:00 +0100 Arcimoto Inc (NASDAQ:FUV) CEO Mark Frohnmayer tells Proactive Investors people can reduce their environmental footprint by using smaller vehicles built using fewer materials. Arcimoto produces an FUV, or Fun Utility Vehicle.

Frohnmayer says the clean, affordable, small electric vehicle is targeted to all drivers, adding that 76% of people commute alone. He says the base range of the vehicle is about 70 miles, or 112km. Longer-range batteries are also available.

Frohnmayer says the company recently went public, and is currently building its factory in Eugene, Oregon.

]]> Amazing Energy Oil and Gas has plans to uplist within the next year Wed, 06 Jun 2018 18:06:00 +0100 Amazing Energy Oil and Gas Co (OTCQX:AMAZ) CEO Willard McAndrew III tells Proactive Investors about its plans to uplist either to the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange by the end of the year. 
The Texas-based oil and gas exploration company holds a lease for 70,000 acres in the oil-heavy Permian Basin. 
"We don't own 70,000 acres. We have an option and control 70,000 acres forever for US$200 per acre, even though people are paying US$1,500 an acre around us, so we're in a very unique position," said McAndrew. 
In the near future, the company expects to be cash-flow positive within the next 90 days. Within the next year, production is forecast to reach the 300 to 400 barrel per day range. 
]]> Permex Petroleum unveils 'exciting' acquisition in Permian Basin with major oil producer Wed, 06 Jun 2018 12:51:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum Corporation (CSE:OIL) CEO Mehran Ehsan tells Proactive Investors the junior oiler has unveiled a major milestone in its development with the strategic acquisition of two producing assets in West Texas for around $1.95mln in cash.

The other major working interest partner on the field is international oil giant Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), which has a market cap of around US$65.19bn.

Permex will continue producing from the San Andres formation and review deeper prospects in the property.

]]> Rose Petroleum moving closer to drilling at Paradox Basin Wed, 06 Jun 2018 11:05:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE), speaks to Proactive's Andrew Scott following the release of their 2017 results.

Idiens describes the past financial year as a period of 'substantial progress’ as they work towards drilling their first well in Utah’s Paradox basin.

The explorer’s maiden well programme is due to take place before the end of 2018.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:39:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (IOG LN)#


Independent Oil & Gas (IOG LN) has announced a significant operational update demonstrating initial positive results from the pigging programme undertaken to determine the integrity of the Thames Pipeline. The pipeline is a crucial part of the Southern North Sea gas hub strategy which enables IOG to save hundreds of millions in development capital and maximise the returns from extraction of gas. Therefore, initial confirmation indicating the pipeline is in “extremely good condition” is a major positive step towards the Final Investment Decision (FID) due in H2 2018 and further confirmation of the viability of IOG’s development strategy.

Three 12m sections of the pipeline were cut out 60km offshore and retrieved to surface which showed little signs of degradation or corrosion. This is slightly further out than where the Southwark field will be tied back in to the pipeline. Subsequent pressure testing by elevating water pressure in the pipeline for 24 hours yielded positive results further confirming the integrity of the pipeline and over a greater extent than the short sections cut-outs.

Due to a malfunction with the pigging device insufficient data was collected during the 60km run to clean and assess roundness and thickness in the pipeline. Although the other tests provide a clear indication of the pipeline’s integrity, IOG will run this latter stage of the pigging programme again as it is important to fully complete the surveys to provide contractors and investors with full confidence. We expect this to be completed within the coming weeks. This does potentially delay the remainder of the process ahead of FID which may now be delayed by a short period beyond the planned August 2018 target.

In addition to the intelligent pigging programme, IOG has also been conducting offshore survey programmes via its contractor Fugro MV Galaxy. The programmes, which included geophysical surveys, shallow seismic of the four platform and five drill sites as well as other environmental and geotechnical surveys, have provided important additional data required ahead of FID.

The announcement today provides strong confirmation of the progress IOG is making in its development programme. The Thames Pipeline is a fundamental part of the development and one of the major factors in determining the significant upside potential we believe exists. Confirmation of its integrity is therefore a major positive step for IOG. 

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 96p target price.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, IOG, Europa Oil & Gas And finally... Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:34:00 +0100

WTI $64.75 -$1.06, Brent $75.29 -$1.50, Diff -$10.54 -44c, NG $2.93 -3c

Oil price

The run in to the Opec meeting on June 22nd has, as I mentioned recently started remarkably early but with 24 seats around the table now and ‘pre-meetings’ needed ’twas ever going to be so. The usual five dollar boiling over has happened again and will serve a useful reminder to the enlarged group of what might happen if discipline is lost although the fundamentals still show the market to be short if one assumes that Venezuela, Angola and ultimately Iran to be unable to deliver.

Sound Energy

It looks like the mention yesterday by Sound of ‘a period of intense newsflow’ was no joking matter as today the company announce Ministry approval for Sidi Moktar and following ‘significant inbound third party interest’ a potential farm-out of part of its 75% operated stake. The objective of any farm-out would be to achieve funding for the 2018 programme and Sound expects to retain operatorship.

The company has completed its remaining subsurface evaluation and is close to finalising the mapped portfolio and comprehensive Petroleum System Model over the entire area and in its study has mapped 28 Liassic, Triassic and Paleozoic leads and has a best case of 8.9 Tcf of gross unrisked gas originally in place. Also, Sidi Moktar has an existing gas discovery in the Lower Liassic at Kechoula which is close to local infrastructure and the gas hungry OCP phosphate plant.

By the nature of its time consuming work in the area it has been an unusually quiet time for Sound in Morocco but the mothership of the Holy Trinity rarely stays quiet for long and the news already this week gives grounds for optimism. Expect more news from these two announcements, and perhaps a hashtag, as this period of intense newsflow has surely not come to an end…

Independent Oil & Gas

An update on ‘intelligent pigging’ and offshore surveys programmes from IOG this morning as they progress on the Thames pipeline. Initial work shows that the pipeline is in good condition and two pipeline pressure tests have confirmed its integrity. Unfortunately the intelligent pigging run gathered ‘insufficient data’ so clearly wasn’t quite as intelligent as it was made out to be and will need a second run which might take another 6 weeks to complete.

This will have delayed the process but assuming the second run achieves its data satisfactorily all will continue with IOG’s plan to move ahead with the FDP plans for the Bythe and Vulcan hubs that I wrote about recently. Finalising the pipeline should ultimately connect Bacton to the company’s 303 BCF of 2P gas reserves with all the upside in the area.

Europa Oil & Gas

Much better news this morning from EOG as they announce a 93% increase in estimated combined gross mean un-risked prospective resources on FEL 3/13 to 2.9bn boe. This marked improvement comes following PSDM reprocessing of the 3D seismic acquired in 2013 and fully justifies its investment at the time. Next stop for EOG is to farm-out FEL 3/13 but not until work on licences FEL 2/13 and 1/17 have been brought up to the same level of evaluation as this one. Investing in EOG has always been for the long haul and today has moved that a small step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go but I assume that having got this far the management still see the sunlit uplands  in the distance.


After the Bank Holiday break I was back with Vox Markets for my weekly Podcast yesterday. Here is the link and the slightly longer list of companies covered.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Range Resources, Empyrean Energy, Coro Energy, Hurricane Energy, Ophir Energy, Sound Energy, Pantheon Resources, Victoria Oil & Gas, Echo Energy

And finally…

Very little to report this morning as the pre World Cup friendlies continue but Germany are already frightening as they can leave Sane out of the squad….


]]> Europa Oil & Gas sees near doubling in resources for South Porcupine Basin licence Tue, 05 Jun 2018 07:56:00 +0100 Hugh Mackay, chief executive of Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc (LON:EOG) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott a major upgrade to their prospective resources in the South Porcupine Basin, Atlantic Ireland, following the analysis of new 3D seismic data.

The inventory for the Frontier Exploration Licence 3/13 has increased by 93% to 2.9bn potential barrels of oil equivalent

]]> PEDEVCO Corp founder and chairman says he's come out of retirement to help company grow Mon, 04 Jun 2018 23:05:00 +0100 Frank Ingriselli, founder and chairman of PEDEVCO Corp (NYSEAMERICAN:PED) tells Proactive Investors his reasons for coming out of retirement and back into the energy spotlight. The founder and chairman of PEDEVCO says he's eager to return to raise more capital, re-structure company debt and help the company thrive.

PEDEVCO is a publicly listed, energy company that acquires and develops high-value energy projects, including shale oil and gas assets, in the United States.

Ingriselli says the company is ready to grow, and will continue to benefit from the rise in oil prices. Ingriselli says the company's next goal will be to raise additional capital.

]]> 'Sweet deal' sees Union Jack Oil up stake in Wressle discovery to 27.5% Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:46:00 +0100 David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've acquired a further 12.5% in the PEDL180 and PEDL182 licences in North Lincolnshire, which are home to the Wressle discovery and the Broughton North prospect.

The additional stake takes Union Jack’s total interest in the licences to 27.5%.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, VOG, SDX, Reabold, Pantheon, Chariot And finally... Mon, 04 Jun 2018 12:57:00 +0100 WTI $65.81 -$1.23, Brent $76.79 -77c, Diff -$10.98 +46c, NG $2.96 +1c

Oil price

The greenback was probably as much of an influence on the oil price on Friday as anything else as the economic data all provided ammunition for a rate rise soon and another before the year end. The CFTC data shows the professional punters trimming their length, so to speak, as they consider that $80 Brent has rung the bell somewhat. That level has certainly been of interest, Opec and friends would have taken note that worries about a demand hit are claimed here and the four dollar drop backed up the theory.

Rumours that Russia has already started producing a bit more to keep the market satisfied, how nice, were offset by the Saudis keeping the spigots turned off, at least until 22nd of June. The big discussion point of last month was that WTI actually fell, by $1.53 whilst Brent rose by $2.42 increasing the differential markedly, today it is nearly $11. With the Baker Hughes rig count showing a rise of 1 generally to 1060 and 2 in oil to 861 not giving any clues as to US production only pipeline capacity issues will matter here.

Sound Energy

Sound has released the final CPR for the A1 prospect on the Tendrara-Lakhbir permit in Eastern Morocco and whilst it shows no difference to the one published back in April (Gross prospective resources on a mid-case basis of 335bcf) it does signal the start of ‘a period of intensive news flow as we de-risk the development of our existing discovery and finalise preparations for the exploration drill programme’.

The first well, TE-9 will go for the TAGI as its primary target and aim for potentially similar scale volumes in the underlying Palaeozoic as a secondary target. CEO James Parsons suggests that success here could ‘unlock significant value for Sound and our partners, reduce the risk on nearby leads, and further our overall confidence in the broader TAGI Structural Play trend.

Sound is about to emerge from a relatively quiet year which it has spent shooting seismic (at Schlumberger’s expense) and preparing for the next exploration programme. For investors who want to revisit this potentially substantial Moroccan gas story as the newsflow starts again, now may be one of the last opportunities…

Victoria Oil & Gas

VOG has announced a Logbaba field reserves update of significant proportions. 1P reserves of 69 bcf is an increase of 29 bcf or 73%, field remaining 2P reserves are up to 309 bcf up 106 bcf or 52% and the reserves/production ratio is now 10 years at 90 mmscfd which supports growth in the Douala market as well as new long term gas contracts. This security of supply to long term buyers of gas will enable VOG to enter contractual negotiations with companies and generators safe in the knowledge that they will be able to deliver.

Whilst it has a been a difficult year following the ENEO problem VOG are getting themselves into a very strong position in Douala. Businesses, more eager than ever to have a reliable, long term contractual supply of gas will like this news and competitive power generators will thrive also. VOG is likely to end up with a bigger, stronger and higher margin business extremely well placed to satisfy the inevitable growing needs of Cameroon.

SDX Energy

SDX has spudded the SD-4X appraisal well at South Disouq the first of two planned appraisal wells on the permit. The well is expected to take up to 30 days to drill and if successful will be completed, flow tested and connected to the infrastructure being developed at the SD-1X discovery location.

Reabold Resources

RBD as 32.9% owner has published the Schlumberger CPR for Corallian’s 100% owned Outon project in the North Sea. The Schlumberger report attributes 2C contingent resources of 13.9 million barrels of oil and 4.4 BCF of gas.  The report attributes a best estimate prospective resource of 31 million barrels of oil and 26 BCF of gas. Along with Colter and Wick, RBD now has an enviable set of projects with near term potential within the Corallian portfolio.

Pantheon Resources

Some good news at last from Pantheon which has been in short supply for some time. It seems that the problems of excess water at VOBM#5 were caused by fraccing ‘communicating with a deeper water source’ below the perforations. This should be solved by perforating only the Eagle Ford sandstone in future, maybe not rocket science?

As for VOBM#1 they hope to spud ‘as early as late July’ the sidetrack to the well where the casing collapsed. Here the operator gives a ‘high probability of success’ as the previous problem was time related. Although these problems have been of an operational nature the market is still indicating that PANR is in the last chance saloon which is understandable, bucket list changes in July are not looking good for them I’m afraid but the shares have at least ticked up slightly this morning…

Chariot Oil & Gas

Chariot has contracted a rig for drilling one firm fully funded well and an optional second well depending on success on Prospect ‘S’ offshore Namibia in Q4 2018. The company describe Prospect S as ‘independently estimated as a gross mean prospective resource of 459 mmbbls and a probability of geologic success of 29% by Netherland Sewell Associated Inc., is one of five dip-closed structural traps, totalling 1,758mmbbls gross mean prospective resources, that have been identified in the Upper Cretaceous turbidite clastic play fairway’.

So that tells us then, they are hoping to farm-out this prospect and told me recently that there are a number of most exciting follow-on opportunities in these Central blocks which they hope to share if successful.

And finally…

In the Italian MotoGP Jorge Lorenzo scored his first win since joining Ducati. World championship leader Marc Marquez crashed out while trying to put pressure on the lead but Lorenzo never looked threatened and dominated the race from the start. Dovizioso made it a Ducati double in 2nd place and Valentino Rossi in 3rd made sure the Italian fans didn’t have to take their fireworks home with them. Cal Crutchlow was the first Honda home and the highest independent rider again in 6th place.

England won a test match which is a first for some time but several players actually showed grit and determination in a match which was a mirror image of the first in the series. Next test cricket in August and against India who will be no pushover…

The ‘boys in blue’ won the Derby with Masah and against an odds on favourite that just didn’t get the trip. With all the results at the weekend the major races during the summer are going to be most interesting.

And the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to take a 2-0 lead in the series, that awful mistake by the Cavs in the first game may be looking worse every time you see it….

And with apologies from last week, I forgot to mention that Sarries won the Premiership beating the Exeter Chiefs in the final….

]]> Chariot Oil and Gas secures rig for Prospect S offshore Namibia Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:50:00 +0100 Larry Bottomley, chief executive of Chariot Oil and Gas Limited (LON:CHAR), tells Proactive's Andrew Scott all is on track to begin deepwater drilling at their Central Blocks licence offshore Namibia in the fourth quarter of this year.

Chariot's  contracted the Ocean Rig Poseidon drillship to drill one firm well – Prospect S – and one optional well.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 04 Jun 2018 08:40:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR LN) has announced that it has increased its interest in PEDL 180 and PEDL 182 by 5% in each. The licenses contain Wressle and Broughton North respectively and the positions have been acquired from Celtique Energie Petroleum for a deferred cash consideration of £0.417m payable on first oil. Union Jack Oil (LON:UJO) and Humber Oil & Gas will each also acquire 12.50% in the same license areas on the same terms under separate deals from Celtique Energie.

This structure is attractive, in our view, given there is no immediate cash payment and the transaction is effectively contingent on successful planning application. EDR intends to submit a new planning application for the Wressle development following additional boreholes drilled on site. The information from these boreholes should provide information to directly address the matters highlighted in the prior application.

Following the announcement, our valuation is adjusted accordingly to reflect the higher interest. Although Wressle’s near term cash flow potential is of significant benefit to EDR, it forms only a small part of the valuation (1p/share) and the additional 5% interest takes our target price only modestly higher to 52p/share.

Therefore, despite a strong recent rally in the share price, we believe that with major catalysts coming up in the next few months for both EDR’s conventional and unconventional portfolio that there is significant further upside potential.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and adjust our target price up to 52p.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane Energy, Ophir Energy, Wentworth Resources And finally... Fri, 01 Jun 2018 09:54:00 +0100

WTI $67.04 -$1.17, Brent $77.56 -16c, Diff -$10.52, NG $2.95 +7c

Oil price

With July Brent expiring and August closing at $77.56, down only 16 cents, the differential has now exceed ten bucks for the first time in three years. WTI is a mix-up, flat to the boards where it can but pipeline capacity almost fully utilised and with no sign of that changing much for the best part of a year trucks and trains will be transport option of choice.

Recent price strength has many parents, geopolitical concerns of course but genuine shortage of production are clear, in May Opec only produced 32m b/d, another fall with tightening in some Gulf countries and of course with Venezuela continuing to collapse. Yesterday’s delayed EIA inventory stats also helped, a draw of 3.6m barrels was way in excess of the scribblers +244/- b’s and with stocks drawing at Cushing even the gasoline add wasnt a concern. After all the driving season started officially on Monday and even in March good old vehicle miles increased to 268.7bn miles…………………..

Hurricane Energy

Hurricane has released an operational update this morning stating that the Lancaster EPS well re-entry and completion operations have started. The Lancaster EPS will use two currently suspended horizontal wells , 205/21a-6 and 205/21a-7Z which produced 9,800 stb/d and 15,375 stb/d constrained by surface equipment.

This is more good news from Hurricane who are demonstrating that so far the Lancaster EPS development is being carried out on time and budget and that first oil is still expected 1H 2019.

Ophir Energy

News yesterday that Schlumberger had ‘exited’ the Fortuna LNG project was pretty grim for Ophir but goes some way to explaining the recent departure of former CEO Nick Cooper. This means the dissolution of the One LNG venture SLB had with Golar LNG Partners and potentially the development falling over.

The RNS states that remaining partners Golar and Ophir remain ‘actively engaged’ in senior level discussions with ‘a number of counterparties’ over a financing solution for the project. The new CEO or maybe the temporary one will have their work cut out to revive this one, presumably SLB had found better projects to invest in but it leaves Ophir in a pretty sorry state. Having said that I actually liked the recent acquisition and maybe management can focus on this type of deal in the future especially if Fortuna doesn’t happen right now.

Wentworth Resources

Wentworth has updated the market on recent payments from Mnazi Bay. May saw $2.7m in which TPDC paid for one month and Tanesco for two months of gas sales. Gross production in May was 79 MMscf/d which is good and the long-awaited arrival of the new CEO will start with a positive situation and plenty of upside.

And finally…

A true summer’s weekend of sport is on the way and nothing sums that up more than the Epsom Derby tomorrow with the Oaks this afternoon.

Another sign of summer is the playing of test cricket at home and today sees the start of the second match against Pakistan at Headingly. We must hope that in the week England have reminded themselves of how to play the game but after a shameful performance at Lords we should expect nothing.

The MotoGP circus moves to Mugello in Italy this weekend where the fans will be preparing their fireworks for local hero Valentino Rossi. Championship leader, Marc Marquez might just upset their party.


]]> Cobalt discovery gives Lithium Australia 'another string to our bow' Fri, 01 Jun 2018 06:26:00 +0100 Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) managing director Adrian Griffin speaks to Proactive Investors about the integrated battery metal producer’s recent surprise discovery of cobalt at the Eichigt project, near its flagship resource at Sadisdorf in Saxony, Germany.

“The style of mineralisation is quite interesting in that copper, cobalt, manganese and lithium doesn't occur together in many mineral occurrences… we are of course on the doorstep of the EV industry in Europe, and that EV industry will have a requirement for a lot of cobalt over the next few decades, I would imagine, and beyond. So this gives us a very good exploration target to service those markets,” says Griffin.

]]> Pacton Gold 'still on acquisition trail' in Australia's Pilbara Gold Rush Thu, 31 May 2018 06:31:00 +0100 Pacton Gold Inc (TSX-V:PAC) president and CEO Alec Pismiris speaks to Proactive Investors about the exploration and development company’s burgeoning focus on Western Australia’s noted Pilbara region.

“In Canada we have a diverse portfolio, I guess you might call it: gold, uranium and lithium. But the company adopted a strategy recently of identifying and acquiring projects in the Pilbara here in WA, particularly with a focus on conglomerate-style deposits. We recently acquired 4 groups of projects; in total around 27 tenements, comprising of roughly 2100 km²,” says Pismiris.

Pismiris continues, “we’re determined to pick up a larger portion of the Pilbara. We look at Novo [Resources CVE:NVO] as being the benchmark in the region, and we’re looking to replicate that model… We think that it’s a region that will ultimately become a very prolific gold-producing region.”

]]> Blackstone Minerals' diamond drilling results show very high-grade cobalt and gold Thu, 31 May 2018 01:29:00 +0100 Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) managing director Scott Williamson speaks to Proactive Investors about developments at the company's flagship Little Gem Colbalt-Gold Project in Canada, and also touches on the status of other assets in the portfolio.

The Australia and Canada-focused explorer today announced results from the first three of six diamond drill holes at Little Gem, with results from the remaining three holes due to flow in the coming month.

“[In] the initial hole we hit 3% cobalt and 44 grams per tonne gold, so this is very much in line with the average grade of all the historic data at Little Gem… We’ve got a very high-grade gold system, with cobalt, and we think that these first three holes have really confirmed that we’ve got some of the highest grade cobalt you’ll see anywhere,” says Williamson.

Blackstone Minerals is funded for the next three to six months of activity at Little Gem, and aims to progress towards a maiden resource by end 2018.

“We’ll continue to drill… we’ll also do some geophysical surveys at Little Gem. We looking at an IP survey along the 1.8 kilometre strike extensions at Little Gem. We’ve also got a contact zone that we’ll be testing. It’s the contact zone which is similar to the Bou-Azzer mine in Morocco. So we have a very similar geological contact to the Bou-Azzer mine in Morocco, which is the only primary cobalt mine in the world,” explains Williamson.

Williamson continues, “we’ll continue to send geologists out into the field looking for cobalt in a district that’s never been explored for cobalt. This is a gold mining district - there’s never been this focus on cobalt until now - so we think there’s a real opportunity to use the modern geophysics, boots on the ground, and really open up this belt.”

]]> Permex Petroleum announces farm-out deal on oil project in New Mexico Wed, 30 May 2018 17:52:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum Corporation (CSE:OIL) CEO Mehran Ehsan tells Proactive Investors the oil and gas company has announced a farm-out deal with venture capital group Blackspear Capital Corp on the 680-acre Oxy Yates property in New Mexico.

Blackspear will bear the entire cost of the drilling and completing the operations. Ehsan says Permex will reap the benefit of increased production and revenues derived from the operations in the short term.

]]> W Resources 'delighted' with terms of BlackRock funding agreement for La Parrilla Wed, 30 May 2018 10:53:00 +0100 W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) chairman Michael Masterman speaks to Proactive Investors as the tungsten, copper and gold exploration and development company confirms it has drawn down the second and final tranche of a total $35 million term load facility from BlackRock.

“This was a very critical finance and it’s allowed us to move very quickly on the development of La Parrilla. The cost of La Parrilla’s development is €25 million, and so this funding from Blackrock provides more than 100% of the funding for the project, which is very important. The facility has an interest rate of 12.4% on average, and as part of the package Blackrock has issued warrants equal to 5% of the issued securities of W resources… We’re delighted to have one of, or the largest, investment funds in the world effectively having direct exposure to the success of W resources and the development of La Parrilla,” says Masterman.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - redT energy (LON:RED) - Post FY 2017 Results - Imminent Gen3 Launch Wed, 30 May 2018 10:07:00 +0100 On 17 May redT energy (LON:RED) reported FY 2017 results in-line with our expectations, recording revenues of €11.8m and an adjusted LBITDA of €6.7m. As in previous years, more than 90% of group revenues were delivered through its legacy Camco business, which has now been substantially divested.

FY 2017 Orders to Contribute to FY 2018 Results

The modest redT energy storage divisional revenues consisted of grant funding (€0.4m) and the release of 2016 licence fees (€0.5m). Although the company secured 43 tank unit sales during the year, financial contribution from these will be included in its FY 2018 results, when systems become operational at customer sites. RED reported €2.1m in deferred income on its year-end balance sheet in respect of these orders.

2018: Focus on Pipeline Conversion; Gen3 Launch

At the end of 2017 RED reported 330 tank units in the Final Stage of Customer Selection (40 of which were Gen3 orders), representing a total order value of €18.3m. Its broader Active Customer Pipeline increased more than 50% during the period and stood at €357m by the end of the year.

At the end of Q1 2018 RED announced an additional 155 Gen3 tank units were in the Final Stage of Customer Selection, meaning that the company had 485 units in the Final Stage of Customer Selection (Gen2 & Gen3) at that point, with potential combined revenues of more than €25m. We view the formal launch of RED’s Gen3 product in H2 2018 as an extremely important milestone for the company, representing the first time RED will be selling its commoditised product to generate a gross margin.

Recommendation and Target Price


We have made some changes to our forecasts (see page six) and rolled our DCF valuation on one year. We maintain our BUY recommendation and a 10-year DCF-derived target price of 22p. 

]]> Po Valley Energy submits 'exceptionally strong' production concession application Wed, 30 May 2018 09:45:00 +0100 Po Valley Energy Limited (ASX:PVE) chairman Michael Masterman speaks to Proactive Investors, as the oil and gas E&P company completes the milestone of submitting a production concession application to Italian officials to proceed with full commercial production from its Selva Malvezzi gas field.

“In December we very successfully drilled our Selva gasfield. We had fantastic test results which we announced to the market in January - very high flow rates on two gas production levels - and it was very clear to us just from those test results that we had a clearly commercial development. What we’ve been able to do since then is do all the detailed reservoir evaluations from those test results, do all the engineering associated with the development of the field; and all of that’s come together in this production concession application,” says Masterman.

“One of the great things about Italian gas, particularly in Northern Italy, is the gas price is very high. And the gas fields are almost rock-throwing distance from the production wells. So, if you take Selva, we’ve successfully drilled the well, all the production equipment is down-hole on the well. To develop this field we need to add a small gas plant of a cost of about 2.5 million on top of the production well. And then we just need to run a thousand-meter pipeline to connect with you Italian National Grid. So we’re getting the full wholesale price of gas in Italy - which is very high - at the wellhead. And we move from exploration to production at a very low cost,” Masterman continues.

Additionally, there are intentions to explore opportunities for "very substantial increases in the size of our resources in the wider Selva area" through 3D seismic surveys towards the end of 2018 or start of 2019.

]]> NAE 'chomping at the bit' to drill 'sweet spot' and update Redmoor resource Wed, 30 May 2018 06:54:00 +0100 New Age Exploration Limited (ASX:NAE) managing director Gary Fietz speaks to Proactive Investors about progress with its flagship Redmoor Tin-Tungsten Project in Cornwall, UK.

Rigs are positioned onsite, ready to drill seven holes totaling around 4,000 metres. “The drilling should take place between June and October, and we’ll have some results out progressively throughout that period. And we’re going to do a resource update before the end of the year also… In addition to our 4.5 million tonne resource at Redmoor, we’ve got a 4 to 6 million tonne exploration target,” says Fietz.

Fietz adds, “we’ve already shown that Redmoor sits in the top five highest grade tin and tungsten deposits in the world, and in fact in the top three undeveloped deposits. So it’s a fantastic project in terms of its grade, and we have already demonstrated that, what we really need to do now is demonstrate that the project is a world-class sized deposit as well as world-class grade deposit. The economic studies that we’ve recently completed on the project have been very encouraging.”

]]> Orion Minerals sees 'exceptional opportunity' in Areachap Belt exploration Tue, 29 May 2018 23:43:00 +0100 Orion Minerals Limited (ASX:ORN) (JSE:ORN) CEO and managing director Errol Smart speaks to Proactive Investors about the exploration and development company's portfolio of projects in Australia and South Africa.

Field work is underway around the Areachap Belt in the Northern Cape of South Africa, where the company's flagship historic Prieska Zinc-Copper Project is located. "[Prieska] is really a world-class zinc-copper project; it's very advanced stage, we're very fortunate that we've got exceptional infrastructure and services available to us, and that obviously cuts down your capital lead time and cost to get into production," says Smart. 

Orion Minerals' JV Partner on the nickel-copper-gold Fraser Range project in Australia, Independence Group (ASX:IGO), is now investing to secure a strategic position in the South African Jacomynspan Project, which bears many geological similarities. 

Regional exploration groundwork and airborne EM is turning up geological hallmarks Smart describes as, "hot smoke on the edge of the fire," and likens to the Nova Bollinger discovery.

]]> Vimy Resources expects 'high-grade, small and rich deposits' at Alligator River Project Tue, 29 May 2018 11:28:00 +0100 Vimy Resources Ltd (ASX:VMY) CEO and managing director Mike Young speaks to Proactive Investors about the uranium development company’s burgeoning and established Australian projects.

A final investment decision on the advanced Mulga Rock Project in Western Australia is expected in 12-18 months, pending the confirmation of off-take contracts and financing.

Meanwhile, the company is set to commence drilling at its newly-acquired Alligator River Project in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Young says, “the news flows [investors] want are drill results and blue sky and upside; and that's what the Alligator River Province will give to us.”

"This is a uranium province which is one of the top three in the world... those other two geological provinces have been explored and they're currently mining. The Alligator River Province, which hosts the Ranger and Jabiluka deposits, went through a long phase of no exploration because of politics... you've got this big area of unexplored ground which is really prospective for uranium… Our plan this year for the field season is to go up and drill the Angularli Deposit and another really exciting project that we call Such Wow,” says Young.

Explaining the unique uranium commodity market, and price projections, Young comments “we’re seeing supply side discipline, and what we should see in the not-too-distant future is a reaction to that on the buy side.”

]]> Oil price, Range Resources, Echo Energy, Erratum And finally... Tue, 29 May 2018 08:47:00 +0100

WTI $67.88 -$2.83, Brent $76.44 -$2.35, Diff -$8.56 +48c, NG $2.94 n/c

Oil price

I suspect that seeing the oil price fall by $4 just on the rumours of a change in policy by the Opec/Non-Opec participants may make them think what would happen if they really did start to jack up production across the board. Maybe just take up the slack from any production lost from Venezuela and Iran and see what happens then.

It was not the best day for the rig count to pick up, generally up 13 units to 1059 and in oil up by 15 to 859 but with the delivery problems they have it’s not going to make much difference.

Range Resources

Range has announced that they are up and running in Indonesia with operations started in the last few days. The rig has been rigged up at the POG-D location and reopening has already commenced, completion is expected by the end of the month and the same rig will conduct the workover. After that it moves to POG-E also reopening and performing a workover.

The ambitious programme comprises up to ten reopenings of previously producing wells, two workovers as well as performing geological, geophysical and integrity studies. The plan to swiftly initiate production and add up to 220 b/d of gross production will broaden the company’s international production, gives potential scope for increasing that in the not too long term and should pay back in a pretty short period of time. The renaissance of Range is under way and whilst some holders are still well under water it is difficult to complain about the way current management are setting about the job.

Echo Energy

The ELA-1 well on Laguna de Los Capones in Argentina spudded on Saturday, the second in the company’s four well campaign in the region where Echo has a 50% interest. The well is being drilled at the South Eastern extent of the licence and is targeting a structural four way closure at the Springhill and Tobifera levels with TD at approximately 1,800m.

Gross unrisked gas in place on the structure is on a Pmean basis is estimated at approximately 40 bcf in the recent CPR by Gaffney Cline. Further success here would add to the spectacular start that Echo has made in its South American journey and together with the smart raise last week, now shown to be in a very small window of opportunity. To be able to move on at Tapi Aike with a saving of such massive amounts in the programme costs will prove to be another smart decision on the part of the management.


Having been to see the Frontera operations in Georgia (not Azerbaijan) and found it to be very promising indeed the last person to mess this one up should be me but on Friday I did so apologies to them and to Block which is on its way as another Georgian play. As my mother used to say, ‘more haste, less speed Malcolm’ and she was right, apologies again!

And finally…

The weekend provided some serious ups and downs for clubs and players, concentrating on the ups, congratulations to Fulham, Rotherham and the Sky Blues who all won their play-offs at the weekend. Best forgotten is a bad night for goalkeeping which probably unfairly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Staying on the sour note, English cricket and the farce that has become, zeroes to zeroes one might say. I’ve tried to remain loyal to Stoneman but he was just the worst of a bad bunch, not sure how that can change at Headingly on Friday…

Danny Ric won what really was a most boring Monaco GP, with him having engine bother and those behind with scraggy tyres and unable to overtake it was a slow procession. Canada in a fortnight should be a different matter…

I could hear the basketball being played downstairs in the early hours, the result was an amazing victory by the Golden State Warriors who came back from 15 points down against the Houston Rockets and will now play the Cavs -again- in the NBA finals.



]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, Frontera Resources, Zenith Energy, President Energy And finally... Fri, 25 May 2018 12:47:00 +0100 WTI $70.71 -$1.13, Brent $78.79 -$1.01, Diff -$8.08 +12c, NG $2.94 +3c

Oil price

The big question now is, have we reached a level at which most industry participants find acceptable? At $80 it seems that talks between producers are scheduled to see if they shouldn’t release a bit of crude into the market to avoid any panic from consumers, as evidenced by the Indian pleas last week. Certainly it seems that the KSA and Russia are talking with an idea of scaling back the cuts from the joint producers. Khalid Al-Falih said this morning that these were ‘on the table’ and that whilst no decision had been made yet ‘we will not overcorrect’ and that the two countries would meet at least twice before the full Opec/Non-Opec meeting next month.

It is a good time to be thinking about the effect $80 oil will have on the consumer particularly in the US where the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday signals the start of the driving season. For what it’s worth my guess is that if it does turn out to be that $80 is a level to be defended then it pretty much works for both sides, let’s see.

Geopolitics heated up a bit overnight with the news that the Trump/Kim summit is off, at least for the time being, no reason why it can’t be reinstated another time though although tensions are still high.

Echo Energy

Echo has announced that it has raised £8.5m through a placing and subscription at 12p with funds raised to accelerate their full seismic commitment over Tapi Aike at a really competitive price saving the company some $7-8m. It seems that the company needed to strike whilst the iron was hot, so to speak, and with the current offer for the seismic work being some 30% less than expected and about to expire this is a no-brainer. When you are looking at 2,000km² and that Tapi Aike is the blue chip asset waiting to be assessed this concentrates the mind and shareholders should rejoice.

As to the raise it also seems eminently sensible to me, getting institutions on board at a reasonable discount is very wise and that an open offer was impossible given the time needed to produce documentation. With the rate of progress on the Fracción C drilling programme, where the next well spud is imminent, finding the necessary ten clear days would be at best counter productive. As I understand it the quality of institutions is first class and balances the shareholder list well.

The share price has fallen 15% at time of writing which is technically understandable given the discount offered but definitely provides an opportunity for those who believe that this shows all the hallmarks of a really good play with significant upside.

Frontera Resources

Morr good news from Taribani today from Frontera where results have continued to please since I reported back from T-45 in February. News is that the T-39 sidetrack well has reached TD and the combined pay from zones 9, 14 and 15 is 102.5m with 14.2% porosity and some 12.3m of pay in zone 13. One certainly can’t accuse these wells of creating a surprise, all zones are performing at the highest of expectations.

The company has also announced that it has received a drilling permit for the Niko-1 well which is scheduled for November of this year, unsurprisingly the zones expected are as per previous successes. The company has been offered a $3m investment by an institutional investor to finance this well which makes life significantly easier. These drilling successes will before long feed through to a ‘strong revenue stream’ and the company are promising details shortly of the drilling campaign for 2019. FRR looks to be in increasingly good nick and with what I hear is promising news from Block the Azerbaijan is going to be increasingly in the news for all the right reasons.

Zenith Energy

Zenith has announced that it has signed a $2m non-convertible loan facility, it will be used to provide additional funding ‘for the Company’s operations when required’. It will be drawn down intranches when required and has no warrants attached. Zenith is quite rightly concentrating its fire power on current operations in Azerbaijan where recent investment is beginning to pay off, this will enable it to continue with this strategy.

President Energy

A brief mention of a reception held by President earlier in the week at which the Argentinian Ambassador to St James and the Energy Minister made presentations. Whilst there is a concern about short term economic conditions, acknowledged by the Ambassador, longer term advantages of investing in this country remain and i’m sure that the President share price will in due course rise accordingly.

And finally…

As we close in on the end of the winter sporting season it is a weekend where spring and summer collide. Football sees the Champions League final in Kiev with the HubCap Stealers taking on Real Madrid. If previous rounds are to be believed anyone could win and there could be many goals scored.

Earlier on in the afternoon the Championship play-off has Fulham taking in the Villa in what is being labelled the £100m game….That is followed on Sunday by Rotheram v Shrewsbury and on Monday Coventry v Exeter.

Rugby’s season closes with the Premiership final between the Exeter Chiefs  and Sarries, again if scores in the semis are any reflection it too could be a cricket score.

Talking of cricket England were wishing that the no toss rule was in place as it was a bad toss to win, as it was they batted and on day one of the series reminded us of the phrase England middle order batting collapse’…..

Last year I was in Monaco for the GP, this year i’m here wishing I was back but the early pace is being made by the Red Bulls with Mercedes saying that this is just not their track.

Finally thank you for helping with so many people obeying the GDPR and today is the first day of the new mailing list.

]]> Haydale Graphene expands to bring cutting tool manufacturing in-house Fri, 25 May 2018 10:23:00 +0100 Haydale Graphene Industries PLC's (LON:HAYD) Ray Gibbs tells Proactive that the company is investing in its South Carolina facilities to bring the manufacture of its new cutting tool in-house.

Gibbs says that the demand for its cutting tool in the aerospace industry to manufacture turbine blades has pushed the company toward the expansion.

He adds that the US$1.5mln investment allows the company to make the products directly and is a significant move that can be refinanced through debt going forward.

]]> Ceres Power secures partnership with Chinese giant Weichai Power Fri, 25 May 2018 09:15:00 +0100 Ceres Power Holdings PLC's (LON:CWR) Phil Caldwell tells Proactive the company has secured access to the  Chinese market through a partnership with Weichai Power, a Chinese engine manufacturer with a US$10bn market cap.

He adds that Weichai also has a large market presence in electric buses, forklift trucks and other automotive applications.

Caldwell also says that Weichai will put £40mln of capital into the company, along with a development agreement to develop a range extender for electric buses.

]]> Prospex Oil & Gas has "a tiger on a leash" with Spanish prospect Thu, 24 May 2018 11:58:00 +0100 Prospex Oil & Gas PLC's (LON:PXOG) Edward Dawson tells Proactive the company is chasing a geological play across its three assets in Europe, and has a well in Romania that is about to go into production.

He adds that the company's Italian license, in which it has 17%,  has seen surprising flow tests that suggest production rates will be "significantly better" than previously thought.

The group also has a project in Spain where it is planning to drill the first modern well, with Dawson saying the potential is like "a tiger on a leash".

]]> Europa Oil & Gas shifts focus to Inishkea gas prospects Thu, 24 May 2018 10:07:00 +0100 Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) PLC's (LON:EOG) Hugh Mackay tells Proactive that the company has elected to relinquish its LO16/21 license off the west coast of Ireland to focus on the LO16/20 gas prospects at Inishkea.

Mackay adds that shift in focus is toward a lower risk play, with an exploration well having a target spud date of 1 June 2019.

Europa is also "punching above its weight" in the region, standing equal to other regional players such as Exxon Mobil and StatOil, Mackay says.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas#: 30th UK Licensing Round Awards Thu, 24 May 2018 09:37:00 +0100 Harvey Expanded, Broader Structure Captured

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG LN) has received four additional blocks in the 30th round of UK Licensing in the North Sea, with the shares up 8% on the news meaning the stock is up 38% YTD. The blocks could, in our view, strengthen the development of the Southern North Sea gas hub IOG is developing.

The first of these blocks (48/24a) completes IOG’s licensing of the Harvey structure increasing its attributable prospective resource from 90BCF to 114BCF on a best estimates basis. Although we had expected IOG to expand the license to the whole structure it was not included in our prior valuation which is adjusted up as a consequence.

Additional Goddard and Abbeydale Blocks

As well as the extension to Harvey, IOG received blocks in two additional areas. The first known as Goddard (48/11c & 48/12b) is now the single largest discovery within IOG’s portfolio with a management estimate of contingent resources at 1C/2C/3C, 45/189/396 BCF. Five wells were drilled between 1985 and 2019 proving the resource and IOG has committed to reprocessing 3D seismic and drilling one well within 3 years of license award.  The Abbeydale block 53/1b, to the West of Camelot Central South, contains a dormant gas discovery and management estimates contingent resources at 1C/2C/3C 5/11/24BCF. With only outdated existing seismic data, we expect a new 3D programme to expand on this estimate and demonstrate the broader potential.

Recommendation and Target Price

The additional blocks materially enhance IOG’s portfolio and we have revised our valuation to reflect the added total gas resources from 393BCF to 617BCF. In all cases the blocks could reasonably be tied back to the Thames Pipeline, in our view, further strengthening the gas hub strategy.

The intelligent pigging programme continues with results due soon. Confirmation of the Thames Pipeline’s expected good condition will be a major step towards the Final Investment Decision in August 2018. With a supportive backdrop of gas pricing and concerns over UK energy security we believe IOG is well placed to execute its strategy and realise the significant upside potential.

We reiterate our BUY recommendation although increase our target price by 33% to 96p.

]]> Carnarvon Petroleum set to "bring forward the next phases of value for shareholders" Wed, 23 May 2018 23:30:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd (ASX:CVN) managing director Adrian Cook speaks to Proactive Investors, as drilling happens at Western Australia's prolific North West Shelf.

"We've proven up a working petroleum system in this area. What we're now looking to do is cement commerciality of the resources... very shortly we're going to have two wells drilling into our Phoenix Project, both of which are looking to turn this project from Proof of Concept to a commercial project," says Cook.

The oil and gas exploration company completed a $16 million placement earlier this month, and will now accelerate plans to redevelop a former oil field, known as the Buffalo Project.

]]> i3 Energy sees "significant" increase in base resource at Liberator oil field Wed, 23 May 2018 15:09:00 +0100 i3 Energy PLC's (LON:I3E) Neill Carson and Graham Heath tell Proactive that the combined resource & reserve base of its Liberator oil field has jumped from 11mln barrels of oil to 80mln barrels.

Carson says the company is planning an appraisal well for the end of 2018.

Heath adds that the company expects the award to contribute positively to ongoing discussions around potential joint venture partnership opportunities.

]]> Buru Energy accelerating exploration efforts following Roc Oil transactions Tue, 22 May 2018 10:26:00 +0100 Buru Energy (ASX:BRU) executive chairman Eric Streitberg speaks to Proactive Investors about the Australia-focused oil and gas company's recent deal with Roc Oil (ASX:ROC) to sell half of its 100% ownership in the Ungani Oilfield for $64 million, and enter a Joint Venture on three of its most advanced exploration permits for a carry of $20 million. Buru Energy retains operatorship.

"The lifeblood of any company like ours is finding more oil and producing more oil, and that of course requires capital. So this seemed like a good time to bring in a partner who had a big balance sheet and was able to help us move the project forward more quickly than we would have been able to do with our internal resources," says Streitberg.

]]> SDX Energy to make 2017 assets cash-generating in 2018 Tue, 22 May 2018 09:14:00 +0100 SDX Energy's (LON:SDX) Paul Welch tells Proactive that the company is currently aiming to make its 2017 discoveries cash-generating assets in 2018.

Despite an unsuccessful exploration at its Kelvin-1X well, Welch says the second quarter of 2018 will be the busiest, with 2 additional appraisal wells planned in Egypt as well as well testing in Morocco.

]]> Brookside Energy’s transformational business model validated with successful strategic divestment Tue, 22 May 2018 03:20:00 +0100 Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) managing director David Prentice explains the company’s strategic focus to Proactive Investors, as a successful case study is revealed to the market. The oil and gas E&P company, which operates in the world-class Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma in the US, has adopted a land leasing and development approach that is “somewhat unique” in Australia, but has a proven history in the US.  

“Essentially, we’re acquiring undeveloped acreage across the Anadarko Basin in the hope of having that acreage revalued, as well as get drilled and reserves get booked…we’re very passionate about the fact that this strategy provides the best leverage for our shareholders,” says Prentice.

Brookside today announced the divestment of the first of its non-operated development units that has progressed to ‘full field’ development, at a price per acre that is greater than 10-times the average acquisition cost.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Fri, 18 May 2018 10:20:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Yesterday the UK Government provided a Written Ministerial Statement on the UK shale gas industry. Despite backing from the Government in its election manifesto, progress has been slow in terms of project development although. However, with a number of key milestones coming up this summer this intervention is a timely and positive step, in our view.

The statement which reiterates the Government’s support for shale gas development and its national importance given rising UK energy imports must now be considered by planning committees when making decisions on applications. In addition the Government will publish revised planning practice guidance on shale development this summer and will launch two consultations; one to consider allowing wells to be drilled under permit rather than a full application and one to consider including shale production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

Given the complexity and technical nature of oil and gas permitting, the statement also indicates further support for Local Authorities to help them better understand the issues surrounding the development process.

Although the UK Government has previously indicated its support for shale gas development we believe this more direct approach is likely to be more effective and bodes well ahead of a key summer of testing by Cuadrilla, Egdon (LON:EDR) and IGas (LON:IGAS). As one of two companies listed in the UK offering exposure to shale gas development we believe that EDR offers attractive exposure to the industry. Currently trading at around 9p the shares reflect little of the upside potential and have been deeply discounted largely as a result of permitting risk, however, this announcement strongly indicates that the Government intends to support applications.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - NuLegacy (TSX-V:NUG) (OTCMKTS:NULGF) Wed, 09 May 2018 09:02:00 +0100 NuLegacy ((TSX-V:NUG) (OTCMKTS:NULGF)#

NuLegacy (TSX-V:NUG) has announced that its new drilling programme has commenced with two rigs now on site. The programme is expected to cover 15,000ft (c4.6km) over 12 holes. The drilling is being targeted based on a reappraisal of the existing data and NUG are primarily targeting new and higher grade zones of gold mineralisation in the 2km area between Avocado and Serena deposits.

NUG is now targeting the juncture of the Wenban 5 limestone horizons (a known host for Carlin style mineralisation) and low angle thrust faults which act as the conduits for gold bearing fluids during formation. Previous drilling has shown that these thrust faults cut across the limestone horizons and that mineralisation may be present in both features. The reinterpretation of the existing data indicates that it is where these features meet that NUG now expect higher grade mineralisation to occur.

As we have previously highlighted NUG has adapted its approach to avoid the caving issues which affected drilling at Avocado last summer. This means first using reverse circulation drilling to get through the gravel overburden before casing the hole and following up with core drilling. The initial programme will consist of five drill holes with two in Avocado and three stepping out from Serena and the North Iceberg zones; this will then inform the latter part of the programme.

In addition to drilling, NUG will also undertake a gradient array IP geophysical survey at VIO; a volcanic hosted epithermal gold silver mineralisation. This will be carried out in late May and the technique was successfully used in the exploration of Mule Canyon; an analogous regional deposit to VIO.

NUG has budgeted C$5m for drilling and field exploration in 2018 and the announcement of the start of drilling marks the start of a key period of newsflow for the company with the potential for significant near term share price catalysts. We remain confident in the potential for NUG’s deposits and believe that the company has learnt a significant amount from last year’s exploration and the information is being used to best effect to inform this year’s programme.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:01:00 +0100 Company Name (Ticker)#


Independent Oil & Gas (IOG LN) has announced that it has now completed the acquisition of the Thames Pipeline. The pipeline provides a ready built, secure and wholly owned export route for gas from the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs, saving IOG significant development capital and enhancing the economics of the Southern North Sea gas project. In addition, IOG has announced that it intends to acquire the onshore reception facilities at the Perenco Bacton Terminal where the Thames Pipeline ends. A period of exclusivity has been agreed until the end of September 2018. 

IOG is now the operator of the 100% owned Thames Pipeline which at peak production is expected to carry 180mmcfd; although since this would not fully utilise the pipeline’s capacity (300mmcfd in total) IOG is considering opportunities for additional third party gas.

Currently IOG is conducting an intelligent pigging programme to confirm the state of the pipeline. However, since the pipeline was decommissioned in 2015 with an estimated 25-40 years of life remaining we expect it to be in good condition with any necessary remedial work likely to be limited in nature. Results are expected in early May. We also note a potential modification to the pipeline which is currently being considered. This could reduce the time and cost of the pigging programme by using a new tie in point for the Southwark platform which is in the Vulcan Satellites hub.

This announcement reflects a key milestone for IOG and the company continues to make strong progress towards the Final Investment Decision due in August 2018.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 72p price target. 

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) Mon, 16 Apr 2018 07:50:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)


Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN) has announced that it has agreed in principle to purchase the remaining 50% of the Icacos Field from its JV partner Touchstone Exploration (TXP LN/CN) via their respective subsidiaries; Leni Trinidad Limited (LTL) and Primera Oil & Gas Limited. LTL will subsequently become the 100% owner of the Icacos field and the operator. The Icacos Field is located at the far end of the South West Pensinsula and we believe that the transaction will enable both CERP and TXP to focus more fully on their respective strategies. 

The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and a definitive sale and purchase agreement, however, CERP is confident that the deal will be finalised during Q2 2018. Our estimates remain unchanged whilst the transaction is finalised.

Gross production on the field was consistently around 22bopd during 2017 having peaked at 34bopd in 2011. The Field consists of six wells with three on production although new work programme activities and workovers have been limited recently. The transaction is valued at US$500,000 and will mean operatorship transfers from TXP to CERP along with the 50% share of production. This will be paid over time until 1 January 2021 with Primera receiving net revenue it would have received had it retained its interest. In the event of increased production, Primera will also receive, 25% of any net revenue above the current baseline; until 1 January 2021.

The terms of the transaction are attractive in our view enabling CERP to use existing cash resources to fund operational activities at Icacos rather than being used for upfront payment. With TXP’s current strategy focussed on infill drilling on its developed acreage and CERP heavily focussed on development of the SWP we believe that CERP is better placed to oversee Icacos Field development.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 26p target price.  

]]> Oil price, Hurricane, Faroe, Zenith And finally... Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:16:00 +0100 WTI $63.42 +$1.36, Brent $68.65 +$1.54, Diff -$5.23 +18c, NG $2.69 -1c

Oil price
It’s a bit of a see-saw life in the oil market at the moment with traders having to be on their toes even more than usual. Yesterday crude oil rallied sharply as it was tariff war off and Syria war back on which switched attention back to geopolitical problems in the Middle East. This morning that trend is continuing with both grades up nearly a dollar and Brent knocking on the $70 door again.

Hurricane Energy - LON:HUR 
The final results for HUR are relatively meaningless but they hide a truly transformative year for the company as Lancaster moved into project execution phase. They also delivered two CPR’s that gave them 2.6bn barrels of 2P reserves,(a first) and 2C contingent resources (up 450%). They also raised $547m which was no mean feat under the circumstances (in joke) and are moving fast with procurement of very large bits of kit which are coming along nicely. Cash is $381m which keeps them in a very strong position to develop Lancaster. First oil is on target for 1H 2019 which will only increase the company’s strength in terms of cash flow and I remain convinced that this world class development has still not been appreciated in terms of sheer size but also as a significant milestone in the history of hydrocarbon exploration in the UKCS. Target price is still in excess of 100p.

Faroe Petroleum - LON:FPM
Faroe announce the result of the Fogelberg appraisal well this morning which confirms the reservoir sequence and lateral extent as well as proving better reservoir quality with a deeper gas-water contact. Next stop is a DST to confirm well and reservoir productivity. Fogelberg is only 18 km North of the Åsgard complex which like other recent discoveries provide efficient, convenient opportunities for hydrocarbon movement. As an aside the Norwegian Ministry has approved the development of the Fenja oil field which is 33 km South West of the Njord facility.

Zenith Energy - LON:ZEN
An operational update from Zenith this morning which is encouraging as it shows that the significant investment in new kit is starting to pay off and is already being rewarded by a record oil production revenue month in March. At the Z-21 workover in the Zardab field the new equipment and the workover rig is now on site and will shortly pull out the tubing string and cut the tubing before running in-hole with the drill bit and hopefully start production.
With this new, owned kit these operations are significantly more efficient and work is now performed by Zenith engineers and subcontractors are rarely needed. As I mentioned gross revenues in March were $490/- which is a good start to the ‘new’ Zenith and in that sentiment the company has sensibly decided to shut in a number of uneconomic wells which had extremely high water cuts. This will leave 300 b/d of more efficient production and 31 less wells to service. Finally the ESP upgrade programme continues with 11 new pumps added since February. Zenith is turning round with strong management, a good operational team that I have met and slowly admittedly but surely is getting back in shape.

And finally…
All you need to know is that it is the Noisy Neighbours v the HubCap Stealers part 2 tonight, anything might happen….

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources (LON:EDR), Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) Tue, 03 Apr 2018 10:16:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR LN) has announced a further farm out of 5% on the PEDL253 property which includes the Biscathorpe Prospect in Lincolnshire. The transaction is on the same terms as the previously announced farm outs and Humber Oil and Gas Limited (Private) will acquire 5% of EDR’s interest by paying the pro rata cost of the Biscathorpe-2 well cost plus an additional £50k (£10k per percentage point). Humber will also acquire 5% from Montrose Industries Limited (Private). The transaction is subject to approval from the Oil and Gas Authority and EDR will retain a 35.8% in the license once completed.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.5p target price.

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG LN) announced full year results which showed a loss of £2.75m compared to a loss of £21.4m in 2016. Excluding impairments on oil and gas properties the operating loss was broadly in line YoY at £798k in 2017 versus £525k in the prior period. Finance expenses increased from £899k in 2016 to £1.8m in 2017. IOG reported a year end cash position of £145k, however, we note that in February 2018 the company announced the provision of a new convertible loan of £10m by London Oil & Gas (LOG) which we believe will mean that IOG has sufficient liquidity until Final Investment Decision for the Southern North Sea gas project which is due in August 2018.

IOG has made significant progress in 2017 towards the development of its Southern North Sea gas project. During the year IOG announced significant upgrades to its Reserves at the Vulcan Satellites, Blythe and Elgood along with a CPR confirming the potential at Harvey. The company subsequently committed to an appraisal well at Harvey which could provide further upside to the strong project economics of the core hub. The hub strategy is made possible by the acquisition of the Thames Pipeline which was agreed in April 2017. It provides a secure export route for gas produced from IOG’s licenses whilst saving the company significant development capital.

This year will centre around the Final Investment Decision which is expected in August 2018. Key milestones will include demonstrating the viability of the Thames Pipeline following an intelligent pigging programme and delivering an appropriate capital structure to finance construction. We expect this to incorporate debt and equity as well as gas offtake and contractor finance. Given the achievements of 2017 we believe that IOG is well placed for an important year ahead.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 72p target price.

To read our recent report on IOG, please click here.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Sundry-Aminex-Gulfsands-Frontera-Lamprell-And finally... Fri, 23 Mar 2018 11:23:00 +0000

WTI $64.30 -87c, Brent $68.91 -56c, Diff -$4.61 +31c, NG $2.62 -2c

Oil price

After a fast and furious week, for me and the oil price, it looks like crude will end up testing important levels, WTI is close to $65 as I write and Brent is $69.21. The main reason for the strength this week has been the inventory stats which showed in both API and EIA numbers a decent draw when a build was forecast, indeed total inventories of -7m barrels this week put stocks to 1% below the crucial 5 year average.

The other positive note was struck by the Saudi Oil Minister who declared that the Opec/Non-Opec agreement will likely be extended beyond 2018 suggesting that further draw on stocks was needed. Coupled with the news that compliance was 138% in February suggested that in this, the harder part of the year, things were looking hunky dory, so to speak.

The only fly in the ointment is that the Squids have upped their oil price target to $82.50 for mid-year which worries me something rotten…

SDX Energy

Finals from SDX this morning which merely serve to confirm what a good year it was and how well 2018 has started. Understandably they concentrate on reserves, as one should, their WI of 2P reserves was 13.5 mmboe, up 45%, a very creditable performance with their existing business and the Circle acquisition delivering well. With revenues up 204% to $39.2m, on production up to 3,237 boepd up 171%, the 100% success with the drill bit last year came through to the bottom line.

And there is plenty of drilling excitement still to come, two more exploration wells will complete the Moroccan campaign, for the time being only, I am sure. Then attention focuses on South Disouq where we can expect two exploration wells and two appraisal wells with first production likely 2H this year. At NW Gemsa there were successful workovers and at Meseda two successful exploration wells plus of course the recently announced success at Rabul-5.

SDX had $30.6m of cash on the balance sheet as at 28 February this year partly as a result of favourable receivables incoming which is a big result and so SDX is fully funded for all operational needs and of course any potential acquisition opportunities that may arise. SDX remains amongst the most solid plays within the bucket list for its low cost, high margin offering and significant upside potential.

Savannah Petroleum

Full year results also for SAVP for a period in which the landmark Seven Energy transaction occurred, with completion due 2Q 2018. The deal adds 2P reserves of c. 92 mmboe and 2C resources of c. 44 mmboe, in production terms it means guidance for 2018 of 20,000 bopd. This production, which has started the year very well, encouraged the company to indicate that a dividend should be paid and $12.5m is indicated in today’s results.

Of course the original business has continued to go ahead even if the drilling campaign in Niger was delayed somewhat by the Seven asset deal. The three back to back wells are expected to be under way by the end of March as operations are well underway and the drill bit at Bushiya is ready to spin.

2017 was a good year for Savannah as its perceptive and hard working management delivered a ground breaking acquisition and kept on top of the activities in Niger. With strong and senior support from politicians in both Nigeria and Niger export routes should be available upon success at the well campaign.


Aminex announces that Eclipse Investments, part of shareholder Zubair Group, may farm-into the Ntorya appraisal area, those who read my AEX comments in the bucket list will know that this is not unexpected…

Gulfsands is de-listing but will remain an unlisted public company which will come as no surprise to anyone I imagine, certainly not me. With no capital coming into the company from outside equity, the effective owners have raised more money together and will move on more efficiently. The ultimate irony is that I suspect we are nearly at the stage when the Syrian assets may eventually come good and the investors deserve to make something back.

Frontera has announced that mobilisation of more pumping equipment and services to the T-45 well as fraccing and testing is imminent. After this the kit will move to Ud-2 and then to Dino-2 which was announced as having spudded this week as well. Having visited the company’s operations and taken a close look at the potential I think that there is every chance that at long last these assets may about to deliver.

Lamprell announced results which showed yet again that it has a feast-famine-feast existence and with the huge losses on the East Anglia One project showing in these numbers we are in the famine section at the moment. But I remain convinced that the company has the wherewithal to fight its way out and can reach the sunlit uplands again before too long. My comments on the Saudi JV recently show that this can provide profitable work and I wouldnt be surprised if there were not more contracts for the yard around the corner. Not for the first time I am suggesting that ditching Lamprell at this juncture would be wrong….


It has been a busy week for interviews, here is my Monday Podcast talking about a number of stocks.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Range Resources, Columbus Energy Resources, Touchstone Exploration, Trinity Exploration, Rockrose Energy and Lamprell

And here is my CEO interview with Tony Durrant of Premier Oil…

Core Finance CEO Interview: Tony Durrant of Premier Oil

And yesterday I managed another CEO interview, this time with Nick Cooper of Ophir Energy

Core Finance CEO Interview: Nick Cooper of Ophir Energy

And finally…

It’s the dreadful international break where ‘friendlies’ happen that no one wants to play in or watch…

The cricket can be added to footy and rugby that we dont want to talk about…

Please tell me that the boat race tomorrow at 5.30 is not the highlight of the weekend’s sport…

At least be up early for the Australian Grand Prix from Melbourne, who will have the best new kit and who’s halo will be the best?


]]> Hurricane Energy, Far Ltd, Link to IGTV interview. Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:45:00 +0000

WTI $62.06 -28c, Brent $66.05 -16c, Diff -$3.99 +12c, NG $2.65 -4c

Hurricane Energy

In an operational update released this morning HUR has announced further important progress towards the development of Lancaster as two horizontal christmas trees and the FPSO subsea control system have been delivered by TechnipFMC. These are some of the key long lead items for the development and represent an important step to enable HUR to maintain the schedule for the Q2/3 well completion and installation programme.

CEO Robert Trice said that ‘this is a significant milestone in readiness for the 2018 well completion programme and that we remain on schedule for first oil in H1 2019’.

With further operational news from the company and other operations still very much on schedule I am confident that the Hurricane story is very much still up and running.

Far Ltd

Far has announced the findings of the Independent Resources report compiled for them by RISC for the FAN discovery offshore Senegal. Key information has 2C contingent recoverable oil resources of 198 mmbbls with undrilled prospects having prospective resources of 673 mmbbls on a best estimate basis. The JV is progressing appraisal plans for the FAN South and SNE North oil discoveries with a further review due mid year. According to MD Cath Norman ‘There seems little doubt that there is huge potential to unlock more oil when these undrilled prospects are tested in the future’.

Although the Far share price has yet to respond I am yet further encouraged by this news and am sure that the addition of more hydrocarbons here will not only extend the size and life of the field but to improve yet further the long term economics of this ‘world class’ development. Shareholders should be very happy that Far has a strong cash position and as a result of the recent very impressive farm-out a very exciting well to drill in The Gambia towards the end of the year.

IGTV link

I recently did an interview with Jeremy Naylor at IGTV in which I spoke about last years bucket list and ran through a few of the new additions to the list, the link is below.

IG interview: Malcy’s bucket list gets a boost with six new stocks



]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Wynnstay Group: 2018 AGM Statement Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:17:00 +0000 Wynnstay Group: 2018 AGM Statement

Wynnstay Group (WYN LN), a UK manufacturer and supplier of agricultural inputs, has announced a trading update for its H1 2018 period, which runs from November 2017 to April 2018, ahead of its AGM this morning.

  • Trading for the first four months of FY 2018 described as encouraging with increased demand for most products
  • Feed demand ahead YoY; increasing fertiliser sales; improving grain volumes but margins remain under pressure; seed demand encouraging; higher LFL sales YoY in its agricultural stores

VSA Comment

In animal feed, total UK ruminant feed production across the first two months of WYN’s H1 increased 9% YoY. Although data is not yet available for subsequent months, we believe demand has remained strong, with the recent abnormal cold weather also having benefited this operation in the last few weeks, particularly with regards to sheep feed.

As a reminder, in 2013 the listed feed suppliers all received an economic boost (and a resulting increase in share price) as colder temperatures extended into March, with peer NWF Group (NWF LN) the most financially leveraged to this trend. However, it is worth noting that performance in 2013 was also positively impacted by a very wet summer 2012, which reduced on-farm silage volumes and quality (summer 2017 was wetter than average but not significantly so). So far this year, only NWF and ForFarmers (FFARM NA), the largest feed supplier in the UK, have shown any positive share price reaction.

In arable, and as we wrote at the end of January, with early estimates for the 2018 UK wheat harvest suggesting it will be 2-3% smaller than last year, we are expecting a slightly lower YoY performance for WYN’s seed business and a similar YoY performance for its fertiliser operations. WYN’s fertiliser business will also be boosted this year by its expansion into the Scottish fertiliser sector through its acquisition of a blending facility at Montrose last November.

As highlighted by WYN in its FY 2017 results, having experienced a reduction in early, out-of-season orders at the end of FY 2017, stronger fertiliser demand is now starting to come through and will increase further as farmers begin to buy in the spot market for the spring usage period.

In January, we also stated that we expected WYN’s grain trading volumes would increase this year as volumes from the slightly bigger 2017 harvest continued to be traded and farmers began to clear on-farm stocks in light of higher grain prices ahead of the upcoming 2018 harvest. WYN has confirmed this trend this morning, although margins remain under pressure.

We also suggested that WYN’s specialist retail operations would benefit from a much improved sentiment in the underlying UK agriculture market this year, as highlighted by recent announcements from peers. This is also confirmed by WYN today with improved LFL sales reported for the first four months of FY 2018.
WYN looks set for an improved FY 2018, given the improved underlying market conditions and the decisive action taken last year with regards to the closure of its Just for Pets business.

Consensus for FY 2018 is currently revenue of £405.5m, +3.8% YoY, and an adjusted PBT of £8.2m, +2.5% YoY.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources (EDR LN)# Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:02:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (EDR LN)#

Egdon Resources (EDR LN) has announced that it has reached a Heads of Terms agreement in respect of a farm out of interests in PEDL 253 to Union Jack Oil (UJO) and Humber Oil and Gas (Private). PEDL 253 in Lincolnshire contains the Biscathorpe project.

The terms which were previously announced as a Definitive Farm Out Agreement are unchanged with UJO and Humber to each acquire 6% of EDR’s interest in PEDL 253 by paying their share of a Biscathorpe 2 well cost plus an additional £10k per percentage point interest acquired. UJO and Humber will also acquire 4% each of Montrose Industries Limited interest in PEDL253 under the same terms. This equates to a farm in with a 1.36 times promote at the estimated well cost. The agreement remains subject to approval from the Oil and Gas Authority and EDR will then retain a 40.8% interest with a 29.31% share of the currently estimated well cost.

The mean gross prospective resources at Biscathorpe are estimated at 14mmboe. The planned well is down-dip of the crestal Biscathorpe-1 well drilled by BP in 1987 which encountered oil shows from a 1.2m thick sandstone and EDR expects the reservoir sands to thicken down-dip following reprocessing of seismic data.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.5p target price

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - redT Secures Tidal Energy Project Order Tue, 20 Mar 2018 09:55:00 +0000 redT Secures Tidal Energy Project Order

redT energy (RED LN)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has signed a partnership to be primary energy storage provider for an unnamed large-scale tidal generation project in the UK.

  • 0.6MW, 3MWh flow machine system (five hours of storage) selected by the project consortium, subject to finance and formal contract awards
  • Project expected to be delivered in 2019

VSA Comment


An encouraging large project order from RED (assuming finance and formal contract awards are secured), with its flow machine solution favoured over alternative battery solutions, given the heavy cycling, non-degrading nature of its technology. It is also positive to see RED securing an order in a sector other than solar plus storage, where the majority of its UK orders to date have been won.

This order forms part of RED’s ‘large project’ strategy for 2019 and will be fulfilled with its margin-generating Gen3 machines (to be launched in H2 2018). This order will require 40 tank unit modules - our current forecasts are for more than 1,000 tank unit modules sold to customers in 2019.

The project owner is unnamed but some of the most prominent UK tidal projects are being developed by Atlantis Resources (ARL LN), which designed, built and delivered the first phase of the flagship MeyGen tidal energy project in Scotland. ARL is currently merging with certain assets of SIMEC Energy (part of the GFG Alliance), owner of an interest in Tidal Lagoon plc, which is also developing a number of tidal projects in the UK, predominately in Wales, and internationally.

We currently have a BUY recommendation on RED with a 10-year DCF-derived target price of 22p. 

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN)# Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:32:00 +0000 Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN)#


Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN) has announced a significant update in relation to the South West Peninsula (SWP) and the successful completion of the restructuring of the Beach Oilfield (BOLT) transaction. This will enable CERP to begin a fully funded exploration programme including well reactivation in Q2 2018 on the Bonasse field as well as analysis of 3D seismic on the SWP. This is expected to be followed by 2-3 appraisal wells drilled in H1 2019, subject to results. Although the operational turnaround at Goudron is a critical part of the strategy and drives near term cashflow generation, it is the exploration potential at the SWP which provides the key catalysts for a major rerating of the stock; this announcement is therefore a significant milestone for CERP in realising its longer term strategy.

Previously CERP help a 25% equity interest in BOLT via a local subsidiary and was due to acquire the remaining 75% for cash payments totalling US$184k and the adoption of a US$1.1m loan held by BOLT. The new terms which are significantly more attractive, in our view, are as follows. CERP will make a cash payment of US$450k to BOLT as well as a US$80k payment to Petrotrin to complete the purchase of a 27.5% interest in the Bonasse field. CERP will give up its 25% equity stake in BOLT and BOLT will retain the US$1.1m loan. CERP acquires access to oil and gas rights on the SWP.

CERP will pay deferred fees of US$500k to BOLT upon development of any other field than Bonasse within the lease and a royalty of 3% on net production from a development of the SWP license (excluding Bonasse). The royalty is payable on net production in excess of 10mmboe per annum and capped at US$1.25mpa.

In addition to the BOLT transaction, CERP has signed a lease agreement with Singh’s (Cedros) Estates Limited to provide CERP with guaranteed access to 100% of the SWP for oil and gas operations until January 2019 and from February 2019 a lease which provides CERP the same rights for a further 27 years. From February 2019 CERP will pay Cedros US$70kpa (escalated in line with the WTI oil price) as well as a royalty of up to 12.5% capped at US$2m for years 1-2, at 10% for years 3-8 and reverting to 12.5% thereafter. Drilling bonuses of US$15k will be paid upon spud of each of the first three wells.

The above is fully funded from existing cash resources.

The attraction of the SWP for exploration is that it has been relatively underexplored in comparison to the broader region. CERP’s existing interpretation of the multiple prospects indicates 20-400mn barrels in place. Furthermore, since the targets can be drilled from onshore costs are expected to be modest at between US$2-4m per well.

Currently CERP already has a small amount of production from the shallow Icacos oilfield while the Bonasse oilfield is currently producing c10bopd of 23 degree API gravity oil. CERP expect to be able to reactivate as many as ten wells. Other historic drilling at Bonasse included 16 wells dilled to depths of up to 2,500ft. The only deep onshore well was drilled to a measured depth of 12,301ft found oil shows in the Lower Cruse and Lengua formations at a true vertical depth of 10,180ft. This well did not reach the Herrera Sandstone formation which leaves further undiscovered potential. SWP contributes 10p of our 26p target price despite its early stage which should highlight to investors the significant underlying potential.

The region is highly prospective due to its close proximity to the East Venezuelan Basin with which SWP shares its geology and on trend structures, offshore from SWP, have yielded discoveries in excess of 200mmbbls. We also note the recent announcement by BHP Billiton (BLT LN) which underpins the exploration potential in Trinidad. BLT has committed to testing three gas plays off Trinidad this year with a longer term objective of making oil discoveries.

This latest announcement CERP has confirmed the company’s ability to begin to realise its longer term ambitions in defining the exploration potential of the region via low cost onshore drilling. The announcement from BLT and the other interest from majors in the region underpins that exploration potential, in our view, although we highlight that their exploration is offshore. With the shares having eased back recently as the WTI oil price has pulled back from above US$65/bbl we believe that CERP’s current valuation provides a compelling entry point for investment exposure to Trinidad’s exploration upside.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 26p target price. 

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - redT energy: Gen3 due H2 2018 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 08:56:00 +0000 redT energy: Gen3 due H2 2018

redT energy (RED LN)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced that its margin-generating third generation flow machine will be available for delivery to customers in H2 2018.

VSA Comment


Having now completed its initial stack design and engaged its manufacturing partner, RED has confirmed that first deliveries of its Gen3 system will occur in H2 2018 (narrowing its previous guidance of ‘2018’).

RED has also confirmed that it expects the first pre-orders of its Gen3 system to be concluded shortly. We also imagine that some of the previous Gen2 orders will now be converted into Gen3 deliveries (as we saw with Gen1 orders when Gen2 was launched).

The company has announced that it has 195 units (€11m order value) of Gen3 pre-orders in the Final Stage of Customer Selection. This is new interest in its Gen3 product and is in addition to the Final Stage of Customer Selection pipeline announced on 5 February, which had 330 units with an order value of €18.3m.

As a reminder, Gen3 machines are expected to provide a margin of 15-25%, including various services associated with each sale, compared to 0-5% for the Gen2 systems (including services).

Aside from further sales announcements, investors have been looking for certainty as to when the first Gen3 machines will be available for customers, given its potential significant positive financial impact on the business. This announcement, alongside the Gen3 specific pre-order pipeline, should provide comfort in this regard.

We currently have a BUY recommendation on RED with a 10-year DCF-derived target price of 22p.



]]> Oil price, Range Resources, RockRose, Lamprell And finally... Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:21:00 +0000

WTI $61.19 +23c, Brent $65.12 +23c, Diff -$3.93 n/c, NG $2.68 -5c

Oil price

The most unreliable of the three main forecasters, the IEA started to back track on its more bearish than most demand forecasts yesterday and at this rate, despite the US shale ‘torrent’, equilibrium might be achieved in Q2 of this year. Whilst they were changing their numbers they snuck in a crafty rise in world oil consumption past the historic 100m b/d number, they must have been reading back issues of the blog…

Having said that Russia is going to be on everyone’s mind for the time being, with Putin’s coronation after Sunday’s vote a shoe-in things might change but the world is hardly likely to become a more peaceful place…

Range Resources

Interims to 31/12/17 are out this morning and present a welcome return to health for Range where genuine operational focus is leading to positive results. I visited Trinidad last week and was allowed full access to all its operations and met with CEO Yan Liu and the new COO, Lubing Liu, no relation. As readers know I always think that field trips are important for two main reasons, one obviously to take a look at the assets but also to spend some time with the management and the operational leaders.

I am happy to say that Range ticked the boxes in all these areas, operationally things are picking up and specifically, as can be seen in today’s results, the Beach Marcelle waterflood is reacting positively to investment of time and money. We were also able to take a good look at the fleet of rigs which are indeed modern and in one case almost ready to go out on assignment. On the management front it was more important than usual to meet the CEO, Mr Yan Liu who as far as I know has not yet met many analysts or investors, this being the first visit to the company for some considerable time. He, and the new COO who is new in his position but not to the company, having been a non-exec until recently are clearly hands on and determined to make a success of the company.

Today’s results therefore give an indication as to how things are progressing under their charge, early doors admittedly but there are definite signs of a recovery. Operationally, in Trinidad production in the period averaged 606 b/d, up 22% which was mainly due to concentration on the waterflood programme, selective development drilling where two wells were brought on-stream, and with workovers where 130 were completed. The Beach Marcelle waterflood is a ‘vast majority’ of the company’s reserves in Trinidad and it already accounts for around 30% of production.

The recent CPR confirmed net 2P reserves of 16 MMstb and net 2C net resources of 8 MMstb which gives plenty of room for upside now that the work programme is being put into action.

In Indonesia the company are in the process of building an experienced operational team and undertaking initial geological and geophysical studies as well as preparing a suitable work programme for which a budget is being finalised. Here the CPR gives Range  confirmed net 2C contingent resources of 10.9 Bscf and 3.1 MMstb. The company has a fairly undemanding set of work commitments and I expect that they will easily pass through them as they re-initiate production in this area.

The RRDSL acquisition gives Range a Trinidad based fleet of modern drilling rigs, workover rigs and equipment that will reduce costs and provide ‘operational flexibility’ as well as expand its third party client base. We saw rig 19 ready to go onsite and I noted that the drilling manager had already made some very smart adaptations so that it could be used in tight locations with a smaller load of kit if needed, often the case here. Rig 16 is a more powerful rig and could easily be moved elsewhere in the Caribbean or nearby Latin America as it can easily handle a +13,000 foot drill, deeper than normal on Trinidad. We also saw a number of workover rigs either working or on warm stand-by all having been used recently either by Range or for other local drillers, the fleet is more modern than almost anything in the region and whilst margins could be better will provide very useful ‘flexibility’ as they say.

On the numbers things are also looking up, there is a 77% reduction in pre-tax losses to $8.5m, revenues are up 39% to $5.4m and with opex down 14% to $34.50 a barrel and G&A down 40% things are moving in the right direction. Cash is $10.9m down after recent spending and for the first time in a while the CFO hasn’t had to report an impairment charge.

It has been a long haul but much went on when the shares were suspended last year, as the operational success in Trinidad continues, Indonesia starts to see some action and RRDSL gets some 3rd party work should easily see Range be back on the right road.

RockRose Energy

RRE has commissioned ERC to evaluate existing upside potential for the Blake field and its nearby Tain satellite discovery ‘with a view to inform FID on Tain development’. RockRose has also commissioned Crondall Energy to review the FPSO options on the Blake and Ross field where options are to either replace the vessel or to to extend the life of it.

The interesting point of this announcement is to point out that whist RRE continues its policy of acquisition driven growth it has also seen upside potential through organic growth. The last time I spoke with the management they pointed out that the life of every asset that they owned has been pushed out by at least a year by the operator since acquisition thus giving yet more value to shareholders, what’s not to like…


An update from Lamprell today that indicates that all is going well at the JV in Saudi Arabia and that IMI is now fully in business. Construction is underway at the maritime yard at Ras Al Khair for which Lamps has already paid its initial cost of $20m of a total of $140m. Things should really start to motor for the company as ARO drilling are committed to ordering 20 jackup rigs from the yard over the next ten years, whilst construction is underway ‘significant component parts of the first 2 rigs are expected to be subcontracted to Lamprell’s UAE facilities’.  This announcement is very important in that it looks like any lingering doubts about the JV should now be dismissed. As for current trading that is a different thing altogether to be discussed at the forthcoming results meetings…

And finally…

The draw for the Quarter Finals of the Champions League has been made and – you’ve guessed it the Noisy Neighbours and the HubCap Stealers have been drawn together….

This weekend we are back to the FA Cup QF’s in which the Swans host Kane-less Spurs and the Seagulls go to the Theatre of Nightmares and after the Sevilla disaster they must feel they have every chance. On Sunday the Latics host the Saints and Chelski go to the Foxes.

The last round of the Six Nations is tomorrow with Ireland expecting to celebrate St Patrick’s day with a win over hapless England at Twickenham. Elsewhere Italy host Scotland and Wales host France.

My Moto GP correspondent informs me that the new season starts this weekend under floodlights in Qatar..

And of course, saving the best until last this afternoon sees the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the blue riband event of the jump racing season.


]]> Oil price, Savannah Petroleum-CEO Interview And finally... Thu, 15 Mar 2018 10:27:00 +0000 WTI $60.96 +25c, Brent $64.89 +25c, Diff -$3.93 n/c, NG $2.73 -6c

Oil price

A modest rally yesterday with some good and some bad news in the market. The good news was the announcement that February Opec production fell again, this time to 32.2m b/d which is indeed impressive even if Venezuela continues to involuntarily help out the cause.

The EIA inventory stats were, as expected here, poor, this time of the year US refineries are not falling over themselves to buy crude during routine seasonal maintenance and the 5m build was twice what the teenage scribblers expected. However, the American driver always comes to the rescue and any signs of Spring tempts them into the gas guzzlers and gasoline demand rocketed, drawing 6.2m barrels the highest for many months.

Savannah Petroleum- Andrew Knott interview

Yesterday on Core Finance in my CEO interview I spoke with Andrew Knott of Savannah Petroleum. This was an interview I had been waiting for for some time, indeed pretty much since the Seven Energy deal was announced. Now that the deal is almost complete Andrew kindly shared some time with me to answer some of the key questions that arise from that deal, as well as the resumption of the drilling programme in Niger which was halted whilst the shares were suspended.

The link to the interview is below and I think that is gives some very strong support to my view that the acquisition of the Seven assets along with the impending drilling campaign in Niger will be highly beneficial to Savannah shareholders.

Core Finance CEO interview: Andrew Knott of Savannah Petroleum

And finally…

In the Champions League Chelski had it all to do away in Barcelona and when King Lionel scored in the 3rd minute it just got that much harder. Antonio Conte said afterwards that the result was ‘unfair’ but the little maestro made all the difference.

In the Boropa Cup tonight the Gooners host AC Milan and you would have thought that even Wenger’s men can’t mess this one up….

]]> Oil price, Cairn Energy And finally... Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:41:00 +0000 WTI $61.36 -68c, Brent $64.95 -54c, Diff -$3.59 +14c, NG $2.78 +5c

Oil price

As I mentioned yesterday crude oil was marked back first thing and never recovered, probably ahead of an uncertain week of inventory stats. At this time of year analysts are usually over optimistic as they miscalculate the effect of refinery maintenance so lets see what the API and EIA say before getting carried away.

Cairn Energy

Full year results from Cairn this morning which contain no great surprises, nor should they in this era of constant updates from companies. The statement is primarily about Senegal and so it should be as so much is going on there at the moment. Much work is under way with tenders out for the FPSO and subsea infrastructure and the FEED is set to commence 2H 2018. Change of operatorship is now scheduled for 2H as well which has presumably been pushed back until after the arbitration case has been settled.

The exploitation plan is set for submission in 2H 2018, to be followed by the FID. First oil is still aimed at 2021-2023 which is a wide range but clearly dependent upon various unknowns. Cash is only $68m although the potential  RBL pot is very substantial but may be needed given the development expenditure required for Catcher and Kraken, Senegal and the exploration budget. Having said that and given the potential substantial increase in revenues to come the financial position is strong. I shall not bang on about it much more but I still believe that a partial sale of Senegal was, and probably still is, a live and wise option for Cairn as they look at the bills running through to first oil, potentially still five years away. Nevertheless Cairn is in a strong position, in charge of its own destiny, financially sound and with a portfolio of exciting prospects.

And finally…

Last night the Noisy Neighbours went one stage closer to claiming the title with a 0-2 win at the Potters who are  not that safe at the moment. Tonight Sevilla visit the Theatre of Dreams in what should be a proper, old fashioned night of European Cup football.

But most of all today sees the start of the Cheltenham festival and for the first time in heavy conditions so none of these lightweights trotting up with the sun on their backs…With 250,000 visitors and £350m to be wagered, never mind all that Guiness that won’t drink itself punters headed for the  course will have a great time

]]> SDX Energy, Pantheon Resources Fri, 09 Mar 2018 14:43:00 +0000 SDX Energy

Heading home and have spotted the announcement from SDX which details a gas discovery at the SAH-2 well on the Sebou permit in Morocco. This makes a success rate of 5/7 and here the company found 5.2m of net conventional natural gas pay across two zones in the Guebbas and Hoot formations with a porosity of 33%. The well came in on prognosis but the reservoir thickness was above pre-drill expectations. The well benefited by being the first time that the company has used downhole directional tools and it penetrated two targets with a single well bore. I hope to add to that after speaking to Paul Welch on my return.

Following my trip to Morocco I certainly came away even more positive about SDX if that was possible and this news is very encouraging in terms of the plan to increase production to 8-10 MMscf/d by the end of this year. With costs extremely low and gas prices increasing towards $10 and then $12 the outlook for the company is extremely bright as they move to Lalla Mamouna for two exploration wells.

Pantheon Resources

In the lounge and running out of time I have just seen the PANR announcement. I will cover in much more detail on Monday when I have spoken to Jay but I am highly encouraged by the news. Clearly there are some mixed messages but at the 5 well it looks very promising and they appear to be getting to the bottom of the seemingly endless operational problems at VIBM#1. Over at the 4 well the sidetrack has been non-commercial but they may re-enter with a horizontal lateral. News that two separate US groups have approached them to explore possibilities in the Wilcox is very promising indeed. More on Monday when I return home and speak to Jay….

]]> Ophir Energy, Premier Oil Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:15:00 +0000 Ophir Energy

I spotted Ophirs figs from my hotel yesterday and am looking stone wrong on this one after a reasonable set of figures were hijacked again. So, reserves up (13%), funds flow from production up (46%), reduced G&A(17%), increased liquidity (57%) and delivered NAV growth (6.4%).

But, and it’s a big but, no delivery of Fortuna which is ‘a priority’ I bet it is….. Otherwise it all looks ok as they are well enough funded, subject to no Fortuna nightmares and Bualuang and Kerendan fields are set to do the job and despite a much reduced exploration budget opportunities still exist in Equatorial Guinea (Yes!) and Mexico.

I met with Nick Cooper a couple of months ago and came to the conclusion that my long held bearish stance should be reversed, how wrong I was but I still believe that I did it for all the right reasons and am now in no mans land. The good thing is that Nick has agreed to come on my CEO interview slot on Core Finance in a couple of weeks and chat about Ophir, watch this space…..

Premier Oil

Results today from Premier who have confirmed all that we already know which is what finals are all about, the day that something new or unexpected turns up it’s time to worry.

Production wise it’s 75/- boepd (71,4) and Catcher came on stream on time and under budget at Christmas and will deliver a small present by eventually producing 60/- boepd. Thus guidance is a very conservative 80-85/- boepd but then these are promises made to be broken.

Elsewhere, Tolmount funding has been secured in an innovative way as befits a company with $2.7bn of debt and the impressive Zama discovery in Mexico (600 mmbbls gross) is still on the books and will see appraisal drilling 2H of this year. In SE Asia demand for gas has been strong especially in Indonesia from Singapore buyers and Vietnam also saw impressive operational performance. Prices remain solid if flat but the days of big highs and low lows appear to be over.

Sea Lion, I knew you would ask about that but nothing has noticeably changed although much must be going on behind the scenes. Discussions are still continuing with senior debt providers and supply chain contractors to ‘secure suitable funding and commercial terms’. All this adds up to a FID ‘ by the end of 2018 which smacks of further dawdling in the hope that the fairy godmother pitches up with a wad of cash. The scenario however remains the same, on the one hand the ‘senior debt providers’ they mention are unlikely to have their hands out proffering cheap moolah but on the other, as Prems point out, SL is the company’s largest pre-development project and by, say, 2023 if sanctioned would be a meaningful part of the business. With a decent combination of senior debt and a host of lower debt and supply chain contributions it should go. Rocks and hard places come to mind but to me the bottom line is clear, the economics of the project have got significantly better and at $60 ish it must be a runner, also whilst not really wanting to lend any more PMO is in my view dependent on the Falklands and the sooner they get on with it the better.

Financially the company report disposals of $300m in the year which is a tiny step but of course is how all journeys start. Reserves and resources are 902 mmboe (835) with opex of $16.4/boe being an impressive show of work in the last three years.

So, where does that leave us, in my view in a surprisingly good position looking forward over the next five years or so. Cash flow at say, $65 could finance and even reduce  debt substantially, deliver the key projects and have a company with 100/- bd of production to feed those hungry mouths. Premier therefore stays in the bucket list and I have Tony Durrant back in my CEO interview slot in a few days time, we shall what he can add to today’s numbers.

]]> Trinity Exploration & Production Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:49:00 +0000 Trinity Exploration & Production

Another blog from far flung lands will keep you informed from Trinidad .

2017 financial highlights from TRIN this morning which I’m glad to say are in line with my expectations with operating profits up 74.6% to $11m (6.3) and more importantly in my mind operating margins of 24.3% (17.7), this is equal to $12 pb (6.7) and reflects the positive nature of my most recent comments. TRIN has reported ‘robust’ breakeven costs of $30.9 pb and has cash of $11.8m and net debt of $0.1m. Also, cash due to the Inland Revenue and the Energy Ministry is down substantially and below the amount envisaged in the ratified payment plan.
2H production growth was 10.2%, a very impressive figure wherever you are coming from and reflects excellent operational work with work overs, re activations, swabbing and re completions in full swing. Current production short term production targets are 2,800-3,000 bopd which augurs well for the future.
Trinity’s attraction has always been that it is set up to be a low cost, high margin play and with further onshore drilling to come will give the medium term production, as if it needed it, further growth.
CEO Bruce Dingwall says that 2017 was a ‘transformational year’ and that the ‘r’ word (restructuring ) has now been retired to the lexicon which is good to hear. Investors can now expect a scaling up and as he says, spinning off the flywheel by leveraging up the P&L to enable longer term growth to kick in.
Trinity has an enviable production growth already and increasing that at the margins they expect

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Frontera, Sundry-Saffron-RKH-JOG-ECO-President-RBD- And finally... Fri, 02 Mar 2018 15:54:00 +0000

WTI $60.99 -65c, Brent $63.53 -90c, Diff -$2.84 -25c, NG $2.70 +3c

Oil price

Oil will end the week down after a series of events but mainly due to the EIA inventory stats that surprised the teenage scribblers that pass for analysts on Wall Street. If they had been around last year or the one before that, or the one before that they will have remembered that as we approach March so does the Spring maintenance season and with it a fall in refinery runs and thus demand for WTI. The rise in gasoline stocks by 2.5m was also a surprise for the market but at least distillates drew.

Amerisur Resources

Monthly production numbers from AMER were almost  in line with expectations, a daily average of 6,749 bopd with a peak of 6,960, whilst the OBA saw 5,424 and 5,939. These numbers are down slightly but only temporarily, due to a workover on Platanillo-6 which will take around 300 bopd off the schedule until the middle of March.

The company has also announced that on 20th of February the 2 millionth barrel went through the OBA, this was a saving of $20.3m in the fifteen months of operation. With the OBA costing $18m to build and reducing transport costs from $14.05 to $3.90 and operating opex of $15 per barrel,  the pipeline has paid for itself after just 15 months of operations and is set to increase the cost savings as production from the Putumayo increases.

At anything over $60 Amerisur is making proper revenues and it needs not many of its dozen planned wells to come in to increase that number by a meaningful amount. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility to assume that the company might decide to do what the market has failed to do recently and reward shareholders who have been more than patient.

Frontera Resources- Georgia on my mind…

I have recently visited Georgia where I met with all levels of local management and also spent a day visiting the operations at the Taribani field including the currently operating T-45 well. I will write more about my time with the company when this well has completed and the final details are known but my visit was perfectly timed as every sign is that this well, and therefore quite possibly all three in the programme, may have a meaningful implication for both FRR and Georgia.

Tuesday’s announcement from T-45 was in itself very positive with news of the completion of open hole well logging which had deepened the well to 2,700m. The oil stained cuttings at 2460-2475m were confirmed to be within a 14.9m combined pay interval of Zone 13, further good news. This is a further developed pay section in addition to the original Zone 9, 14 and 15 targets and it should be remembered that Zone 13 was not included in the base case when the reservoir modelling was done.

The casing should now have been set and I would expect the rig to be de-mobilised in the next few days so that the well can be perforated and the frac job can be started, after which time production can be ascertained and oil from the appropriate zones can be co-mingled and brought to surface. Although nothing can be taken for granted at this stage, it is clear that very ‘live’ oil flowed back in substantial quantities with the mud and that it is therefore highly likely that this well has indeed exceeded management’s expectations.


In my absence this week a number of companies have made announcements, here are the highlights.

Saffron Energy updated the market on its progress in SE Asia and announced that it was withdrawing from the PO Valley acquisition. In the former the company says that it is ‘reviewing and negotiating a number of substantial and highly prospective opportunities in SE Asia that are consistent with its multi-TCF exploration strategy’. In the latter it appears that the deal has been called off ‘at mutual agreement’ due to regulatory and tax issues and to avoid upfront dilution.

Rockhopper updated on its Greater Mediterranean portfolio by announcing improved production from Abu Sennan with net to RKH production of 880 boepd. Pricing here is good with local realisations a small discount to Brent. A four well programme is planned this year across Abu Sennan and El Qa’a Plain. Finally Egyptian receivables have been significantly reduced with all liabilities to Beach Energy now satisfied.

Jersey Oil & Gas has announced that a rig contract has been signed for the Verbier appraisal and it and potentially a sidetrack will be drilled this summer. Starting from a base of 25-130m barrels of oil equivalent there must be huge potential upside for JOG which carries none of this in the current share price. Any validation of nearer the top of this range would surely move that price by a significant amount.

Exxon has announced a 7th significant discovery offshore Guyana at its Pacora-1 well. Eco Atlantic was quick to point out that this was the closest well to their own Orinduik block and that Exxon has signed up a second rig for exploration in the area.

President Energy announced this week that it was to obtain a secondary listing on The Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires, the Argentinian Stock Exchange. Being an Argentinian listed company as well  will help significantly attract investors both institutional and private who are looking for high growth companies operating in country.

Reabold Resources has announced that it has raised up to £7.33m at 0.6p to exploit a number of opportunities that ‘have the capacity to provide significant returns on investment’. Whilst I was expecting a much larger raise I understand that new institutional shareholders have come in and existing ones have stayed. With the company’s determination to maintain price discipline and with the ability to pick and choose its investments over the coming months they decided not to accept what was a long order book at lower prices.


My recent Core Finance CEO interview with Edward Bowen of EPI Group was in the bucket list edition of the blog, for those who missed it I am putting the link below.

Core Finance CEO interview: Ed Bowen of EPI Group

And finally…

The Gooners must be sick of the sight of the Noisy Neighbours but equally aware of their generosity of stopping after just three goals when they meet. On Sunday the next fodder will be Chelski who visit the Etihad, the Gooners meanwhile visit the Seagulls who should provide some respite…Spurs host the Terriers which should be straightforward as should the HubCap Stealers who entertain the Magpies. The Swans host the Hammers and Burnley entertain the Toffees whilst the Red Devils visit the Eagles on Monday night.


]]> Oil price, Frontera Resources And finally... Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:49:00 +0000 Oil price

IP Week started more with a whimper than a bang, what with the US shut for GW’s birthday it seemed that traders were focused more on the cocktail circuit than the oil price. That combined with WTI for March expiring (price above is April) and the Chinese New Year also claiming numbers, trading was always going to be a bit thin. As it was the Opec Secretary General rode to the rescue announcing adherence of 133% which did the trick and oil dutifully rose.

The sight of the first ever fully laden VLCC leaving port in Louisiana with US crude destined for China was, if only for historic reasons, most interesting. The fact that the ship was Saudi registered maybe ironic, but another first was such a ship coming into and leaving a US port fully loaded shows how US import/export trade in crude oil has changed lately. With the trader being Royal Dutch Shell and the buyer being Sinopec it was a right little international event….

Frontera Resources

News from T-45, the first of a three well drilling programme at the Taribani complex in Block 12 in Georgia where TD has been reached at 2,700m in the Eldari formation. A lot of news was crammed into the RNS, multiple oil and gas shows were found most notably as follows. Oil stained cuttings were found at 2,460-2,475m in zone 13 with a formation gas kick at 2,535m in zone 14 reducing mud weight materially indicating a highly charged hydrocarbon formation.

Gas was detected at surface while drilling at 2,565-2,575m in zone 14 and ‘significant gas shows’ were recorded between 2,630-2,650m in zone 15. Here they also had a major gas kick at 2,633m after which they initiated hydrocarbon flowback operations which resulted in 383 b/d of flowback with bottom hole  pressure of 7,500 psi being recorded. Further down they were to encounter oil shows with associated gas and a ‘significant’ gas kick between 2,685-2,695m with psi of 7,800. Next stop wireline logging and analysis until which the company correctly caution initial indications should be treated with caution.

CEO Zaza Mamulaishvili said that ‘very encouraging early indications of a highly charged hydrocarbon formation are an exciting opportunity to develop zones 14 and 15 of the Eldari formation’ whilst of course the already proven zone 9 has considerable promise.

I am highly encouraged by these results and whilst they are only preliminary, feel that this well has made significant progress which may well be borne out by testing. I am looking forward to visiting the site next week and meeting local management, I couldnt have picked a better time and remain very positive about Frontera where the current price is tiny compared to the potential if this campaign is successful.


Here is the link to my Podcast from yesterday.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy covers Hurricane Energy, Faroe Petroleum, Saffron Energy, Reabold Resources, United Oil & Gas, Upland Resources and Baron Oil

And finally…

The latics did what most Premier sides have failed to this season and beat the Noisy Neighbours 1-0 to get in the FA Cup Quarter Finals and a tie against the Saints. A right royal cup tie with a disputed sending off and scuffles in the tunnel.

Tonight its the Champions League where Chelski play Barca, ooh err…..


And thanks to all those who have kindly donated, Netty’s page is below.

]]> Oil price, Zenith Energy, EnQuest, Sundry-RockRose-Baron Oil- And finally... Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:49:00 +0000 Oil price

Last week WTI was up $2.48 and Brent +$2.05, it didnt feel that good but the heavyweights came in from Opec and Non-Opec and lifted the gloom. The final piece in the jigsaw was the Saudi Energy Minister stating that they would prefer to keep the market short than the other way around, marginal barrel and all that as we have discussed. If that means what is says, and the agreement stays in place for at least all this year then it is realistic to assume some degree of consistency in the oil price.

The overall rig count on Friday was unchanged at 975 with oil units up 7 at 798, the US cannot be a swing producer or even decide the price of the marginal barrel the last time I looked…

Zenith Energy

An operational update from Zenith this morning where the workover programme in the Zardab Field is what can best be described as challenging. The Z-21 workover has seen the coiled tubing intervention successful but there is more to do and this should complete in April after new kit arrives in country in March. At the Z-28 workover, again much work has been completed, leaks have been sealed and the well cleared down to 3583m, but with the aim being to clear to 3944m that will be completed after the Z-21 when that kit is available.

The company has been upgrading its A-80 workover rig to increase its capabilities and will be able to use it much more regularly, this coupled with the recent purchase of the A-100 truck mounted rig in January, which is being constructed nearby, should arrive in late April.

The ESP upgrade programme has increased from 11 to 13 wells of which 7 have already been installed, these pumps uplift production and reduce downtime but there is a delay on the delivery of the next six units, accordingly Zenith has arranged another supplier with delivery in May. With current production of 350 b/d and a higher than expected natural depletion rate having been exacerbated by loss of wellbores in some primary targets, (due to uncemented casing collapsing) when rehabilitation starts there should be significant upside in production levels. Accordingly the production target of 1,000 b/d is still intact but now is planned for by this year end.

I met with COO Mike Palmer when I visited Zenith recently and he is a first rate operations man, he and his team have clearly learned a lot from this process where the workovers were not ‘as historical information had led us to believe but our view of the quality of the geology and the opportunity presented by these wells remains unchanged’. With a good quality team and plenty of new kit, these recent problems should soon be behind them  and are of ‘little material consequence when considering the longer term, very significant, prize at hand, and the broader picture of our profitable oil production activities in a field with vast, untapped oil reserves’. It is for these reserves that I believe will mean that Zenith should be able to deliver the goods in the coming months.


An update from EnQuest today that some people thought might not happen….The news is unsurprisingly getting better, production last year was 37,405 boe/d and with Kraken steaming ahead guidance for this year is 50-58,000 some 33-55% up. Kraken was 35/- bop/d in January and is on track for its 50/- bop/d target and producing much needed cash flow, even debt is starting to be paid down, net debt is now $1,989m.


After my mistake last week RockRose really has returned to the market today and has traded between 340-390p which is a very pleasing result for backers.

A very interesting move by Baron Oil who have taken an option to farm into the North Sea block that contains the very exciting Wick prospect. Drilling here is expected to be in September of this year at a cost of £4.2m, Baron are paying 20% of well costs plus £6,500 of back costs for a 15% interest in the licence.

The Market Timing Report

I thought that this offer, exclusive to blog readers might be of some interest. I have subscribed to this service for over two years and find it an invaluable help, as an amateur chartist you will understand, very much worth a look. Andy Pancholi of Cycles Analysis has kindly offered to continue this one-off deal for readers of the blog. 

‘Covering Oil, Gold, S&P500 Dollar Index and EURUSD, The Market Timing Report does “what it says on the tin” –  gives you key timing points created from our proprietary cycles system. This allows traders and investors to get an edge on when markets are likely to turn. The MTR has been forewarning readers that a large equity pullback was due- the dates were as given on the chart. Were you prepared?’

The Market Timing Report covers a whole host of topics from geopolitical affairs to the technical position of the markets.

Try the report now and you will receive the current February Edition, last months 2018 Special Edition COMPLETE with a 28 day money back guarantee – no questions asked! All for $97!



Here is a message from my lovely wife Netty who is for reasons best known to herself running the London Marathon, again in April. Any donations would be really appreciated and your previous years kindnesses are not taken for granted!

I am running the Virgin London Marathon on 22nd April 2018 in aid of the Lords Taverners, giving disabled and disadvantaged children a sporting chance.

And finally…

The FA Cup provided few surprises at the weekend, Spurs only drew at Rochdale so a replay there and a tie with the Owls or the Swans who drew. Chelski and the Foxes both won on Friday and play each other next, the Red Devils beat the Terriers and now host the Seagulls who beat the Sky Blues. The Noisy Neighbours are at the latics tonight and the winner gets to play the Saints.

]]> Oil price, Saffron/Coro, Victoria Oil & Gas, Zenith, Link And finally... Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:36:00 +0000 WTI $61.34 +74c, Brent $64.33 -3c, Diff -$2.99 -77c, NG $2.58 -1c

Oil price

Traders say it was a funny old day in the market yesterday, an early sell off was closed with a weak greenback helping out, but WTI gained most as it finished up on the day. The differential is now below $3 and means that it won’t be long before it has less attractions than say, Brent in the global marketplace.

To add to all the other supportive voices yesterday saw the Saudis, the Nigerians and the UAE all claiming that adherence was high and will remain so for the long term. This was reinforced when the stories of a long term axis between Russia and the KSA were not denied, remember you heard it here first. The bearish talk is all about the USA but as long as Opec and its friends remain tight and control that marginal barrel they will still be getting more revenue than otherwise, despite how galling it is to see the Shermans revelling in moolah…


Saffron is back with a bang as it reopened this morning at a huge premium to the old days after announcement of the Aim admission document publication. Subject to shareholder approval Saffron will become Coro on or around the 9th of April. There is the small matter of an Open Offer to raise £2m but at 4.38p, the same as the recent bigger raise it should prove popular.

Last night saw the formal launch of Coro Energy with all the razzamataz that you would expect from a Parsons project and amidst the fireworks, smoke and mission impossible music could be seen new director Ilham Habibie who had flown over from Indonesia just for the launch. He is a very impressive man and I suspect that he will be key to the startup of the South East Asia part of the new company’s strategy. Yesterday I interviewed Sara Edmonson who is to be CEO of Coro Energy and to watch the chat and hear more detail about plans for Coro’s future see this link.

Core Finance CEO interview: Sara Edmonson of Coro Energy

Victoria Oil & Gas

It is fair to say that the operational update and 2018 guidance announced this morning is a bit of a mixed bag. Operationally last year concluded very well, La 107 and 108 were completed with gas flow rates ahead of expectations with gas sales in the quarter up 18.56% up on the equivalent 2016 number. That made production in the year a highly respectable 10.98 MMscf/d, indeed a record and one that had demand problems not occured would have had the company set very fair indeed. But, and it is a big but, supply projections will be impacted following the news that ENEO does not place its Logbaba and Bassa power stations back on line, the company estimate 13 MMscf/d if online, 9 MMscf/d if not.

So the company has to rethink strategy for 2018 following a macro event with regards to ENEO which was outside of their control. Taking these things one at a time can give us an idea of what scenarios face the company. Firstly there is little doubt that ENEO, the regulator and the Ministry want the gas switched back on, power cuts are becoming more severe with between 10-15 blackouts a day in Douala at the moment so an agreement has to be reached at some stage. ENEO have said that they don’t want GDC to demobilise the kit and cannot afford to lose the 50 MW from the grid out of 1,300 plus another 100MW that is also missing as a result of this action so hope remains.

There are two obvious ways that VOG are planning to counter this loss of such an important customer, firstly by adding more new thermal customers (three were added in the quarter) and secondly by ensuring that existing and new customers can use GDC gas to power their factories and plants. Using bespoke gas to power installations, especially when gas is already on site, can save companies money, often up to 10%, and of course mean that power is not interrupted as it is at the moment. With modest gensets minimal capital is required and local gas can be switched on immediately.

Other ways of minimising the disruption, although in the longer term, is for the company to ramp up its CNG and NGV solutions and develop its markets and to address the possibility of raising prices for its very valuable condensate products.

Losing a 50+% client is not easy but it is possible ENEO will return but in the meantime VOG must assume that it will not and adjust accordingly. Further reductions in costs are under way and capex has been put back but exciting prospects at Matanda and Bomono are still very much in process. Indeed ENEO receivables, announced as being $8.7m in January have already fallen to $5m and are likely to continue to come down. The ENEO saga has been a blow to confidence just when VOG was about to deliver in a big way, whilst there is no sign yet of it blowing over one must remember that there is still a substantial and highly profitable market in Douala which shouldnt be forgotten.

Zenith Energy

3Q results from Zenith today but as usual on results day all the information is already in the market. The company continue to work on a number of wells in Azerbaijan with increasing success, when I visited the sites in the period I was impressed with the technical staff on site. Elsewhere the company has signed a commitment letter for the purchase of an onshore rig which will have an immediate positive effect when it arrives. The company are still committed to discussions with regard to potential acquisitions and have a number of transactions under consideration at present.


Here is a message from my lovely wife Netty who is for reasons best known to herself running the London Marathon, again in April. Any donations would be really appreciated and your previous years kindnesses are not taken for granted!

I am running the Virgin London Marathon on 22nd April 2018 in aid of the Lords Taverners, giving disabled and disadvantaged children a sporting chance.

And finally…

It’s the FA Cup again and tonight there are two ties, the Foxes play the Blades and Chelski host the Tigers from Hull. Tomorrow the Owls play the Swans, the Seagulls take on the Sky Blues, the Baggies host the Saints, Rochdale entertain the Spurs and the Red Devils are at the Terriers.

Some great jumps racing this weekend, tomorrow at Ascot sses the Betfair Chase with a great lineup and at Haydock it is Grand National trials day

]]> Oil price, Coro, RockRose And finally... Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:16:00 +0000

WTI 60.60 +$1.41, Brent $64.36 +$1.64, Diff -$3.76 +23c, NG $2.59 -1c

Oil price

The traders took advantage of the better than expected EIA inventory stats to buy crude and the futures yesterday in what was described as a ‘thin’ market. It may be a dead cat bounce, only time will tell but maybe $60 for WTI and $63 for Brent are levels we shall see.

The EIA stats showed a build in crude of only 1.84m barrels less that the whisper of +2.7 and the API number of 3.9m so fears of a massive build were allayed. Further comments regarding adhesion to quotas also pacified the market.

Coro Energy

Today is launch day for Coro Energy as a result of the combination of the Italian assets of Sound Energy and Saffron Energy and PO Valley. New CEO is Sara Edmonson who will head up what we have been told is going to be very much a South East Asia gas play which would explain today’s high level board appointment. Mr Ilham Habibie will join the board as soon as practical and adds significant weight to the board as he is the son of the former President of Indonesia who took the country to democracy and he carries outstanding business credentials.

The launch event tonight will I’m sure, have the same chutzpah as usual and shareholders will hear from the board in detail what the plans are for the company. With new cornerstone investor CIP Merchant Capital cornerstoning the company and the Open Offer having provided every opportunity to climb aboard at the start of such a potentially exciting journey, all is set for another James Parsons and crew investment.

RockRose Energy

RockRose announce that the shares will relist today and that the B shares will be redeemed for 150p a share tomorrow, shareholders can expect payment on 23/2. This has been a massively profitable investment for those who believed the story and there is no reason to believe it will not continue.

And finally…

With the HubCap Stealers thrashing Porto, in Porto last night, the chances of an English club making progress in the tournament are significant. Meanwhile the Gooners and Celtic are in the Boropa Cup, for Gooners fans it is looking like last year for the Red Devils as a first four place in the Prem is far from certain and thus winning this cup begins to have real importance.


]]> Oil price, Touchstone, Tullow, Velocys And finally... Wed, 07 Feb 2018 13:12:00 +0000

WTI $63.39 -76c, Brent $66.86 -76c, Diff -$3.47 n/c, NG $2.76 +1c

Oil price

Oil remains nervous in the risk-off market place and with the EIA STEO forecasting increased US production bulls were to a large degree holding off. Selling when the squids shoved up their forecasts would have been wise but that’s like shooting fish in a barrel…

The EIA forecast that US production is now 10.2m b/d and expected to be 10.6m b/d this year and 11.2m b/d  next year which is another increase in expectations but this will only happen if crude oil remains well above $50 which seems pretty likely just now.

Last nights API stats surprisingly showed a draw in crude of 1.1m barrels, better than expected as was the draw in gasoline stocks, distillates grew by more than expected as recent months.

Tullow Oil

Results from Tullow were in line with expectations, production was 89,100 b/d with guidance for this year of 82/- to 90/- showing no growth but an exciting drilling programme starting in Namibia. Gross profits were $815m and after write offs and impairments the company showed a post-tax loss of $189m. Capex is substantially up as one might expect, $460m this year after $225m last year.


Touchstone announce the start of a ten well drilling programme in Trinidad which is fully funded and should be completed by August giving potentially good news quite quickly. A second rig should shortly be operational giving further operational scope and the company seem confident of good news on the drilling front.


I am deeply saddened by the removal from the Velocys board of Julian West, one of the brightest sparks in the industry and who would be a great addition to any board of directors. Velocys’ loss will surely be someone else’s gain…


Herewith my Podcast link for this week covering a number of pertinent stocks…

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Rockhopper, Premier Oil, Trinity, Igas Energy and Diversified G&O

And my interview with Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas…

Core Finance CEO interview: Andrew Benitz of Jersey Oil & Gas


My apologies to those who are awaiting replies to emails, I am not able to give individual financial advice and at the moment am very busy so little chance for comments i’m afraid. I am putting together the new bucket list and appreciate all your lobbying!

And finally…

Swansea continue their good run of form by putting 8 goals on Notts County last night, the Terriers beat Birmingham City to secure a home tie against the Red Devils which they will relish after their previous game at home. Tonight Spurs have an unwanted game against Newport who they couldnt see off last time but surely will tonight.

The first T20 against Australia is underway and the Aussies have won game one at a canter.


]]> Morning Market Pulse - The same, but different Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:30:00 +0000 FTSE 100 Index called to open +60pts at 7200, holding above 7160 since yesterday evening, but well off overnight highs of 7300 after the rebound was checked by falling highs resistance going back to last Thursday. Bulls need a break above 7220 for further upside; Bears need a breach of overnight lows 7155 for more downside. Watch levels: Bullish 7230, Bearish 7160


Calls for a positive start derive from a strong Wall St rebound, bringing the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq back to positive territory for 2018, that was followed by positive sessions in Asia overnight, although the region’s indices are well off their best levels, which is the same for European equity futures as we write.


This suggests lingering indecision about whether what we’ve seen this week is a long overdue technical correction, or the opening sequence for a greater unwind. An unwind from a protracted period of historically low volatility, yields, borrowing costs and investor concern, which contributed to high levels of market valuation, passive investing, financial engineering and complacency. As the last few days have shown us, things are always “different this time”, until of course, they’re not.


Corporate news this morning: Tesco may be facing a £4bn class action lawsuit from 200K mostly female employees regarding equal pay. Rio Tinto underlying profits ahead of consensus, lower debt, declares biggest dividend in its history, $1bn top up to share buyback. Imperial Brands says on track for FY expectations, but note Japan Tobacco shares -3% overnight after a weak outlook.


Smurfit Kappa still experiencing FX volatility, wage inflation and higher energy/input costs, but good demand from Europe, input cost recovery and improvement in Americas. UK Housebuilders will likely welcome another set of record results from Redrow, which enters H2 with a record order book, while DCC announces its first US healthcare acquisition.


US equity markets closed higher yesterday, paring losses late in the session to turn back positive year-to-date having opened sharply lower. With a trading range of over 1150pts, the Dow Jones closed 567pts higher, led by gains for its largest weighted stocks (Boeing, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot), while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed 1.7% and 2.1% higher, respectively, as both indices were led by Tech rebounds following Monday’s risk-off move.


Gold is bouncing from the $1320 floor of its falling channel, benefitting from early US dollar weakness to halt yesterday’s sell-off from $1345. The precious metal will continue to be in focus as a safe-haven amid equity and bond volatility, while the performance of the global reserve currency will also be closely watched.


Crude Oil benchmarks have moved higher from overnight lows as the API reports a surprise drawdown in US inventories, further helped by early US dollar weakness but capped by a continued cautiousness in risk assets. Brent Crude is testing falling highs resistance from yesterday’s $68 highs, while US Crude trades within a $63.8-$64 range having retreated from $64.2 overnight highs.


In focus today will be further digestion of the past three rather lively trading sessions, and analysis as to whether this is a mere technical correction or the start of a greater unwind.


Only two pieces of macro data to note today, with UK Halifax House Prices (8am) seen returning to growth in January from December’s 4-month low, although retreating on a yearly basis, while US EIA Crude Oil Inventories (3:30pm) will look to repeat last night’s surprise API inventory drawdown with consensus for a build.



Speakers today include the ECB’s Lautenschlager and Nouy (10am) both appearing at the Annual Press Conference of ECB Banking Supervision this morning, while the NY Fed’s Dudley (1:30pm) is a panellist on a debate entitled ‘Banking Culture: Still Room for Improvement?’, Chicago’s Evans (non-voter; 4:15pm) discusses current economic conditions and monetary policy with a Q&A session, and San Francisco’s Williams (voter; 10:20pm) takes part in a Q&A session after the US close. 

]]> Oil price, Rockhopper/Premier, Trinity E&P, Amerisur, Aminex, Faroe And finally... Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:35:00 +0000

WTI $65.45 -35c, Brent $68.58 -$1.07, Diff -$3.13 -72c, NG $2.85 -1c

Oil price

After the latest bullish forecast from the Vampire Squids last week traders should have taken the other side of the trade and taken a walk, innate forecasting inability like theirs is a gift for others. Less tongue in cheek was the market fall, brought on as it was by the economic data on jobs and wages which rallied bonds and with them the greenback as expectations of rate rises firmed. WTI ended the week down 69c and Brent was worse at -$1.07 with the differential down at $3.13 as low as it’s been for a while.

The rig count was a marginal minus as well, overall the count was down 1 to 946 but in oil it was up 6 at 765 units.


RKH has announced this morning an LOI with Diamond Offshore Drilling for a ‘suitable drilling unit’ for the Sea Lion Phase 1 development. For those with short memories it was DOD with whom RKH worked with in the highly successful exploration phase of the campaign in the Falklands and that ‘teaming up with Diamond is a significant step in our continued progress towards sanction with our partner Premier Oil’.

Having already signed LOI’s with well services and logistical support the focus moves onto the subsea equipment suppliers where the JV are hoping to make progress during the 1st quarter. These important pieces of the jigsaw are highly encouraging as the partners continue the crucial discussions with regard to the senior debt element of the financing plan.

There must be little doubt that as they move closer to sanctioning the project,  such ‘material progress’ has been made on so many fronts, to be coming to this decision with three years of intensive industry cost cutting behind it and an oil price as it is now is surely the stuff Dreams are made of.

Trinity Exploration & Production

A Q4 operational update from TRIN this morning where things seem to go from strength to strength or as the management state, ‘a clear upward trajectory’. The update shows profitable production and a strengthening balance sheet as the strategy of a low cost, high return  programme of recompletions, workovers, reactivations and swabbing comes into its own. An 11% increase in production to 2,777 b/d is doing pretty well in any language but to do this from inventory and with existing cash flow is even more encouraging.

Operationally TRIN is amongst the best in the business, a third workover rig has been subcontracted and there was a 19% increase in man hours from 1,741 to 2,067 in the period. During December the company report production of over 3,000 b/d on at least 14 occasions as recompleted wells flowed naturally before returning to more sustainable production rates. Whilst this was a temporary state of affairs it shows that TRIN does have critical mass and ‘evidences a clear upward trajectory being delivered’ towards its near term production targets and all this before the drilling of any more wells which can be expected this quarter. For the time being it is aiming for 3,000 b/d by ‘later in 2018’ before achieving a more material step change in production in the medium term. This is a genuinely significant move for the company and its shareholders as TRIN has worked the model so tight that it has an EBITDA margin the envy of any company in or out of the oil sector.

The sale of the West Coast assets is still ongoing with interested parties making representations all the time, such moves are not distracting to the management as these assets are continuing to produce free cash flow. With all this good news on so many fronts Trinity is clearly amongst the most profitable companies in the E&P sector, yet maybe due to the events of the past it is yet to be appreciated by the market. Accordingly the move into the imminent bucket list update is a formality.

Amerisur Resources

Monthly production, OBA throughput data and an operational update from AMER all pretty much in line with expectations. Average daily production was 6,837 b/d with a peak of 7,142 b/d subject to works being incurred at Platanillo. The OBA throughput averaged 5,622 b/d with a peak of 6,541 b/d, this was affected by planned maintenance and enhancement work at the Cuyabeno station which is now completed. At CPO-5, Mariposa-1 continues to produce at 3,250 b/d on long term test as analysed by AMER and ONGC Videsh.


A significant resource upgrade today from RPS which is way better than had been expected. This and other data from io, confirms the feasibility of developing the Ntorya  gas field for commercial production. The Ntorya Pmean GIIP is increased to 1.87 TCF, an increase of 44% on managements latest estimates (1.3 TCF) and 12x the previous CPR. The 2C gross contingent resources number is up 11x from previous CPR at 762.8 BCF.

These numbers significantly exceed management’s expectations and without doubt put its acreage in Tanzania on the highest quality footing for the future. As a substantial player in country Aminex can expect to be able to proceed with limited upfront expenditure and use revenues ‘to enable cash-flow funded further development’, in what is a now realistic and achievable proposition. Aminex has now for once and for all become of significant strategic importance to the Tanzanian economy even if that means getting infrastructure funding for the pipeline.

With a highly supportive cornerstone shareholder encouraging the highly qualified and entrepreneurial management, shareholders can look forward to  an exciting run in Tanzania and now that executive time can be spared it would come as no surprise to see some geographical expansion for Aminex. Even after the 18% rise at time of writing I consider that the shares should at least head back to highs achieved only a year ago.

Faroe Petroleum

Faroe has announced that the Fogelberg appraisal well (and contingent sidetrack) has been spudded with the intention of narrowing the range which is at present 105-160 BCF. The range is so high as the initial discovery well was situated high on the structure and this well should provide additional information for development planning. Faroe remains in a strong position with a number of interesting wells either under way or scheduled for this year intended to add to the exciting number of projects in development.

And finally…

The 6 Nations rugby Championship started at the weekend with Wales beating Scotland 34-7 which at least surprised the Scots, Ireland left it to the last minute to beat France with an inspired drop goal and England won 15-46 in Rome.

In the Prem the Noisy Neighbours were held 1-1 at Burnley after the miss of the season might have won it… The Terriers visited the Theatre of Dreams and lost 2-0 and the game of the weekend was at Anfield where the HubCap Stealers drew 2-2 with the Spurs. Mr Klopp didnt like the penalty count but it was a mad last ten minutes.

And in the Superbowl the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 which was the highest number of points conceded by a winner and the first time that a player had both thrown and caught a touchdown pass in history. (US sport contributor still asleep)


]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, IGas, Ophir, DGO, And finally... Fri, 02 Feb 2018 14:27:00 +0000

WTI $65.80 +$1.07, Brent $69.65 +76c, Diff -$3.85 -31c, NG $2.86

Oil price

The monthly numbers for crude oil were good, WTI rose 7.1% and Brent was up by 4.35%, a decent performance under the circumstances. If there had been a blog yesterday it would have noted that poor API inventory stats were not continued in the EIA numbers which showed a draw of just over a million barrels in line with estimates.

Today almost all the news remains positive, the Reuters survey says that looking at Opec production data for January adhesion remains high at 138% and of course the Fed upped their growth targets at this weeks meeting. Brent has expired remaining in positive territory but notice the differential back down at $3.85.

I said almost because it seems like the Vampire Squids are doing their best to ruin the party for everybody. Having only just raised their oil price targets (Jan 17th) then Mr Currie suggesting prices were a bit ‘too high’ (Jan 18th) I notice that they have upped their targets again to $75 (3m) and $80 (year end) in an attempt to catch up with the market. We are all doomed.

SDX Energy

An update from SDX this morning in which they announce that the KSS-2 development well has spudded in the Sebou Permit onshore Morocco. The duration of the well should be 10-15 days and if successful will be connected to local infrastructure. The ONZ-7 well is scheduled to complete today and commence test production early next week. On Tuesday I did a CEO interview with Paul Welch and the link is below.

Core Finance interview: Paul Welch, CEO of SDX Energy

IGas Energy

An operational and trading update from IGas this morning and two things are different from recent announcements. Firstly, with production of 2,335 /d and guidance of 2,300-2,400 b/d IGas’s conventional production is now generating free cash flow and therefore all the shale is effectively upside. Secondly there are actual signs of activity with the drill bit in North Nottinghamshire as they are planning to go ahead and drill Springs Road mid year and then Tucker Lane.

The company, as with other onshore players, have had trouble with local council planning committees, in their case at Ellesmere Port which I thought was nailed on but I am sure that another winter of electricity supply uncertainty might prod the most Luddite of councils. Despite these upsets I’m still confident that IGas which still has a huge carried work programme and highly competitive costs is in a strong position in the industry.

Ophir Energy

When I last wrote about Ophir on 17th January after their trading update I was, for the first time in a long time starting to become more positive about the company and its short term prospects, it appears that the market did not share my optimism. With no recent announcement about funding for Fortuna I can only imagine that it is this what is spooking the market and that all the good things that I mentioned at that time are peripheral at the moment.

Anyway, todays announcement that the company has been awarded a 20% stake in blocks 10 and 12 in the Mexico offshore bid round 2.4 is good news and adds to their existing block 5 in the area.

Diversified Gas & Oil

DGO announced yesterday that they had made two acquisitions totalling $180m and done an oversubscribed placing  raising the same amount, and the same as the market cap, no mean feat in any market. This increases production by 173% and PDP MMboe by 217%.

I have met DGO when they first came to the market but have failed on recent visit to catch up, by the looks of it the acquisition of US onshore acreage and paying dividends has attracted to UK market and the 28/- b/d puts them right up there at least in size terms, more when I can meet them.


In case you didnt catch my Podcast this week the link is below.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Jersey Oil & Gas, Serica Energy, SDX Energy and Rockrose Energy

And finally…

And what a weekend of sport it is looking like….

The start of the 6 Nations Rugby is always a magnificent time and this one should go down to the wire. Tournament favourites appear to be Ireland but I suspect England will be hard to beat and dark horses must be Scotland after the autumn internationals… Tomorrow its Wales v Scotland and France v Ireland and on Sunday England travel to Rome to play Italy.

Football almost becomes irrelevant but the big game at the weekend is the HubCap Stealers v Spurs while Burnley host the Noisy Neighbours and the Terriers visit the Theatre of Dreams. The Gooners are all over the shop and host the Toffees which could be interesting and Chelski dont play until Monday.

If you want some racing at the weekend you have to go to Leopardstown where there is amazing racing and can see Faugheen and Footpad amongst others to give invaluable Cheltenham pointers…

The New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. These teams have met in a Super Bowl before and the Eagles will be hoping to avenge the loss they suffered in 2005 when Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 24-21 victory.



]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, Range Resources, i3 Energy And finally... Wed, 31 Jan 2018 09:59:00 +0000

WTI $64.50 -$1.06, Brent $69.02 -44c, Diff -$4.52 +62c, NG $3.19 +3c

Oil price

The general drift continues and yesterday indices fell in advance of the State of the Union address, this morning oil is also down by around 40 cents.

Echo Energy

An update from Echo this morning in which the company announces that it has completed the acquisition in Argentina and is now ready to initiate the 2018 work programme. Tenders for the planned seismic programme have been issued and also a slot has been reserved for the four exploration well programme scheduled to start in Q2 2018. With $32m in the bank Echo is fully funded for this years exciting programme which one might expect to hear about in a few months time.

Range Resources

Quarterly update time for Range where production is up 9% on the previous period at 651 b/d. The two acquisitions in Indonesia and Trinidad were completed so investors can look forward to these providing significant interest this year. After the quarter end the GY 684 development well at Beach Marcelle was brought onstream at 120 b/d.

i3 Energy

i3 has raised £2.57m at 30p and has other ‘multiple funding options at an advanced stage’. Farming out of Liberator appears to be close to completion and also some of its applications in the 30th round. One to watch although plenty to do.

And finally…

Briefly, last night Prem programme saw the Swans continue their winning ways by seeing off the Gooners 3-1, the HubCap Stealers won any way you like at Huddersfield and the Hammers and the Eagles drew 1-1. The rest of the programme tonight sees the Red Devils at Wembley against Spurs, Chelski play the Cherries and the Noisy Neighbours host the Baggies amongst other fixtures.


]]> Oil price, Jersey Oil & Gas, President Energy, Serica Energy And finally... Mon, 29 Jan 2018 13:15:00 +0000

WTI $66.14 +63c, Brent $70.52 +10c, Diff -$4.38 -53c, NG $3.51 +6c

Oil price

That was the good week that was, WTI continued to outperform Brent and was up $2.83 on the week vs +$1.91 bringing today’s differential closer to $4 than $5. The rig count rose sharply, by 12 in oil to 759 which will worry the bulls as the US production numbers rise again, that and a modest rally in the greenback has pushed oil back down, Brent is back below $70 this morning. And no reason why not really, there are fewer reasons to go up than down right now although bulls are still running the show.

Jersey Oil & Gas

An operational update from JOG this morning which is very much what shareholders are looking for. The work programme and budget for 2018 has been agreed by the ‘co-venturers’. This will include an appraisal of the Verbier discovery and ‘contingent well planning including acquisition of a site survey to progress exploration activity on the licence area’.

Negotiations for a rig are ‘advanced’ to drill one well and with the option for a side-track to be drilled in the summer of 2018. All this can be funded from the company’s cash reserves which after the autumn raise leaves December 31 2017 cash of £25m, capex for this year is an estimated £9-11m so plenty of headroom and I hope that a modest production acquisition maybe on the cards.

With an exciting programme of events for this summer and a gross recoverable resources range of 25-130 mmboe as estimated by none other than Statoil, things are looking up for JOG in no uncertain way. Taking the estimated mean Statoil number of 69 mmboe and the oil price of $70 I still think that JOG has massive potential upside with a market cap of only £47m. The shares are surprisingly off 4% this morning but this may be a bit of profit taking after a 23% rise so far this month, stick with the shares, they won’t be coming out of the bucket list…

President Energy

A swift mention of President and the recent tax reforms that have come into place in Argentina. The corporate income tax rate has fallen for 2018 and 2019 from 35% to 30% and from 2020 to 25%. PPC is very well placed to take advantage of these as it has tax losses to offset against profits which will continue until 2019 and will fall straight through to the bottom line adding value to the company. Post 2020 the lower rate will increase cash flow and boost profitability.

Serica Energy

A positive update from Serica this morning as is goes about closing the BP deal in which it acquired stakes in Bruce, Keith and Rhum assets, these had been hit by the Forties pipeline closure but are back up now. At Erskine there has been serious missing of guidance, production is 1,975 b/d against expected 2,200 b/d down to waxing problems which are expected to be cleared and production can increase.

The company has two wells to drill this year, the Rowallan exploration well in the second half and Rhum#3 recompletion/re-entry well in Q2/3 and if all goes well will tie in before the end of the year. Cash is $34m and debt is $3.9m, so assuming all the technical problems can be sorted, SQZ is looking reasonably well funded. I havent had an opportunity to meet with Mitch Flegg since he joined and have today put in another request, let’s hope it can be fixed up before long.

And finally…

The FA Cup weekend saw wins for the Noisy Neighbours, the Red Devils, Chelski and the Foxes, Spurs could only draw at Newport and the HubCap Stealers went out at home to the Baggies. Notable wins for the Sky Blues, the Latics, the Dons and the Owls.

England completed the one dayers down under, winning the last game and the series 4-1, just the T20’s now….

And it was sad to see the founder of IKEA passing away at the weekend, his funeral is expected to be later this week or however long it takes to put his coffin together….


]]> The Pay Zone - Oil price, SDX Energy, RockRose Energy And finally... Fri, 26 Jan 2018 14:21:00 +0000 Oil price

It has not been a bad week for the oil price, news has mainly been positive and the dollar remained weak until the Donald gave it a leg up yesterday (before which Brent had traded over $71) although the greenback is back down today. Wednesday started with the API figures from after the close on Tuesday exerting downward pressure but the EIA numbers were much better showing as they did another 1.1m barrel draw, the tenth successive down week.

This brought stocks close to the magic five year average, one of the key points of reference for Opec and Russia and with Cushing seeing another 3.15m draw WTI started to catch up with Brent. This was also seen in the NSL numbers where money managers increased their positions by 37.5m bbls which was split WTI up 41 and Brent down 3.4.

SDX Energy- Visit, preliminary thoughts

I spent a few days with SDX Energy in Morocco this week along with a decent crowd of investment analysts which shows that the SDX story is rapidly gaining credence and depth. The story of SDX in Morocco is one of ‘simplicity made profitable’ as they describe it and from what we saw that is most definitely the case. The idea is to explore in shallow prospects, find gas, where at present they have an 80% success rate, transport it directly and sell the gas to the client on site. The gas needs little or no treatment being 99.6% methane and the potential client base is substantial. As a result margins are high, drilling costs are low and reducing all the time with rig procedure influenced by US onshore practices such as smaller, non concrete pads and biodegradable waste treatment. This has kept operating costs down, currently 30c per MCF there and thereabouts. The fiscal regime is also helpful with a ten year tax holiday and no royalties and contracts tend to be on a  5 year fixed price basis.

Gas prices are relatively high at $10/MCF with the Government pushing for this to be upped to $12, so at present each BCF is worth $10m probably escalating whenever contracts are renegotiated. So how does the potential market look like? Existing customers take 6 MMscfd and the pipeline capacity is 24 MMscfd so the scope is huge and with estimates of demand identified as 52 MMscfd one can see significant upside. There is significant cooperation with ONHYM who have the local knowledge, staff and experience and really appear to be extremely supportive, this can be seen in ‘Project Vingt Quatre’ which is the joint plan to fill up the pipeline which would quadruple cash flows. ONHYM also have the exploration background and relationships with the client base that also helps SDX considerably, their help towards SDX was obvious by the big turnout at very senior level at Wednesday’s dinner which was really good to see.

All this is possible as there is significant potential to grow reserves, needed for new customers or when wells start to see production declines. The company has identified 50+BCF of potential reserves which will be needed when one bears in mind a full pipeline and five year contracts. I would expect apart from the current 9 well programme, more 3D seismic and another drilling campaign to get underway later in the year.

Whilst in Morocco we saw a number of clients including the largest, Super Cerame where we visited a highly efficient factory producing a wide range of ceramics and also had a speech from the Director of CMCP ( Subsidiary of International Paper) who produce both paper and cardboard and use significant quantities of gas with their drying techniques. We visited the Atlantic Free Zone (AFZ) which is attracting major clients such as Peugeot which is already a new customer connection, here SDX is considering installing a 7 way gas distribution hub in order to easily connect new customers attracted by the AFZ.  Later we were given a presentation by the MEDZ Free Zone at Kenitra who have a very credible existing footprint with a lot of signed up companies but there is room for many more.

We were able to visit a number of well sites, a couple that were in production and the recent discovery at ONZ-7 which is finishing off wireline and cement logging before going onto production shortly. There are four wells still to be drilled in this campaign, two development wells and two exploration wells further north at Lalla Mimouna. As mentioned there is an aggressive seismic plan in the Rharb Centre concession where potential leads can be established.

All in all the visit was undoubtedly a success,  there is much going on and with a high degree of operational conversion  there is little doubt that the market for this high margin gas is substantial. The company are targeting the upper end of 8-10 MMscfd by the end of the year and this  should be easily attained. Nearly a year on from the Circle acquisition costs are down substantially (headcount down from 150+ to 35) in all areas, margins are up and growth looks increasingly likely. More later.

RockRose Energy 

An update from RockRose Energy this morning which primarily includes the return of capital to shareholders amounting to £1.50 per share. The directors have also announced that they will consider an annual dividend and also possible hedging as a response to the recent rise in oil prices. I understand that the shares will return from suspension cum dividend the week of the 5th February and will go XD after the EGM on 14th February so not long to wait for the payout.

With production guidance of 5,250boed RRE have been highly successful in their initial strategy even if the Maersk deal has fallen over and Chairman Andrew Austin remains confident about doing more deals. Opex pb is below $30 and G&A is $3pb so the company is cash generative. Returning cash to shareholders in this manner seems entirely sensible, it is efficient for the company and its investors and shows that RRE will not sit on a pile of cash for longer than necessary. As and when the company need to raise money it is likely that those investors will remember this event.

And finally…

Hard luck to Bristol City who put up quite a fight against the Noisy Neighbours whilst I was away!

This weekend its the FA Cup with its usual mix of fixtures quite a lot of which are on TV. Tonight sees Yeovil host the Red Devils which is always a favourite for the neutrals, they always love to see the big club go down and Yeovil did well against them when they last met in the Cup. The Noisy Neighbours go to Cardiff, Spurs are at Newport, Chelksi host the Magpies and the HubCap Stealers entertain the Baggies. The Hammers have a tricky tie at the Latics and the Foxes go to the Posh whilst there is another all Prem ties between the Saints and the Hornets.

England started the latest one dayer as if they were already on the plane home, 8-5 after not very long and they did indeed lose.


Some great NH racing at the weekend, mainly a great card at Cheltenham but also Doncaster.

]]> Oil price, SDX, Sound, Saffron, Cairn, Angus, Link And finally... Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:18:00 +0000

Oil price

Whilst all those clowns play in the snow at Dav-Oh the rest of the world is getting on with business, the real world you might say.

In the real world, oil is going up and for a very old fashioned reason, as the best ever oil analyst David Gray would say, control of the marginal barrel is being exercised. From the Muscat conference came a renewed agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia in which they pledged to continue their commitment to cutting oil supplies not just through 2018 but possibly next year as well and with ‘unwavering resolve’. For those with long memories it is almost like the Russia/KSA axis is acting in the swing producer role, aware that as long as they are together then a base camp of say, $60-70 can be established bringing some sort of stability to economics. Now clearly this doesnt last forever, nothing does, but it is more than a possibility that for the time being at least plans can be made.

Adding to the fun was the IMF who added to oil demand by upgrading world growth numbers to 3.9% for this year and next, what’s not to like about that?

SDX Energy

Another day, another good well result from SDX who have announced that the ONZ-7 development well at the Sebou Permit in Morocco is a gas discovery. With 5m of net conventional natural gas pay in the Hoof formation the well was on prognosis but the reservoir quality exceeded expectations with encountered porosity in the pay sections of 35.3%. With an analysts’ visit to Morocco starting this afternoon I expect us band of SDX brothers to be increased substantially before long, this is not a secret that one can keep for long…

Sound Energy

The final resources certification for the TE-5 horst core volumes at Tendrara onshore Morocco have been announced by Sound. The numbers are entirely consistent with and confirm the preliminary results announced last December.

The company has announced that Stephen Whyte is leaving the position of Chairman of the Board in order to concentrate on other directorships that he holds, this includes Echo Energy where he has superb Latin American experience to share. Richard Liddell takes over and will add to the Non-Executive board in due course.

Saffron Energy/Coro Energy

Yesterday afternoon Saffron, soon to be Coro, announced that the book building in its raise announced yesterday had concluded and was oversubscribed. The company raised £14m with applicant getting 2 warrants for each share subscribed at a price of 6.57p being 150% of the 4.38p raise price. CIP Merchant Capital subscribed £6m to become their cornerstone investor, Marco Fumagalli will join the board and is a familiar face in the Holy Trinity…

Cairn Energy

No surprises in the trading update from Cairn today, first oil from Kraken and Catcher and the near conclusion of the first phase of the Senegal development in the period. In Senegal Cairn expect Government approval this year and first oil between 2021-2023 which is a wide window, as is expected production at 75-125/- b/d. This year will see drilling in the UK and Norway and next year in industry hotspot, Mexico.

Angus Energy

I was firmly put in my place yesterday as I said that Angus would be drilling the  horizontal 2Z well, actually it has all been done, all they need to do is switch it on in order to test it which is the main advantage in the short term, my apologies…


Yesterday was VoxMarkets Podcast day in which I discussed a number of stocks, bear in mind my faux pas on the Angus well is here also, its a test….

Vox Markets podcast: Malcy on Angus Energy, Saffron Energy, Coro Energy, Sound Energy, Echo Energy, Amerisur Resources and SDX Energy

And finally…

With only a bit of catch up to play the HubCap Stealers went to bottom of the table Swansea brimming with confidence but came away pointless after losing 1-0.

The Bristol City army is gathering already I suspect as the mighty Robins prepare to welcome the Noisy Neighbours to fortress Ashton Gate in the 2nd leg of the Haribo Cup semi-final. Good luck to Andy Bone and of course Giles Clarke, famous City and blog reading fans who are only 1-2 down from leg 1.

And huge congratulations to Kyle Edmund who has reached the semi final of the Australian tennis Open, he will meet either Rafa or the palindromic Cilic who are battling it out as I write.



]]> Oil price, Genel, Prospex Oil & Gas/Po Valley And finally... Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:51:00 +0000

WTI $63.95 -2c, Brent $69.31 -7c, Diff -$5.36 -5c, NG $3.19 -4c

Oil price

Conflicting news yesterday which has knocked oil prices a modest amount today. The Opec report was mainly positive and although they said that higher oil prices are bringing supplies onto the market, that is countered by global demand rising faster than non-Opec supply. The EIA monthly report is not so bullish, saying as it does the US supply is going to rise faster than demand, such is a market made. Their inventory report was positive though as crude drew 6.7m barrels against a forecast 2.1m including a most pleasing draw in Cushing at 4.6m. Unsurprisingly gasoline added 3.6m, its hardly driving weather, but it is heating weather and distillates drew 3.9m against a forecast build, what analysts made that call?

On a technical basis it is now clear that the resistance encountered should serve as a ceiling for the time being but there are enough geopolitical banana skins to make going short this market quite some risk. Such a problem is indicated by the statement from the Niger Delta Avengers yesterday who warned that forthcoming attacks ‘would be most deadly’, upcoming elections are unlikely to be peaceful.

Genel Energy

Genel has announced a Bina Bawi and Miran West gas resource resource update by RPS. The company suggest that this is a ‘significant’ update to 2C gross raw gas resource estimates. At 14,792 Bscf ex condensate the number is up 40% which is clearly good news. In an obfuscating statement I think Genel are trying to say that the gas is a genuine mid to long term significant positive for the company which it certainly is.

Prospex Oil & Gas/Po Valley

PXOG, via operator PVE has announced a ‘significant’ and commercial gas discovery onshore Italy with their Podere Maiar-1d well in the Selva gas field. C2 (net pay 25.5m) 148,136 scm/d and C1 (15.5m) 129,658bscm/d.

As it happens I visited with Prospex yesterday and met with CEO Edward Dawson, I had been looking forward to meeting up as his story is one of interest and of course so is the Po Valley play given current corporate events occuring. The Prospex portfolio is not your standard one, covering as it does Italy, Spain and Romania concentrating on the Foredeep play and having had good results in both Romania and now Italy.

The jury is out on the size of this discovery, PVE don’t appear besotted by it but they have plenty of fish to fry at the moment. On the contrary, PXOG is looking forward to the short term as Chairman Bill Smith says “The year ahead will not be short of high impact newsflow, as we focus on exposing our shareholders to near term value trigger events, such as drilling and first production.”


And finally…

It is wrong and discourteous to say that there isn’t a stand out fixture in the Prem this weekend but put it this way the most difficult forecast is probably the Red Devils at Burnley. The Noisy Neighbours host the Magpies, the HubCap Stealers are at the Swans on Monday, Chelski are at the Seagulls, the Gooners entertain the Eagles and Spurs go to the Saints, get my drift?

Good jumps racing from Ascot at Haydock which hosts the legendary Peter Marsh chase.

And in the cricket this morning England went 2 up in the 5 match series with a comfortable win against the Aussies, the white ball doesn’t give England the heebies as the red one does…


]]> Oil price, Wentworth Resources, Egdon/Union Jack/EOG And finally... Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:21:00 +0000 Oil price

Oil rallied a touch yesterday after the previous day’s technical drop ahead of the weekend meeting of Opec and Russia in Muscat. After the close the API stats were very positive with crude stocks drawing by 5.12m barrels against a whisper of 3.15 although the real star was the fall in stocks at Cushing of 3.94m barrels.

When you are in a hole, stop digging is the usual mantra but after yesterday’s unsurprisingly poor figures from the commodity desk at the Vampire Squids, last night the head of the department warned about prices running too high, a far cry from the reverse forecast last year…

Wentworth Resources

WRL has announced its annual evaluation by RPS of gas resources at its Mnazi Bay, Tanzania flagship asset this morning. The numbers are very respectable given increasing levels of production last year and carrying on into 2018. 2P reserves on an NPV 10 basis are $159.6m with 1P reserves of 97.3 Bscf gross and net of 72.7Bscf. 2P numbers are 176.4 Bscf gross, 115.1 net and 3P are 265.0 and 155.8 Bscf.

As reported recently current production is consistently increasing with visibility very good and guidance has been increased for the project. WRL is looking in a strong position, is well managed (I am looking forward to meeting highly thought of new CEO) and the outlook is good.

Egdon/Union Jack/EOG

Egdon and its partners have announced that following the recent planning refusals by the North Lincolnshire Planning Committee they have submitted a new planning application for the Wressle development. They have also requested an extension of the current planning consent, which expires in April, to ensure that the Luddites on the committee have time to read it, assuming that is……..

And finally…

It is always good to have a guest comment in the and finally, during the summer usually MotoGP, sometimes on US sport and today I can’t resist quoting an email just in from a Canaries fan.

‘What a fabulous, incident packed game – no matter that we lost on penalties as all the Canaries played at 8/10 or above as a true team.  Talented young players, great calm defending.  Wonderful.

A proud Norfolk boy tonight.’

Chelski won on pens but finished with nine men, elsewhere the Latics beat the Cherries and the Swans beat Wolves all to go through to the 4th round.

]]> Oil price, BP, Zenith, Faroe, Gulfsands, Empyrean, Ophir, Amerisur, Links And finally... Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:09:00 +0000 Oil price

A down day after the Martin Luther King holiday, probably a bit of a technical correction, $65 and $70 seemed a little rich for the money managers with over a bill tied up in oil…But comments by Russian Oil Minister Novak should have calmed their nerves, he said that the deal must continue as the oil market is still oversupplied or ‘not yet in balance’ to use his words.

The reports will start to come out tomorrow and after, bet on the US production rise being the key point, if you believe that will make a difference you should chuck out another lump of your long. I bet none of them will say that although US production is up again it’s all ok as the sherberts have already sold forward quite a lot at the wrong price…

No, the worst news yesterday was when SocGen, Morgan Stanley, BAML and the Vampire Squids all increased their 2018 oil price guesses, after that for them it was up to bed with no tea…


Like when Christopher Columbus pronounced that the world might be round, they all laughed, when I suggested six or seven years ago that BP might have to cough up ‘in excess of $58bn’ for the Macondo disaster, they all laughed,  they are not laughing now. I was one of a small band of people who worked out that in a litigious society where the perceived enemy was considered fair game, BP was on a road to nowhere.

So it comes as no great surprise that yesterday they added up the numbers again and got to $65.1bn+ for the charge for Deepwater Horizon. Ironically it led to BP starting the asset sale process earlier than others, so were ahead of the competition but it also meant that some of the family silver now resides on the wrong side of the salt, so to speak. My preference for Shell during this time is partly management, where quality will out, but partly as during the oil price crash they were able to hold their breath and buy BG right at the bottom, coupled with that acquisition giving them a chance to restructure, has left them very much in the driving seat.

Zenith Energy

My recent visit to Zenith in Azerbaijan has at least meant that when announcements about wells are made I can picture the scene, today is no different, the Z-21 workover was demonstrated by the excellent Mike Palmer on site before Christmas. So, the workover began yesterday and the coiled tubing unit has been mobilised and will aim for TD of 3,982m where wellhead pressure has built up to 4,300 psi. On  Z-28 the company are awaiting ‘imminent delivery’ of resin compounds needed to seal the wellhead after which activity will start here as well.

Faroe Petroleum

Right at the top of the bucket list you will find Faroe Petroleum, since Ithaca it has been the poster boy of the E&P sector with its historical excellence in drilling success and track record in on time delivery. Today they announce 8 new prospective exploration licences (4 as operator) in the Norwegian North Sea which as they say,  ‘further consolidates their position in the core areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf’. With existing discoveries being worked on and a material 2018 drilling programme under way I would suggest that there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful, at least if you had a rock band it might be your theme tune…

Gulfsands Petroleum

GPX has announced that it has drawn down the final £1.6m of its secured term financing facility which it believes, with the ‘rigorous attention to cost cutting and capital efficiency’ will last until at least the middle of the year. At some stage the company expects to seek equity  financing which should be easier post the excellent remedial work done on the company by MD John Bell.

Empyrean Energy

EME announce today that production and sales from the Dempsey well in California have commenced at a rate of 140 mcf/d. The operator is proceeding with the application process for enhanced reservoir stimulation expected to start before long. The market has taken the red pen to the EME share price but probably because they, maybe like me, have absolutely no idea what is going on in this well which on the way down was burning the barn down, less so now.

Ophir Energy

Yesterday Ophir had a trading update and stated that the company ‘has reached financial stability’ which is a fair bit more upbeat than I have seen from them lately. Maybe its just a new form of words but having just spent some time with Nick Cooper I think it sums up the feeling that Ophir is in better condition than sometime they get given credit for.

The company ended 2017 with increased gross liquidity and ‘considerable discretionary capital available for investment’, obviously some of this is earmarked for Fortuna but there is enough to make a difference elsewhere in the business. They rightly say that this investment could generate significant cash flow growth and maybe I hadnt spotted this light under a bushel. Negotiations on the funding of Fortuna continue but I am confident that they have enough equity available to do a good deal especially if you look longer term.

Amerisur Resources

Yesterday I took the chance to use my Core London interview slot to have a chat with Amerisur Chairman Giles Clarke, it was a most interesting discussion and the link is below:

Core Finance interview: Giles Clarke, Chairman of Amerisur Resources


On Monday I did my regular Podcast on Voxmarkets, here is the link:

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy talks about Frontera Resources, Rockhopper, Premier Oil, President Energy and Zenith Energy

And finally…

Last night there were a few FA Cup replays in which the Hammers and the Foxes just about got through as did Cardiff, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading. Tonight Chelski host the Canaries, Swansea v Wolves will be tough and Wigan entertain the Cherries.

He’s back! A day or so after being charged with affray Ben Stokes is packing his bags and of to start playing one day cricket for England who have decided that they can’t hold him back any more…

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Wentworth Resources, Velocys And finally.. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:00 +0000 Oil price
Oil had another good week closing pretty much at the highs and shaking off all bearish sentiments. It is quite frankly quite nauseating to see the bears from leading investment banks and journos trying to pretend they were anything other than totally wrong last year. Ambrose must have written his article last week with clenched teeth and eyes wide shut.
There is little doubt that oil at 65 and 70 respectively may not have much upside, the rig count was up on Friday, 15 overall and 10 in oil and yes, shale production will be up. But where all these writers etc are coming from now is that world GDP growth is going to more than offset that US production, in my view it never was a significant bump in the road. Oil stocks have been coming down and with refinery run rates at record levels and likely to remain so with peak demand for distillates it would be surprising to see much bad news imminently.
As for geopolitical risk, do me a favour, for some just out of short trousers the Shah of Iran is something out of Game of Thrones…

SDX Energy
SDX has announced this morning that it has spudded the ONZ-7 well in the Sebou Permit onshore Morocco. This well is the fifth well in the nine well campaign and like most of the others will only take 10-15 days to drill and, if successful, be able to complete, flow test and connect to infrastructure very quickly indeed. The model at SDX is working well and there is much upside from not only this drilling campaign in Morocco but development and exploration opportunities there and in Egypt. Next week sees an analyst visit to Morocco and I notice that there is substantial interest from the community, some of whom are only just catching up with the SDX story…

Wentworth Resources
Wentworth Resources has announced that it has hired Eskil Jersing as its new CEO to fill the shoes of Geoff Bury. Jersing resigned from Sterling Energy last year so I suppose has the  advantage of being readily available to start at WRL. I look forward to meeting with Mr Jersing as he is in an interesting position given that WRL is so strongly positioned at the moment.

The company has announced another funding, today raising £18.4m through a firm placing, a placing and an Open Offer. This will fund the latest strategy which is to enter the renewable fuels market and develop their second biorefinery in the US. They expect FID on this in mid 2019 so there is plenty of time to assess the new strategy. I recently met with CEO David Pummell and he has what can only be described as significant enthusiasm for this project and it certainly seems to have some legs, let’s wait and see…

And finally…
A fantastic match yesterday at Fortress Anfield which could have gone either way until the HubCap Stealers broke Noisy Neighbours hearts with a short blast which even they couldnt quite come back from. Elsewhere Chelski were held by the Foxes, Spurs easily beat the Toffees and the Cherries saw off the Gooners who predictably given the wont sack Wenger are rubbish. The Red Devils go to the Potteries tonight.
In the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to the conference Championships. They face the Patriots on Sunday. The Vikings also beat the Saints last night and they come up against the Eagles for a place at Super Bowl LII.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Frontera Resources, Zenith Energy And finally... Fri, 12 Jan 2018 10:50:00 +0000 Oil price

There is not much to add on the oil price to events of the week. Yesterday Brent printed above $70 but ended up 80 cents off the top as traders, already long, felt no need to take out the higher resistance levels. It will take something quite powerful to do it but chartists dont worry about that, as a leading expert commentator said this morning, last time we went through $70 it was on the way down…

President Energy

President announces this morning successful completion of workovers of the third and fourth wells at the Puesto Flores field which have ended ahead of time and below budget with payback of the entire four well programme in less than three months. Part of the plan of the acquisition of this acreage was to test previously untested intervals and here they came in in each well ‘substantially’ ahead of expectations. When these wells stabilise the field is expected to be producing 1,700 b/d already significantly up since the campaign started.

Unsurprisingly this means that cash flow and margins are substantially ahead of pre-acquisition expectations with January bringing in net sales of $4.5m. Accordingly plans for the rest of the year in the Neuquén Basin have been expanded to include testing of the Estancia Vieja field and workovers at Puesto Flores as well as a new drilling campaign in the second half of the year. All this capex is fully funded from existing cash resources and cash flow.

The oil price is already up 20% since the acquisition and PPC is likely to realise around $64 a barrel for its January sales, at today’s price the CEO’s promise of strong cash flow and increased margins will be delivered in spades, with two weeks until the bucket list selection PPC is making a very strong case for inclusion…

Frontera Resources

Frontera announced on Wednesday the mobilisation of the drilling rig to its T-45 well in the Taribani field situated in Block 11 onshore Georgia. I write about it today as I wanted to have a chat with CEO Zaza Mamulaishvili which was most illuminating.

The first spud in the three well programme will be the deepening of T-45 and is expected to start around the end of this month. Zones 9, 14 and 15 of the Eldari reservoir will be stimulated and produced together after which the rig will move to the Dino-2 sidetrack and then the same operation at T-39. In each case the zones 9, 14, and 15 of the Eldari reservoir will be stimulated co-mingled and produced together in a similar manner.

Netherland Sewell have estimated that zones 9,14 and 15 of the Taribani complex contain 689m barrels of oil in place of which 103.5m is recoverable. Readers will know that I have looked at this company with interest for some considerable time and only last summer, after meeting properly with the company’s new management  did I start to realise just how vast the potential might be. I am planning to visit Georgia in February as I think that getting some idea of how it works operationally will seal my confidence in what is finally becoming a story with some serious legs.

Zenith Energy

Andrea Cattaneo has never concealed his plans to size up Zenith with potential acquisitions and today he has announced and exclusivity agreement for a number of production and exploration licences in an unnamed ‘Central Asian Country’. A sizeable package of 3,600²km of which 550 is production and 3,050 ‘highly prospective exploration’ and are located in a  prolific oil and gas basin with a proven petroleum system.

Expect more details after due diligence has taken place as well as the arrangement of financing which we are told will be a combination of debt and equity all the time trying to avoid dilution. This is a potentially significant deal for Zenith and apparently with ‘geographical proximity’ to the company’s primary operational interests in Azerbaijan and with the ability to ‘generate significant revenues on a monthly basis’. The agreement runs until April 30th or before if the deal is executed. Zenith is another exciting company in  the sector which is partaking in the current shake up of the international asset base where interesting and potentially value added acquisitions are being found…

And finally…

A brief and finally today, it’s a mad week. In the Prem the undoubted big game is the visit of the Noisy Neighbours to play the HubCap Stealers at Fortress Anfield, the Red Devils play on Monday night, Spurs host the Toffees, Chelski host the Foxes and the Gooners are at the Cherries.

Ir looks like Wenger is selling Walcott to the Toffees and Sanchez to whoever can pay 20 mill, was a 60 mill cheque back in September

]]> Morning Market Pulse - Inflection or correction? Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:22:00 +0000 Equities are mixed mid-morning, with the UK FTSE making fresh highs, US Futures regaining some lost ground and Germany's DAX underwater after encountering resistance. Investors continue to discuss a bond market inflection that could hurt all asset classes, despite Chinese denials that it might be considering buying less US Treasuries. The UK FTSE is being driven north by Tobacco (9pts, weaker GBP) and Miners/Oil (13pts metals bounce, oil rally) while Retail (3pts, Xmas trading update), Telcos (3.5pts; risk appetite) and Banks (4pts; bond yields calmed) drag. Germany’s DAX underperforms as losses for SAP (MS downgrade), Deutsche Bank (calmer bond yields) and Deutsche Boerse contend with gains for Linde, Continental (rebound) and HeidelbergCement. The FTSE 100 is hugging this morning's fresh record highs at 7760. The DAX 30 found resistance at 13000. Dow Jones Futures are back just shy of Tuesday's 25440 record high. Gold continues to consolidate $1315-$1325.”

]]> Oil price, Premier, Rockhopper, Wentworth And finally... Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:07:00 +0000 WTI $63.57 +61c, Brent $69.20 +38c, Diff -$5.63 -23c, NG $2.91 -2c

Oil price

Not much to add, the EIA stats were better than expected, a draw of 4.9m barrels v 3.4 guesses but not quite as impressive as the API numbers. Nevertheless crude is slightly better again this morning with $70 Brent within reach…

Premier Oil

A trading and operations update from Premier this morning which continues in the vein of operational excellence which has characterised the company for the last two months. The feature today is Catcher which came onstream on Dec 23rd on time and under budget and is already doing very well. Starting at 10/- b/d it is now up to 20/- b/d and speaking to TD first thing I get the impression that the first two wells are being tested at very good rates indeed. This month means testing of the facilities and of course with flaring restrictions production is held back, but by the end of January expect a significant increase, at $69.20 things are very pleasing.

Elsewhere very much as expected, Zama will be appraised this year and next and Tolmount development sanction is expected this year as well. At Sea Lion progress with contractors is gathering pace and debt is being processed, sanction here is planned by the end of this year. (See RKH below)

Financially things are of course looking up, opex this year will be $17-18, capex of $300m and with the healthy oil price and positive free cash flow, debt repayments are accelerating and the total is now , only,  $2.7bn. The shares have had a great run having doubled since the summer and the slight dip this morning appears somewhat churlish by the market but I’m still very happy to keep them tucked up in the bucket list.

Rockhopper Exploration

Rockhopper has announced a corporate update, timed clearly to be in tandem with Prems as the subject is primarily Sea Lion. Phase 1 continues to move towards sanction later this year with work in the last few months concentrating on the commercial, fiscal and financing elements required to secure the $1.5bn capex ahead of first oil. LOI’s are being signed with contractors for provision of well services, logistics and vendor financing which must be good news . For both PMO and RKH the finance needs to be arranged and I understand things are progressing well on that front. Although debt providers are unsurprisingly cautious after the last few years, the project economics of Sea Lion at around $70 must provide plenty of comfort and it should get away.

Finally at Abu Sennan news on production is good and a ‘full review of its prospectivity’ indicates that there is decent upside and enough to consider further drilling this year.

Finally at Abu Sennan news on production is good and a ‘full review of its prospectivity’ indicates that there is decent upside and enough to consider further drilling this year.

Wentworth Resources

I have been most impressed by WRL in the last few months, production is picking up nicely and guidance is being beaten on a regular basis. Mnazi Bay has seen an increase in demand as K-2 has the first two turbines up and running and increased demand from industrial customers has gone up as well. Accordingly the exit rate at the end of last year was 73.4 MMscf/d with a 4Q ave of 62.2 MMscf/d and over the year 49.1 MMscf/d which is most impressive growth. With 2018 providing another four turbines for K-2 and demand from Dangote Cement likely guidance for the year has risen to 65-75 MMscf/d which looks very achievable.

Finally it looks like things are going to plan at the Tembo Appraisal in Mozambique with farm-out discussions under way and hopes of an appraisal well 3Q this year if those discussions are successful. No mention of filthy lucre in this report but recent announcements have been very positive on that front. I remain increasingly happy with Wentworth at the moment.

And finally…

Chelski and the Gooners drew 0-0 last night in a totally missable game, second leg will provide a finalist one way or another.

The England cricket selectors have proved themselves to be the spineless bunch of useless oafs that we all knew they were. Given the chance to boot out those losers from the Ashes they gave them another job which is more than I would give to them, sack the board has never been more appropriate…

]]> Oil price, Savannah, Tullow, SOCO, And finally... Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:52:00 +0000 Oil price

Crude continues to rise and my chartist friends are getting desperate as all markers are piling through resistance levels which makes them very nervous. Above $69 on Brent for example the next stop is $71 which is the 50% retracement level, this takes it into clear blue water, after the 2015 highs there is nothing until $100 or more…..

Yesterday’s rise was a combination of geopolitics and statistics, the former as Yemeni terrorists threatened to shut the important Bab al-Mandab Strait, probably easier said than done but close enough to the Gulf of Aden to create local nervousness. The latter was a combination of the EIA publishing the monthly STEO, with first time forecasts for 2019 and the API stats which if reinforced tonight will show that the inventory position is falling significantly.

The STEO report, while showing 2018 non-Opec supply up at 2.03m b/d, also shows global oil demand increasing but by only 1.71m b/d which still gives a call on Opec of only 32.46m b/d, at current rates still giving stock draw. For 2019, first demand estimates are up another 1.65m b/d with global demand of 102.67m b/d by end year and higher than production growth, this is hardly the stuff of the demise of fossil fuels is it? These numbers are franked by the World Bank forecasts, also out yesterday that increased world GDP figures specifically for India and to a smaller extent China. Finally for those who insist on worrying about the implication of US shale production putting a ceiling on the oil price, the EIA happily share my view, ie, output only goes up if the oil price does and vice versa.

Savannah Petroleum

On Monday I attended the Savannah General Meeting which apart from doing the mandatory technical stuff, enabled us to listen to AK giving the first full presentation on the deal, my comments are below but I urge you to take a look at the full presentation which has some great graphics I just can’t reproduce here.

Post the deal SAVP looks like the real McCoy as a full cycle, self funded E&P company. The existing acreage in the highly prospective Agadem Rift Basin in SE Niger is about to be tested as the three well drilling programme is iminent and will give us a good idea of the prospectivity there. The deal means that the company is about to acquire interests in the Uquo and Stubb Creek oil and gas fields as well as a 20% interest in the Accugas midstream business in SE Nigeria. As I said this will make Savannah into a ‘cash flow generative, full cycle E&P company capable self funding all operational activities and paying a dividend’.

The acquisition gives net 2P reserves of 92 mmboe, 2C resources of 44 mmboe and net production guidance for 2018 of >20/- b/d of hydrocarbons.  Accugas comprises a 200 mmscfd gas processing facility and a 260 km gas pipeline network capable of supplying c.10% of Nigeria’s power generation capacity. The process has led to the company raising $125m of equity capital from new and existing shareholders which is a testament to the deal that the management have brought to the table. The scale of this acquisition is significant and should not be underestimated, SAVP’s management have taken advantage of limited competition in the area, seen Seven in distress and completed some deal. In paying $280m to acquire assets with a CPR valuation of $663m and ‘material’ upside potential shareholders should be delighted, this is a ‘unique opportunity’ to acquire a substantial asset package’ There is no doubt that this is a transformational deal for SAVP and its shareholders both in terms of assets and production acquired at an incredibly low cost and comes with  beefed up staffing including directors and investors and will be a welcome addition to the bucket list. I look forward to interviewing Andrew Knot on Core Finance before long.

Tullow Oil

Tullow has issued a trading statement today ahead of figures next month, there is little to add to existing knowledge, free cash flow is $0.5bn above expectations which it should be given almost perfect conditions (hardly challenging) with costs coming down into the bargain. Accordingly the balance sheet has ‘materially improved’ and production guidance is increased slightly with operations, particularly in Ghana going very well.


There is little one can judge about today’s statement from SOCO as the recently leaked potential merger with Kuwait Energy will likely change everything. Historically I have been a big fan of SOCO and indeed KE but the recent corporate bother has changed much, not least how much it is going to be valued at. I’m sure that in due course the SOCO management team will be out and about as and when that happens we will find out whether this is a wise decision or not, watch this space…

And finally…

Yesterday I suggested that Bristol City might have a tricky time at the Etihad in the first leg of the Haribo Cup, however neither side ducked the issue, Pep played a strong side and the Robins did not park the bus like some Premier League clubs have. I mentioned that a number of blog reading City fans went up there, here is the account of just one I received this morning…

I’ll admit my fear was losing by five or six but we certainly didn’t disgrace ourselves. It was fantastic to be part of the huge (7,500+) travelling support, and even the last minute goal didn’t dampen our spirits.

And despite being behind, I’m still quite quite optimistic: as Lee Johnson said, it is only half time. The Robins just need to win one-nil at Ashton Gate and survive the extra time without conceding and the Reds will go through on the away goal! Anyone got a spare ticket?

Tonight the other semi final is Chelski vs the Gooners, neither won in the FA Cup at the weekend so will be fearing either of the other semi finalists should they get through….

]]> Oil price, VOG, Aminex, Ascent And finally... Mon, 08 Jan 2018 13:06:00 +0000 Oil price
Last week WTI was up $1.02 and Brent rose by 90c, forecasts of economic growth were good and international bourses mainly continued to rise. The more of this we can get in the seasonally tricky first half the more likely the oil price is likely to hang on to recent gains. Most of my chartist contacts are expecting a little further on the upside before a correction and today crude is up a bit more. Friday saw the rig count, down 5 overall to 924 and oil also down 5 at 742.

Victoria Oil & Gas
VOG announced late on Friday that it had been informed that GDC had been informed by ENEO that it ‘was not in a position to extend the gas supply agreement’ that had been currently been under negotiation. As a result it had to stop receiving gas from GDC who switched off the supply. ENEO said that the reason for this was that it was due to growing arrears from the Cameroon Government and therefore specifically not a pricing issue.
VOG has said that this is a ‘temporary issue and expects a resolution in the short to medium term’ but clearly will affect GDC for the time being. Apart from a sharp cut back in costs, VOG can accelerate its focus on thermal customer demand in Douala where it already has 30 existing customers, and is already building solutions for new ones, albeit that will take a little time.
Gas is still, after hydroelectric power, the cheapest fuel for power generation in country and in the dry season increasingly one upon which industry and business has become dependent. For this reason one must carefully consider whether the Government, by starving ENEO of money to pay for gas supplies and hence electricity through the grid, is making a wise choice. This will result in load shedding and blackouts which would be increasingly unpopular in what we must remember is election year.
Whilst losing 53% of one’s business overnight is hardly business school protocol, longer term there is much to be gained from this move. It will, as I have said, accelerate GDC’s move into the thermal customer market which it should be remembered carries a much higher margin, and in future lead to significantly less of a reliance on ENEO. After all the Douala and Cameroon energy blueprint envisages the use of not only Logbaba but Matanda gas for power generation and thermal supply to business customers, it is unlikely that this action will have been fully thought through and may yet prove unwise. Having said that it will increase to focus of GDC to engage with other customers across the board and lessen their dependence on a small number of power generators.

A short update from Aminex this morning in which they announce that Ntorya-3 is being prepared to drill ‘as soon as possible’ and rig sourcing etc is being  undertaken. Also at Kiliwani N-1 95 MMcf/d was produced in December and they are getting on with installing compression facilities.

Ascent Resources
AST provide investor comfort this morning by announcing that they have received settlement for their November invoice which gave them net proceeds of €303,181 as expected. November production was 2.1 MMscfd and this number rose to 2.3 MMscfd in December.

And finally…
Time is short but in the FA Cup the Noisy Neighbours, Red Devils, HubCap Stealers all went through, Chelski drew at the Canaries and the Gooners went out to Forest. Good performances by Yeoville, Fleetwood, Posh, Burton and Covo plus others I apologies for not remembering..
Cricket went from bad to worse and due to ITV changing channels so regularly the racing didnt tape…Grrrrr

]]> Oil price, Cabot Energy, Egdon/EOG/Union Jack, Thalassa Holdings And finally... Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:59:00 +0000

WTI $62.01 +38c, Brent $68.07 +23c, Diff -$6.06 -15c, NG $2.88 -13c

Oil price

A pretty good week for the oil price as all sorts of pressures took their toll and in modest volumes. The rise yesterday was following the EIA inventory numbers for the last week of 2017 which showed a much bigger fall in crude stocks but an equally large rise in products. Crude fell by 7.4m barrels against forecasts of 4.5m and at Cushing by 2.4m barrels which the punters like. However, as expected by me earlier in the week, refinery runs went up again, this time to 96.7% a level not seen since 2005. Confused analysts saw gasoline stocks up by 4.8m barrels and distillates up by 8.9m which is why I was expecting the refinery run rise, the extreme cold weather will call for a lot of heavier product as soon as it can be moved.

Cabot Energy

Cabot continues to please; today they announce the results of the 10-32 Rainbow sidetrack well which has produced at the extrapolated daily rate of 344 b/d of oil. This will be put on production in January at the rate of 200 b/d for reservoir management purposes. This well has ‘exceeded expectations’ and will further improve the project economics, with ten further sidetracks planned 2018 looks most interesting for Cabot.

Egdon/EOG/Union Jack

The curse of Wressle continues to strike as the above partners have announced this morning that at the planning inquiry their appeal has been rejected. The current planning for the existing well site has been retained until 28/04/18 which I suppose gives them a final chance, more if I hear from any of the companies involved.


It has been enjoyable covering Thalassa over recent years but with the completion of the WGP deal their involvement in the oil services business comes to an end, for the time being. With net cash of $21.3m the company is in good nick and followers of the indomitable Duncan Soukup may well still have the chance to make money….


Below are two links to interviews I have done with Interactive Investor to give an idea about the oil price thoughts and a run through a few stocks.

Interactive Investor interview: Risks and themes to drive oil prices in 2018

Interactive Investor interview: Oil shares to keep an eye on in 2018

And finally…

The postponed Welsh Grand National has been re-scheduled for tomorrow at Chepstow and there is a good card at Sandown as well.

Last night in the Prem two magnificent goals meant that Spurs could only draw 1-1 with the Hammers who are looking increasingly more confident.

This weekend sees the FA Cup 3rd round where all the big clubs finally make their entrance. I cant mention them all but the standout fixture is tonight where the Merseyside derby pitches the HubCap Stealers against local rivals the Toffees. The Noisy Neighbours have Burnley and the Seagulls v the Eagles, always big rivals make up other all premiership ties. The Rams go to the Theatre of Dreams while the Gooners are at the Forest, Chelski go to the Canaries and Spurs entertain Wimbledon. Amongst many other such great names as Fleetwood Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle and Yeovil all get the opportunity to be giant killers.

And down under after further wicket giveaways by such as Root and Bairstow and Mo, England are facing another uphill struggle…


]]> Oil price. Amerisur, SDX Energy, Echo Energy, RockRose, And finally... Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:52:00 +0000 Oil price

A short blog this morning due to pre-arranged media events, anything further following chats with companies etc will be addressed for tomorrow’s blog.

A good day for oil prices but mainly due to influences already mentioned here. In Iran the use of the Revolutionary Guards to quell the rioters may have succeeded temporarily but adds to the problem and the geo-political problems in the area. The US cold snap, also mentioned here yesterday has added to the short-term uncertainty.

Amerisur Resources

An operational update from AMER this morning which shows respectable production growth in line with best expectations. Average daily production was 6,971 b/d with a peak of 7,061 and a year end exit rate of over 7,000 b/d, this gives a calendar rate of in excess of 4,862b/d ahead of guidance. The company gave added information about individual plays such as Platanillo and CPO-5 which will add flavour to expectations, more info later or as appropriate.

SDX Energy

SDX have announced that the KSR-16 well is connected to the sales line and flow testing is expected to commence early next week. An extension to the Lalla Mimouna permit to July 2018 has been granted so that the company can evaluate the results of the upcoming drilling campaign.

Finally the ELQ-1 well on the Gharb Centre permit has been drilled, it encountered 22.6m of reservoir interval and 2m of marginal net gas pay in the Hoot formation. This is not considered to be commercial and the well will be completed and P&A’d. Here the company used low resolution 3D seismic which the company consider to be unacceptable and will ensure that high resolution work is done in the future. Meanwhile the company, who so far drilled three back-to-back successful wells in Morocco which means that the company is on track to achieve its target of increasing gas supply in country by 50% or even more. This well is therefore a minor setback and investors should remain very confident in SDX for the future.

Echo Energy

All successfully passed at the General Meeting yesterday and the shares behaving well this morning. I am speaking to CEO Fiona MacAulay later so will add tomorrow.

RockRose Energy

Having spoken to CEO Andrew Austen lately about blog readers sensitivity about the share re-listing,  he has helpfully announced today that they have submitted a draft of the re-admission document to the UKLA and expect trading to resume in a ‘couple of weeks’. Thanks to readers and to Andrew for getting back to us so all can be squared off.

And finally…

Another mad match last next which ended 2-2 between the Gooners and Chelski, this time the former getting a late equaliser. Wenger saw the ‘wrong’ decision but not the other one, funny that…

Tonight its Spurs v the Hammers before we head for the FA Cup weekend

]]> The Oil price, Pantheon Resources And finally... Wed, 03 Jan 2018 12:28:00 +0000

WTI $60.37 -5c, Brent $66.57 -30c, Diff -$6.20 -25c, NG $3.06 +10c

Oil price

All sorts of influences on  oil and gas prices yesterday, all started well and WTI reached $60.74 and Brent $67.29 before excitement was cooled off. The early buzz was primarily geopolitical with sights of rioting in cities across Iran making investors worried about the oil price but none of these demos are, at least for the time being, going to have any effect on crude oil output. The other ‘hot’ area at the moment has been in Libya where terrorists blew up a pipeline as recorded here, the bad news for oil bulls is that like at Keystone and Forties, pipeline operators are getting better and quicker at repairing the holes and Libya is also back up and running.

Other positive news came from the exchanges, where long positions held by ‘money managers’ ( a great term for spivs I always think) have increased  which for some people seems to make it all ticketty boo. As I explained yesterday, if the cream of US investment bankers can’t get the oil price right, including the vampire squids, how can assorted ‘money managers’?

Finally, just showing how the continent of America can show so much disparity, after only days ago seeing dreadful pictures of California burning we are now seeing content of swathes of Central and Eastern America frozen solid. This has not only pushed the natural gas price higher but demand for distillates is naturally rising faster than seasonal norms which will lead to higher refinery run rates and should raise demand for local crude….

Pantheon Resources

There is no doubt that (LON:PANR)   give us a hard run for shareholders money, indeed CEO Jay Cheatham had to remind them in the statement that the company ‘has discovered commercial hydrocarbons in each of the six wells drilled so far’. So why today’s 30% fall in the share price? Not the fact that they have spudded VOBM#5 which is a development well intended to serve as a producer in due course, it is targeting the Eagle Ford/Woodbine sandstone, ironically what they started looking for in what seems like a long time ago.

So it must be the lack of production volumes at the gas plant, at 3/- mcf/d it is still only at initial testing levels at a time when it should be filling up nicely. First in the firing line is VOBM#3 which has ‘variability’ issues on production owing to it being on the edge of the reservoir, it looks like an acid job here so not much hope for a big increase.

The major culprit is the poster boy that is VOBM#1 which is operating at much reduced rates albeit only through a 12/64″ choke, pressure here does not appear to be a problem but reservoir issues need to be managed as just increasing the choke size is unlikely to give the longer term throughput needed at the gas plant. The surprise appears to be the lower permeability leading to a decline in production, also ‘slugging’ which is a build of of liquids leading to inconsistent production. I hear that this is ‘not unusual’ but that two experts in tight reservoirs have been retained to advise on the situation but similar double A wells have been fracced with good results so that is a likely option. It should be remembered that they have nearly 70′ of pay here and with fraccing permeability should be improved.

As for VOBM#4 It looks as if they will isolate and test all three Wilcox zones, which are analogous with the nearby Jazz field and where pretty much all are fracced, the size of the prize here looked like a pretty significant reservoir on discovery so is very much worth waiting for.

Every time some IR or operational banana skin appears for PANR I am asked if I am going to call it a day and probably should have long ago given that it has been like a carry on film in the making. But Bobby Gray and Jay Cheatham are proper oilmen and what they have found is for real even if the suits havent really helped them. I don’t think the valuation has changed much as a result of this announcement, probably just timing, but if they fail to make the 1 well flow or the Wilcox doesnt work or the 5 well isn’t in the heart of the basin then things change, in the meantime this mug is still watching Carry on up the Eagle Ford.

And finally…

No great surprises in last night’s footy, the Noisy Neighbours cruised past the Hornets, when City score after 39 seconds you know its not your night. The Eagles went to the Saints and came back with all the points, where did Woy hide all that talent managing England eh? The Hammers took a while but two Andy Carroll goals saw off the Baggies who according to Pards are the only team playing too much football over Christmas, if you watched them last night it wasn’t football they were playing…And Spurs ventured into the Principality and took away the points from the Swans under new management.

Tonight it’s the Gooners to entertain Chelski which might be worth watching….

And Mason Crane who sounds like a cake shop is playing tonight for England in the final Ashes test replacing Woakes who has a strain, how did he get that?


]]> Oil price, Range Resources, President Energy, Victoria Oil & Gas, Sundry- Premier-Providence Resources- And finally... Tue, 02 Jan 2018 13:08:00 +0000 Oil price

A very Happy New Year to everybody, fully refreshed (?) I’m back on deck and looking forward to whatever 2018 brings to us. The prices above are effectively the end of year record prices, there was modest trade yesterday in which WTI rallied 58c and the new March Brent contract opened at $66.87.

Way back in June with Brent at sub $45 it took not inconsiderable willpower to abandon my $60 year end target for Brent as discussed in an interview with Jeremy Naylor at IGTV at the time. To end the year at $66.60 with even WTI ending up over 60 bucks was probably at the time little more than a dream. However there are a number of lessons that can be learned from this performance, not the least that in terms of the 1H/2H split, 2018 may be a repeat performance. I suspect that provided that the Opec/Non-Opec deal holds, the more difficult first half for supply and demand should be weathered and further progress can be made later in the year. I am not changing my $65 mid year target for Brent nor my $70 full year number, but as ever external factors will warrant constant monitoring.

Another lesson to learn is that the world’s leading investment banks, usually led by the vampire squids, have been wrong most of the last year, it would be pleasing if their commodity trading desks had taken their own internal guesswork on the oil price.

Back to the present the year did indeed close at the years highs, the last two weeks have seen pipelines such as Forties (scheduled back fully by now) and the blowing up by terrorists of a pipeline in Libya last week keeping a bit of production off the markets, the same was thus of the Keystone problem showing how vulnerable we are with the delivery routes. Also inventory stats last week were particularly positive, the EIA reported crude drawing 4.6m barrels with refinery utilisation up at 95.7% the highest since August. Total stocks were therefore down more than the analysts guesses and totalled 8.7m including a healthy 1.6m draw at Cushing.

This year will not be easy, I am already seeing plenty of valedictory remarks by the stale bears and the first half will be hard going indeed. Political influences will be substantial, as ever and with elections in Russia, Nigeria and Iraq amongst others, key oil producing states will potentially see change.

Range Resources

A trading update from Range who have had a busy year and I would imagine are planning to settle down and deliver on promises made in the past. Today’s trading update is very much a step in the right direction as they reveal that the recent well at Beach Marcelle is on production at a stabilised rate of 120 b/d on a restricted choke of 5/32″. They also say that the waterflood programme is showing a ‘positive trend’ with 40% of current production coming from it at 240b/d. Average production in the last quarter was 629b/d with peak at the end of December of 703b/d. With an active programme planned this year and increased opportunities from the RRDSL rig acquisition as well as from Indonesia Range looks in a much more stable position than for some time.

President Energy

PPC has announced the sale of its non-operated ‘non-core’ beneficial interest in the East white Lake field in Louisiana to Alpha Imperial Corp for $525/-. This releases funds and gives PPC more scope to concentrate on its core assets in Argentina which have already showed a significant increase in production and a substantial work programme for this year.

Victoria Oil & Gas

VOG has announced an update on the Bomono farm-out agreement signed in March 2017 and confirm that they and Bowleven are working with the Government of Cameroon to expedite the deal. SNH has a lot on its plate at the moment but I see nothing sinister in this delay and will be hugely helpful for VOG in the future.


As predicted by the company Premier was able to announce first oil from Catcher on December 23rd, which beat my forecast by a day and a half. This is an excellent performance by PMO and Tony Durrant and his team should be congratulated in bring it in ahead of schedule and nearly 30% under budget. The company have said that it will produce at 10/- b/d for now ramping up to 60/- b/d (50% PMO) by the end of the first half of this year.

Providence Resources issued a trading update last week which contained some interesting nuggets of information. Clearly last year was one of disappointment with the drill bit but there is still plenty to do and 2018 looks interesting. Total has exercised its option to farm-in to FEL 2/14 for a 35% interest and the operatorship which is of significant interest. Total also farmed-in to 50% of the Avalon prospect in June but Cairn, who had an option have let that lapse. Finally re Barryroe the company announce that they are gearing up for drilling an appraisal well at some stage and that a tender for a rig will be issued soon. The company also say that a farmineee has been identified and has been given a period of exclusivity to conclude the negotiations which, if concluded would lead to a ‘multi-well programme at Barryroe’. Now I’m sure that readers of this blog for many years will understand if I dont right now break out the champagne and cigars until the ink is dry on the contract, neither will I be standing on one leg waiting for it to happen, too many broken hearts on this one but closure would demand drinks from TOR…

And finally…

I dont have time for all the footy but the Noisy Neighbours have dropped their first points against the Eagles whilst Chelski and the HubCap Stealers have been on cracking form over the festive season. The Red Devils have struggled to find the net but got back to winning form last night against the Toffees.

Another set of fixtures tonight as aforementioned Noisy Neighbours host the Hornets, the Hammers welcome the Baggies, Spurs are at the Swans and the Eagles go to the Saints.


Muzza has broken down again just before appearing in Brisbane and now very unlikely for the Australian Open, will we see him again I ask?

]]> Oil price, VOG, Columbus, Pantheon, IOG, And finally... Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:11:00 +0000 Oil price

As we move towards the end of the year the bulls have the upper hand, marginally. Yesterday it was all about inventories and the numbers were mainly good, crude started well after the API stats, faltered a touch and then rose on the EIA data. For crude the draw was 6.5m b’s against a whisper of 3.5 but the total commercial stock draw was over 14m barrels much better than expected. Products built but not hugely and the USA put in a good shift last week consuming 21.111m b/d up 640/- b/d week on week to show that demand remains real. Supply of course does too with production of 9.79m b/d, the highest for 40 years but the increase was slightly lower than expected.

Victoria Oil & Gas

VOG, hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement has given us an update on its customer supply progress and it looks very good. Five companies commenced gas consumption last quarter including two new thermal users, one taking additional gas and two returning to the fold. Current production figures are very strong with December so far averaging 10.04mmscf/d and peaking at 14.94mmscf/d. ENEO continue to consume high levels of gas under existing contract extensions whilst negotiations on a new contract continue. Progress at VOG is solid and the shares should be a lot higher.

Columbus Energy Resources

A year end update from CERP this morning and another video from the Chairman, Leo Koot, after yesterday’s from SDX it must be catching but again is very well worth watching. (

The update is very positive, year end targets of 550 b/d have been hit and could have been better but good progress nevertheless. Cash flow is positive and another target of being cash flow positive and fully funded for 2018 has also been achieved. I am looking forward to watching Leo and his team next year, he has imaginative plans in Trinidad and beyond.

Pantheon Resources

Pantheon has increased its stake in the VOBM#5 well from 58% to 75%, this has only involved carrying this well. The well is scheduled to spud in early 2018 and is targeting the Eagleford sandstone which if I remember righly is what we came for…

Independent Oil & Gas

IOG has finally settled the Skipper well creditor discussions, due around now. Of the £6.78m due £4.47m is deferred until August 2018 or when the FDP is approved for the SNS developments whichever comes sooner. £1.87m is converted into shares at 19p whilst the rest is being paid from cash resources. All seems set fair now for IOG, who acknowledge the support of London Oil & Gas in this process, they have been excellent backers and should see a good return in the next year or so.

And finally…

Last night in the Haribo Cup the Robins turned over the Red Devils and now face the Noisy Neighbours whilst Chelski go through to play the Gooners in the other semi final.

]]> Oil price, VOG, Sound, Cabot, Hurricane, Savannah Petroleum, BPC, Wentworth, Sundry-SDX-Genel And finally... Wed, 20 Dec 2017 15:09:00 +0000
Oil price
As the market quiets down ahead of the holiday a couple of bullish factors emerge, on the geopolitical front the stakes are rising in the Yemen as yesterday the KSA said that they had intercepted a ballistic missile from there near Riyadh.
After the close the API stats came out and provided another boost for the market, crude stocks fell by 5.2m barrels against the whisper of -3.8 whilst gasoline rose 2m b’s in line and distillates drew 2.9m way above estimates of 870/-.

Victoria Oil & Gas
VOG have announced the La-108 well result as being ‘ahead of expectations’. Initial gas flow rates of up to 15 MMscfd just from the Lower Logbaba (La-107 did 4) were good and it is now suspended ahead of testing the Upper Logbaba sands which may be used for production in the peak season.  Releasing the rig signals the end of the major capital spend and the company can move to the production process, this will include reservoir management to ensure maximisation of reserves. Finally, satisfying the incredible demand from power operators and companies in Douala can step up and highly profitable sales can be made.

Sound Energy
Sound has announced that the preliminary results of the RPS certification have validated the company’s previous mid-case estimate of GOIP in TE-5 Horst alone of 0.65 TCF with a 2C midcase recoverable contingent resource of 377 BCF. Further results are expected early next year and the company remain confident following comments made at their last presentation.

Cabot Energy
After the leak comes the deal, Cabot are acquiring H2P UK for $8.7m which gives them another 25% of the Canadian acreage and a 25% option valued at $4m. Alongside this they have raised $16.5m through a subscription, placing and Open Offer at 5p which places them on a solid footing. This acreage has proved highly successful and this raise will further add to the scale previously impossible and the partners are top notch.
The rebuilding of the former NP has been in my view pretty impressive, at the start, the slow build up of production in Canada was painfully slow but necessarily so. Patience has been required but this deal will go a long way to recreating a company worthy of a very good management team that has got them back to here. I have only one concern, the company’s house broker in a note out this morning is suggesting that some of the proceeds might be used to ‘advance’ the Italian asset base, nothing wrong with that at all but I personally prefer to see most of it heading towards Canada, at least for the time being. So far for Keith Bush and team this has been a good job, well executed and should reward investors.

Hurricane Energy
Yesterday’s comment on Hurricane contained a slight faux pas, as it were. Confusing the Buoy and the FPSO is a schoolboy error, the former needs to be on site West of Shetlands by end 2Q 2018 whereas the latter has a planned sail away from Dubai by 3Q 2018. I still feel as per yesterday’s note that for choice things could be ahead of schedule if that doesnt confuse any more!

Savannah Petroleum
Just as I am going to press there is an update from SAVP with regard to the placing and Seven Energy transaction. It seems that ‘following significant support from the SSNs, discussions have taken place with key stakeholders including certain holders of SSNs’ there are some alterations to the makeup of the financing.
The equity raise will now be reduced to $125m whilst changes have been made to the cash and shares amount previously announced. Consideration of $42.5 million in cash (previously $87.5 million) and $109.5 million in new Ordinary Shares (previously $52.5 million) will now be paid to the holders of the SSNs whilst the lender of the second bilateral facility will receive consideration of $3.5 million in cash (previously $7.3 million) and $9.2 million in new Ordinary Shares (previously $4.4 million). Finally, the S$20m new capital contribution from the SSNs will be exchanged for a new $26.7m Savannah share issuance (previously $25m). Bookbuilding is continuing today as the new details have obviously changed the process somewhat including the price. The ASMA investment is still on the table but not included in the $125m raise.
The new indicated price is 35p which will mean the market cap would be around £313m and placees will receive 0.5 of an unlisted, untradeable warrant with each placing share subscribed for. The only other change is that the use of proceeds changes slightly and three wells will be drilled in Niger and no further 3D seismic will be acquired. This deal is highly complicated by the very nature of the acquisition but should this go ahead then the advantages of Seven and the Niger programme leave plenty of room for upside.

Oil price, VOG, Sound, Cabot, Hurricane, Savannah Petroleum, BPC, Wentworth, Sundry-SDX-Genel And finally...
BPC has announced the results of the external technical audit carried out by Moyes and Co. They calculate ‘aggregate mean volumetrics assessed for the key structures in BPC’s southern licences is a STOIIP of 8.3 billion barrels, with an upside of up to 28 billion barrels STOIIP’. In addition they give a POS of 25-35% which is extremely positive. Applying their recovery factor of 20-40% they get a EUR of 1.66-3.3bn mean and up to 11bn barrels of upside.
BPC has been a poor performer for a long time, this year the peak was 2.25p and the low 0.5p, so today’s 40%+ rise in the shares to 0.975p is good but some way from the best expected by the long-suffering shareholders. This news ticks one almighty box, although people like me have never really doubted the huge size of the structures in the area, more the ability to deliver such a potentially massive project with its mandatory green requirements. Armed with this report from Moyes and Co there is now no longer any excuse for non delivery of a partner, funding, and action, if and when that happens the upside will surely be the reward shareholders have been waiting for, after all current market cap is £15m….

Wentworth Resources
Wentworth has announced this morning that it has received payments from both the TPDC and Tanesco for $2.5m net worth of gas sales during the year. The company express confidence that they will receive paid invoices on a monthly basis evidence provided by today’s news. Probably more important is the news that gas delivery has started to Kinyerezi-2 for the commissioning of the first two (of 6) gas turbines which in due course will see demand of up to 36 MMscfd when it becomes fully operational. 2018 looks like being a most interesting year for WRL highlighted in my note from AOW in October and very much one for the watch list.

On SDX Energy, I notice that Paul Welch has put a message up on his website which confirms my optimism for next year after what has been a cracking 2017. Worth a glance at
Genel has announced that the refinancing of its Genel01 bonds and accordingly ‘With the approved proposal, the Company will reduce the outstanding bond debt from $421.8 million to $300 million by way of an early redemption of a notional amount of $121.8 million and extend maturity through amending and restating terms to a new 5 year tenor’. In quotation marks as I could wrap it up any better but things are looking up for Genel at the moment, I saw the team last week, including Bill Higgs now he is on board and I will be keeping my eyes on them…

And finally
In the Haribo Cup last night the Gooners beat the Hammers 1-0 and the Noisy Neighbours edged through against the Foxes after a penalty shoot out. Tonight it’s Chelski hosting the Cherries at the Bridge whilst the Red Devils travel to Ashton Gate to play in-form Bristol City.

]]> Oil price, Range Resources, Zenith Energy, Hurricane Energy, And finally... Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:42:00 +0000 Oil price

Mixed fortunes yesterday, Brent rallied when the Nigerian strike was announced and even when it appeared to be off, still gained on the day. I expect more strike action into the new year with elections in January ensuring political grief.

Range Resources

Range has returned from a long suspension and whilst the inevitable selling by investors who had been waiting for this opportunity to happen has occurred I think that when the story is told about ‘new Range’ it will be quite interesting. At the moment there is a well drilling on Beach and I expect the waterflood to be delivering about a third of production going forward.

Expect plenty of news in the new year, a full update on the Indonesia asset should be forthcoming and of course a detailed update on the Trinidad work programme. Along with how the drilling company is going to fit in and create value for Range, complete with a corporate update and an analyst visit 1Q there will be much to hear from the company.

Zenith Energy

Zenith has released an operational update on wells Z-28 and Z-21 in the Zardab field in Azerbaijan. This where I recently visited and despite having some continued technical problems the prize is now definitely in reach. Having cleaned out to 3,574m it can now be cleaned to TD of 3,944m which is a ‘major accomplishment’ and they are ready to run a CTU to TD. They have encountered a leak from the wellhead which is unfortunate but repairable, with the holidays coming up it may be January before the resin compounds are able to be sourced and installed. With the well showing very strong prospective pressure there is a serious incentive to achieve success in the well and it looks like once the repair is completed this may happen.

At Z-21 the civil works are complete and with the wellhead pressure up to 4,115 psi and the workover rig being mobilised right now this also looks very promising. Sorting these historic problems isn’t easy but are potentially very rewarding and the company remains a very attractive play with its low cost model with serious upside.

Hurricane Energy

After the company raised well over $500m in the summer the shares were bound to mark time as indigestion set in and newsflow seemed a bit scarce. In recent days however there has been plenty for investors to get their teeth into with the better than expected CPR followed by news from the visit to Dubai by shareholders and analysts.

The visit was extensive and we had full access to the Aoka Mizu in Drydocks World in Dubai where the transformation is taking place. With extensive presentations on the whole of the West of Shetlands portfolio reminding us of the potential upside and technical evaluations showing how the EPS at Lancaster is on track for 1H 2019 we were ready to see the FPSO.

The advantage of having visited a number of shipyards around the world is one of comparison, in this case Drydocks World came out with flying colours on all fronts. Boxes that need ticking in my view include good quality and plentiful workforce at all levels, above average spec kit, including some of the biggest cranes anywhere and an air of efficiency by the Hurricane operations team. Now, the company line is that the Aoka Mizu needs to sail away by 2Q 2018 in order to be on site ahead of the weather window closing and whilst I dont expect any change of schedule from them, I would say that barring any unforeseen problems they are probably  somewhat ahead of the game at the moment.

As we move towards the Lancaster EPS becoming more of a reality, I expect the Hurricane share price to start to reflect that and whilst I understand that with some, if not most of the potential partners keeping their powder dry it will not fully discount that although speculation should rise in due course. It needs only one potential early mover to change the basis and that should be priced into the shares, accordingly I remain convinced that at below 30p the shares are extraordinarily good value.


Yesterday I had a long chat with Andrew Scott of Proactive Investors. We touched on a number of companies including Echo Energy, Hurricane post my visit, SDX Energy, Savannah Petroleum, President Energy, VOG and Reabold Resources in a wide-ranging discussion about the sector. The link is below…

Proactive Investor interview: Echo Energy resumes trading on AIM after proposed Argentinian acquisition

And finally…

Tonight it’s the Haribo Cup where the Hammers go to the Gooners and the Noisy Neighbours are at the Foxes, will the junior cup provide the chance to end the unbeaten run?


And drug cheat Justin Gatlin is ‘shocked’ over doping allegations regarding his coach in today’s papers, funny that Gatling being in a drug story….

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]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, Zenith Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Hunting, Ophir Energy And finally... Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:04:00 +0000 Oil price

For a benchmark crude that is facing 2/3 weeks of production down by around 450/- b/d Brent is surprisingly flat, it probably gives off warning signs that the market feels that any temporary shortage of supply can be handled from existing resources. This is not brilliant news for bulls in the market as in the New Year there will have to be an iron discipline to even mark time. Having said that the very fact that around 20x 450/- isnt coming into the market has got to help. With Christmas, month, quarter, half and full year periods coming up there is little for traders to get overly brave about.

Echo Energy

Echo has confirmed its Argentine deal and announces a placing, Open Offer and the suspension of its shares lifted this morning. The deal is as it was first announced on November 1st as a ‘compelling blend of multi TCF exploration potential, appraisal and production’. This is almost an oven ready, de-risked E&P company that can deliver to shareholders from a standing start, indeed I expect drilling and seismic work to be under way early in the new year. Newsflow will not be a problem and looking at what must be conservative numbers neither will be the size of the prospects.

The company are raising £6.4m via a placing of 36.4m shares at 17.5p which was the pre-suspension price and existing shareholders will get an Open Offer in January to subscribe for another £2m worth of stock at the same price. I have written up the deal at length in previous blogs and think that this is an interesting opportunity in a country that is very much a hot destination in the industry.

I managed to have a chat with CEO Fiona MacAulay and the link is here.

Core Finance CEO interview: Fiona MacAulay of Echo Energy

Zenith Energy

I mentioned last week that I had been to visit Zenith Energy and spend some time with Senior management in Azerbaijan, ZEN is a low-cost onshore producer in this mature but substantial oil province. Zenith has production of around 350 b/d with impressive plans to substantially increase this number through development and using technological expertise and has plans to get to 3/- b/d by 2020. The company has very low costs and thus these cash generative assets can work at oil prices significantly lower than those of today.

I visited the Muradkhanli oilfield which was discovered in 1971 and has produced over 16m bbls of oil to date and saw the wells M-63, M67 and M87 all of which are being worked over. The company has decided that there is a need here for electrical submersible pumps and are sourcing these at the moment. The wells have a high water cut but the field performance has so far been predicated on such behaviour and once up and running will be very profitable and close to a pipeline. I also visited the Zardab field where well 2-28 has a high impact workover under way and also well 2-21 which had a freak blow out in October. Pressure here continues to rise and is being monitored before being reentered. The field shows scope for sand management to avoid build up and could become very profitable indeed.

At present Zenith is concentrating on workover of these wells and achieving cash flow from them, in due course ambitions are much higher, with the opportunity to get ahead with an infill drilling programme that could make serious inroads into the substantial reserve base. This will be helped by the fact that Zenith is in the process of buying its own new rig which when on site make a significant difference. That reserves figure of 2P proved and probable is 32.1m in a CPR this year and it carries an NPV of $435m at a 10% discount. You wouldnt have to make many inroads into that to make the company look extraordinarily cheap. Despite publicised difficulties with old Russian wells looking like a fly tipping operation, staff on site are confident of ultimate recovery.

I met with Mike Palmer, COO who is very impressive and also a number of other Senior geologists who are amongst a number of highly respected operators in the region. Senior management, including Andrea Cattaneo the CEO, are clearly not averse to working on site and pooling intelligence in order to improve operational results. Zenith has a good management team, strong enough finances and a very substantial reserve base all of which give the company substantial growth potential. Very much one for the watch list…

Savannah Petroleum

Savannah has announced that it has put in place a strategic partnership with ASMA Capital Partners, who manage the Islamic Development Bank’s IDB Infrastructure Fund II.  The partnership also comes with an equity investment of up to US$90m, of which US$30m will be done initially. With announcements on the price and the re-emergence from suspension expected very soon it is a busy time for SAVP but it all looks highly promising, and looks like a vote of confidence in their deal to have a long-term developmental institution getting involved in the Savannah story.


A trading statement from Hunting this morning, unsurprisingly trading is ‘in line with expectations’ and EBITDA is towards the upper end thanks to Hunting Titan in the 2H. This perforating business is at the heart of the high end onshore service offering and pretty much my favourite part of Hunting. Elsewhere a bit mixed but heads above water and you can see the company working hard to strengthen the balance sheet probably with an eye to a return to the dividend list some time next year.

Ophir Energy

A pre-Christmas Fortuna update from Ophir who announce that they are ‘prioritising’ one of the alternative funding solutions after the disappointment of the Chinese. This time it is a ‘leading asian bank’ for the order of $1.2bn but the bad news is that it won’t happen until the new year.

And finally…

In haste, the gutless spineless English cricketers who spend more time in the bar or in the nick than they do at the crease surrendered the Ashes this morning. Never one to complain about losing fair and square but this was a pathetic capitulation that was almost entirely avoidable…

In the footy the Noisy Neighbours devoured Spurs 4-1 whilst the Red Devils saw off the Baggies 1-2. Chelski beat the Saints 1-0 and the Gooners did the Magpies by the same score. With the Cherries conceding 4 against the HubCap Stealers and Stoke 3 against the Hammers there were plenty of goals around

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, President Energy, Savannah Petroleum, Amerisur Resources, Sundry-Petrofac-IOG- And finally... Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:55:00 +0000 Oil price

At this rate with crude up modestly this morning the week may end up being flat or even up a touch, news in the market has tugged the price this way and that reflecting diverse sympathies. The downward pressure has come from agencies reporting higher US shale production and today the EIA  reported that Brazil’s production had reached 3.3m b/d of liquids so far this year which would make them the 9th largest producer worldwide. The inventory numbers provided food for both bulls and bears, the latter didnt like one bit the huge build in gasoline stocks (not unusual ahead of the Christmas holiday) whereas the bulls liked the crude draw, especially at Cushing. Finally, what matters maybe most and that was the closing down of the Forties pipeline taking 450/- b/d off the market for 2-3 weeks for the UK marker crude.

SDX Energy

Another Morocco update from SDX where the KSR-15 well on the Sebou Permit has now been completed and tested at restricted average flow rates of conventional natural gas into the sales line of 7.52 MMscfd and is now on production. The KSR-16 well has been connected to the existing infrastructure and should be starting test production in around ten days. To try and get some perspective on quite how successful SDX have been at the start of this campaign these two wells ‘now exceed our daily commitments of 6 MMscfd on a stand alone basis. We are now very confident in delivering on our planned natural gas sales rates of 10-11 MMscfd in 2018’. SDX has been very successful in 2017 and with a big campaign of drilling planned next year and with upside potential across the portfolio the shares remain remarkably cheap under these circumstances.

President Energy

Another company on a roll is President Energy where they announce today significant workover success from the first two Puesto Flores Field wells,, ahead of expectations. PFO-50 tested new intervals totalling 11m net perforated metres giving production of 400 b/d which is 100% better that pre shut-in output. The formerly producing interval has been repaired and successfully tested but is being kept in reserve for future production  due to the success of the new perforated section. There was always a chance that diligent drilling would find such new intervals and it is good news that this has been found so early on in the drilling process. With the PFO-9 producing at 100 b/d the total current gross field production is around 1,500 b/d with two remaining workover wells yet to come. With the December price to PPC of $60.80 per barrel from this field cash flow is growing and looks increasingly positive, and there is much more to come.

Savannah Petroleum

Months of hard work is coming to a climax as yesterday SAVP announced the indicative price range and formal launch of the placing yesterday. They confirmed that there is to be a placing for institutional investors for the cash consideration portion of the Seven acquisition and that book building has started and is expected to finish today at 5pm. The indicative pricing is 40-50p and at those prices the SAVP market capitalisation would be in the region of £375-400m. The final price should be announced on the 18th +/- and dealings are expected to commence on the 19th. With this transaction close to finalisation and with book building under way SAVP will go into 2018 in a very strong position with substantial production, a stake in a midstream company and significant upside from its Niger drilling campaign which gets underway in Q1. This announcement gives an idea about newsflow and timeline for the transaction, all very positive steps. At that stage I suspect that it will finally take its place in the bucket list initially planned back in June…

Amerisur Resources

Another catch up after my few days away, yesterday AMER announced a Platanillo-27 update, this well is the 4th on Pad 2N to test the northern extension of the field. This is the 21st well of the Platanillo drilling campaign and has been successfully completed as a medium deviation directional well at a TD of 9,600′ ‘on time and on budget’. Log interpretation indicates 12′ of net pay in the U sand formation and 9′ in the T sand, the N sand was not a target in this well.

The company also states that the well intersected the M2 sand and the A limestone and the log data is being evaluated ‘to determine their potential as pay zones’. With a regular procession of good news from AMER and the expected hitting of  production targets which should continue to rise, I am perplexed at the very least why the shares remain at current levels.


Petrofac announced its trading statement yesterday which was in line with expectations at both the profit and debt levels. Order intake is $5.2bn in the ytd and the company is seeing ‘high levels of project activity’ and are ‘maintaining cost competitiveness through operational excellence’. Orders just this week from Basra Oil and BP totalling around $1bn prove that operationally at least PFC is up with, if not ahead of the game.

Independent Oil and Gas has announced that it has received a 12 month extension of its licence for the Blythe gas discovery to end December 2018. With first gas expected in mid 2019 life is about to get busier for IOG and I think that the shares are an interesting play having drifted back in recent weeks.

And finally…

The third Ashes Test in Perth was looking like a strong performance from England until the familiar late order collapse led to a score of 403, probably below par on this track. Failure to build on the centuries by Malan and Bairstow may prove a bad mistake if they can’t get Smith out…

The weekend’s outstanding fixture in the Prem sees Spurs visit the Noisy neighbours, many have tried but few have succeeded in recent weeks…The Red Devils go to the Baggies, the Saints visit Stamford Bridge, the Cherries welcome the HubCap Stealers, the Magpies go to the Gooners and the Seagulls host Burnley.

With good jumps racing at Cheltenham and Donny and the Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday there is something for everybody this weekend.


]]> Oil price, Hurricane, SDX Energy, Pantheon, Genel, Premier And finally... Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:16:00 +0000 WTI $57.36 +67c, Brent $63.40 +$1.20, Diff -$6.04 +53c, NG $2.77 +1c

Oil price
Even with a decent bounce on Friday the week ended on a downward note, WTI lost $1 and Brent 33c as geopolitics wrestled with inventory oddities and of course the strong greenback encouraged by a likely rate hike didnt help. I am in Dubai for a few days so will try and test the mood out there.

Hurricane Energy - LON:HUR
The long-awaited CPR from Hurricane is out this morning covering all the Rona Ridge assets excluding the Lancaster field and delivered by RPS Energy Consultants Limited. By any yardstick this is a very substantial resource increase, Hurricane’s total 2P reserves and 2C contingent resources are increased by ∼231% to 2.6bn barrels of oil equivalent.

At Halifax, RPS concludes that it has similar reservoir properties to Lancaster, and importantly, similar oil types which may even come from the same aquifer. 2C contingent reserves at Halifax of 1,235 million barrels of oil equivalent is another piece of independent evidence to back the case for this discovery. As for Lincoln, again RPS report that similar reservoir properties to Lancaster and again, similar oil types. This confirms the Hurricane view that the Brynhild Fault Zone separates Lancaster from Lincoln and that the O/W contact is materially deeper than at Lancaster.

Looking at Lincoln compared to Warwick, whilst RPS ‘recognises that they have the potential to be a single hydrocarbon accumulation’ they have elected to take a more conservative approach by evaluating them as separate structures, at least until a well is drilled at Warwick. Nevertheless, RPS give 2C contingent resources at Lincoln of 604m barrels of oil equivalent on its own. With Warwick as yet undrilled, it is assigned prospective resources of 935m stock tank barrels of oil and a chance of discovery of 77% given the proximity to the Lincoln discovery and the Lancaster field, very promising indeed. One can draw from this that whether or not they are separate structures or a single accumulation, the Greater Warwick area are comparable in resources potential with the Greater Lancaster area with a combined recoverable resource potential of 1.5bn barrels of oil equivalent.

I have spoken to CEO Dr Robert Trice this morning and he is clearly delighted with this CPR, he feels it has been done fairly and specifically with regard to Warwick, has assessed the potential objectively. The fact that the same type of oil is prevalent in Lancaster, Lincoln and Halifax franks the company’s initial work and the testing programme. On that note he fully understands that further test wells will need to be drilled and oil will have to be flowed to surface in order to further de-risk the whole project. What can be said is that this independent corroboration of the information that has been placed in front of shareholders over the last two years or so ‘validates the geological model’ and makes Hurricane a very exciting vehicle in the next year or so. I say that because with the plan to go to EPS of Lancaster straight away now looking eminently sensible, the de-risking of the rest of the project could have a significant value add to the company. At this stage they have confirmed that they are ‘committed to achieving maximum shareholder value’ and to monetising the ‘vast resources’ via farm-out and ultimate sale of the company ‘at the appropriate time’, ie when it receives an offer it believes reflects that value to shareholders.

SDX Energy - LON:SDX
SDX has announced that the KSR-16 development well is a gas discovery with 14.2m of net conventional natural gas pay in the Hoot formation. As with previous wells this will be connected to existing infrastructure and on production within 30 days. This is another successful well from SDX and again exceeded pre-drill estimates, this time by around 50%. The rig now moves off to drill ELQ-1 on the Gharb Centre Permit, a recently acquired licence. In the meantime the company expects KSR-15 to be on test production early next week.
This success has allowed the company to ‘accelerate new customer acquisition activities’ and may result in them bringing forward the start of their forecast gas sales. All in all further success for SDX and with ambitious plans for drilling and development across the portfolio I may have to bang on again about how exceptionally good value the stock is.

Pantheon Resources - LON:PANR
An operational update from PANR this morning on the logging operations at VOBM#4 where Schlumberger has completed its work. Electric logs indicated the presence of hydrocarbons in a ‘potentially significant reservoir in the targeted Wilcox formation confirming the natural gas flows encountered during drilling’.
All the usual caveats apply as until flow testing is completed nothing can be taken for granted but this looks pretty good to me. The only drawback is that they are bringing in a cheaper workover rig for that process which will add to the timing of the next news. However, given they werent even looking for the Wilcox this is highly encouraging news.

Genel Energy - LON:GENL
Genel has confirmed that the Peshkabir-3 well has been extremely positive and the field, in the Tawke Licence is now has now tripled to 15/- bopd.I am seeing Genel before Christmas and looking forward to an update.
Premier Oil

The E.ON acquisition is the gift that keeps on giving to Premier and there is plenty more where that came from. Today the company announce the sale of its 30% stake in the ETS pipeline to CATS for $31.6m, for an asset that is totally core it is a great piece of business, not as good as buying the whole E.ON business for $120m in 2016. Even Dick Turpin wore a mask…..

And Finally…
In some haste after last night the Prem looks wrapped up as an early christmas gift for Pep.
In the Champions League draw they got Basel which is ok, the Red Devils got Sevilla, Spurs will play Juve, the HubCap Stealers Porto and Chelski pulled out Barca…

]]> VSA Market Movers - Goldplat Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:06:00 +0000 Goldplat - LON:GDP
Goldplat   has provided an update in relation to its arbitration with Rand Refinery as well as general corporate activity, both of which indicate positive progress. An agreement on an arbitration process has been determined and dates for the proceedings have been set for June 2018.

Aside from the arbitration, GDP’s operational progress continues to be robust with key development projects running in line with expectations. The elution plant construction in Ghana is on track for before the end of December 2017 as previously indicated while positive progress continues to be made regarding the treatment of artisanal tailings. The Ghanaian Ministry of Mines is actively working with GDP on this project. At Kilimapesa the target for 5.8koz has been reiterated and at this level of production we continue to expect a return to profitability at the asset.

In South Africa, GDP has built a strategic stockpile in excess of a year’s planned production for the carbon in leach circuit. Work is now being carried out to optimise recoveries and therefore profitability. This is further evidence of GDP’s proactive approach towards providing longer term clarity in terms of sourcing material in addition to the dedicated sourcing teams now operating in Africa and South America.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 17p target price.

]]> Oil price, Range Resources, Hurricane Energy And finally... Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:40:00 +0000 WTI $55.96 -$1.66, Brent $61.22 -$1.64, Diff -$5.26 +2c, NG $2.92 +1c

Oil price
A sharp correction yesterday caused by the inventory figures, first the API and then the EIA. It was not crude that caused the trouble, the draw there was quite impressive but the build in gasoline stocks in particular. Refiners upped their runs to 93.8% which drew crude but added significantly to the gasoline stocks, nothing to worry about…

Range ResourcesASX:RRS
Things are beginning to happen for Range who had the drilling company acquisition approved last week and should be on for a reappearance on the market very shortly. Today they announce the preliminary result of well GY 684 on the Beach Marcelle field which was successfully drilled to 4,300′. Wireline logging has completed showing three target zones penetrated with the primary target zone ( the Lower Gros Morne Sands) in particular being better developed than anticipated. Approvals have been sought for perforating and production testing the well.

Hurricane Energy - LON:HUR
Hurricane is following up on its recent formation of a Listing and Governance Committee (LGC) by announcing that it has appointed Spencer Stuart to source a Non-Executive Chairman of the board. This process is being overseen by the Nominations Committee which after this appointment will add further Non-Executive Directors to ensure that the company is compliant with Code Provision B.1.2. Signs of maturity here which are most welcome, this is a growing company and complying accordingly.

This is an important step in the continuing process of HUR growing as it moves to the EPS on the Lancaster development. Investors who are understandably keen for news should find the next few months of significant interest, next week the company is hosting an investor and analyst site visit to Dubai  to view the Lancaster Early Production System (“EPS”) related works in Dubai. The ‘Aoka Mizu’ FPSO (“Aoka Mizu”), and the buoy and turret mooring system are critical to the EPS development and represents a majority of the overall development capex. This and further news on developments, as well as an imminent CPR, should ensure that investors remain confident of first oil from the EPS in 1H 2019.

And finally…
The Champions League was all tucked up before last night so the Noisy Neighbours losing to Shakhtar Donetsk was apparently in preparation for Sunday… The HubCap Stealers made hay in the retreat from Moscow and scored 7.

Tonight the Toffees are at Apollon Limassol which they will probably throw like the last one and the Gooners host BATE Borisov which they dont need to win.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Novo Lítio Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:41:00 +0000 Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)
Novo Lítio provided an update on the legal proceedings yesterday. NLI had been progressing through an expedited procedure to protect the 7th December mining license application cut-off date. However, the court in Braga has determined that this is no longer necessary since the vendors Lusorecursos (LR) have submitted an application which protects that date. The court has therefore determined NLI’s rights over the asset may now be determined via the main legal case which will take longer. NLI in response have submitted their own comprehensive mining plan and license application in the event that LR’s application is rejected due to a lack of technical or financial capability.

NLI have indicated that they will provide further updates in the coming weeks.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and A$0.2/sh. target price.

]]> Oil price, Savannah Petroleum, Upland Resources, Link And finally... Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:06:00 +0000 WTI $57.47 -89c, Brent $62.45 -$1.28, Diff -$4.98 -39c, NG $2.98 -8c

Oil price
Yesterday was a little bit like the day after the Lord Mayor’s Show, after the Opec meeting and the rollover of the agreement there was a bit of profit taking and for once Brent was hit harder than WTI. That has put the differential back below $5 but that may be because there were more net long positions in Brent.
The only comment that might have affected the market came Falih himself as in a speech yesterday he said that ‘supply curbs would continue through 2018 even though countries may start discussing when to raise output in the June meeting’. I think he is saying that it will take more than a half a year to reduce stock levels back to five year averages especially as the demand next year as being forecast to be 32.65m b/d in the seasonally weak 1H but up to 34.24m b/d in H2.

Savannah Petroleum - LON:SAVP
SAVP announced an update on the Seven Energy proposed acquisition and its financing. They are intending to raise up to $250m to fund the cash consideration of the transaction and expansion of the drilling campaign in Niger. The placing, to be done by way of a placing with institutional is imminent and will be done in two tranches, one using existing AGM permission and the second after a General Meeting has been held. Readmission is expected this month and the placing is expected to be completed in January and for the transaction as a whole completion should be 1H 2018.
As a reminder SAVP is acquiring 40% of the Uquo and 51% of the Stubbs Creek onshore producing oil and gas fields plus a 20% interest in the Accugas midstream business. (Interestingly the company has agreed and has a term sheet for, a private equity fund investment for the remaining 80% of Accugas, led by AIIM and with the IDB Fund 11 who will pay $60m for that stake and carry SAVP for its 20% interest which will also carry options to acquire more of the midstream business.)  This is a most interesting deal, having the stake in the company gives SAVP ‘visibility of key end customers for its gas’ and these infrastructure funds will become valuable partners. So, aggregate consideration and acquisition enterprise value will be of the order of $270m.  ‘This represents an acquisition cost of US$2.9/2P boe and an overall acquisition EV/capital invested in the assets to be acquired to date of c.35 %’ which seems very attractive to me.

Lloyds Register has certified 2P reserves and 2C resources to be 92 mmboe and 44 mmboe respectively for the two fields at which 2018 production will be in excess of 20/- boe/d. Net free cash flow attributable to SAVP in the years 2018-22 of $88m p.a. plus an NPV10 of $548m. Other notable features from the announcement include a stepping up of the Niger drilling programme from three to five wells, starting in 1Q 2018 targeting >250m barrels of prospective oil resources. The board is being beefed up as well with a new CFO and three high profile industry players joining the non-exec ranks, once this transaction closes Savannah will be a very grown up company indeed and it should be noted that CEO Andrew Knott has committed to investing $500/- in it personally.
Savannah is acquiring a substantial portfolio of producing assets at what seems a very attractive price, with the cash flow that they expect from these upstream and midstream assets they also intend to pay a dividend from 2018 onwards which makes the transaction even more interesting and will undoubtedly put the company higher up the list of international players in the industry.

Upland Resources - LON:UPL
I wanted to catch up with Steve Staley, CEO of Upland Resources following their recent announcement of a farm-in with Corallian Energy for a 40% WI in UK block 11/24b which contains the exciting Wick Prospect and managed to get some time with him this morning. Apart from some UK onshore with Ineos I hadnt really done much work on Upland but SS has a fantastic record in the industry so should be watched very carefully.

Upland have done a lot of prep work on this licence and plan to drill the prospect in late 2018 but with an estimated in-place P50 resources of around 250m bbls it may well be worth the wait. The key risk that has been identified I understand is the fault closure but apparently if the faults seal then this is a very big structure indeed, in fact his words were ‘it sticks out like a sore thumb’.
Fans of Reabold Resources will have more than a passing interest in this as they now have an interest in Wick following the Corallian investment, although guarded about anything until the deals are funded and signed I suspect they are quietly very excited about 2018…

And finally…

The final round of Champions League fixtures and CSKA Moscow come to the Theatre of  Dreams tonight where the Red Devils need a point to top the group and be certain of qualifying… Celtic host Anderlecht and Chelski entertain Athletico Madrid.

The second test in The Ashes was looking all over but England remain in but with a very slim chance of victory tomorrow but don’t stand on one leg waiting…

]]> Amerisur, Genel Energy, Reabold Resources Mon, 04 Dec 2017 09:18:00 +0000 Amerisur Resources - LON:AMER
A flash blog today as I am travelling, will detail more tomorrow. AMER has announced its monthly production and OBA throughput numbers which are in line with my expectations. Average production of 6,051 b/d making 7,037 b/d including Mariposa-1 LTT which will rise substantially. Peak production was 7,217 with OBA throughput of 5,768 b/d and a peak of 7,066. Years exit rate will be over 7,000 as forecast and average just below 5,000 as expected due to Government actions beyond their control.

Genel Energy- LON:GENL Taq Taq ‘encouraging’…
Obviously the company are pleased to have a meaningful incremental producer on the field, but the real encouragement here is in the free water level being at least 145 metres lower than their previous working assumption. I am assuming that they will need time to work out what that means in terms of reserves, production and activity – and will have to put this result in the context of the overall field decline they have seen this year. But it is positive and nice to be on the front foot with Taq Taq after the disappointing news flow over the past couple of years.

Reabold Resources - LON:RBD
Reabold has announced another deal today by which they have paid £1.5m for 29% of Danube Petroleum which has a 50% interest in the high impact Parta licence onshore Romania. The low risk nature of this investment, with two appraisal wells next year for a potential 33 BCF of gas and maybe some oil as well is typical of Reabold’s management style and I expect more to come. I have spoken to Steve Williams this morning and will write up in detail tomorrow. I will also detail the interesting deal done by Upland last week which more than franks their investment in the Corallian acquisition, I spoke briefly with Steve Staley and have a call with him also planned for tomorrow.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 04 Dec 2017 08:36:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)
Egdon Resources has announced that it has acquired a 100% interest in offshore License P2304 from Arenite Petroleum and Eruope Oil & Gas (EOG LN) which runs until December 2018. Located offshore from North Yorkshire, the license area is immediately South of EDR’s P1929 License which contains the Resolution gas discovery. The consideration is a nominal fee primarily covering licensing costs etc although EDR have agreed future staged payments in relation to the completion of successful milestones.

Resolution is mapped by EDR as extending southwards into the new license block and the new block also contains a gas discovery confirmed by historical wells, drilled by Total (FP FP) and Conoco, which tested at rates up to 34mmcfd and 1,280 barrels per day of condensate. At both Resolution and this new discovery there is further prospectivity for deeper gas in the Carboniferous sandstones underlying the proven Zechstein sequences.

EDR has previously indicated that it intends to carry out seismic surveys across the Resolution discovery in order to better target future drilling. The discovery is a significant asset within EDR’s portfolio and we believe that this additional license block will enable EDR to fully exploit the potential of this attractive asset, in our view.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.8p target price.

]]> Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas And finally... Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:49:00 +0000 WTI $57.40 +10c, Brent $63.57 +46c, Diff -$6.17 +36c, NG $3.03 -15c

Oil price
The Opec meeting ended up with what everyone expected, a maintenance of cuts through to the end of 2018. There was a modest tip of the hat to Russia by agreeing to a ‘production review’ at next June’s meeting which may be interesting. There is no certainty that at that stage things will look that much better, after all if Opec’s predictions are right the big call on its production will be in H2 not H1.
Brent expired and the February contract is up 38c this morning at $63.01 which is pretty creditable, WTI is up 28c at $57.68. Given the ongoing worries about non-Opec production I consider the oil price to be in pretty good nick, time will tell as to the efficiency and stayability of shale and oil sands but one has the confidence that if the price falls back their production falls back too. The oil sector should be ablaze, lower costs achieved by expectations of sub $40 oil should mean that over $60 hay should be being made, if not questions need to be asked in the house…

Victoria Oil & Gas - LON:VOG
VOG today announce the completion of the La-108 well at Logbaba which has been delayed by 14 days due to electrical problems. The liner has now been run to TD and cemented in place, the production equipment will be placed in the well and then the rig will be skidded off. The well is then scheduled to be perforated and flow tested and should be on production by mid-December, it is worth remembering that the preliminary analysis of the logs showed 84.5m of net gas sands in the Logbaba formation.
VOG is one of a number of stocks that should have performed way better given the current state of the market. With Opec concluded and the new Brent contract over $63 the market is not behaving efficiently and therefore offers exceptional value in a number of stocks, VOG is one of them.

And finally…
The football World Cup draw for Russia 2018 will be made at 3.20 this afternoon, expect over analysis and the creation of groups of death and the like, usual advice to England fans is not to book hotels for the latter stages…

The Premiership is back this weekend, Sunday sees the Noisy Neighbours host the Hammers and also that day is the Riviera derby between the Cherries and the Saints. Tomorrow the big game is the Gooners v the Red Devils whilst Chelski host the Magpies, the HubCap Stealers are at the Seagulls and Burnley go to the Foxes. The interesting fixture is Spurs going to Watford, if they are to keep up with the leaders a win at the Hornets is crucial.
And racing at Newbury and Newcastle where the famous Fighting fifth is of high quality but short on runners…

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, Sundry-Sirius Petroleum, Lamprell- And finally... Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:51:00 +0000 WTI $57.30 -69c, Brent $63.11 -50c, Diff -$5.81 +19c, NG $3.18 +5c

Oil price
Opec day today so we are in the land of guesswork, yesterdays modest fall was in response to the speech by the Saudi Oil Minister who was corralling the Russkis to sign up for the 2018 deal. The price this morning is showing Brent up by nearly 50 cents so is predicting an agreement but given historical lapses do nothing until the announcement is out.

Sound Energy - LON:SOU
Sound has announced exploration volume estimates for Sidi Moktar this morning. The independent preliminary technical evaluation carried out by EG Group of the historical exploration well and the 2D seismic data over the Sidi Moktar permits and the early results are most promising. The results ‘significantly enhance the company’s view of the exploration potential and confirms substantial upside’ in this pre-salt play. EG reports a range of unrisked gas originally in place on a gross basis from a low case of 6.7 TCF through a best case 8.9 TCF and a high case of 11.2 TCF. EG suggest at least three promising leads with substantial opportunities although the company correctly caution against the element of risk attached to these observations.
This is potentially a second material leg to the onshore Moroccan portfolio.  Rumour has it it is only a first step in their plans to consolidate more onshore Morocco so watch this space…

Sundry - LON:SRSP
Sirius has announced that it is finally on the move with regards to the Ororo field with a placing and all that goes with it, more when I have spoken to the company.
Lamprell has done it again, today it announces that on its East Anglia One contract that it has taken a bath on the contract which means a profit warning…Again more if i get a chance to speak to them but there is no email from the company just an announcement on LSE…

And finally…
In the midweek footie all the top sides apart from Spurs won although the Noisy Neighbours left it pretty late last night. Big Sam is walking into a winter wonderland and must be thinking how it all fell into place whilst David Moyes is already under severe pressure…

]]> Oil price, Shell, Ascent Resources, Frontera Resources, Touchstone, Link, ROK'N'OIL And finally... Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:46:00 +0000 WTI $58.11 -84c, Brent $63.84 -2c, Diff -$5.73 +82c, NG $2.93 +12c

Oil price
With only two days to go until Opec D-Day things are remarkably quiet by historical standards, normally stances are being set and requirements demanded but right now only two things matter, how long will the accord be extended and are the Russkis on board.
How long is relatively easy, the market expects a rollover until the end of 2018 and whilst a cop-out would be ‘let’s check at the May meeting’ that would be a big sign of weakness. As for the Russians then although they hate the idea of subsidising anyone else I think that they will fall into line, after all it is common sense although that rarely has much to do with policy does it?
Physically WTI had a bad day yesterday, operators of the Keystone pipeline found and fixed the leak in Dakota and announced that they would restart the pipeline albeit at reduced pressure. That knocked the recent wind out of the WTI sails and with it the newly acquired back as well as the narrowing differential to Brent. Brent itself acquitted itself quite well yesterday, after testing the important $63 low it bounced and by the close it was 75 cents off the bottom and nearly back in positive territory.

Capital markets day at Shell and now I am no longer invited I can sit in the warm and save five hours of my life not watching presentations. The news is good with recent management moves being vindicated with the cancellation of the scrip dividend being the most obvious sign although the confirmation of the $25bn buy back by 2020 is also very welcome. Organic fcf is up $5bn, by 2020 at $60 it goes up to $25-30bn which sort of validates the faith a handful of us had at the time of the BG bid, others had less faith…The $30bn divestment programme is almost complete and will carry on at $5bn pa for another three years. Shell continues to outperform BP and this statement proves that they are in better nick than them, the giveaway that must have been done with much pleasure, was the scrip which BP couldnt manage yet. I remain happier with Shell for the time being as they appear to be hitting the straps just that little bit faster mainly due to the foresight made in the BG bid.

Ascent Resources - LON:AST 
A red letter day for AST as the IPPC Permit Preliminary screening appeal decision went in their favour. Not only was the appeal rejected but the oppo has been barred from objecting ever again. This means that subject to an Environmental Permit should be forthcoming ‘in due course’ and work can begin on the adjacent processing facility. This will have a ‘significant margin boost’ as the facility will treat and upgrade the gas from the Petišovci field and gas can then be sold to Slovenia and into the European transmission network at up to 50% higher prices.
Colin Hutchinson, Ascent CEO is my guest on Core Finance TV tomorrow morning and of course afterwards the link will be on Twitter and in the blog.

Frontera Resources - LON:FRR 
Excellent news too this morning from Frontera where the Ud-2 well on Block 12 in Georgia has started to flow gas of a quality acceptable for the Georgia national grid. After clean up and a stabilised flow is established the company should have a good idea of flow volumetrics, however the company are clearly confident as they are talking about completing the technical design of an 18km pipeline for natural gas distribution. This news presents significant opportunities for the future from local reservoirs and should they be forthcoming then the potential is indeed very substantial, I hope to visit Georgia early in the new year so watch this space.

Touchstone Exploration - LON:TXP
More production figures from TXP this morning which seem to be a little disappointing in the Grand Ravine block but overall satisfactory. September production was 1,369 b/d and October 1,472 b/d and exiting at a higher rate which is good news. Production from the four wells drilled this year remain strong with 299 b/d in the period and with four more wells being prepared for which should spud starting in January 2018 and the plan is to continually drill deeper in established pools.

And finally…
There is mid-week Premier League football this week as the Seagulls host the Eagles which is confusing for fans singing, Spurs go to the Foxes, the Red Devils are at the Hornets and the Baggies host the Magpies…
It looks like as the Toffees are taking forever making a decision on a new manager as today’s guess of the day is big Sam Allardyce who was a former guess of the day until he got bored…

]]> Oil price, Tullow/UOG, President Energy, WOGW And finally... Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:21:00 +0000 WTI $58.95 +93c, Brent $63.86 +54c, Diff -$4.91 -9c, NG $2.81-15c

Oil price
Opec week finally comes around and as usual it seems that most of the decisions have been made in advance in order to give the impression of harmony and accord amongst the member states. Obviously, with the Opec/Non-opec agreement there are more meetings to squeeze in ahead of Thursday’s formal session but there  always have been plenty of meetings on the side of the main event.
The only danger I see is if for any reason the expected outcome, which is a rollover for the rest of 2018, does not happen. There is little doubt that such an accord is ‘in the price’ and anything less than that would be seriously disappointing. Clearly the market has got it into its head that Russia are the potential banana skin and that industry leaders last week put significant pressure on Secretary Novak to influence Vlad but I think that the relationship with the KSA is probably stronger, at least for the moment. It hasn’t stopped some of the more childish scribblers using licence and referring to Putin as the Czar of the international world oil industry but there again kids will be kids eh?
The Keystone pipeline repairs are, as I suggested last week, going to take longer than expected to complete and as a result it will be the year end and not the month end when it will be back on stream. This might mean that up to 500/- b/d of crude will be off the US market with consequent effects on the market. One of which you can see above as WTO strengthens (at one stage it nearly breached $60)  and the differential narrows, the other is of course a move into prompt backwardation and a fall in inventories, all good for the oil price in the short term. With US production up at 9.66m b/d they are doing their best to ease the situation, any other time that would have been grist to the bear’s mill but not at the moment.

Tullow/UOG - LON:TLW
I notice that recently listed United Oil & Gas has farmed into a 20% interest in the Walton-Morant licence offshore Jamaica. Tullow has been building seismic data here over the last three years and will acquire more next year. Whilst this is clearly high impact, high risk, frontier acreage it does show that there is continued interest in Latin America at the moment.

President Energy - LON:PPC 
President continues to be active in the financial markets and today announces its first Argentine commercial bank loan with two leading banks in country. They have, with Banco de Credito and Banco Hipotecario arranged an $8m loan over 42 months at 7.5% above Libor. This will be used to defray part of the cost of the recent acquisition of the Nequén assets bought from Chevron and will free up more of the company’s other financial resources and positive cash flow to ‘materially grow its Argentine business as appropriate’.
With over $21m  raised in recent weeks in both equity and debt markets, the company’s flexibility is seriously improved and any reduction in exposure to IYA has got to be good news. Whilst the whole sector is appearing to take little or notice of $60 + oil and share prices are ludicrously low and offering significant value in many areas patience will be needed but when investors do work it out PPC will be one of the first to rally.

World Oil & Gas Week
This time next week hundreds of delegate will have just started this year’s WOGW in London. I am hoping to get along as there is an extensive list of speakers from all parts of our industry. As a member of the Judging Panel for the Awards Dinner on tuesday I know quite how much time is put in trying to select the very best in each category.

And finally…
With wins in the Prem for the Noisy Neighbours, the Red Devils and the Gooners, who yet again won with a late pen, and all of Spurs, Chelksi and the HubCap Stealers dropping points the top of the table has a Manc look to it. At the moment the blue side of the City are going to take some catching though.
The rugby showed how much progress Scotland have made in recent years, it would have been interesting against 15 players but still I expect a comprehensive thrashing of the over confident Wallabies. Next season’s Six Nations now takes on a much more interesting note with the home nations very even, England v Scotland on February 24th 2018 is definitely one for the diary…Elsewhere England were not in cruise control against Samoa but did have plenty up their sleeves whilst the All Blacks as usual beat Wales.
The cricket proved that England have not lost the art of the middle order collapse and the defeat was a spineless, pathetic apology for a professional touring team. The worst thing is that this is about as good as it gets for England who, apart from the obvious selection of KP, have no one else in the draw to lean on, I hear Mark Wood is 80% fit, olé as they say in all the best bars in Adelaide…

]]> Oil price, Ophir Energy, SDX Energy, Cabot Energy, Sound Energy And finally... Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:44:00 +0000 WTI $58.55 +53c, Brent $63.55 +23c, Diff -$5.00 -74c, NG $2.97 -5c

Oil price
The news this week on the oil price has been as much if not more than a fairly slim number of company announcements, with the Opec meeting next week this may continue to be the case. Spending some time in the true home of oil this week was inspirational and as is often the case somewhere where workovers and recompletions of in some cases fairly old wells can prove highly profitable.
This week has been another good one for the oil market and whilst there is normally a dose of the jitters ahead of the Opec meeting (think Nov 14 and 16…) the main reasons for the price increases have been to do with outages, this time in North America. With WTI heading for $59 and at a two year high, things are looking good over there, even the differential has narrowed sharply to $5 but this may be temporary. The Keystone pipeline, which carries 590/- b/d of crude from Alberta a long way south has been 85% closed due to a leak in South Dakota. Now, while this may be back up and running by the end of this month it has created a bigger than expected inventory drawdown as far away as Cushing, a spike in WTI and increased feedstock costs may draw refinery demand down a touch. The rig count, out early this week due to Thanksgiving has showed another 9 oil units in place taking the current total to 747, given that rigs are now more efficient than ever it is an important number but still unlikely to change the dial that much.

As for Opec the market is expecting an extension of the deal with a likely 9 month increase to the end of next year. Whilst there have been some concerns about Russia which I wrote about recently I suspect the camaraderie between Riyadh and Moscow will overcome greed of the Russian oil barons. However it is important to highlight the new clout that Putin has, although a recent report from RBC, usually fairly moderate, suggesting that he is ‘the new world energy Czar’ is probably a touch racy…

Ophir Energy - LON:OPHR 
Whilst away I noticed that Ophir announced that financing discussions with Chinese banks has been taking longer than expected which has led to the opening up of alternative funding sources which are now ‘at an advanced stage’. The company state that they will select one of the options by mid December 2017 and proceed to FID in 1Q 2018 which may be slightly delayed but not quite the trauma that the headline in today’s Times suggests.
Indeed the Ophir share price has pretty weak in recent months but maybe now that this announcement has cleared the air it is picking up. Whilst I have been a little concerned about such financing concerns I am not at all worried about Fortuna going ahead, comfort would be obtained by a swift closure here which is what I expect. I am having a meeting with Nick Cooper before long and hope to add more after that.

SDX Energy - CVE:SDX
SDX has announced that its KSR-16 well has spudded and will drill for around 20-25 days. Should it be successful it will tie into local infrastructure within 21 days of the rig moving off. This is what has happened to the 15 well and it is now only 10 days away from tie-up.

Cabot Energy - LON:CAB 
I am sometimes not sure if I am imagining yet another announcement from Cabot, they sometimes seem to come almost weekly! However on the basis that it is better to get too much news and not too little you won’t find me complaining. Indeed, as the work that Keith Bush and his team have been doing has transformed the company from an almost impossible situation, it is good to see production from Canada increasing regularly.
Today the update talks about 750-850 b/d in Canada (75% WI) and the 16-05 well sidetrack is delivering 200 b/d on pump. Well stimulation from Blue SPark Energy is being used to enhance production and will be used more. The company also say that further activities before the year end could add another 150 b/d which would be no mean feat. So, onwards and upwards for Cabot and I look forward to commenting on next week’s update….

Sound Energy - LON:SOU 
Whilst writing today’s blog I have been watching the ‘fireside chat’ that Sound Energy have been holding so that their shareholders can be kept up to speed with what their company is up to. Another new development by James Parsons and team who have revolutionised relationships with retail investors in recent years. Unlike a conference call the website opens up to shareholders who have been typing in questions for some time and with CEO, Exploration Director and CFO answering their pretty much every request, a bit like a giant what’s App chat. With well over 600 participants and nearly 200 questions to get through they may be sending out for supplies before long but watching it they seem to have many happy shareholders. Another first #explorersquestiontime

And finally…
Another big weekend of sport ahead of us if you haven’t been tired out by Black Friday…
Football sees the Hammers v the Foxes tonight whilst the big weekend fixture is tomorrow and sees Chelski travel to Anfield, after a gruelling trip with me to Azerbaijan on Wednesday they might be a little tired… Other fixtures tomorrow see the Seagulls travelling to the Theatre of Dreams and Spurs hosting managerless Baggies. Sunday sees Burnley hosting the Gooners and the Terriers entertaining the

Noisy Neighbours.
The autumn rugby internationals finish with England playing Samoa but more interesting may be Wales v the All Blacks and after last week can Scotland beat Australia? Ireland host the Pumas which shouldnt be a problem.
Racing is first rate from Haydock Park and Ascot where Michael Owen is riding today…
The Ashes is now under way and after day two looks fairly even, England need a couple of wickets or it could run away from them.
And F1 closes the season in Abu Dhabi where Vettel has been fastest so far in practice…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:49:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML) has announced that the company has successfully closed the second tranche of its recent C$30m strategic investment by Golden Concord Group (GCL). The second tranche involved the issue of 5.7mn shares to bring a total of 12mn shares issued for the transaction at C$2.5/sh.

There is an agreed lock up period of six months on the shares and GCL have exercised their right to appoint a board member and Mr Man Chung (Charles) Yeung will act as a non-executive director with immediate effect. He has over 20 years of experience in accounting, auditing and financial management. He is responsible for the financial control and reporting, corporate finance, and tax and risk management of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (“GCL-Poly”) and its subsidiaries.  He is a member of the Nomination Committee, Corporate Governance Committee and Strategy and Investment Committee of GCL-Poly. Mr. Yeung has been a Certified Practicing Accountant in Australia since 1996 and an Associate of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants since 1996.  Mr. Yeung holds a Bachelor of Business degree with a major in accounting from Edith Cowan University in Perth Australia.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Flash blog, Trinity Exploration, Range Resources Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:28:00 +0000 Trinity/Range (LON:TRIN, LON:RRL)
It has been announced this morning that the previously announced deal between these companies by which Range were scheduled to acquire Trinity’s West coast assets has failed to obtain regulatory approvals in Trinidad. This means that the deal will be unable to complete by the backstop date of 30th November and accordingly lapses. Whilst this is a disappointment, both companies have other fish to fry.
For Trinity,  as they had other good bidders for the asset they will re-market it but as it continues to perform well and contribute cash there is no hurry. In addition this does not change the investment profile for 2018.
For Range despite being disappointing they too still have an existing large onshore presence in Trinidad and they can focus on their waterflood programme and of course the acquisition of the drilling company. That and the Indonesian deal completed means that there will be no shortage of newsflow for shareholders including obviously the re-listing of the shares expected next month.
Back from Baku tomorrow with a catch up of this weeks news.

]]> Oil price, BP/Cairn/Far, Amerisur, Sound, SDX, Serica And finally... Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:29:00 +0000 WTI $56.42 -29c, Brent $62.22 -50c, Diff -$5.80 -21c, NG $3.05 -5c

Oil price
A quiet day in the oil bourses in which the problems being encountered by Mrs Merkel meant that the market ended in a listless and slightly concerned manner. This morning the market is up by around 30c, again on very little news. As we run up to the Opec meeting there will be the usual tittle tattle as ad hoc meetings are reported but hold steady for November 30th.

Reuters reported last night that BP ‘is in talks with Cairn Energy about buying a 30% stake in its deep water SNE field offshore Senegal’. According to reports this stake would be valued at around $600m and is awaiting validation by the state of Senegal. This morning Cairn has totally debunked the story calling it ‘nonsense’ although I must admit it had a ring of truth about it. My view remains that should Cairn want to part company with all or part of their stake it carries significantly higher value to shareholders if done when the operatorship is still up for grabs, ie before next spring when it transfers.

In the meantime Far has some good news in The Gambia in which it holds an 80% stake in two offshore blocks adjacent to the SNE field and in the Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau Casin. Following a detailed geotechnical evaluation of these two blocks it has completed an assessment of the potential for hydrocarbon resources. An independent resources review conducted by RISC for blocks A2 and A5 in The Gambia supports Far’s assessment.
The combined Prospective Resources for the two blocks have been assessed at 1.1bn barrels (unrisked, best estimate, recoverable 100% basis) with 926.4m barrels net to Far. Far are planning ahead and expect to drill a well in late 2018, meanwhile the farm-out procedure is fully underway. With such a good record in the area and with strong support from partners and shareholders Far must be a most exciting prospect as it starts work in The Gambia.

Amerisur Resources - LON:AMER 
A CPO-5, Llanos Basin update from AMER this morning but realistically there isnt yet much to report. The initial phase of the  LTT on Mariposa-1 started on November 18th with a clean up and it has now been closed for a pressure buildup test. Shortly the well will come back onstream at a commercial production rate which will be higher than any of the numbers during clean up. This is very good news for Amerisur, obviously as what looks like a very good commercial discovery on a large block that might lead to further success but also as a welcome diversification in Colombia. At change from 20p AMER looks exceptionally good value and with some very exciting wells to be drilled in the south to come I expect significant upward movement before long.

Sound Energy - LON:SOU
After I wrote yesterday Sound reported on completion of the Airborne Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry (FTG) and magnetic survey acquisition in Eastern Morocco. The company report ‘highly encouraging results’ with  a far more detailed view of the deep, thick Paleozoic basin extending over the three permit areas. The survey clearly offers significant paleozoic opportunities and by mid- December the company ‘expects to have an improved understanding of the exploration potential of the licence areas’.
And this morning Sound has said that it has completed 56% of its phase 1 seismic programme at Tendrara in Eastern Morocco. There will be much for CEO James Parsons to say in his ‘fireside chat’ on Friday morning and of course there is a triple bill of Sound, Echo and Coro on December 6th to look forward to.

SDX Energy - LON:SDX 
Results from SDX but there is nothing we dont know after recent announcements on well success in Morocco and developments in Egypt. Revenue growth y/y is very strong and predicted to grow substantially as the benefits of the Circle acquisition become tangible. With a raise of $10m and shareholders incredibly supportive the outlook is very exciting, 2 from 2 wells in Morocco and coming onstream very quickly plus a busy programme in Egypt means I expect a stream of good operational news from SDX over the winter.

Serica Energy - LON:SQZ 
The deal Serica has announced this morning looks like it should be transformational for the company and certainly de-risks its current asset base. The deal also marks the return to Serica of Mitch Flegg who left as COO and returns as CEO after an unfortunate spell at Circle. They have acquired from BP substantial holdings in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the North Sea and have taken all the BP staff and also have a production sales agreement for the hydrocarbon offtake.
With BP on the hook for substantial elements of the decommissioning, Serica are buying some good assets with little in upfront payments and a significant addition to reserves and production. 2P reserves will rise 16 fold to 50 mmboe and production 7 fold to 21/- boe/d of which 85% is gas. I am looking forward to sitting down with Mitch to look at it in some detail and also to restarting coverage of Serica, after this most interesting deal.

And finally…
Back to the Champions League tonight as the HubCap Stealers are in Seville, the Noisy Neighbours host Feyenoord and Spurs are at Borussia Dortmund. Tomorrow I notice that Chelsea are in Baku, Azerbaijan…..

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Edgon Resources Tue, 21 Nov 2017 08:32:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has provided an update in relation to the Holmwood prospect where EDR has an 18.4% interest. It was previously announced that Surrey County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee had opted to defer its decision on Condition 19 (the Traffic Management Scheme), requesting further information. However, the license operator, Europa Oil and Gas (LON:EOG), now considers that it is in a position to submit an appeal and resubmit the Construction Traffic Management Plan which meets the requirements of Condition 19. In addition to the resubmission, EOG intend to carry out additional consultations with local Parish Councils and the residents of Coldharbour Lane.

In line with company guidance we continue to expect EOG and EDR to commence drilling at Holmwood in H1 2018 following successful approval of the resubmission.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 48.8p target price.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Zenith Energy, Wood Group, Sundry-Conoco-IR pay? And finally... Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:07:00 +0000 WTI $56.55 +$1.41, Brent $62.72 +$1.36, Diff -$6.17 -5c, NG $3.10 +4c
Oil price
With a decent rally on Friday the falls on the week were almost negated, WTI was down 19c and Brent 79c by Friday’s close which could have been worse. After all it was the IEA vs Opec reports week, I know who I would hire to write a life saving piece of work and the inventory stats were indifferent. The rig count on Friday showed an overall rise of 8 units to 915 but in oil it was no change at 738 rigs.
Venezuela and PDVSA defaulted on their bonds on Friday, there is only so much the Russkis can do to hold the country together. Only 10 days to go now until the Opec and Non-Opec meetings and as usual speculation is rife as to what might happen. The Sunday Telegraph has gone with the line that the aforementioned Russians are spoiling for a fight although I continue to suspect that at the grown-ups level a rollover has been agreed and so expect probably an extension from 1Q maybe for the whole year. That would probably the best expectation but should do the trick as long as adherence remains strong, as they say.

SDX Energy - CVE:SDX
More good news from Morocco from SDX this morning, the KSR-14 well has been tested and has recorded an average flow rate of conventional natural gas into the sales line of 6.4 MMscfd. This well will stay on production for an extended period before being shut-in for ‘pressure build and year end reserve estimate process’. As for KSR-15 connection to the infrastructure is under way and we can expect flow testing to start in early December. The rig is now on its way to the next location.
SDX is certainly not hanging around in this programme, it is determined not to repeat mistakes made by others in the past that didnt deliver when promises had been made. The company has decided that the key to this process is for it to demonstrate to the State, existing and potential new customers, that gas is deliverable in a timely and efficient manner. With these wells, where in some cases they have only perforated half the pay, SDX have already delivered gas and satisfied customers with the ability to increase that as and when appropriate. The company are ticking all the boxes and I would expect a move out of this trading range to happen sooner rather than later.

Zenith Energy - LON:ZEN 
Zenith has announced an operational update from wells Z-28 and 21 in the Zardab field in Azerbaijan. It makes the point, amongst much technical speak, that ‘the operations present exceptional potential but with difficult challenges that we will have to successfully overcome’. The company admit that they are ‘learning as we go along’ without much accurate well data but are confident of success on both wells and are pleased with current progress. I imagine that all will become a good deal clearer during my visit which starts tomorrow.

Wood Group- LON:WG.
Wood Group has announced a ‘multi million $ contract’ to be the operating partner of the SAGE system and the Beryl pipeline for  Ancala Midstream. Wood will manage the day to day operations of the system which transports gas to the St Fergus processing plant.
On a separate note Wood has received some pretty poor press over the weekend as both the FT and the Sunday Times took it to task over plans to increase CEO Robin Watson’s salary by 25% at a time when Wood are laying off workers and seeing profits fall 77%. Wood has 10 non-executive Directors of whom just 3 are on the remuneration committee and could probably do without this, especially if they plan to visit Standard Life/Aberdeen or even Blackrock any time soon, as to what Sir Ian might think about it I hate to think….

I see Conoco got a bit of press about its plans not to invest in projects that need $50 or more oil to make a profit. Having got rid of most of its offshore investments with the intention of concentrating on shale oil in North America and wanting ‘flexibility to deal with oil price volatility’ it’s perfectly understandable but does rather keep their hands tied.
And I couldnt resist the article in the FT which said that male IR executives earn 45% more than women and that the average mens salary is $275/-, nice work as they say….obv not true over here.
Finally good luck to Craig Yeaman a long time blog supporter who has been given a top job at RLAM after a long time at Saracen in Edinburgh.

And finally…
In the Prem the Gooners beat Spurs 2-0 and despite a dodgy free kick probably deserved it. Wins for the Noisy Neighbours,  Red Devils, Chelski, Burnley and the HubCap Stealers meant that other places remained the same. The Baggies, who went down 0-4 to Chelski, have since sacked manager Tony Pulis, not just for 15 points from last 25 games but also for criminally awful football.
The rugby was most interesting, England beat the Wallabies 30-6 but most fun was in watching Michael Cheika fuming at the various decisions and then three late English tries. Scotland went very close to seeing off the All Blacks but the best thing about that game was seeing the magnificent Doddie Weir on the pitch with his kids. Ireland just beat Fiji and Wales scraped past Georgia, also worth noting for the Spring is that France lost at home to the Springboks…

]]> Oil price, Parkmead, Zenith Energy, Cairn And finally... Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:24:00 +0000 WTI $55.14 -19c, Brent $61.36 -51c, Diff -$6.22 -32c, NG $3.05 -3c

Oil price
The end of a bad week for the oil price as a combination of indifferent inventory stats, belligerent Russians an IEA report that didnt square with Opec’s and topped off by Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih suggesting that world inventories wouldn’t be below their five year average until next spring. This was probably just to ensure that come Nov 30th the extension is signed, it will be now. The belligerent Russians displayed a lack of working economic knowledge as they wanted to increase production to make more money and reduce costs, I assume that they can double production as if the deal falls then crude could be 30 bucks in no time…
Parkmead Group - LON:PMG 
Results today from Parkmead where increased production from the Diever West gas field to 39 .3 m cubic feet a day gives positive cash flow and greater returns. Cash is a pleasing $34.3m and Tom Cross is maintaining his usual strict discipline. For right or for wrong he has increased his position in the Greater Perth area and activity covering pre-FEED and FEED is under way. I took PMG out of the bucket list in February at over 60p as I couldnt see the market liking the play as much as others, at 37p today I still need convincing that they offer substantial value.
Zenith EnergyCVE:ZEE 
A brief note on Zenith Energy as I am visiting the company’s assets in Azerbaijan next week. I have been waiting for this opportunity for some time as ever since I met with senior management earlier in the year and was most impressed by them and the opportunities in the region. The marginal field strategy in an area rich in hydrocarbons seems to be like other geographies where small companies can make substantial returns for shareholders and with a very low fixed cost base. I shall report back my findings as and when possible.
Cairn - LON:CNE 
I know this is like an old record but I am still hearing that Cairn are in the process of selling around 30% of their stake in their offshore Senegal discovery. My latest gossip, and that is all that it is, suggests that BP will buy that stake and the operatorship of the project. This may make Far Ltd and Woodside to a lesser extent look very smart but who knows, time will tell I may be completely wrong!
And finally…
The international break is over and we return to the Prem where the big fixture is tomorrow lunchtime when the Gooners entertain Spurs in the North London derby. Never needing any pumping up this fixture is now more hotly contested than ever so that’s Saturday lunchtime sorted. Later we see the Noisy Neighbours visit the Foxes, Chelski go to the Baggies and the Magpies are at the Theatre of Dreams. The Sunday fixture is David Moyes’ Hammers debut who visit the Hornets.
Racing today and tomorrow at Cheltenham where there are some great races with some old jumping favourites coming out on their seasonal reappearances.
And of course the autumn rugby internationals with England hosting the Wallabies at Twickenham, the Scots have the All Blacks at Murrayfield, Ireland host Fiji and Georgia are at the Principality Stadium to face Wales.