ChromaDex Corp still a 'buy', says HC Wainwright after patent ruling Tue, 23 Jan 2018 17:16:00 +0000 Cairn Energy estimates 2018 net production of 17,000 to 20,000 barrels of oil per day Tue, 23 Jan 2018 15:40:00 +0000 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.



]]> Tide pod maker Procter & Gamble shares ease pre-market after second quarter results Tue, 23 Jan 2018 13:51:00 +0000 BP and Kosmos Energy land new exploration acreage in West Africa Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:47:00 +0000 Croda looks undervalued and could pay a special divi soon, says Berenberg Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:19:00 +0000 Anglo African Oil & Gas appoints new CEO and three new non-execs Tue, 23 Jan 2018 08:16:00 +0000 Tlou Energy updates on Botswana progress Tue, 23 Jan 2018 08:14:00 +0000 Sound Energy receives final validation of Tendrara resource estimate, chairman departs Tue, 23 Jan 2018 07:57:00 +0000 SDX Energy unearths another gas discovery onshore Morocco Tue, 23 Jan 2018 07:25:00 +0000 Grand Gulf Energy neighbours Wildhorse Resource's oil and gas territory at Eagle Ford Tue, 23 Jan 2018 04:20:00 +0000 Solo Oil’s Helium One mulls ASX float as it seeks funds for Tanzania exploration Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:10:00 +0000 Halliburton shares up premarket after market beating fourth quarter Mon, 22 Jan 2018 13:43:00 +0000 Halliburton Company, Netflix, gov't shutdown and Brown & Brown - PRE-MARKET Mon, 22 Jan 2018 12:40:00 +0000 Serica Energy shares drop on pipeline blockage Mon, 22 Jan 2018 11:04:00 +0000 Solo Oil welcomes Helium One's intention to float on ASX Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:38:00 +0000 Neil Ritson, executive chairman of Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO), updates Proactive's Andrew Scott on the progress of its 15% owned associate Helium One which is considering options for new funding to support exploration plans in Tanzania.

Ritson says an IPO, onto the Australian Securities Exchange, is one option being considered by Helium One and it has now appointed Aussie stockbroker PAC Pty to help it review this potential outcome.

]]> Gulf Keystone gives lower production guidance as commercial uncertainty continues in Northern Iraq Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:57:00 +0000 Angus Energy teams up with Cuadrilla for a new programme at Balcombe Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:28:00 +0000 Sound Energy secures binding agreement for Italian asset sale to Saffron Energy Mon, 22 Jan 2018 07:46:00 +0000 Carnarvon Petroleum eyes potential for gas on the North West Shelf Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:07:00 +0000 Point Loma Resources hires new vice-president of acquisitions and development Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:00:00 +0000 Hillcrest Petroleum increases placing to bring in C$525,000 Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:26:00 +0000 Schlumberger Ltd shares slip premarket after posting mixed fourth quarter results Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:57:00 +0000 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…


]]> Po Valley Energy surges on commercial gas discovery Fri, 19 Jan 2018 02:37:00 +0000 Hillcrest Petroleum boosted by production uplift in Saskatchewan Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:34:00 +0000 Tullow Oil and Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas commit to Guyana exploration project Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:39:00 +0000 Kinder Morgan’s fourth quarter earnings hit by massive one-time tax charge Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:00:00 +0000 Europa Oil & Gas welcomes new planning application for Wressle Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:44:00 +0000 Europa Oil & Gas Plc (LON:EOG) alongside Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) and project operator Egdon Resources Plc (LON:EDR) have told investors they'll now be making a new planning application to the North Lincolnshire council seeking consent for the Wressle field development.

It comes after the planning inspectorate earlier this month rejected appeals made by Egdon and its partners following prior planning refusals by the council.

Europa chief Hugh Mackay tells Proactive's Andrew Scott he reckons they've got a strong case.

''We believe we can address all issues relevant to the development of Wressle to the satisfaction of the planners and that's what we'll be doing''.

]]> 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.

]]> Europa and Union Jack Oil boosted by Egdon’s decision to make new planning application for Wressle oil project Thu, 18 Jan 2018 07:28:00 +0000 Hurricane Energy advances premium listing plans, updates on corporate governance changes Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:45:00 +0000 Haydale takes next step in commercialisation of its anti-counterfeiting technology Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:35:00 +0000 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…

]]> Haydale Graphene signs supply agreement for its anti-counterfeiting technology Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:24:00 +0000 Ray Gibbs, chief executive of Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD), tells Proactive they've entered into a commercial supply and development agreement with Australia-listed Talga Resources.

The tie-up will see the two work together to produce, market and sell jointly-developed transparent conductive ink products using graphene for industrial applications in Asia.

The two companies – which have been working together for a few years now – will look to enhance the properties of Haydale’s graphene-based, transparent conductive ink by using Talga’s highly conductive graphitic materials.

]]> Empyrean Energy: Gas production starts at Dempsey well Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:02:00 +0000 Eland Oil & Gas preparing to start producing from Opuama-8 well Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:48:00 +0000 TAG Oil shares lifted as drilling at Pukatea-1 well expected to kick off this month Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:49:00 +0000 HaiKe Chemical plunges as it mulls AIM cancellation after torrid 2017 Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:34:00 +0000 BP to take a charge of around US$1.7bn in fourth quarter for 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:10:00 +0000 Touchstone Exploration preparing new well locations to deliver further production growth Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:23:00 +0000 Shell approves first major North Sea project in six years with Penguins development Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:51:00 +0000 Iofina's new IO#7 IOsorb plant to come online within weeks Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:34:00 +0000 Tom Becker, chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF), tells Proactive their new IO#7 IOsorb plant is nearly complete and should be online next month.

Chatting to Andrew Scott the iodine extractor confirmed that crystalline iodine production in the second half of 2017 exceeded expectations, clocking in at 267.5 tonnes, versus 216.6 tonnes in the same period of 2016.

]]> 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.

]]> Iofina eyeing further production upgrades with IO#5 plant Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:24:00 +0000 Johnson Matthey boosted by Berenberg upgrade to ‘buy’, thinks battery opportunity in "for free” Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:10:00 +0000 USOP lands drill permits for new Nevada oil wells Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:47:00 +0000 SDX Energy kicks off fifth well in Morocco campaign Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:24:00 +0000 Comet Ridge forges ahead with Santos and APLNG at Mahalo as gas flow rates increase Mon, 15 Jan 2018 04:40:00 +0000 Greenland Minerals and Energy simplified rare earth refining will boost economics Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:36:00 +0000 HRL Holdings' acquisition and alliance provide strong position in NZ dairy industry Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:14:00 +0000 Algae.Tec to boost cash for medical cannabis cultivation plans Sun, 14 Jan 2018 23:53:00 +0000 Helios Energy to reveal well testing results from Texas Sun, 14 Jan 2018 23:47:00 +0000 Exciting News from AIM Journal's 100th Edition Fri, 12 Jan 2018 15:57:00 +0000 AIM Journal writer Andrew Hore tells Proactive that since the journal's inception in 2009, many companies featured on AIM have positively grown. Andrew discusses trading statements on US based construction company Somero and computer games co-developer Sumo, giving Proactive insights into the pertinent facts and figures.

]]> Curzon Energy excited about well tests at Coos Bay project Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:26:00 +0000 Curzon Energy (LON:CZN) is ready for extensive well tests at Coos Bay coal bed methane project. Executive Director Thomas Wagenhofer tells Proactive how they will now be able to produce wells at better test rates. A five well workover programme has now been completed and outcomes have so far “completely correlated” with the pre-programme technical work, both on time and on budget. Sand and coal was removed from all five wellbores, and old down-hole equipment was also removed. Thomas says over the next few weeks they want to determine if wells can become commercially viable to kick the company off to phase 2, to design up to 58 models in the field.

]]> 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

]]> Range Energy Resources forecasts 2018 production of 665,400 barrels Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:15:00 +0000 Premier Oil’s positive trading update welcomed in the City Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:18:00 +0000 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…

]]> Capacity surge boosts revenues for India-based renewable energy group Mytrah Thu, 11 Jan 2018 11:26:00 +0000 Rockhopper Exploration shares rise on Falkland project progress Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:17:00 +0000 Premier Oil’s Catcher field marked a successful end to 2017 Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:14:00 +0000 ADES International extends key rig contracts in Gulf of Suez Thu, 11 Jan 2018 07:36:00 +0000 Point Loma Resources shares up as Chinese group Zhongcheng Group continues backing Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:26:00 +0000 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….

]]> Tullow Oil shares rise after expectation beating cash flow generation Wed, 10 Jan 2018 09:45:00 +0000 Curzon Energy ready for extensive well tests at Coos Bay coal bed methane project Wed, 10 Jan 2018 07:28:00 +0000 Pulse Oil says resource estimate at Bigoray underlines potential of its enhanced oil recovery project Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:42:00 +0000 Obtala set to join sustainable timber processing joint venture in Mozambique Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:55:00 +0000 UK Oil & Gas Investments reports partial conversion of debt into equity Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:41:00 +0000 Barclays predicts a re-rating for Shell shares Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:08:00 +0000 Mayan Energy updates as Texas workover programmes kick off Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:04:00 +0000 PowerHouse Energy Group PLC's technology reflecting the zeitgeist Tue, 09 Jan 2018 07:31:00 +0000 SDX Energy puts expectation-beating Morocco well into production Tue, 09 Jan 2018 07:26:00 +0000 Buru Energy maps plan for oil production growth at Ungani Tue, 09 Jan 2018 04:34:00 +0000 Altech Chemicals submits manufacturing licence application in Malaysia Tue, 09 Jan 2018 01:53:00 +0000 There may be long term silver linings for Victoria Oil & Gas - expert Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:08:00 +0000 Aminex advances preparations for new wells onshore Tanzania Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:55:00 +0000 Solo Oil chief hails Aminex progress in Tanzania Mon, 08 Jan 2018 13:45:00 +0000 Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) Executive Chairman Neil Ritson describes himself himself as ' really happy' with forward progress for the group’s 25% owned Ntorya gas project, onshore Tanzania.
Aminex, project operator and 75% owner of Ntorya, this morning told investors that it is “actively engaged” with the Tanzanian authorities and with third-party engineering firms, in the advanced stages of planning for the Ntorya-3 well. News here too on processing the legacy seismic on Helium One and at Horse Hill, where timing of long term tests are underway shortly.

]]> 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

]]> SOCO International confirms its talking with Kuwait Energy over possible merger Mon, 08 Jan 2018 12:26:00 +0000 Nostra Terra Oil and Gas secures US$5mln funding deal Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:37:00 +0000 Aminex releases operations update Mon, 08 Jan 2018 08:36:00 +0000 Aaron LeBlanc, COO of oil and gas company Aminex (LON:AEX) talks Proactive through developments at the Ntorya 1/2/3 wells in Tanzania. The new operations, Aaron explains, will enable Aminex to exploit further multiple leads and assets there in the very near future. See Kiliwani North well updates here too, particularly on a significant recharge happening at the reservoir close to the well bore. Aaron also sets out forward plans for 2018/19 during which time he predicts higher production rates and enhanced profitability.

]]> Obtala expects good momentum seen in fourth quarter 2017 to result in record annual revenue Mon, 08 Jan 2018 08:09:00 +0000 Victoria Oil & Gas hit as major gas customer deal expires Mon, 08 Jan 2018 08:09:00 +0000 Solo Oil welcomes Tanzania project update from Aminex Mon, 08 Jan 2018 07:38:00 +0000 Melbana Energy identifies previously producing shallow water target at Pukatea well Sun, 07 Jan 2018 22:00:00 +0000 Permex Petroleum files preliminary prospectus relating to planned IPO Fri, 05 Jan 2018 23:34:00 +0000 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…


]]> Itaconix positive on outlook as focus on polymers yields results Fri, 05 Jan 2018 10:58:00 +0000 Petro Matad extends Block XX contract Fri, 05 Jan 2018 10:04:00 +0000 Regal Petroleum shares jump on Ukraine update Fri, 05 Jan 2018 09:17:00 +0000 Cabot Energy's latest Canadian sidetrack well exceeds expectations Fri, 05 Jan 2018 07:55:00 +0000 Future of Wressle oil project remains in doubt after latest planning decision Fri, 05 Jan 2018 07:33:00 +0000 Algae Tec shares double as medicinal cannabis export regulations change Fri, 05 Jan 2018 03:01:00 +0000 Monsanto reports lower-than-expected first quarter adjusted earnings, as sale to Bayer awaited Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:54:00 +0000 LEKOIL encouraging investors as Otakikpo production ramp-up continues Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:53:00 +0000 SDX Energy updates on Morocco well operations Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:45:00 +0000 Obtala announces first step in expansion of timber trading division Thu, 04 Jan 2018 13:32:00 +0000 Monsanto Company, AMD, Intel Corp and Walgreens Boots Alliance - PRE-MARKET Thu, 04 Jan 2018 13:13:00 +0000 Good news flowing to SDX from Morocco Thu, 04 Jan 2018 12:02:00 +0000 Paul Welch CEO of SDX (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX) brings Proactive up to date with flow testing on their three wells drilled in Morocco...all contributing significantly now to SDX's infrastructure and supply ambitions for 2018. Additionally, the company has now secured a four-month extension to the current phase of the Lalla Mimouna permit, also onshore Morocco, through to July 22 so that it will have sufficient time to evaluate the outcome of an upcoming exploration drilling campaign. Exploration work is due to start at Lalla Mimouna in March 2018.

]]> Jefferies downgrades Croda to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ as risk/reward for the stock appears relatively balanced Thu, 04 Jan 2018 11:27:00 +0000 Echo Energy investors excited by Argentina, shares rise as trading resumes Thu, 04 Jan 2018 10:23:00 +0000 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

]]> Caspian Sunrise shares drop on well programme delays Thu, 04 Jan 2018 08:46:00 +0000 LEKOIL hires Sinopec for new seismic campaign in Nigeria Thu, 04 Jan 2018 07:47:00 +0000 Hillcrest Petroleum starts producing oil in Saskatchewan Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:57:00 +0000 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?


]]> Green Dragon Gas relaunches as G3 Exploration Wed, 03 Jan 2018 08:43:00 +0000 Pantheon Resources kicks off new drill programme, VOBM-1 well seeing reduced output Wed, 03 Jan 2018 08:30:00 +0000 Raven Energy refreshed and ready to test gas zones in California Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:20:00 +0000 Armour Energy generates cash flow as Kincora Gas Plant production recommences Tue, 02 Jan 2018 20:41:00 +0000 RBC still sees Shell as top oil major as it sifts over sector spending plans Tue, 02 Jan 2018 15:03:00 +0000 Active Energy’s CoalSwitch plant moves a step closer to full-commissioning after successful initial testing Tue, 02 Jan 2018 13:20:00 +0000 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?

]]> Active Energy Group completes CoalSwitch testing Tue, 02 Jan 2018 12:40:00 +0000 Forestry management company Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) has successfully completed the initial testing of its five tonne per hour CoalSwitch biomass fuel plant in Utah. CEO Richard Spinks tells Proactive how this proves the technology is scalable to full commercial production and gives us the latest updates on projects in Newfoundland, Labrador and Alberta.

]]> Major oil firms like Shell are entering ‘sweet spot’ - UBS Tue, 02 Jan 2018 11:52:00 +0000 Providence Resources and Lansdowne Oil & Gas shares soar as Barryroe excitement resurfaces Tue, 02 Jan 2018 10:00:00 +0000 BP sees positive uplift to earnings after US tax reform Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:46:00 +0000 Sirius Petroleum expects enhanced production at Ororo field after latest technical modelling Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:36:00 +0000 UK Oil & Gas Investments one of five slick oil picks for 2018 Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:00:00 +0000 Range Resources celebrates “one of the best” new wells Tue, 02 Jan 2018 07:57:00 +0000 Obtala directors inject US$1mln into timber trading subsidiary Tue, 02 Jan 2018 07:44:00 +0000 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.

]]> Ades CEO breaks game-changing new Arabian Gulf rig news Wed, 20 Dec 2017 15:22:00 +0000 Dr. Mohamed Farouk, CEO of Ades International Holding (LON:ADES) tells Proactive why the latest PSA for 3 operational off shore jack up rigs in the Arabian Gulf is significant for the company and how far progressed the new deal is.
Ades is an oil/gas drilling and production services provider in the Middle East and Africa offering offshore and onshore contract drilling as well as workover and mobile offshore production unit services. From its base in Egypt, Ades sees it's growth strategy and performance going forward as serving Tier One clients and using the very latest innovative drilling technology to enhance both worker safety and shareholder satisfaction.

]]> 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.

]]> Echo Energy keen to accelerate exploration following transformational Argentinian acquisition Tue, 19 Dec 2017 13:04:00 +0000 Fiona MacAulay, chief executive of Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO), updates Proactive's Andrew Scott a day after they resumed trading following the release of an admission document on the proposed acquisition of assets in Argentina.

Echo is acquiring 50% stakes in three concessions - Fracción C, Fracción D and Laguna De Los Capones – as well as 50% in the Tapi Aike exploration permit.

Together this spans some 11,153 square kilometres in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province.

Echo says the transaction will give them “a compelling blend of multi tcf (trillion cubic feet) exploration potential, appraisal and production.”

]]> 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

]]> Echo Energy resumes trading on AIM after proposed Argentinian acquisition Mon, 18 Dec 2017 12:39:00 +0000 Oil & gas commentator Malcolm Graham-Wood caught up with Proactive's Andrew Scott after Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) resumed trading on London’s AIM market.

The move follows the release of an admission document on the proposed acquisition of assets in Argentina.

Graham Wood also talks through developments with Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR), SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX) and President Energy PLC (LON:PPC).

Plus, on his stocks to watch list for 2018: Reabold Resources (LON:RBD) and Savannah Petroleum PLC (LON:SAVP)

]]> Pulse Oil dramatically ups daily production after strong start to Bigoray workover Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:11:00 +0000 Garth Johnson, chief executive of Pulse Oil Corp (CVE:PUL), tells Proactive that they've managed to lift daily production significantly after kicking off the process of re-establishing output from their recently acquired Bigoray-area assets.

Output has increased from around 70 barrels of oil equivalent per day to more than 300 Boe/d (84-per-cent oil) with the start of Pulse's planned reactivation program.

Pulse expects these wells to further stabilize and settle in after initial flush production at rates of around 250 Boe/d (barrels of oil equivalent per day).

]]> SDX Energy now exceeding daily Morocco commitments from just two wells Fri, 15 Dec 2017 13:04:00 +0000 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX CVE:SDX), tells Proactive the KSR-15 well, at the Sebou field onshore Morocco, has now been tested and put on production.

The well yielded into the sales line a restricted average rate of 7.52mln cubic feet of gas per day during the testing phase.

Welch says excitingly they now have two wells that exceed their current daily commitments of 6 MMscfd on a stand-alone basis.

]]> 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.


]]> Europa Oil & Gas reckons there's 2.5 TCF potential in Slyne basin Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:07:00 +0000 Hugh Mackay, chief executive of Europa Oil & Gas Holdings Plc (LON:EOG), tells Proactive they've identified the potential for more than 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas in their exploration area, in the Slyne basin, next to Ireland’s Corrib field.

Corrib is Ireland’s largest producing offshore gas field, with significant infrastructure to shore, and the AIM quoted explorer is assessing the nearby area for new discoveries.

]]> 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.

]]> Touchstone funding news positive following strong drilling results Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:46:00 +0000 Paul Baay CEO of Touchstone Innovations Plc (LSE:TXP, TSE:TXP)  talks Proactive through today's positive fundraising announcement and how drilling is going WAY better than expected in Trinidad...which in turn boosts their lucky hand... up from 4 to 10 wells.
Touchstone is a Calgary-based company acquiring petroleum and natural gas rights as well as conducting exploration, development, production and sale of petroleum/natural gas. Paul also gives us detail on his future vision for Touchstone.

]]> 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.

]]> Lundin Petroleum to up its exploration game in 2018 as it looks to exploit big opportunities in Norway Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0000 Lundin Petroleum AB (TSX:LUP) chief operating officer Nick Walker speaks with Proactive’s Andrew Scott at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.

He says Lundin’s exploration activity in 2018 will likely surpass this year’s programme as the Stockholm-listed firm looks to

“We think there’s a lot of opportunity [in Norway], there are estimates of 16bn barrels of oil equivalent yet to find in Norway.”

]]> Zotefoams plc creating truly unique and unrivalled plastic foam materials Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:25:00 +0000 David Stirling, chief executive of Zotefoams Plc (LON:ZTF), tells Proactive they're a maker of high-end plastic foam materials.

''When you're making a foam two things matter - what plastic you start with and your foaming process''.

''Almost all of our business centres around using that unique process which is based around high pressure gas technology''.

Stirling adds: ''We're the only people in the world using it and 80% of our sales are from products which are highly differentiated because of that''.

]]> 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.

]]> Hurricane Energy CEO looks ahead to critical year with excellent team in place Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:45:00 +0000 Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) chief executive Robert Trice tells Proactive that the development of its Lancaster field is running to schedule.
Speaking at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London, Trice says: "All is on track, no complaints."
First oil from Lancaster remains on track for the first half of 2019, while a competent person's report is due out in the next couple of weeks for Halifax, Lincoln and Warwick.
]]> Tullow Oil "really excited" by Ghanaian assets after recent production target increase Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:15:00 +0000 Tullow Oil plc (LON:TLW) executive director Angus McCoss speaks to Proactive at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.
He tells Andrew Scott that the company is "really excited" by its Jubilee and TEN assets in Ghana after recently upping its annual production forecasts.
"We revised our production numbers up to 85,000-89,000 barrels per day.
"The lion's share [of that] does come from Ghana...and we were really pleased to see strong production performance from those assets [Jubilee and TEN]."
]]> 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…

]]> President Energy coming up trumps in 'flavour of the year' Argentina Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:50:00 +0000 Peter Levine, chief executive of President Energy PLC (LON:PPC), joins Proactive's Andrew Scott at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.

He says President is keeping an eye out for potential acquisitions in Argentina - a region Levine describes as the "flavour of the year".

"The political environment is better, the economic environment is better - a member of the G20.

"This is now the flavour of the year, or the flavour of the next two or three years, in South America. So the environment is good and that's why we're certainly encouraged by looking to expand."

]]> Aminex shareholders remain supportive despite price drift Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:21:00 +0000 Jay Bhatercherjee CEO of the Africa-focussed oil and gas company Aminex (LON:AEX) talks Proactive through the recent share price drift and says Aminex is now in a much better place.
Listed on the London Stock Exchange and primary-listed on the Irish Stock Exchange Aminex has a world class asset base with proven reserves and a route to monetisation for all its assets. Jay tells Proactive how 2018 looks set to pan out.

]]> Chariot Oil & Gas boss looks ahead to 'exciting' 2018 Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:00:00 +0000 Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (LON:CHAR) boss Larry Bottomley updates investors at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.
He talks to Andrew Scott about the "scale and the magnitude" of the company's various assets in Morocco, Namibia and Brazil and looks ahead to what he expects will be an "exciting" 2018.
"It's a very exciting year [ahead]. We see the Rabat Deep-1 [exploration well in Morocco] as the focus, we've got data rooms open in our other licences, we're looking to drill prospect S in the central blocks in the second half of next year, [and] there'll be third-party drilling at the same time," Bottomley says.
]]> Return to all-cash divi shows Shell is 'more confident in overall picture' of oil sector Tue, 05 Dec 2017 08:45:00 +0000 Marc Gerrits, Royal Dutch Shell's VP Exploration, speaks to Proactive at the Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.
He says the recent return to an all-cash dividend shows that the supermajor is "more confident" in the industry as a whole.
"We have taken BG through the transition, we've divested nearly US$30bn of assets that we had committed to, and we are more confident in the overall picture [of the oil industry] than we were before."
]]> Oyster boss opens up about 'world-class' potential of its Djibouti and Madagascar assets Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:25:00 +0000 Oyster Oil & Gas Ltd (CVE:OY) president and chief executive Michael Wood updates investors at the World Oil & Gas Week in London.
He talks to Proactive's Andrew Scott about the "huge potential" of its two assets in Djibouti and Madagascar.
"Both assets have the potential to make new world-class discoveries."
Wood adds: "Arguably why I started Oyster was to get back into that block in Madagascar [where] we saw huge potential with map structures that are measuring potentially into tens of billions of barrels."
]]> Solo Oil brimming with confidence on Helium One investment Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:43:00 +0000 Solo Oil (LON:SOLO) Chairman Neil Ritson gives Proactive the lowdown on today's investor update and explains why, heading into 2018, Solo Oil is the one to watch.
Of particular note, Neil highlighted major progress for their Helium One investment in Tanzania where the group has been working to advance potential drill locations. Operations have involved soil and seep geochemistry data, and work designed to enhance and reprocess existing seismic data in order to gain more detailed structural and stratigraphic mapping. ('Stratigraphic' wins today's Word of the Day...thanks Neil.)

]]> Eco Atlantic boss expects "very successful alliance" with Africa Oil Corp Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:45:00 +0000 Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:ECO) boss Gil Holzman catches up with Proactive at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.
As well as recent progress and what to look out for in 2018, Holzman discusses the recent tie-up with Africa Oil Corp which he believes will bear fruit in the coming year.
"Eco will enjoy incredible technical and financial horse power that Africa Oil Corp can bring to the table," says Holzman.
"I think this partnership will prove itself in the next year as a very successful alliance between between these two companies."
]]> Rose Petroleum boss hails "excellent" 3D seismic data from Paradox basin Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:15:00 +0000 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE), speaks to Proactive at World Oil & Gas Week 2017 in London.

Idiens tells Andrew Scott that initial results from the recent 3D seismic exploration programme in the Paradox basin, Utah have been "excellent".

Processing of the full seismic data is ongoing, albeit ‘now nearing completion’, though Rose is pleased with the results seen thus far.

"The quality of the data is excellent and that's key when you're trying to be as specific as you can in order to bring your drilling costs down," says Idiens.

]]> Curzon Energy's Coal Bed Methane project update Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:50:00 +0000 Director at Curzon Energy (LON:CZN) Thomas Wagenhofer is super excited about the progress so far at the Coos Bay asset in Oregon, U.S. and  explains to Proactive how with the ground work now done,  the fun part is next. If you're a 'wait and see' investor, Thomas outlines why you should take a position on Curzon as well as de-mystifying exactly what CBM is all about.
Curzon Energy launched on the London Stock Exchange in October 2017 and are on track to deliver the first gas and revenues in Q2 2018.

]]> 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.

]]> PowerHouse Energy hits major milestone with pre-FEED completion Mon, 04 Dec 2017 07:42:00 +0000 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group plc (LON:PHE), caught up with Proactive after wrapping up the first stage of the design of a scalable commercial UK waste-to-hydrogen system.

The pre-Front end Engineering and Design (FEED) incorporates Powerhouse’s DMG technology to convert syngas produced from industrial waste into road-fuel-quality hydrogen for use in gas-powered vehicles.

]]> 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…

]]> Kopy Goldfields to publish feasibility study on Krasny project next year Tue, 28 Nov 2017 22:16:00 +0000 Mikhail Damrin brought Proactive up to speed on developments at Kopy Goldfields (NASDAQ:KOPY) at Mines & Money 2017.

He told Proactive Investors’ presenter Andrew Scott they're looking to publish a feasibility study on their most advanced project, Krasny, by the end of 2018.

For more videos from Mines & Money 2017 go to

]]> Drilling down into Buru Energy's strong year Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:30:00 +0000 Buru Energy's (ASX:BRU), Executive Chairman Eric Streitberg tells us about the big year behind and the big year ahead after a capital raising exercise, a new drilling programme and increased oil production.
Hear how Buru's solid focus on exploring as well as production has been critical to planning Buru's prospects for 2018 and how this year's major portfolio restructuring has now paid off.

]]> 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.

]]> Haydale Graphene 'on track' with an increased focus on commercialisation Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:20:00 +0000 Ray Gibbs, chief executive of Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD), dropped into the Proactive Investors studio for a catch up following the announcement that they've filed a new patent application in the UK for their anti-counterfeiting technology.

The tech uses proprietary software codes and a specialty graphene-based, transparent conductive ink.

Gibbs says the filing of the application is important as it allows them to begin discussions on potential commercial applications of the technology.

]]> 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.

]]> Tlou Energy keen to expand ownership of the company in Botswana Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:36:00 +0000 Tony Gilby, managing director of  Tlou Energy Ltd (LON:TLOU, ASX:TOU), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their decision to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange as well as their new cornerstone investor - asset manager African Alliance Botswana.

Funds managed by African Alliance have agreed to subscribe for roughly 21.2mln new Tlou shares at about 11p or 20 Australian cents a share

]]> 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…

]]> SDX Energy's KSR-14 well alone sufficient to meet local demand, says CEO Paul Welch Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:25:00 +0000 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Plc (LON:SDX), tells Proactive the ongoing development drilling programme in Morocco is continuing to deliver results ahead of expectations.

Welch says the KSR-14 well has measured an average production rate of 6.4mln cubic feet of gas per day during testing and will remain on production for an extended period.

At the KSR-15 well the completion work has been carried out to connect to nearby gas infrastructure and the well is expected to be complete within three weeks.

]]> Angus Energy & UKOG give latest twists for Weald basin exploration story Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:26:00 +0000 Proactive Investors oil & gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft discusses the 'disappointing' early production rates from the Lidsey oil field.

Initial numbers from the Great Oolite reservoir, the first of three reservoirs that are deemed ‘potentially viable’, were reported at 40 barrels per day.

Angus Energy Plc (LON:ANGS) said the well’s output is below the expectations set out in its November 2016 competent persons report, though work is continuing to clean up the well.

]]> 'This is just the start for Ascent Resources', says CEO Colin Hutchinson Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:14:00 +0000 Colin Hutchinson, chief executive of Ascent Resources Plc (LON:AST), caught up with Proactive's Andrew Scott in what has so far been a critical month for the oil and gas explorer and producer.

Ascent have begun export production from their Pg-10 well as well as from Pg-11A - with first revenues due to be received in the New Year.

]]> 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.

]]> Tower Resources' Jeremy Asher on the tantalising opportunities in Cameroon Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:40:00 +0000 Jeremy Asher, chairman and chief executive of Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP), speaks to Proactive's Andrew Scott as the Africa-focused oil explorer resumed trading on AIM after raising £2.1mln through a placing backed by directors and financier Lansdowne.

The money will be used for another round of work at the Thali licence in Cameroon.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Wentworth Resources, Premier Oil And finally... Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:42:00 +0000 WTI $55.33 -37c, Brent $61.87 -34c, Diff -$6.54 +3c, NG $3.08 -2c

Oil price
More drift yesterday as the Russians play a little politics, odd that…Oil Minister Novak held a meeting with Russian oil companies yesterday and the vibes from the meeting were in some quarters, oil is now $60 do we need to extend the agreement this month? Although they might be ‘unconvinced’ about the need I feel that when we hear from the mechanic  and not the oily rag things might change.
The EIA inventory stats were not as bad as the API might have indicated, a build it was, of 1.9m barrels against a forecast of a draw of 1.8m but the market didnt seem too concerned.

President Energy- LON:PPC 
Things are moving fast in Argentina for PPC who release an update this morning on the Puesto Flores field. The company expects to receive over $3m net cash proceeds from Argentinian sales in November which is most impressive. The workover programme is fully funded and now increased to four wells with more expected next year. It is worth noting that the pay back of the $2.2m capex is expected to be in less than 12 months using the fairly conservative October oil price of $55. With the promise of high margin, profitable operations building for PPC the outlook is extremely positive.

Wentworth ResourcesLON:WRL 
Following up from its recent positive announcements WRL announce that they are restructuring and cutting costs by moving the head office nearer to management and its African assets to London. It may also re-domicile to a European country if appropriate terms were possible. Regrettably MD Geoff Bury is unable to move for personal reasons so the company is engaged in a search for a new CEO.  These efficiencies and corporate cost savings make a lot of sense and as WRL turns the corner in both its African projects the company is set very fair going forward.

Premier Oil - LON:PMO
Plus ça change at PMO as today’s update reinforces production guidance of 75-80/- bopd with a ytd number of 76.6k. Catcher is on track for first oil in December, Christmas Day would be a nice gift for TD and the shareholders. The Huntingdon FPSO extension has been signed extending the life of the field and an agreement has been signed to sell Tuna gas to Vietnam.
In Mexico preliminary discussions indicate a four well appraisal programme will start in late 2018 offering mid term potential for the company. Operating costs are down in line with guidance and 2017 capex is likely to come out at $300-310m against guidance of $325m. No mention of Sea Lion but at north of $60 the words no and brainer come to mind…Whilst on current oil prices, while nothing can be taken for granted, Premier looks in pretty good nick with a good spread of assets in diversified areas and stages of development and could even start paying back a bit of debt next year.

And finally…

A bit quiet on the sporting front but at least life gets a bit easier for Sir Brad for a while…

England’s cricketers are playing their last warm up match in Oz, not much help against largely journeymen on a slow pitch which will be nothing like the test tracks but most have helped themselves to runs this morning. Stoneman got 111, Cook 70 and Root and Malan both got 50’s.

]]> Eco Atlantic happy and proud to welcome on board Africa Oil Corp Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:34:00 +0000 Gil Holzman, chief executive of Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:ECO), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their recent £8.46mln injection of new cash as well as the addition of Africa Oil Corp to the shareholder register.

Africa Oil Corp, an explorer that’s seen significant recent success with new discoveries, has subscribed for a 19.77% stake in the company, taking 29.2mln new Eco shares priced at 29p.

]]> Trump's Rep on the line? Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:26:00 +0000 FTSE 100 Index called to open +20pts at 7390 (ex-div -14.5pts), to test the ceiling of its 7-Nov falling channel. Bulls are eager for a breakout and bullish turnaround towards 7600 record highs. Bears are expecting another retrace to yesterday’s 7355 lows, extending the down channel towards 7300. Watch levels: Bullish 7400, Bearish 7385.

Calls for a positive start are helped by fresh gains in Asia, shrugging off several days of losses that potentially puts an end to a commodity sector inspired sell-off, giving bulls some hope of a turnaround. Sentiment has been helped by oil finding support, offering respite to the key Energy sector, with further help at hand from sector M&A talk downunder. Telcos and Tech also helped, along with metals prices off their lows to buoy the Miners.

In corporate news this morning Prudential 9-month new business profit +15%, Life +17%, net inflows £12.8bn, helped by Asia. Mediclinic swings to first half loss, talks with Spire Healthcare continue, H2 seen in-line. GKN to book higher US charges than expected, CEO designate to leave immediately. WPP 'More Confident of Media Business in 2018'.

GlaxoSmithKline Trelegy Ellipta Gets EU marketing approval. 3i Group On track to deliver another year of strong growth. British Land says wider operating environment uncertain, but generating healthy leasing interest at good pricing. Royal Mail H1 revenues beat, so does dividend, adjusted profits flat. Premier Oil on track to produce first oil from key North Sea project.

US equity markets closed at their lowest level in three weeks on Wednesday as concerns about Republicans’ ability to pass tax reform plans and an under pressure Energy sector weighed. The Dow Jones underperformed, dropping 135 points as Caterpillar dragged the index lower, while the S&P 500’s Energy sector pulled the index 0.55% lower. The Tech-focused Nasdaq outperformed, although also closed lower.

Crude Oil prices have limped higher overnight following Tuesday’s 2-week lows, however have failed to better yesterday’s EIA-inspired highs. Brent Crude is attempting to regain a $62 handle, however is struggling to overcome falling highs since Tuesday, while US Crude is also battling falling highs around $55.4 a barrel.

Gold has retreated overnight as the US dollar recovers from 3-week lows. The precious metal dropped to an overnight low of $1275 as the greenback attempts to overcome intersecting resistance, however remains a way off Tuesday’s lows of $1270.

In focus today will be tonight’s vote on US tax reform in the US House Of Representatives where President Trump’s Republican party has a clear majority. However, he has a much thinner majority in the Senate, and the upper house is proposing a different bill which includes a delay to tax cuts. Tonight’s vote might thus prove a relatively easy hurdle to clear, still leaving the administration a long way from that elusive first major legislative win. Remember, that hopes of tax cuts have helped fuel much of the recent market rally to record highs.

Data-wise, UK Retail Sales (9.30am) are forecast to have rebounded to flat in October (0.0% vs -0.7%) but fall negative on an annual basis (-0.4% vs 1.6% prev), impacting FTSE retailers and GBP. Eurozone Consumer Price inflation (CPI; 10am) is expected to be confirmed slower in October, both Headline (1.4%) and Core (1.1%) measures still a way off the ECB’s 2% target. Watch EUR.

In the US this afternoon, the US Philly Fed (1.30pm) may have dropped like yesterday’s Empire Manufacturing, while Import Price Inflation slows a touch and Industrial and Manufacturing Production (2.15pm) accelerates while the NAHB Housing Market index (3pm) holds firm, close to seven month highs. All could have a bearing on the USD and US equities, the former impacting GBP and EUR, too and thus European equities.

A plethora of speakers are scheduled to share thoughts today, including the ECB’s Mersch (8:45am), ECB Chief Economist Praet (11am),  Bank of England Governor Carney and a panel of his deputies (2pm), Cleveland Fed President Mester (2:10pm), ECB’s Villeroy and Fed’s Brainard (both 2:30pm), Dallas Fed President Kaplan (5:30pm), ECB’s Constancio (8pm), the Fed’s Brainard once again (8:45pm) before San Francisco Fed President  Williams (9:45pm) rounds off the packed calendar.

]]> Oil price, Savannah Petroleum, Ascent Resources And finally... Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:35:00 +0000 WTI $55.70 -$1.06, Brent $62.21 -95c, Diff -$6.51 +11c, NG $3.10 -7c

Oil price
Oil bears were out in force yesterday waving copies of the IEA monthly report as if the agency rarely got anything wrong. As long term readers know, my view is that this expensive research company should do what the industry has been doing for some time and that is at least halving in size. Their short term view is diametrically opposite to the Opec one the day before, well it would be wouldn’t it, but it seems to think that next year oil demand growth falls. For the longer term they are actually more positive with the market for fossil fuels continuing to be strong which it puts down to the petrochemical market, interestingly Bo Diddely was talking at a conference this week in which he warned governments not to expect so much from renewables…
After hours the API stats were very mixed, the headline crude figure showed a build of 6.51m barrels, bigger than forecast and they had gasoline building too, by 2.4m barrels although as one might expect at this time of year distillates drew and by 2.5m. The crude number at Cushing drew though, by 1.8m barrels which leads me to think that for some reason US exports had another bad week, let’s see what the EIA say tonight.

Savannah Petroleum - LON:SAVP 
SAVP has announced an agreement whereby it locks up Seven Energy and a good number of its creditors ahead of acquisition of certain of its assets. Today’s announcement is very much a confirmation that the deal is moving ahead and is by its nature aimed at bondholders more of whom are being signed up at the moment. It also tells us that there will be an equity issue, which was to be expected and I assume that having been highly supportive in the past its backers will fully support the management. Having looked at Seven in the past, albeit some time ago it is clear that the assets that SAVP hope to buy are very significant indeed. They are most definitely cash flow generative and what one might describe as being materially strategic assets in the region, it also has the potential upside of the reinstatement of the SAA which is not in the package but where SAVP has an option if it ticks the right boxes.
The release today is clearly only the beginning of the public unveiling of the Seven process and should be considered as such, I expect much more detail in due course and the analysis of the asset portfolio should pleasantly surprise those not familiar with them. I think that these significant assets will transform the company and in a remarkably cost effective way, not many CEO’s would have seen this and have the perseverance to carry it through. Concern of late has been that with the shares suspended there is no time to get a deal over the line before the six month deadline expires.  Whilst I am not informed on such matters, I would be surprised if work on the Aim admission document wasnt a long way down the line, having been prepared through all this time of negotiation and due diligence and the company have a large number of creditors onside already. It is worth noting that company brokers Mirabaud are suggesting that they ‘expect trading in the shares to commence by the year end subject to publication of an admission document and completion of the equity placing’.
This announcement provides the market with a good idea of the size and scope of the deal and how it is to be financed. Although we don’t know quite enough details regarding the full potential or the final costs, it looks to me as if SAVP are buying a substantial portfolio of assets including a midstream business very cheaply indeed.

Ascent Resources - LON:AST 
Ascent has released an export gas production report from the Petišovci field in Slovenia now that everything is up and running. Starting earlier this month the Pg-10 flowed a maximum of 2.1 MMscf/d and the Pg-11A well flowed a maximum of 1.4 MMscf/d, the agreed November maximum production is set at 2.1 MMscf/d and they are producing around 110 barrels of condensate with that. The INA contract states an upper and lower limit on production of 2.1-2.7 MMscf/d for the first two months and 2.2-2.9 MMscf/d for the next ten months for plant capacity reasons, although I understand that should production be able to handle a higher number then INA would likely be takers of more gas. This is especially likely in the winter months so I wouldnt be surprised to see a spike up in December or January.
Having completed the hard yards and entered phase 1 of the FDP AST are now planning re-entry and recompletion of ‘suitable existing wells to further increase production’. This month’s revenue, based on scheduled production will be around €300,000, a figure that could increase if winter gas prices rise or if INA take more gas this season. All in all a very positive start and  with potential upside from higher gas prices, increased production and of course upgrading the wells in the field, Ascent is very much in the ascendant.

Pantheon Resources
It’s been a busy morning, after speaking to Andrew Knott I then had a long chat with Jay Cheatham, Pantheon CEO who as ever was up early. They announced this morning that the gas processing facility in Polk County was successfully commissioned yesterday with wells VOBM#1, 2H and 3 all tied in and are now selling gas. Revenues from this should start late December or early January but although we knew about it seeing is believing and at over 3 bucks for gas and $55 for liquids it is looking good. The plan is to put 15m scuffs through the pipe and carefully manage the well outputs, no opening of the chokes here, they also get valuable NGL’s as well.
The VOBM#4 well is progressing and too early to tell what to expect but we will know before Christmas and it may be a handy addition to the production numbers, if the Wilcox comes in that would be great news. It seems that Pantheon is now actually as they say, an E&P company not just an E company. With revenues of between $1.2-1.5m a month and a successful raise earlier in the year Pantheon are in danger of being able to fund future drilling organically, those who have had the patience to hang on should see a decent rise in the share price…
And finally…
There is no way of making the result between the RoI and Denmark any more palatable i’m afraid as they went down 1-5 at home and won’t make the World Cup finals next year.

]]> Oil price, Range Resources, Wentworth , Touchstone, Empyrean, Sundry GE-Shell- And finally... Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:27:00 +0000 WTI $56.76 +2c, Brent $63.16 -36c, Diff -$6.40 -38c, NG $3.17 -5c

Oil price
The latest Opec report is so bullish that people can hardly believe their eyes, demand for their crude this year is up 200/- b/d and for next year by 400/- b/d. This would give overall demand for 2018 at 33.4m b/d with a second half of as much as 34m b/d, put into context Opec is currently producing around 32.6m b/d. Now, the market has already priced in quite a lot of this which is I suppose why oil is only just hanging on to these higher levels, much can still go wrong. It is only just over a fortnight to go before the Opec meeting and of course all the other meetings that will happen at the same time with Non-Opec partners and a great deal of optimism is priced into the market. A minimum requirement is an extension of the agreement, let’s hope that the recent rally doesn’t go to their heads…

Range ResourcesLON:RRL 
I met with Range Resources at the end of last week to try to get a feel how things are going on the ground and also in the ever important lawyers offices. It seems as if things are actually going pretty well on all fronts, they announced the spudding of the GY 684 well at the Beach Marcelle field yesterday and I get the impression that the water injection is progressing quite nicely. The RRDSL acquisition is due to be voted on on 30th November which will be followed by a re-listing in ‘December’. The Indonesian deal has completed and will provide significant operational interest next year and the deal with Trinity is going through the regulatory approvals at present.
‘New Range’ as it may finally be nicknamed looks like it may be a good collection of assets, still firmly based in Trinidad with the rig company and a decent portfolio there but the management have clearly decided with the Indonesian deal to give it some diversity which is no bad thing. If the RRDSL deal is approved, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, I get the impression that  re-listing may only be a few days behind it, giving patient shareholders a quoted holding again.

Wentworth ResourcesLON:WRL 
As I found out when meeting with WRL  in Cape Town recently, things are really beginning to pick up for the company and I suspect that this may be more than just one to watch. Today they provide 3Q results which in themselves are relatively meaningless but production numbers are positive and the direction is important. 60 MMscf/d from Mnazi Bay in Tanzania is the strongest in the company’s history and it puts them in a ‘dominant’ position in the Tanzanian market place which has significant demand from power generators and industrial users. In a market that has a reduced supply of gas by peers, yet has demand coming through from K-2 and the Dangote Cement plant (which should add between 10-60 MMscf/d by the end of next year) the economics stack up pretty well.
Regarding getting paid things are also looking up, admittedly receivables have ‘stabilised at 4-5 months’ but TPDC are paying more and overall payments in the quarter were $5.18m and indeed a payment of $2.6m has recently been initiated by TPDC for the October invoice. Speaking with Vice President, Corporate Development, Katherine Roe today I got the impression that the movement is in the right direction and that the TPDC were making payments more regularly and of a bigger size than before.
Re the company’s oil and gas concession in Mozambique things are also moving at a pace with drilling planned at Tembo-2 for 2Q 2018. I wrote in detail about this whilst in Cape Town but the prospects here are significant and with the distinct possibility of one or more industry partners joining WRL there is further upside potential. 2018 looks like being a landmark year for Wentworth and I for one will be watching most carefully.

Touchstone ExplorationLON:TXP
3Q figures from TXP today which show further growth as production is lifted to 1,437 b/d which is up 8% q/q and 13% y/y. This includes 1 well and 3 recompletions which are to be augmented by 4 more wells in a programme starting in December 2017. With an operating netback of $24.46 per barrel, up by 25% on the 2nd quarter and by 29% on last year’s 3rd quarter the company are confident of growing the business.

Empyrean - LON:TXP 
It is difficult to know quite what to make of the EME announcement which shows ‘sub-commercial gas’ in the lowest zone of the Dempsey well which is testing at the moment. Clearly this is a poor sand but I hadnt expected this as I thought the lower discoveries were the best, but the company remain ‘optimistic’ so I’m sure there is no reason to panic. I may see if I can locate Tom Kelly and ask him…

For those in the oil industry I suspect the fall from grace of the once mighty GE is no great surprise, in recent years the exposure to the oil industry has been questionable at best.  Having said that it leaves a quality company in Baker Hughes in an invidious position as the JV will likely take some time to unravel and as I see it the parent has a serious problem to address over the next year or two. The good news is that if GE Oil and Gas was a competitor, throwing good money after bad to win market share that war is now over.
Shell has sold its entire stake in Woodside as part of its stable cleaning exercise. Yesterday they sold their entire holding of 13.28% of the company for $2.7bn, having initially wanted to sell only a portion strong institutional demand led them to sell it all. This means that Shell are a long way to completing their disbursement strategy ahead of time.

And finally…
Italy will miss their first World Cup since 1958 after failing to score against Sweden last night, this evening the RoI play Denmark after a 0-0 first leg.
The Toffees are trying to lure Watford manager Marco Silva as their new manager although he has only had 11 games at the club, whatever next eh?

]]> Solo Oil secures additional US$5mln convertible debt funding deal Tue, 14 Nov 2017 08:20:00 +0000 Neil Ritson, chief executive of Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO), talks Proactive through their new US$5mln convertible debt funding deal with institutional investor Riverfort Global Capital.

Riverfort is providing an initial US$1.5mln and the timings of further draw-downs at the company’s sole election.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Amerisur Resources, Trinity E&P And finally... Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:32:00 +0000 WTI $56.74 -43c, Brent $63.52 -41c, Diff -$6.78 +2c, NG $3.21 +1c

Oil price
Despite the EIA inventory stats disappointing slightly and the rig count showing a rise of 9 oil units, the oil price acquitted itself fairly honourably last week. WTI gained $1.10 and Brent $1.45 which we can probably put down to geopolitical events. With the MbS round up continuing and an escalation in the tension between the KSA and Iran this aint going away. Before long the Non-Opec and Opec meetings will be upon us, and with the Saudis leading by example, the stage is set for an extension of the agreement and possibly further cutbacks.

SDX Energy - LON:SDX 
SDX has announced another gas discovery, this time at their KSR-15 development well on the Sebou Permit in Morocco. They encountered 17.2 metres of net conventional natural gas reservoir section across 4 intervals and the Hoot Sand, their primary objective had average porosity of 29%. This is the highest rate in the basin and exceeded their pre-drill estimates. The well will now be connected to the nearby infrastructure and should be on production in December. With two wells now successfully drilled,( the KSR-14 well should start testing this week)  the company’s strategy of increasing local gas sales in Morocco by 50% by 2018 is getting much closer. SDX continue to deliver and with an exciting portfolio of prospects in both Morocco and Egypt the outlook is very promising, cheap as chips as I have been know to remark…

Amerisur ResourcesLON:AMER 
A short and sweet Colombia operational update from AMER this morning. The Plat-27 well has been spudded on Pad 2N and should be complete in around 30 days. This is an appraisal well to access the northern part of the accumulation discovered by the Plat-22 well. They have also heard from CPO-5 that the inspection is complete and the long term test should begin shortly.

Trinity Exploration & Production - LON:TRIN 
The good news from Trinity just keeps on coming. With today’s Q3 operational update we get a continuation of the increase in profitable production and further strengthening of the balance sheet where there is cash of $12.3m. Production wise the quarterly rise is 7.4% to 2,506 b/d with all the usual methods delivering the goods. Recompletions, workovers, reactivations and swabbing have provided all this with not an exploration well in sight, yet. Indeed we can expect more as the October figure was 2,754 b/d making the current quarter look potentially better again.
Trinity remain highly disciplined on costs, every time I meet Bruce or Jeremy some poor supplier has taken a hit and they are also hedging through a zero cost collar structure to protect some of the downside. The way that the Trinity team have gone about restructuring the company is as good as i’ve seen lately and this is paying off in a big way. As Bruce Dingwall said recently the company pride themselves on genuinely profitable barrels with some of the lowest net costs in the sector which is why they are looking so good now.

On Friday I did a Proactive Investors interview in which I talked about Hurricane, Echo Energy and Reabold Resources, the link is here.

Proactive Investor interview: Listing upgrade ‘the sensible next step’ for Hurricane Energy

And finally…
Last night Northern Ireland could only draw 0-0 with Switzerland making even more of a mockery of the incorrect award of a pen in the first leg which sent the Swiss through.
The rugby was a bit mixed, Ireland were very good in stuffing South Africa whilst England made heavy weather against the Pumas. Wales were beaten by the Wallabies whilst Scotland just beat Samoa in a high scoring game.

With Vettel winning in Brazil he must have been thinking of what might have been but Hamilton was coming from the back of the grid. Final stop will be Abu Dhabi where it would be great to see a wheel to wheel race from the start.

In Valencia the MotoGP season came to a fitting end when Marc Marquez won the World Championship for the 4th time. After a stunning season challenger Dovizioso couldn’t keep up with Marquez and unfortunately finished in the gravel. The race was won by Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa from Johann Zarco (a ‘satellite’ rider and definitely one to watch in 2018) and Marquez, despite a near off and a miraculous save, managed 3rd with enough points for the title . First Brit home again was Cal Crutchlow in 8th. (And big thanks to John Rimmer who has kept me in touch with the MotoGP season, you knew it couldnt be me!)

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Mon, 13 Nov 2017 08:27:00 +0000 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)
Millennial Lithium has announced a strategic investment by Million Surge Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden Concord Group Ltd, one of China’s largest service providers in clean energy.

Million Surge will acquire 12m shares via two tranches for an aggregate amount of C$30m at C$2.50/sh. The initial tranche totals 6.3m shares representing 9.9% of the issued share capital while the remaining 5.7m shares will be issued upon completion of the TSX clearance process for new insiders. The total holding of Million Surge is expected to represent approximately 17% of the issued and outstanding common shares. GCL has a right to nominate a representative to the BoD whilst it holds 15% or more of the outstanding share capital of ML.

The proceeds will be used to advance the development of ML’s lithium brine projects in Argentina.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Listing upgrade 'the sensible next step' for Hurricane Energy - Malcolm Graham-Wood Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:56:00 +0000 Oil and gas commentator Malcolm Graham-Wood gives his view on the news that Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) is considering an upgrade to its listing, with a potential transfer from the junior AIM market to a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Graham-Wood also chats through Hurricane's recent operations update and the progress they're making towards ‘first oil’ production from the Lancaster oil field, in the West of Shetland region offshore UK.

Also up for discussion is Echo Energy Plc's (LON:ECHO) farm-in agreement in Argentina which sees them taking a stake in four licenses.

Plus Graham-Wood also touches on Reabold Resources PLC’s (LON:RBD) £1.5mln investment in Corallian Energy Limited, a private UK oil and gas group with a 60% interest in the Colter project off the Dorset coast.

]]> Oil price, Independent Oil & Gas, Reabold Resources And finally... Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:11:00 +0000 WTI $57.17 +36c, Brent $63.93 +44c, Diff -$6.76 +8c, NG $3.20 +3c

Oil price
Oil news yesterday was again mainly concentrated on Saudi Arabia who started giving details about the round up over the last few days. Apparently over 200 people have been brought in and over $100bn of missing public funds are being investigated. It looks like there is a link to the Lebanon here as the case crosses international borders.
The KSA also added fuel to the oil price flames as they announced yet another export cut, December liftings will see another 120/- b/d from sales to clients over November which will add to the comfort of the bulls.

Independent Oil & Gas - LON:IOG
IOG has announced that following up from the recent CPR on Harvey, ERCE has added a fully risked ‘expected monetary value’ (EMV) of £79m. This is their technical detail on the analysis. ‘The EMV has been calculated on the mean of the Low/Best/High estimates of the prospective resources following the derivation of Harvey production profiles.  Low/Best/High estimates of unrisked prospective gas resources are 45/114/286 BCF on the Harvey structure, 36/90/226 BCF on licence’. IOG state that they see a ‘compelling’ case for drilling Harvey, and who wouldnt to be honest, with a planned appraisal well in 1H 2018, FID in 1H ’19 and first gas in Q1 2021.
Provided IOG can finance this and the other SNS gas hubs, and there is no reason now why that cannot happen, then progress from here should accelerate and a highly profitable development should soon be under way. With UK demand for gas very strong and costs still under some pressure IOG would be well advised to kick on as soon as is practicable and with a market cap of just £23m the upside looks substantial.

Reabold ResourcesLON:RBD 
I met with Sachin Oza and Stephen Williams of Reabold Resources yesterday, after their first deal announced last week I was delighted to be asked in to hear about their strategy going forward. Both are former analysts at M&G where they have gained a deep knowledge of the oil cycle and how best to invest in what they call the value chain and have been planning an oil fund of their own for some time. Now, with strong investor backing in the Reabold vehicle they are finally on their way as demonstrated by the Corallian deal last week. The team see the opportunities of investing at the low part of the cycle when costs are low and other buyers are few and far between.
Assets they are looking at are normally at the cusp of production with appraisal planned and little exploration risk. In many cases a huge amount of work will have been done by the existing owner and this far outweighs the value of a CPR or other forward looking work. These assets are in Europe but are not confined to projects like Colter or even the North Sea, I get the impression that RBD has looked extensively on the continent. They look to work in tandem with current owners of the assets they invest in and find generally that their injection of capital is welcome when others are not putting up the money. At the moment the investment size sweet spot appears to be between $2-5m for RBD but after initial deal I can see other partners investing in the assets as they progress. The next step would be to up the ticket size to say, $5-10m, after a few of these one can start to see the earlier investments bringing in revenue.
Whilst this is early days for Reabold I find this investment model pretty appealing, they have plenty of experience in the sector and are backed by a number of genuinely supportive investors. At the size they are looking at I should imagine that there are plenty of deals around, so the idea that for the foreseeable future investors deal flow and operational updates should be pretty regular. Whilst these words are only a short look at RBD I expect to be hearing from, and writing about, the company a lot more in the not too distant future, indeed they have a large and growing retail following as I can testify to following announcement of my meeting with the team yesterday.

And finally…
The international break is upon us and we don’t look at ridiculous friendlies either, feel sorry for Northern Ireland who got a shocker of a pen decision and go to Switzerland on Sunday 0-1 behind. It will give them no comfort to know that the England – Germany farce tonight will have a video ref… Tomorrow the RoI are in Denmark for another tricky encounter…
Racing is at Aintree and Wincanton as the jumping season really kicks in.
And in F1 with Lewis already champion the Brazil race is relatively meaningless but i’m sure that it will still be most exciting with young Max V trying to add to his recent tally.
Sunday sees the final round of this years MotoGP where Marquez should capitalise on his 21 point lead over Dovizioso but the Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:11:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)
Independent Oil & Gas has announced an update in relation to the Harvey license area. Following the release of an upgraded resource for the field IOG has now provided an updated valuation estimate. The best estimate for the resource was 114BCF although with c21% of the resource off license, the volume attributable to IOG is currently 90BCF. We note, however, that the company is looking to license the entire resource.

With this significant resource alongside the Thames Pipeline strategy which materially reduces the infrastructure capital requirements the economics appear attractive, in our view. Based on the best estimate resource and using a 10% discount rate for the entire structure the NPV comes to £159m with an EMV of £79m whilst on IOG’s license area the NPV is £126m with an EMV of £63m assuming 50% CoS in each case. The CPR assumes dry hole costs of £8.5m for the planned well. This is, in our view, has the potential to be the most attractive prospect within IOG’s portfolio. IOG is progressing plans to drill as soon as possible although has made a firm commitment to drill within two years.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> Rose Petroleum nearing completion of Mexico asset disposal Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:22:00 +0000 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE), tells Proactive their disposal of the SDA Mill gold operation in Mexico is now nearing completion and they've struck an interim agreement with the buyer, allowing operations to restart at the project.

Idiens says that the final major item required for closing, a restructuring of Mexican ownership of SDA,  is at an advanced stage and is due to be in place later this month.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane Energy, Genel Energy, Victoria Oil & Gas, Aminex And finally... Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:42:00 +0000 WTI $56.81 -39c, Brent $63.49 -20c, Diff -$6.68 +19c, NG $3.17 +2c

Oil price
As one might have expected the oil price has consolidated at these higher levels. The API stats were not as good as expected and last night’s EIA inventories showed a build of 2.2m barrels against expectations of a similar sized draw. Under these circumstances the modest fall was probably better than might have been expected.

Hurricane Energy - LON:HUR 
A couple of announcements from HUR this morning, they are considering a change to a ‘premium segment of a recognised exchange’ which would be a more appropriate platform for growth, raise their global profile increase liquidity and ‘provide a wider addressable universe for the shares’. This makes perfect sense, the company has a market cap of nearly £600m, has just raised over $500m in debt and equity and has a substantial development programme over the next two years or more. With a revised CPR imminent, which will include Lincoln and Halifax,  the company is poised to grow significantly and I continue to believe that the shares are excellent value and my target price remains over 100p.

The other announcement is that Non-Executive Chairman Dr Robert Arnott has resigned with immediate effect and Dr David Jenkins will step in as interim Chairman until the post is filled. The listing and governance committee, which has been announced this morning, will include recommendations as to the size and composition of the board amongst other important factors for the future of the company.

Genel Energy - LON:GENL
Genel has announced that they have struck a deal with the Moroccan Government regarding their Sidi Moussa offshore licensed acreage. Under the deal instead of one committment well Genel with only have to carry out a 3D seismic campaign which should re-risk the prospectivity of the licence. All perfectly sensible under the circumstances. Secondly they have announced that the Peshkabir-3 well on the Tawke PSC is on extended production testing and has flowed in excess of 3/- b/d of oil on a 64/64″ choke.

Victoria Oil & Gas - LON:VOG 
In a Logbaba update yesterday VOG announced that the La-108 well had reached total depth of 2,865m MD and encountered 84.5m of net pay in the Upper and Lower Logbaba formations. This number exceeded pre-drill expectations and are significantly more than the La-107 well which had net sands of 58m and produced at 54 mmscf/d . Flow tests are planned ahead of this well producing by the end of November. The drilling campaign here is now finished, it has been a long haul with some ‘interesting’ moments but has ended with success, next stop La-109.

This success will provide significant additional reserves for GDC to market into the gas hungry Douala region where it should be remembered they are the sole supplier to power generator ENEO and other substantial industrial thermal clients. As the company says, ‘this will enable the company to conclude longer term contracts with our Douala high-usage customers’. Demand for gas in the Douala Basin exceeds 150 mmscf/d, with this additional supply and the extra potential from Bomono and Matanda where significant capex is planned and will be financed by the recent successful raise prospects are very exciting. I continue to believe that the value in VOG is still substantially underestimated by the market and its value has yet to be fully realised.

Very briefly I notice that Aminex has signed up John Bell as a non-exec Director, this is very good news for both parties as he is an experienced and very talented oil man. Currently running Gulfsands Petroleum and doing a good job there JB will add a great deal to Aminex.

And finally…
A huge night for Northern Ireland football as they play the first leg of their qualifying play off game against Switzerland tonight.
Equally big is the task for the England womens cricket team who must win their Ashes test if they are to avoid conceding the series. As I write, batting first under the lights they are 177-3.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas reports very pleasing initial results from La-108 Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:32:00 +0000 Ahmet Dik, chief executive of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG), discusses with Proactive the better-than-expected initial results from the drilling of the La-108 well in Cameroon.

It was drilled down to a target depth of 2,865 metres and encountered some 84.5 metres of net gas intervals, across the upper and lower Logbaba formations – which exceeded expectations and is significantly more than the 58 metres seen in the successful recent La-7 well.

]]> Cabot Energy reports 53% increase in gross reserves for Canadian assets Wed, 08 Nov 2017 11:21:00 +0000 Keith Bush, chief executive of Cabot Energy Plc (LON:CAB), tells Proactive that total gross proven and probable (2P) reserves for the group's Canadian assets amounted to 2.9mln barrels oil equivalent - representing a 53% rise from 1.9mln barrels at the same point in 2016.

It comes after 1mln barrels were upgraded from contingent resources, and follows the divestment of some of the group’s assets.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Novo Lítio Tue, 07 Nov 2017 08:36:00 +0000 Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of a significant land package in Northern Portugal from Medgold Resources (MED CN) as per the previously announced conditions. The land package is highly complementary to the Sepeda project with multiple known tin-bearing pegmatite outcrops as well as multiple historic workings. NLI paid EUR167.5k for the tenement package.

Crucially, the tenements already have licenses granted and therefore it is not possible, as in the case of other unlicensed sites in Portugal, for other parties to put in additional license applications whilst the grant process is ongoing. Given the prospectivity of the region for lithium and the ongoing strong market fundamentals, ungranted licenses typically have multiple applications and the auction style process which follows can take some time to be resolved. It is therefore of great advantage to NLI to already have the licenses on this new tenement package. Consequently, NLI’s team is already identifying exploration targets via soil sampling and mapping.

With regard to the Sepeda court process, the company are still awaiting a date for the hearing although continue to expect this to be in November 2017.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and A$0.2/sh. target price.

]]> Aminex in advanced discussions to install compressor at Kiliwani North well Mon, 06 Nov 2017 15:33:00 +0000 Jay Bhattacherjee, chief executive of Aminex plc (LON:AEX) tells Proactive gas production is being restricted at the Kiliwani North well in Tanzania.

The rate is being temporarily reduced to less than 1mln cubic feet per day because the KN-1 well is now thought to be draining only a single compartment within the greater Kiliwani North structure.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Aminex, Union Jack/Egdon And finally... Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:45:00 +0000 WTI $55.64 +$1.10, Brent $62.07 +$1.45, Diff -$6.43 +35c, NG $2.98 +5c

Oil price
Oil was up over a dollar on friday making the best part of two on the week, another 50c rise this morning is getting people worked up about new highs and even big figures. My year end target of $60 for Brent was looking pretty sorry for itself back in June but I didnt change it then and i’m not planning to now. I am on $70 for June of next year but only as a target, if the growth remains as I have always said, +1.6m b/d and the Opec/Non Opec deal is extended or even tightened that is perfectly feasible.
Check out the rig count as well, at $55 WTI one might have expected an avalanche of rigs to be taking advantage, but down 8 oil units to 729 the count is the lowest since May. I remain of the view that US shale, whilst an important number is not the elephant in the room as some portray it as being. Sure, I expect production and more forward selling but so far its not obviously having a significant effect.
Finally the rounding up of 100 or more Princes, Ministers and prominent businessmen in Saudi Arabia at the weekend should have no effect on oil policy or production but it is deemed to be further control being taken by MbS who will take over as Monarch next year.

Amerisur Resources - LON:AMER 
October production numbers from AMER and of course the vital OBA export figures all of which point to the company hitting its short term targets. Average production of 6,172 b/d with a peak of 7,398 and current of 6.023 shows that although it swings around somewhat the numbers are increasing.
The OBA export numbers were better still, an average of 6,102 was good but better was a peak of 8,001 b/d which shows that when production is flowing well the pipeline and export facilities can cope. The 3rd export pump at the Platanillo export facility is now fully installed and completing testing with the aim of being in service later this month. The company remains on course to hit its target of 7/-b/d + by the end of the year and whilst there are always times when production and transportation can be hit for all the usual reasons in the area it seems that with CPO-5 on L/T test production is, at the moment, reasonably stable and rising.

Aminex - LON:AEX
AEX is down this morning after an announcement that has spooked the market regarding gas production from Kiliwani North-1. Following a  power outage a few days ago in Dar es Salaam gas demand fell and has reduced flow rates to around 1 mcf/d and their is some technical validity to the thought that the well is draining a compartment within the Greater Kiliwani North structure and ‘exhibiting slow recharge’.
Solutions include installation of compression facilities, which should boost production at minimal cost, in the meantime the current, lower production should have beneficial effects on maximising long term recovery and better reservoir management.
AEX has no debt, cash in the bank and whilst problems at Kiliwani North are irritating, investors should be concentrating more on the Ruvuma PSA where a 25 year development licence has been applied for. It should be noted that the announcement from Solo, who are not the operator, is probably slightly more accurate and that a 20% fall in the AEX share price is way overdone and an opportunity to buy some cheap stock…

Union Jack - LON:UJO /Egdon Resources - LON:EDR 
A modest deal onshore UK today but for Union Jack it builds their position and adds near term cash generation. They are buying 20% of the Fiskerton Airfield oilfield in Lincolnshire from Egdon Resources for £137,000 plus UJ will fund re-processing of the 3D seismic dataset at a cost of around £35,000.

And finally…
With the Noisy Neighbours beating the Gooners 3-1 yesterday despite Wenger’s feeling of huge grievance about the fall of Sterling and Chelski beating the Red Devils 1-0 there is quite some gap opening up at the top and they are playing terrifyingly good football. Elsewhere Spurs kept in touch by beating the Eagles 1-0 and with the HubCap Stealers beating the Hammers 1-4 they put the final nails in Mr Bilic’s coffin he was sacked as the spectators sang ‘in the morning’. With the Terriers beating the Baggies, there might be a vacancy there although the thought of Tony Pulis turning up on the doorstep might give Hammers and Toffees fans nightmares if the thought of David Moyes was not enough…
For Australians the Melbourne Cup is the horserace that stops a nation and so at 4am tomorrow all will come to a standstill.

]]> Union Jack Oil takes stake in Fiskerton project in Lincolnshire Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:25:00 +0000 David Bramhill, chief executive of Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO), tells Proactive they've struck a deal with Egdon Resources Ltd for a 20% stake in the Fiskerton Airfield oil project in Lincolnshire.

To acquire the stake, Union Jack is paying around £137,000 and it will cover costs related to new seismic reprocessing, estimated at £35,000.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:27:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has announced that it has sold a 20% interest in the recently acquired Fiskerton Airfield, for a cash consideration of £137k, to Union Jack Oil (UJO LN). In addition, UJO will fully fund the re-processing of 3D seismic data at a gross cost of £35k. The effective date of the transaction is November 3 2017 and completion of the acquisition is subject to approval of the OGA.

Given EDR acquired the asset for US$750k, the sale of the 20% for an implied valuation of US$1.09m, the sale represents an early and profitable realisation of value for EDR whilst minimising the cost of upside evaluation. This will be used to determine the benefit of infill drilling which is being considered beyond the current planned workovers.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Ascent Resources, Far Limited, And finally... Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:40:00 +0000 WTI $54.54 +24c, Brent $60.62 +13c, Diff -$6.08 -11c, NG $2.93 +4c

Oil price
A sluggish start yesterday for the oil price, the inventory stats were fine but the API had taken the kudos the day before so it was a bit like after the Lord Mayor’s Show. Having said that both the KSA and Russia talked the talk in comments and interviews and there is clearly serious intent to maintain $60. With a couple of noticeable refinery outages in the US and the UK it was as much a product price led rally later in the day.

Yesterday evening was crucial in the finances for Venezuela as the $1.1bn payment by PDVSA was due as mentioned here a few days ago. In a televised broadcast the President said that this one would be paid today but that’s all folks. Now the country is going into voluntary debt restructuring which could mean anything….

President Energy - LON:PPC 

Yet more information from PPC as  the company announce a significant upgrade to Prospective Resources in their Puesto Guardian concession and the Matorras and Ocultar licences in the Salta Province of Argentina, all 100% owned and operated by the company.  The potential scope of these upgrades has led the company to start a farm-out process for the Matorras and Ocultar licences as this will ‘fast track’ exploring the major potential of these prospects and increase shareholder value.

The findings mean that Aggregate Paleozoic gas/condensate prospects net to PPC are mean unrisked prospective resources (MUPR) of over 7 TCF of gas with an upside of 20 TCF and 185 MMbbls of condensate. In addition there are new unreported Cretaceous oil prospects of over 40 MMbbls MUPR identified in the area.
Chairman Peter Levine said in the announcement that “President, as a profitable producing company, remains clearly focused on positive cash flow, profit margins and materially expanding our production base both organically and by way of acquisition”. With Argentina becoming increasingly popular for inward investment at both major company and mid-cap level there is little doubt that the portfolio assembled by President has significant value and accordingly the shares are still very much undervalued.

Ascent Resources - LON:AST
Ascent has announced this morning that export production from the Petisovci Field in Slovenia to INA in Croatia has commenced. With the addition of the Pg-11A well today it will be fully up and running. Next up the company are planning re-entry and completion of existing wells to increase production. The situation is made better by the fact that INA will take as much gas as AST can provide thus nullifying the need for finding new customers.

They company raised £1m last week on primary bid as the INA contract took longer to complete than they had expected but with revenue now coming through they are suitably financed. Should the IPPC decision go their way there is further good news around the corner. I met with Colin Hutchinson earlier in the week and am convinced that he is handling all the processes extremely well and that AST should move a good deal higher, part of that process has started this morning.


I met with Cath Norman of Far when I was in Cape Town last week and I can confidently say that things are going very well in all their areas of operation. The situation in Senegal has been discussed many times and whilst arbitration is under way there is little more one can add. All I would say is that clearly the market hasn’t appreciated the value in the company that it has, for example, attributed to Cairn and that this will come out at an appropriate event in the future. Whether this is the arbitration or something different I can’t say but surely it will.
For what it’s worth I am as convinced as ever, if not more so that Cairn is seriously considering selling all or part of its 40% stake in the project, indeed this may already be underway. The reason I say this is that whilst Cairn is still the operator it has in its gift, or whoever buys that stake, the significant possibility of passing on that to any potential buyer. Should that buyer be a super major then, perhaps with the Far 15% stake added to it would  give a majority in JV decisions, if I was advising them, with so much interest in the region I would consider it to be a value that would go once the operatorship transferred to woodside as currently envisaged. To give an idea of potential upside for Far, I understand that Cairn would only sell if the offer was just too good to be unturndownable…
Away from Senegal it is worth remembering that Far has an 80% stake in a potentially huge prospect in The Gambia which will be drill ready in 2018 and where Far has done a lot of the leg work already. Here where the data room is open the company can offer farminees the opportunity to get in at the ground floor on what might be another Senegal, who knows, may be even bigger. With the 80% stake Far can tempt majors with a big stake and of course the operatorship in a country where the new Government are very much open for business.
Shareholders in Far have been patient way beyond most would expect and you couldn’t blame them for abandoning ship things have taken so long. However I would seriously advise holding on as I think that the next few months will vindicate that patience and reward by what should still be a multiple and that is just in Senegal, in the Gambia they may yet have another….

And finally…
The Toffees fell out of Europe last night but to be honest they havent seemed committed to the Boropa Cup from the outset. Whereas the Gooners have and are now in the last 32 and look as good as any other side in the competition.

This weekend sees two standout ties both on Sunday, the Noisy Neighbours take on the Gooners and Chelski will welcome back Jose with the Red Devils. Spurs host the Eagles, also on Sunday whilst tomorrow sees the Hammers hosting the HubCap Stealers, high flying Burnley going to the Saints while the Cherries have a long trip to the Magpies.
There is some fantastic jump racing as well this weekend, the Charlie Hall Stakes at Wetherby sees the return of a number of favourites including Cue Card and Coneygree. There is also a good card at Ascot with a few old favourites making seasonal reappearances.
Finally the Ba Baas take on the All Blacks which should see many points on the board.

]]> Oil price, Independent Oil & Gas, Columbus Energy Resources And finally... Thu, 02 Nov 2017 10:04:00 +0000 WTI $54.30 -8c, Brent $60.49 -45c, Diff -$6.19 -37c, NG $2.90 n/c
Oil price
Oil consolidated yesterday, the EIA stats were good but the headline crude draw of 2.4m barrels was lower than the API numbers had indicated, having said that all the other numbers were positive. Total commercial stocks drew 5.8m barrels as exports rose and imports fell, in products, gasoline drew 4m barrels which is impressive and distillates drew 320/- barrels. Some profit taking was inevitable but core strength is still visible.

Independent Oil & Gas - LON:IOG
IOG has announced this morning that they have had ‘significant prospective resources confirmed’ at their Harvey licence following a CPR by ERCE. As a result of this they have committed to an appraisal well on the licence ‘within two years’ although I suspect that they might want to go ahead sooner if it proved possible.  The CPR gives IOG  gross, mid-case unrisked prospective gas resources of 114 BCF, in line with management expectations. Of this 90 BCF are within the area 100% owned by IOG and I would suspect that owing to the economics of the process they would be best placed to secure the acreage they don’t already own.

Strategically this is an almost perfect fit for IOG, any gas found, and the COS is around 50%, would be exported through the Thames pipeline along with gas from the  Blythe and Vulcan hubs which it lies between. As a result this is potentially very value accretive, although there is no certainty of success should there be a discovery it might be nearer the ERCE upper end of resources which are 286 BCF.

Columbus Energy Resources - LON:CERP

Columbus has announced that its Open Offer was 3.2x oversubscribed indicating plenty of shareholder support for what the new management is up to. Clearly this raise was primarily to allow Schroders to make their investment but with a raise of £4.1m the company is heading in the right direction. The management have very high hurdles to achieve but are clearly well supported and have a long way to go.
And finally…

A great night last night for English clubs in Europe as Spurs beat Real Madrid and the Noisy Neighbours and the HubCap Stealers won as well. Tonight the Gooners host Red Star Belgrade and the Toffees are taking a depleted side to Lyon. How the almost mighty have fallen…
My US commentator will post tomorrow but I can’t help mentioning the fantastic win by the Houston Astros against the mighty Dodgers in the World Series. 3-3 and in LA it was all to play for but the Astros fully earned their first ever title, oh to be in Houston right now!!

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:29:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)
Independent Oil & Gas has announced a revised CPR on the Harvey license. The Harvey license lies between the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite Hubs; it is intended, pending appraisal, that gas from the Harvey field is exported via the Thames Pipeline as with the other sites.

The CPR demonstrates unrisked prospective gas resources for Harvey of 114 BCF in line with management estimates. The range for resources is 45-286BCF and most likely 90BCF on the license owned 100% by IOG. IOG have committed to drilling an appraisal well which will test the up dip potential of the structure and this will be carried out by December 20th 2019, subject to acceptance and a license extension by OGA. Given the proximity of the field to the Thames pipeline we believe that this will have a significant positive impact on the economics of Harvey and further strengthens the rationale of the hub strategy particularly given that even at the most likely level of gas resources, this would be IOG’s largest field.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, President Energy, Reabold Resources And finally... Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:04:00 +0000 WTI $54.38 +23c, Brent $60.94 +35c, Diff -$6.56 +12c, NG $2.90 -7c

Oil price
Onwards and upwards as yesterdays news was all pretty positive both actual and technical. The Reuters October Opec production report showed exports of 32.78m b/d, 80/- b/d down on September and compliance is around 102% if not lower. The API inventory stats which came out after the close were also way better than expected, crude stocks drew by 5.09m barrels against the whisper of 1.8m and in products gasoline drawing a whopping 7.7m barrels and distillates 3.11m also much bigger than forecast. If the EIA numbers today in any way confirm these stats then the recent rally will likely continue.
Finally, on the technical front, as I mentioned yesterday chartists are getting very excited by this latest uptick in the oil price, from its low of $44.43 on 22nd of June to the new January contract trading at $61.50 this morning the crude chart is behaving very well indeed, closing around or above these levels give very strong signals on the chart.

Echo Energy - LON:ECHO 
The long awaited landmark deal from Echo has been announced, they are entering Argentina with an onshore farm-in agreement covering four assets with CGC, a private subsidiary of the Corporatión América International. This well respected local partner will provide just what Echo needs as it aims to become a leading LATAM gas explorer. Under the agreement Echo will gain a 50% interest in each of the Fracción C (FC), Fracción D (FD) the Laguna de los Capones (LC) and Tapi Aike (TA) licences. All these are in the prolific Austral Basin of the Santa Cruz Province and cover 11,153²km in total.
Consideration for this acquisition is spread across the assets depending on work programmes etc. At TA there is no upfront cash payment, Echo will carry CGC for 15% of the 3 year work programme (4 if tight gas) which will include reprocessing 2D and 3D seismic, the acquisition of 1,200²km 3D and 4 exploration wells, Echo’s estimated carry here is $9m. At FC, FD and LC there is a $2.5m signing on fee and Echo will pay 100% of the initial 18 month work programme for which their cost of carry is estimated to be $9-12m for CGC’s 50% interest. This will include reprocessing existing 3D seismic on the LC licence, acquisition of 500²km of 3D seismic on FCas well as 4 exploration wells completed as producers. At FD there will be 3 workover wells and if appropriate 1 new well as well as acquisition of 230²km of 3D seismic. After this there will be a deferred cash payment of $2.5m and a series of options to progress to second terms on the licences.
For Echo all this adds up to a very meaningful package of assets that give gas production at FC and FD of 11.4 MMscfe/d with the potential to rise to 80MMscfe/d which at ‘strong local gas prices’ will be a useful start. Having said that it is the appraisal and substantial exploration upside that will be the making of this deal for Echo, indeed it might rival or even beat the TCF opportunities at Sound Energy as a comparison. With a massive work programme, investors will see a well to be spudded in Q1 2018, followed by a lengthy period of operational activity. It looks as if the James Parsons/Fiona MacAulay team has got off to a flying start, after all it takes two to tango…

My comments below on Argentina should ensure that investors will be happy with the country risk and see this deal as the company says, the ‘backbone of our gas business’, it certainly looks to be a very impressive start.

President Energy
I had planned to write a couple of things about President especially having seen Peter Levine’s presentation at the 121 conference on Monday. A number of commentators, particularly those on the Private Equity panel were impressed by the way the company is being set up to make decent margins and proper profits. I would add that given the company’s exposure to Argentina it is worth noting the article in yesterday’s FT regarding the opening up of banking within the country under President Macri. That neatly tailed in with news that Reuters have upgraded the country from B to B+ and a ‘stable outlook’ with strong consumer and business confidence, whilst there is clearly some way to go it makes for a pleasing backdrop to the investments that President and others are making in country.
If you combine this with the strong recent oil price and confidence placed in the company by its shareholders in the recent placing, it is most surprising that the shares are trading at an albeit modest, discount to the 10p in the €5m Open Offer currently still available to holders. With my target for this company significantly higher and with obviously increased interest in the region, the market price and that of the offer are more than just tempting, rather unduly attractive.

Reabold ResourcesLON:PPC 
A very quick word on Reabold Resources, a company I wrote about recently as I have a feeling that it may well become a magnet for smart small company investors. Today they announce that they are investing £1.5m for a 34.5% holding in Corallian Energy, a private company with a number of licences including the Colter appraisal project. Colter is offshore and adjacent to Wytch Farm and appears to be pretty low risk, with an appraisal well due to be spudded 1H 2018 this might just be a small pot of gold.
I am led to believe that this, although only RBD’s first deal, is more than likely to be the first of many for the pair of former fund managers in the sector and the company should be very much on investors radar screens…

And finally…
There will be November baseball this year after the Dodgers beat the Astros to level the World Series at 3-3 and take it to game 7. The momentum is now back with the Dodgers but if the rest of the series is anything to go by, this all or nothing decider should be a classic. Yu Darvish pitches for LA and he takes on Lance McCullers Jr for Houston, although you can expect to see a couple of big names coming out of the bullpen. Whatever happens, it has been an amazing series and credit goes to both teams for a great show!
Less exciting was last night’s footy, Benfica lost at the Theatre of Dreams with comedy goalkeeping continuing from the home leg, Chelski lost 3-0 to Roma but should still qualify but Celtic will not after losing at home to Bayern. Having said that it is the Europa League that excites Brendan Rodgers…
Tonight the HubCap Stealers have another chance at the coconut shy with opponents NK Maribor whilst the Noisy Neighbours are in Napoli and Spurs have a chance to prove the last game wasnt a fluke by entertaining Real Madrid at Wembley.

]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, Range Resources, Pantheon, And finally... Tue, 31 Oct 2017 13:10:00 +0000 WTI $54.15 +25c, Brent $60.90 +46c, Diff -$6.75 +21c, NG $2.97 +3c

Oil price
December Brent hit $61 yesterday before expiring at $60.90, expect to see some weakness in the January contract but closing much above $60 would be an impressive achievement. Iraq has managed to get production from the South up a fair bit to make up for problems in the North and that should all be settling down before long as another Independence battle is lost.

Echo Energy
Yesterday Echo Energy announced that it is in discussions in relation to a potential farm in by the Company into certain onshore oil and gas assets in South America. As this would, by virtue of its size be considered an RTO under the Aim rules, the shares are suspended until either an admission document and circular to shareholders is published or if the transaction is terminated. This should be encouraging for shareholders who have been waiting patiently to see what the deal might be, at least it looks like it will be ‘of size’.

Range Resources
A couple of announcements from RRL who yesterday confirmed that their Indonesian deal had completed,  RRDSL is being voted on on 30th November and the Trinity  swap is going through the appropriate approvals. They have also announced in their quarterly report today that production is up 10% at 579 b/d. Clearly with all these corporate deals going on the nature of RRL will have changed when the company’s shares are readmitted but it does look promising, more after I meet with the company shortly.

Pantheon Resources
Another infuriating report from PANR this morning with an assortment of news on the drilling front. The VOBM#4 sidetrack has started with the intention of assessing the Wilcox formation which interestingly wasn’t the initial target, expect news from that in around 30 days. The gas processing facility is now complete and will be starting up in the second week in November which should mean revenues in December.
The VOBM#2 well is still causing trouble and will produce directly into the gas facility, given the trouble that the wellbore is clearly still giving I wouldnt be holding my breath quite yet. All very much a watch this space situation and us long term believers in the project are being sorely tested…

And finally…
Way too much sport over the last few days to take in but Spurs lost at the Theatre of Dreams but wins for the Noisy Neighbours kept them in the lead and Chelski, Gooners and the HubCap Stealers all won. Burnley won last night and are 7th in the table but probably about to become managerless…
Tonight the Red Devils host Benfica, Chelsea are at Roma and Celtic host Bayern Munich.
Lewis won the F1 title in odd conditions but it’s still a win…
In a wet Malaysian MotoGP the Championship battle continued when the Ducati pairing of Lorenzo and Dovisioso overtook early leader Zarco to fight for the lead. Lorenzo, in his best race this season, had already been sent the coded instruction from his team to “Let Dovi through” when a mistake sent him wide on Lap 16 giving Dovizioso the lead . Marquez struggled to keep up with them after half distance and could only manage 4th place behind rookie Zarco in 3rd.. Dovi’s win leaves him 21 points behind Marquez and he still has a slim chance of the title at the final round in Valencia.Although Marquez only has to stay upright to win his 4th title , his hard riding means it isn’t guaranteed !
In an incredible fifth game the Astros go 3-2 up against the Dodgers and now go back to LA, more later.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:27:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas has announced that it has submitted the Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Vulcan Satellites Hub to the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA). IOG recently published a CPR indicating a significant upgrade and expansion of 2P reserves on the Hub.

The project is underpinned by the acquisition of the Thames Pipeline that enables IOG to tie back the gas fields into the pipeline and save significant capital expenditure thereby enhancing the project economics as demonstrated by the recent CPR. Furthermore, IOG has reduced the upfront funding requirement via agreements with various major contractors such as Schlumberger, Heerema and ODE as part of their service contracts. These commitments from major service contractors further demonstrates confidence in the project as well as enhancing IOG’s ability to fund the development and retain its 100% ownership.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> Diversified Gas & Oil already seeing start of operational efficiencies from Titan acquisition Tue, 31 Oct 2017 08:39:00 +0000 Rusty Hutson, chief executive of Diversified Gas & Oil plc (LON:DGOC) tells Proactive their acquisition of assets from Titan Energy is now wholly complete and overall trading remains in-line with current market forecasts.

The acquisition means the company now operates around 17,000 wells and it is optimising asset performance whilst reducing costs.

]]> Latest side track well highlights potential of Canadian assets, says Cabot Energy CEO Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:13:00 +0000 Keith Bush, chief executive of Cabot Energy Plc (LON:CAB), tells Proactive the side-track of the 16-05 well at the Rainbow project in Canada has seen significantly better-than-expected flow rates during well testing.

The side-track well is now in production, connected to the existing pipeline.

It was tested for a 24-hour period during which it yielded some 573 barrels of oil.

The exit rate of the test was around 680 bopd.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:33:00 +0000 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources  has completed the previously announced transaction of the Fiskerton Airfield oil field in Lincolnshire (License EXL-294). The announcement of the transaction was made in July 2017 and following a cash payment of $750k EDR has obtained a 100% interest from Cirque Energy.

The acquisition is effective from Jan 1 2017 and field sales averaged 15.7bopd in H2 FY 2017, below the current run rate due to a maintenance shut-in during January 2017. Current production is between 17-19bopd from one of the two production wells and as previously indicated EDR intends to increase production to 30-40bopd  via modest capital spending.

To date around 400kbbls of oil have been produced from an estimated STOIIP of 2.2mmbbls and we believe that the addition of high quality oil production (32.5⁰ API) is an attractive addition to the portfolio.

The asset has already been incorporated into our target valuation, however, is not fully reflected shares currently. We therefore, reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

EDR is due to announced full year results tomorrow, 31st October.

]]> Oil price, SDX, Tullow And finally... Fri, 27 Oct 2017 11:11:00 +0100 WTI $52.64 +46c, Brent $59.30 +86c, Diff -$6.66 +40c, NG $2.89 -3c

Oil price
With very quiet trading today crude oil is virtually unchanged after another positive week. Yesterday Brent closed within spitting distance of the much spooked $60 level although it was a 27 month high for the marker. A combination of factors is keeping oil high some more tangible than others. The EIA inventory data showed a massive 12m barrel fall in total commercial oil stocks and with products drawing more than expected they were enough to stabilise the market.
The Saudi Crown Prince, MbS to his mates, has reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to stabilising the oil market and with the backing of Vlad post the recent Royal visit to Moscow relationships appear pretty pukka. Finally it seems that the Iraqi crisis is powering down somewhat and exports are picking up albeit slowly.
Just back from Cape Town and I will be writing up one or two other meetings in the next few days, however I thought that the mood for all sorts of projects was much more upbeat than I expected.

SDX Energy
SDX has announced that it has spudded the KSR-15 development well in the Sebou area of Morocco. This well, the second in the nine well drilling programme should be complete in 21-30 days and if successful will be connected to the local infrastructure within 30 days of the rig leaving site. The KSR-14 well is expected to be on test production within 10 days.

Tullow Oil
Tullow has announced that the Araku-1 well offshore Suriname found ‘no significant reservoir quality rocks were encountered’ but that there was evidence of gas condensate. All the usual guff about being very important data etc but whilst disappointing this was truly a wildcat in the strictest sense of the word.

And finally…
It is a big weekend coming up but I first wanted to big up the England U-17 football team who beat Brazil in the semifinals of their World Cup and now play Spain in the final tomorrow, good luck fellas.
In the Haribo Cup, the Gooners beat the Toffees and in a thriller at Wembley the Hammers came from being 2-0 down at halftime to win 2-3. The prize for that in the farcical draw yesterday was another visit to North London to play the Gooners. The rest of the draw has Bristol City getting the plum home tie against the Red Devils, the Foxes hosting the Noisy Neighbours and Chelski hosting the Cherries.
Interestingly, as so often happens that tie also happens this weekend when Chelski visit the Cherries. The standout tie is of course the visit of Harry Kane-less Spurs to the Theatre of Dreams, after losing to the Terriers last week some backsides I presume were smacked. This weekend those very Terriers travel to fortress Anfield hoping for another scalp. Elsewhere those Noisy Neighbours go to the Baggies who are building up one hell of a reputation for being boring whilst the Hammers travel to reinvigorated Eagles who picked up their first points last time out. And it’s another Riviera derby as the Seagulls  entertain the Saints whilst the Foxes host the Toffees and the Gooners entertain the Gooners.
Anthony Joshua takes on Carlos Takam in Cardiff who wasnt his original opponent but a late replacement.
Lewis can finish 5th in the Mexican GP and that will be enough for him to clinch the title but I am sure he wants to do it in style…
And it’s a great thing to say that proper jump racing is back with Cheltenham today and tomorrow.
And in the World Series after an amazing second game which was won by the Astros on away turf they go back to Houston now….

]]> Pulse Oil moves to acquire 100% of Bigoray assets in Alberta Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:12:00 +0100 Garth Johnson, chief executive of Pulse Oil Corp (CVE:PUL), tells Proactive they've strengthened their hand at the exciting Bigoray assets in Alberta, by taking 100% of the Nisku-D and E Pool acreages via two transactions.

Together these two oil Pools are estimated to contain an impressive 26 million barrels of oil initially in place (PIIP), of which around 9.3 million boe (barrels of oil equivalent) has already been recovered using water-flood techniques.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas raises US$23.5mln to accelerate new growth programme Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:54:00 +0100 Ahmet Dik, chief executive of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their US$23.5mln raise -
through an offering of 30,893,660 placing shares and 294,096 subscription shares at a price of 57p each.

Proceeds along with additional capital from local banks in Cameroon will be put towards a new growth programme aimed at the estimated 1,700 megawatt power deficit in the City of Douala.

They're looking to deliver gas output of 100mln cubic feet of gas per day by the end of 2021.

]]> Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas, Wentworth Resources, And finally... Thu, 26 Oct 2017 07:37:00 +0100 WTI $52.47 +57c, Brent $58.33 +96c, Diff -$5.86 +39c, NG $2.97 -2c

Oil price
A quietly better day yesterday with comments from Russia who said that compliance is 102% and the Saudis who commented that they would continue to do ‘whatever it takes’ to maintain price stability keeping momentum upwards. With the Saudis continuing to cut and most others falling in line, at present there is little reason to disbelieve the positive stance.

Victoria Oil & Gas
VOG announced this morning that ‘as a result of recent market speculation regarding the company undertaking a potential fundraise’ the company, having been in advanced discussions with a number of investors, was indeed now going ahead with a proposed placing and subscription to raise $20-26m and an Open Offer to raise $3m. Since then the company has confirmed that through the ABB the company has raised gross proceeds of $23.5m at 57p.

I have yet to talk to Chairman Kevin Foo but here at Africa Oil Week CEO Ahmet Dik has been at pains to point out that production expansion in the near and longer term in Cameroon is crucial to the success of the company’s policy in Douala. Indeed, the availability of capital and the resultant cost reductions over the operational base, both at Logbaba and the potential production areas at Bomono and in the Matanda block are crucial to the the significant ongoing profitability of the company.

With the company targeting the 1,700 MW deficiency of power in Douala including significant demand from both local power generation and local industrial users, it is the right time to step up investment in all areas of the business. This means that the La-108 well which is close to testing, should be ready to go into production by the end of this year followed by drilling the La 109 well in 2018. The next obvious investment will be at Bomono and in the Matanda block where easier to drill and produce wells will be able to satisfy significant local demand. Bolstered by increased gas processing efficiency at Logbaba and extended pipelines to Bomono and the potentially exciting Eastern corridor capacity and deliverability will be company changing.
With this raise VOG has made significant inroads into its cost base and with the potential for the highly prolific Matanda block ever closer, the huge local demand will be easier to address. The company estimate that they will  deliver 100 mmcf/d by the end of 2021 with both power generation and thermal industrial clients still needing to be satisfied. I will comment further in the next few days when I have spoken to the company in more detail but this successful raise to bolster production in a market crying out for more gas seems eminently sensible. VOG still looks incredibly good value and this raise makes the economics look even better than before.

Wentworth Resources
I met with Geoff Bury, MD and CFO Lance Mierendorf of Wentworth Resources who are in Cape Town at Africa Oil week. I will write in further depth later but my increasing confidence in the company was more than justified by the discussions we had.

Recent announcements from the company have showed a significant increase in production from Mnazi Bay in Tanzania and whilst not getting carried away it does look highly promising. At present production is in the 60-70 MMscf/d range and growing and whilst annual guidance is still in the 40-50 MMscf/d range for appropriately cautious reasons one can consider this asset to be delivering with increased confidence even given production fluctuations. As with other parts of Africa there is a significant increase in demand from power producers and industrial users who are taking Wentworth’s gas. They include Dangote Cement at 7 MMscf/d and Kinyerezi 2 with its six turbines coming into commission later this year and through 2018 to 36 MMscf/d. The company are pencilling in further power plants with demand of up to 180 MMscf/d which is why there is so much excitement about the exploration upside of P50 resources of up to 1.5 TCF on the existing licence. Finally it is worth bearing in mind that fixed opex costs fall as volumes increase and of course a welcome return to getting paid for gas sales as evidenced by recent payments.

At the Tembo block in Mozambique WRL has 85% of  either 1.7 TCF of gas or a possible 219m barrels of oil or both, as significant oil shows were monitored at Tembo-1. Here WRL have opened the data room in order to farm-out some of their position and I understand that a good number of oil companies have acknowledged interest, WRL hope to have something tied up before the appraisal well currently planned for mid 2018. The well is designed, the location is selected and the environmental permits are under way, even a short list of rigs has been identified. This well could be a game changer for WRL and some very interesting names are having a nose around I understand. It seems to me that things are looking up for WRL and that it would not take much for the market to reappraise its longer term value, with more payments, increased demand and upside from both Mnazi Bay and the Tembo block. Certainly one to keep firmly on the radar screen.

And finally…
In the Haribo Cup last night holders the Red Devils saw off the Swans whilst their Noisy Neighbours only drew with Wolves but eventually won 4-1 on pens. The Gooners finally overcame the Canaries, the Cherries beat Boro 3-1 and the Foxes beat Leeds 3-1 and have today named Claude Poel as their new manager, Claude Who? Result of the night was for Bristol City who beat the Eagles 4-1 and go through to the quarter finals. Tonight its Chelski v the Toffees and Spurs v old rivals the Hammers…

]]> Tlou Energy very encouraged by early data from Botswana seismic programme Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:41:00 +0100 Tony Gilby, managing director of Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU), updates Proactive on their ongoing seismic programme in Botswana, which is now about 40% complete.

The 2D seismic programme, spanning the Lesedi and Mamba coal bed methane areas, kicked off on October 8.

]]> Oil price, Kosmos, Hunting, AOW And finally... Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:15:00 +0100 WTI $51.90 +6c, Brent $57.37 -38c, Diff -$5.47 -44c, NG $2.99 +8c

Oil price
All a bit drifty again in oil markets as Iraqi exports through northern routes are up a bit at 288/- b/d still well short of normal. Inventories this week are expected to draw again but with little conviction I am told. Looking at the CFTC numbers for last week the bulls still have it, short positions are still falling especially in WTI where there is little conviction betting against further modest strength.

Kosmos has announced the acquisition of three new exploration licences offshore Equatorial Guinea and the purchase from Hess of a portion of the adjacent Ceiba and Okume fields. This is an exploration and production deal with Trident Energy ( Ex Perenco senior management) in a 50/50 JV which gives Kosmos low cost, high margin with ‘significant upside potential’. Some people are calling it going back home as as Triton Energy this discovery was made by original Kosmos founders which given how much they know about the asset shouldn’t be ignored.
From Africa Oil Week, Kosmos in the form of Exploration VP Tracey Henderson, made a most interesting presentation on deepwater exploration in which compared discoveries such as Liza with shale. The compelling part of the comparison was that deepwater easily competes with the best of shale which will return less than the onshore. Kosmos has an enviable record and has pinned its colours to the West african mast which is remarkably economical, no surprise then that the area is amongst the hottest of properties in world oil.

3Q trading update from Hunting this morning shows further consolidation and revenue continues to strengthen primarily driven by US onshore activity levels as one might suspect. Accordingly revenue guidance for the full year is now for around $700m nicely up on previous expectations. EBITDA remains positive, the 9 month number is $33m after a first half of $11m which means that it was a pretty good quarter, probably tilted towards the end of the period which bodes well for the final quarter.

All businesses focussed on US onshore continued to report ‘strong results’, all the usual suspects and even the electronics appears to have a more positive report. Offshore and international markets remain ‘subdued’ but ongoing cost cutting has narrowed losses here. The revenue increases come with their own baggage, in this case working cap has built up and debt is up to $15m but the company expect a year end net cash position more than offsetting the increase in debt.

Hunting is as strong as any in the UK quoted sector as it has the enviable US business to rely on, this is something I expect to continue whilst most of the rest of the UK quoteds excluding PFC are finding it hard going. Hunting shares have fallen since the peak but were an early riser and performance has been creditable against peers, something I expect to continue for the foreseeable future.

Africa Oil Week
To continue last night’s theme there is little doubt that the mood around Cape Town is significantly more upbeat than for the last two years, no great surprise really. Today’s presentations saw Ophir Energy extolling the virtues of Fortuna LNG in Equatorial Guinea and of course most presenters saying that costs were down and in most cases still falling.
Celicourt and Memery Crystal LLP combined to host a meeting of a number of oil company executives and advisors which was well attended and was noticeable that a large number of guests were not actually attending the conference… Those who were in possession of badges returned to hear Rick Parry, the US Secretary of State for Energy who didn’t tip his hat so much to Africa but reminded us all how brilliant the US oil industry is…

And finally…
Back to the Haribo Cup tonight when for some clubs the kids come out to play. The Gooners host the Canaries, Bristol City are hosting the Eagles, the Foxes entertain Leeds, Boro are at the Cherries, the Red Devils go to the Swans needing a pick-me-up and the Noisy Neighbours host the Wolves.
Tonight sees the start of the World Series in which the Houston Astros who have never won the title take on the LA Dodgers who must be warm favourites…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - NuLegacy Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0100 NuLegacy (CVE:NUG)

NuLegacy (CVE:NUG) has announced that it has commissioned Mine Development Associates of Nevada to prepare a NI 43-101 compliant resource inventory for the Iceberg gold deposit at Red Hill. The resource inventory will be constrained to approximately 35% of the 3km strike length. This is the area in which there is sufficiently high drill density to determine a resource and an announcement is expected in Q1 2018. Holes from up to year end 2017 will be used which includes those from the current programme.

NUG’s stated aim continues to be to determine a multi-million ounce resource on the property.  However, as this resource inventory only covers a portion of the known mineralisation it will likely serve as a base case in our view. Having a defined resource will better enable NUG’s budgeting for determining the remainder of the resource.

We believe that the resource calculation will demonstrate the progress made to date and the significant oxidised mineralisation that has been discovered. From here there is attractive optionality to expand the resource either via infill drilling of the known deposits or by further exploration of the two new zones drilled for the first time in 2017. Meanwhile the prospect of discovering high grade mineralisation remains the most exciting potential catalyst for the stock.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Powerhouse Energy showcases new DMG facility animation as commercial efforts ramp up Tue, 24 Oct 2017 14:54:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group  PLC (LON:PHE), caught up with Proactive following their hugely popular two day demonstration event at the Thornton Science Park near Chester.

The group's received independent confirmation that the syngas produced from its ultra-high temperature waste-to-energy system can be cleaned up into almost pure hydrogen.

]]> Rose Petroleum wraps up seismic programme at Paradox Basin Tue, 24 Oct 2017 12:04:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE), tells Proactive they've completed their seismic programme in the Paradox basin, Utah.

He says they're expecting initial results to be ready before the end of the year.

]]> Oil price, Cairn/Far, Savannah, Sundry-Premier-Genel-Eco Atlantic-And finally... Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:13:00 +0100 WTI $51.84 +33c, Brent $57.75 +52c, Diff -$6.28 +56c, NG $2.91 +4c

Oil price
The blog comes to you this week from Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, the plan is to watch the presentations and hopefully chat with the speakers and report back what’s fit to print.
The oil price rallied a bit on Friday, it was a bit of a lacklustre week, WTI was up a measly 39c and Brent 58c although news was generally positive. Kurdistan remains a problem, oil exports through the Turkish pipeline are down to around 200/- b/d from a more usual 600/- whilst Venezuela is tottering on the brink of bankruptcy. Although it is only a $1bn repayment, PDVSA is thought to be going to miss this on Friday and that might just be enough to push the country off the tightrope. It is ironic that over in Argentina President Macri won a midterm vote deemed to be a vote of confidence on his agenda of pro-market economic reform.

Savannah Petroleum
Steve Jenkins, Chairman of LON:SAVP gave a keynote speech this afternoon which reminded the audience that the company’s acreage in Niger is looking better every time the 3D seismic is analysed. SAVP is robust at very low prices and there are three wells waiting to be drilled in the country with options to make that six wells. Those wells will be drilled as soon as the shares return from suspension. I took the chance to have a quiet chat with Mr Jenkins who was confident without giving anything away.
Thereby hangs the crucial part of the tale, the shares are suspended whilst the paperwork is being done for the potential Seven Energy acquisition,about which the company can genuinely say nothing. I don’t think that the market, and that includes myself, thought that would take quite so long but having watched this process and a couple of others it is a grinding, mind blowingly turgid process. We shall find out just as soon as it is possible but I do detect longer term optimism from the company and for that reason i’m still happy to remain positive.

Cairn Energy/Far Limited
Eric Hathon, exploration director of Cairn Energy, gave a very positive speech to the conference this morning and I was able to have a one to one meeting with him afterwards. Whilst Cairn havent changed their numbers at all, and readers will know that I think that the numbers will book a lot higher in due course, it is the language that is being spoken that to me is more positive than before. It is clear now that the appraisal process is now complete with the results from all the wells coming in way better than expected. There is no doubt whatsoever that as the partners go into the development process, all options remain on the agenda, these are what will determine the timings to first oil but it is a massively profitable, substantial and to quote Woodmack ‘a world class asset by any standards’.
The question that most would want to ask and of course I did without expecting an answer, is whether or not Cairn will sell all or part of the Senegal asset. The answer is again, what I had been expecting, the field is fully financed at current oil prices, and lower I suspect and there is no pressure whatsoever to sell up. The second part of the answer is equally predictable, ie if we were to receive a bid that was simply too good to be true, the board would have to consider it for understandable reasons of financial rectitude. It is worth noting that Cairn have a record of giving money back to shareholders so would be comfortable if that scenario played out.

All this makes the valuation of Far Limited to be not just difficult to understand but impossible to justify, whatever happens with all the possibilities open to the partners old and new, at A7c the shares are a steal, tomorrow I am interviewing Cath Norman so expect another update soon.

Premier Oil has announced that the Catcher FPSO has arrived and been hooked up, with a bit of twiddling it remains on target for first oil this year, my spies tell me that a bet on first oil on Christmas Day would be a canny one…

The presentation from Genel today was, as one might expect at an African one and Mike Adams, Head of Exploration talked about Somaliland, a difficult task given the political backdrop. Indeed whilst the geological presentation goes almost as to have to black stuff coming out of the ground already refined and virtually for free, the political unrest makes the country almost toxic in its complexity. The jury is out, there is no doubt about the size of the prize, just quite how to get one’s hands on it…
Gil Holzman, Chairman and CEO of Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas spoke about both of his exciting prospects in Namibia and in Guyana both of which came through the company’s policy of taking large stakes and de-risking by his scientific team. With Exxon finding oil every time they drill nearby Guyana does indeed look exciting whilst in Namibia the ever present Walvis Basin does have attractions. More after I have a one to one with Gil, hopefully tomorrow.

And finally…
The footy at the weekend made one believe that one was in a terrible dream especially if you support either Merseyside clubs or the red side of Manchester. As a result of that drubbing by the Gooners, Toffees manager Ronald Koeman has lost his job while for Spurs Wembley has lost its fear factor having stuffed the HubCap Stealers.
Lewis Hamilton won the US GP but with Vettel behind him in second place the fight goes on albeit getting more difficult for the Scuderi…
No full baseball report today but I have to mention that the Astros came from behind to make it through to the World Series where the Dodgers lie in wait…
At the Australian MotoGP the anticipated battle for the Championship between Marquez and Dovizioso failed before the off when a qualifying crash put Dovizioso at the rear of the grid from which he never recovered. However an 8 bike battle ensued with Aussie Jack Miller gaining a good lead despite fracturing his leg 3 weeks ago. He was eventually swallowed up by the factory bikes with the hard charging satellite bike of Zarco making a nuisance of himself and leaving tyre marks on Rossi’s leathers and Marquez’s bike in near misses ..whatever happened to Queensberry rules?. The sheer class of Marquez and the Honda eventually gave him the lead which he held until the flag from the Yamaha’s of Rossi and Vinales. Cal Crutchlow came a solid 5th and Bradley Smith and Scott Redding were 10th and 11th. This means Marquez has a 33 point lead going into Malaysia next week. Surely he won’t give it away now?

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:15:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)
Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced robust Q1 FY 2018 numbers with production up 12% YoY to 10.2koz which is on track for our full year target of 45.8koz. Gold sold increased 95% YoY to 13koz, however, this was primarily a result of timing of sales in Q1 FY 2017 as well as some delayed sales from Q4 FY 2017.

Increased production in South Africa and at Kilimapesa offset reduced production at the Ghanaian operations. In South Africa, production of 7.6koz was up 40% YoY with a strong focus on sourcing material for the more profitable CIL circuits. GDP has now built a stockpile of this material to last 12 months.

At Ghana, production of 1.2koz was down 61% YoY although gold sold was up 93% YoY to 2.6koz with sales and production continuing to be more volatile at this operation. We expect greater stability going forward, however, as a result of the efforts to expand sourcing from South America which is now delivering regular shipments of by-product material. Furthermore, negotiations, regarding an artisanal tailings clean-up programme, with the Government are ongoing. A mobile gold concentrator pilot plant has been constructed as part of this whilst the 3 tonne elution column is on track for commissioning in December 2017.

The Kilimapesa ramp up continues with production of 1.4koz, up 132% YoY. This was notwithstanding some disruption in the period due to employees taking time off to vote in the Kenyan national elections which has resulted in some ongoing general business uncertainty due to the contested result. The target production run rate for Plant 2 is now being regularly achieved and we expect operational performance to continue to improve in the coming quarters.

The results demonstrate continued robust operational performance and the company is on track to meet our estimates for further production and earnings growth in FY 2018.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 17p.

]]> Oil price, Jersey Oil and Gas, President Energy, Wentworth Resources, BP And finally... Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:03:00 +0100 Oil price

The market ran out of steam yesterday, there was no shortage of good news but a combination of profit taking and a lessening of geopolitical risk in Kurdistan as I reported yesterday, took the heat out of the market. That was added to by Shell lifting the Force Majeure on Bonny Light crude exports after pipeline repairs were completed.

The good news that was seemingly overlooked was also mentioned here yesterday, over at Opec, Secretary General Barkindo said that he was ‘engaging support’ to extend the existing cuts. This comes from the very top as it is sanctioned by Vlad and his new bestie Khalid al-Falih who is acting on orders from the King himself.

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

One of the worst kept secrets was that JOG was on the road and looking for money, mainly as it is so much of a no-brainer. With a fantastic discovery at Verbier, and operator Statoil looking to appraise the 25-130m as well as a likely exploration well on the already de-risked Cortina prospect, a raise now is perfect timing. I say that as with the inevitable drilling programme over the next few months any delay would have spooked the market, to get it out of the way is in my view very wise indeed.

At 200p the offer is in my view so much of a giveaway that I wouldnt be surprised to see an announcement very soon that it has been massively oversubscribed at this level. Also it should be borne in mind that JOG is still looking for UKCS production opportunities and strengthening the balance sheet at this time is no bad idea. Longer term this will be viewed as a chance not to have missed, I see a minimum of 5x the current share price as a rough TP.

President Energy (LON:PPC)

There is something in the water in the square mile as during his roadshow Peter Levine has run into people seemingly very keen to invest in the company and I can’t blame them. Today PPC launch a £6.1m raise at 10p and a €5m open offer, also at 10p which given my recent published views on the company’s prospects also looks very attractive.

Peter Levine’s vehicle is not adding at this stage as the panel would have required a mandatory bid for the company but his vehicle, PLLG will convert debt to a level of a 29.9% equity holding which will reduce the company’s costs and strengthen the balance sheet. The raise will give PPC further opportunities to buy more production and likely accelerate the existing work programme in Argentina. With the continent so full of opportunities and many companies looking to invest in the area, PPC has achieved a valuable early mover status and should be rewarded for it. The recent share price movement is only the start of a fully blown re-rating for the company.

Wentworth Resources (LON:WRL)

Good news from WRL this morning as it says that it is working with both the TPDC and TANESCO to maintain regular monthly payments and focusing on settling unpaid past invoices. As a result they have announced that this week TPDC has paid $1.1m and TANESCO $0.4m which is a big step in the right direction.

As for production, news from Mnazi Bay is also good with Q3 production of 60 MMscf/d which ups the years average to 45 MMscf/d. With the October number being around 64 MMscf/d the year’s guidance of 40-50 MMscf/d day looks eminently achievable. See below for Africa Oil Week details but I have an interview booked with WRL which I will report back on asap, watch this space as the company is quietly building its strong position in Tanzania.


After weeks of gossip all with credibility, BP has announced that Chairman Carl-Henric svanberg is to step down at the next AGM. Having presided over one of the worst ever periods in the company’s history will mean that his legacy will be correctly remembered with little good sentiment as Macondo and Bo Diddley’s $19m pay cheque rather blotted his copybook. The only worse thought is that the FT report this morning that ex HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint is an early candidate for the job, the words frying pan and fire come to mind…

Africa Oil Week

Provided I can work the technology, and that is no given, next week’s blogs will come from Africa Oil Week where an incredible array of speakers is lined up. I have been immensely fortunate to having been given access to a number of our quoted company executives who are attending the event and I will report back in the following few days.

And finally…

As the MotoGP Championship race hots up they head to Australia this weekend. Marquez topped early practice but it’s still wide open between Marquez and Dovisioso with Vinales ready to cash in if they should trip each other up.

And in F1 it’s time for the USGP and with a commanding lead built up only recently Lewis could win the title on Sunday evening.

In last night’s Boropa Cup the Gooners won and the Toffees lost, these two play each other at Goodison on Sunday…

In the footy tonight the Hammers host the Seagulls whilst the standout match of the weekend is on Sunday when the HubCap Stealers play Spurs at fortress Wembley… Also on Sunday is the clash mentioned above. Tomorrow sees the leaders the Noisy Neighbours host Burnley whilst the Red Devils go to the Terriers, Chelski host the Hornets whilst the Magpies host the Eagles, fresh from beating Chelski last week.

And the flat season effectively finishes tomorrow with Champions Day at Ascot, each race is first class and provides a proper finish to the season.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Genel, Plexus, Links And finally... Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:45:00 +0100 Oil price

Onward and sedately upwards, the oil market takes note of the near 400/- b/d closed in from Kurdistan although not panicking as surely some agreement will be put in place. Chatter that the Opec/Non-Opec agreement might be extended through the whole of 2018 also supported prices but quite when that will actually decided is uncertain, maybe best kept for when they need a ‘good news moment’ as Alastair Campbell might have said…

Finally the EIA inventory data was also modestly supportive, crude oil drew 5.7m barrels against expectations of 3.9m but with refinery rates falling by 4.7% the product market was mixed. This is the time of year for refinery downtime for pre-winter maintenance made more complicated this year by the hurricanes.

It was 30 years ago today that the crash wiped 508 points off the Dow, the previous few days had seen carnage in London following the great storm and the financial meltdown continued that week, surely it couldn’t happen again…

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

An operational update this morning from AMER where much is going on at the moment. Platanillo-25 is complete, it was drilled south-west of Pad 2N and found 10′ of U sand maybe slightly less than expected owing to shale content but a sidetrack will now aim nearer Plat-21 for imminent production. Finding 3′ of N Sand was encouraging and should bode well for the drilling of the N Sand anomaly where the target is a substantial 18.8 MMboe. Next up is the Plat-27 well, it will be drilled before the 23 well as the 25 data is assessed and will be north of Plat-22.

Finally as will always be the case here there are a number of general housekeeping items to tidy up wells and increment longer term production at Platanillo. Concluding the work at CPO-5 is almost complete and I expect the LTT to be under way by the end of this month.

All this means that most importantly the 7/- b/d target for year end production is still on track and with such a substantial drilling programme rolling out over the next 14 months there is still significant upside on offer.

Genel Energy (LON:GENL)

An update from GENL today with 3Q production at 33,810 and 9m of 36,030 with Tawke going very well especially following success at Peshkabir. Taq Taq remains a different story and despite more drilling appears to be in the doldrums. The RSA appears to be working well albeit at an early stage, for the long term it is by far the better option and backs up my more positive recent stance on the company. Financially the positive free cash flow means that debt is being reduced to $138m and cash reserves are $268m. Elsewhere the KRI gas assets are still in farm-out negotiations and the updated CPR for Miran and Bina Bawi is expected shortly.

Plexus Holdings (LON:POS)- Validation times-come on!

Plexus has sold its niche jack-up business to TechnipFMC for £15m rising to a potential £42.5m. This in one fell swoop validates the POS technology built up over so many years. The company will now be a specialist IP business and with a significant market outwith the jack-up area should still be a decent company. Over the next three years POS will be left with the earn-out, work in Russia and the CIS, all applications in such areas as production, in fact anything outside exploration which is still huge.

This deal is genuinely all about IP and how one of the leading service company giants has finally acknowledged that POS has made itself the market leader in this technology. Held back by the 2015 market shake up this looks at first glance to be a good deal for POS and of course they have a substantial collaboration agreement in areas such as new technology for decommissioning etc. Although it may not be all shareholders idea of perfection, to me it looks fair enough, at last it is not just Plexus and their clients who are saying that they are the best in class.


And finally…

The Yankees have won their three home games against the Astros to take a 3-2 lead in the ALCS. They now go back to Houston to finish the series. The Cubs managed to stay alive last night after they edged past the Dodgers to win their first game of the series and make it 3-1. One more game in Chicago before they go back to LA.

In the Champions League the Red Devils won at Benfica, Chelski got a 3-3 draw with Roma whilst Celtic lost 3-0 at Bayern Munich. For them it is to ensure they get that Boropa Cup spot by being third in the group of death.

Talking of the Boropa Cup, tonight the Gooners are at Crvena Zvezda, easy for you to say whilst the Toffees host Lyon.

]]> Horse Hill green light 'a good result for the industry' Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:53:00 +0100 The independent oil and gas analyst Barney Gray discusses the decision by Surrey County Council to give the green light to the new Horse Hill programme.

''I'm quite pleased with this announcement, it covers a lot of ground''.

''They obviously have the permission to do the extended flow test at Horse Hill which I think is going to be very important because the data which came out originally was very teasing and it will now be nice to see an extended flow test and see what this well can actually flow''.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:09:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has provided an update on PEDL143, the Holmwood prospect, following a meeting of the Surrey County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee yesterday. EDR holds an 18.4% interest in the prospect.

The results of the meeting were the approval of a security fence for the drill site. However, the Committee elected to defer a decision on traffic management following requests for further information. As a result, EDR has indicated that drilling of the conventional oil exploration well is now likely to take place in H1 2018.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

]]> Oil price, RockRose Energy, Independent Oil & Gas And finally... Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:40:00 +0100 Oil price

A very quiet day, the Peshmerga have retreated to the 2003 borders apparently which eased upwards pressure but after the close the API stats showed a big draw which if confirmed by the API tonight will maintain upward pressure.

RockRose Energy (LON:RRE)

RockRose has announced another deal this morning confirming my suspicions I wrote about last time. This deal is of a significantly bigger magnitude and regrettably is classed as n RTO by the panel and therefore requires suspension. On that point and before the inevitable grumbles, investors in RRE have always been aware of AA’s plans to buy a substantial portfolio of assets and this is part of the risk that goes with the territory. Having spoken to the man himself he is as confident that one can be that the shares should be restored before Christmas.

On the facts available it is clear that this is a potentially company making deal that puts RRE well ahead of its target of production, by the end of next year a conservative  8/- b/d. The assets that have been bought from Idemitsu comprise WI’s in 10 fields, employees and a London office which puts RRE into a bigger bracket, as promised at the time of the original raise. The deal is funded out of existing facilities and cash resources and I suspect a financed decommissioning package which we should discover when the readmission document and CPR are published. As a result of this it is impossible at the moment to work out a cost per barrel of the acquisition but I think it might turn out to be very attractive. More will be revealed when the aforementioned documents are published but I would guess that the irritation of suspension will be more than repaid by the reward when the quote is restored…

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

IOG has announced a Letter of Intent with ODE for technical support om Blythe and the Vulcan satellites ahead of and post the FID. Pre-FID costs are fully deferred and pre first gas costs are 50% deferred until that point. This obviously ‘reduces funding commitments’ although that statement might read as ‘reschedules’ funding commitments as they aren’t going away altogether.  The good news is that London Oil & Gas have kept the faith in the company and are bit by bit having their patience rewarded. The outlook for IOG is beginning to look a lot better and I suspect that the inconsistencies of the past may be put behind them as it has been a long old haul as the faithful can testify.


And finally…

Back to the Champions League and it was a good night for the English clubs with wins for the Noisy Neighbours and the HubCap Stealers and a very creditable draw by Spurs at the Bernabéu.

Tonight the Red Devils travel to Benfica with all the history that fixture brings, Celtic are at Bayern Munich and Chelski host Roma.

We have had the second managerial departure of the season as Craig Shakespeare departs from the Foxes not so much the traditional bottle of whisky and a revolver more a case of is this a dagger I see before me, its handle towards my hand…..

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, Sula Iron and Gold PLC, Goldplat plc Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:35:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG LN) has announced that it has signed an LOI with Offshore Design Engineering for multiple contractor roles in the development of the Blythe and Vulcan Satellites project beginning with technical and operational support in preparation for the final investment decision.

ODE will provide technical and operational support both before and after the FID and will act as the operations and maintenance service provider. Pre-FID costs will be fully deferred while pre first gas costs will be 50% deferred until first gas. The Thames Pipeline will also be included in ODE’s remit along with an onshore operational base in Great Yarmouth.

The announcement demonstrates further support from external contractors underpinning confidence in the project. Furthermore, the terms of the LOI with significant deferrals reduce the upfront funding requirement strengthening IOG’s ability to advance the project as a 100% operator.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.


Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has provided a corporate update. Structural interpretation work following the recent drilling programme and soil sampling is ongoing. The results of this analysis will aid in identifying the most appropriate next steps for development and management is of the opinion that finding a JV or farm in partner may be the most advantageous way of developing the Ferensola project.

The board have also indicated that it intends to expand SULA’s asset base and is considering opportunities in this regard.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.2p target price.


Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

We note the purchase of share’s by CEO, Gerard Kisbey Green.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 17p.

]]> Oil price, Genel Energy, President Energy, Zenith Energy And finally... Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:36:00 +0100 Oil price

No blog yesterday as I was ‘out and about’ but company news is fairly thin on the ground at the moment. The oil price remains firm and today Brent is above $58 and WTI above $52, last week they gained $1.55 and $2.16  respectively. The main positive are the substantial export cuts for November announced by Aramco over the weekend in which they expect to reduce by 560/- b/d which in my book is called making a statement. The usual geopolitical events such as in Kirkuk and the Trump moves on Iranian sanctions still exist and with elections called for February in Nigeria I can’t see that settling down between now and then.

Genel Energy (LON:GENL)

A couple of points to make about Genel from today and yesterday, they have announced that the first RSA payment has been made, amounting to $6m and under the new arrangements is their exact share of the 4.5% of the Tawke revenues in August. Understandably the above mentioned troubles around Kirkuk have caused some consternation amongst investors and rightly so, having said that it should not be overestimated.

Yesterday they announced that COO Paul Schofield was stepping down  with immediate effect and will be replaced in November by Bill Higgs, formerly COO of Ophir Energy and boss of Mediterranean Oil and Gas. A significant move by Genel and in my view a most positive one, it didn’t take much savvy to realise that Bill would not be out for long and this looks a very interesting one. As previously reported the guard is being changed at the top of Genel and very much for the better.

President Energy (LON:PPC)

Whilst on the subject of revenues, PPC  has announced that it has ‘banked proceeds’ from its first delivery of oil from the Puesto Flores field, only recently acquired from Chevron. The $1.5m shows that the assets are delivering to PPC ‘from the get go’ and as in his interview with me last week, shows that Chairman Peter Levine is ‘focused on profits and positive cash flow’. The shares are now above 10p and should go a lot higher, especially after his bullish comments last week.

Core Finance CEO interview: Peter Levine of President Energy

Zenith Energy (LON:ZEN)

Zenith has announced a production increase on the C-21 well in Azerbaijan from 34 b/d to 50 b/d which could rise if an ESP is installed. I have been looking at ZEN a bit lately and think it warrants further investigation.

And finally…

This afternoon sees the draw for the World Cup playoffs with Northern Ireland and the RoI in the pot. Seeded teams they might meet include Switzerland, Italy, Croatia or Denmark…

Tonight we are back to the Champions League, the HubCap Stealers go to NK Maribor, the Noisy Neighbours host Napoli and Spurs are at Real Madrid which gives young Harry the chance to size up the Bernabéu…

And the ‘much loved’ Warren Gatland has said that he won’t manage the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 2021 or as he puts it ‘won’t submit myself’ to it, what a shame….

From Sunday…

The heavy rain in Japan produced another thrilling race between the two contenders for the World Championship. Marc Marquez led for the second half of the race having overtaken pole man Danilo Petrucci but couldn’t shake off a determined Andrea Dovizioso who can now smell the World Championship. Going into the last lap it looked as though Marquez had the win but a mistake allowed Dovi through, meaning Marquez only has an 11 point lead going into next week’s Australian GP. Both Rossi and Crutchlow slid off with Rossi blaming his rear Michelin. Best Brit was Sam Lowes’ 13th.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC, Polymetal International Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:14:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)#

Columbus Energy Resources (CERP LN) has provided an update on the recently announced Open Offer. The Open Offer for up to 20.1mn shares at 5p per share is being made to qualifying shareholders as of close of business 13 October 2017. Qualifying shareholders are existing shareholders as of the record date and are entitled to 1 open offer share for every 31 existing ordinary shares.

Qualifying shareholders are also eligible to apply for additional open offer shares through an excess application facility for which full details are available in the circular which will be on the company’s website today.

The last date for application for qualifying shareholders is 11am on 1 November.


Polymetal (LON:POLY)#

Polymetal (POLY LN) has announced strong Q3 2017 production results. Gold equivalent production of 470koz was up 26% YoY meaning that in the first 9mo17 POLY has produced 1.03mnoz GE, up 15% YoY. This strong operational performance was achieved via the full ramp up at Svetloye as well as record production at Albazino (89koz, up 24% YoY) and Varvara and a strong performance at Mayskoye (81koz, up 70% YoY). As a result of higher prices and production group revenue was up 17% YoY to US$546mn, which also benefitted from delayed sales from prior periods and POLY has indicated that this timing gap is due to be closed during Q4 2017.

POLY appears comfortably on track to meet its guidance of 1.4mnoz GE production in 2017 and has maintained cost guidance also at US$600-650/oz and AISC of US$775-825/oz. Given that the ramp up has been driven by the low cost heap leach operation at Svetloye this is likely to benefit group margins particularly as grades at the project were up 27% YoY to 4.8g/t.


]]> Angus Energy wraps up drill program at Lidsey while UKOG hits stumbling block at Broadford Bridge Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Proactive Investors oil & gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft reports on Angus Energy Plc (LON:ANGS) completing their drill program at the Lidsey field, in the southern edge of the Weald basin, near Bognor Regis.

The company now plans to produce from 443 metres of net oil pay in the Great Oolite limestone reservoir.

Ashcroft also discusses why UK Oil and Gas Investments PLC (LON:UKOG), a junior market favourite, dropped almost 30% earlier this week as their potentially exciting Broadford Bridge well ran into complications.

]]> SDX Energy's Paul Welch confident of strong flow rates from latest Morocco discovery Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:41:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX) tells Proactive it's been an incredibly busy start to October with two new discoveries.

SDX last week unearthed an oil discovery in the Rabul-2 well, in Egypt, before this week's news of the gas finds in the KSR-14 well in Morocco.

The Morocco project was among the assets acquired out of Circle Oil last year, and the better-than-expected KSR-14 well is due to be followed by a further eight wells over an ongoing campaign.

]]> Oil price, Jersey Oil and Gas And finally... Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:57:00 +0100 Oil price

A bit of drift yesterday as markets read the final of the three monthlies, this one from the IEA and was more bearish than the others. It rather spoiled the party as it reduced demand forecasts although most other forecasts remained as before. The good news is that in all the years I have been following them the IEA are rarely correct and given how much it costs to run the organisation it is a total shambles.

Later in the day the inventory stats helped out a bit, after the API build the EIA reported a draw of 2.75m barrels higher than the whisper, gasoline added 2.5m barrels as refiners got back to normal utilisation rates of 89.2%.

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

I caught up with Andrew Benitz, CEO of JOG yesterday partly to see if he had come down yet and partly to see what, if any more news there was from the Verbier sidetrack. The answers are no and tight, Andrew is rightly very happy with the result but in terms of news Statoil will be working on the data from the well for a little while yet.

As a result there is little I can add to published information but I can give an idea of where JOG might go in the next few months. Assuming the data confirms existing numbers, and the Statoil news release was unusually forthcoming with regard to a need for an appraisal well, then the 25-130m bbls existing estimate should prove conservative. If that is the case, and it is not by any means certain, then there must be a chance of an exploration well on  the Cortina prospect which is of a similar nature and must have been de-risked by this well.

I think that based on admittedly limited information, JOG shareholders should be very happy, as the current information in my view validates the share price as it is now with the potential for a good deal more if Statoil “clarify the recoverable volumes and to refine this range,” as they say in their RNS.

With JOG still very much looking for production deals and now with potentially very exciting exploration upside I am extremely confident about the outlook and it more than justifies bucket list retention.

And finally…

The Cubs beat the Nats in game 5 last night so they advance to the NLCS to face the Dodgers. The Astros, having beaten the Red Sox, will face the Yankees after they won their game 5 against the Indians in Cleveland. Game 1 of that series is tonight.

The MotoGP moves to Japan on Sunday where Marc Marquez hopes to extend his 16 point lead in the Championship over Dovizioso with 4 rounds to go. Both Lorenzo and Rossi will be looking to atone for crashing out here last year, whilst Cal Crutchlow will want to improve on last year’s 5th place.

It’s back to the Prem this weekend and the standout game is the Red Devils vs the HubCap Stealers. Both sides have injury hit squads so it will be interesting to see how it goes. Elsewhere it’s the claret and blue derby as Burnley entertain the Hammers, the Eagles have another easy game as the host Chelski. The Noisy Neighbours entertain the Potters, Spurs are back at fortress Wembley against the Cherries, the Gooners go to the Hornets, the Seagulls host the Toffees and the Magpies make the long journey to the Saints.

With Gordon Strachan being despatched the next Scottish football manager is being discussed, early favourites include David Moyes, Alex Mcleish, Paul Lambert and Big Sam Allardyce most of whom should send a shudder down the backs of the fans.

As we end the flat racing season it’s the Dewhirst at Newmarket and ahead of next week’s Champions Day it is future Champions weekend there and at York.

Finally Rugby Union starts the first European weekend with all sorts of new sides in the mix up.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Millennial Lithium Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

Ashanti Gold Corp (AGZ CN), the joint venture partner and operator of the Anumso gold project in Ghana of Goldplat (GDP LN) reports significant gold soil anomalies encountered in a completed program. In aggregate up to 400m wide and with an underlying host rock of conglomerate, the anomalies show a significant number of samples with grades at or above 30ppb (.03ppm) gold; deemed highly anomalous among explorationists who work the W Africa gold belts. At least 24 samples gave results at or above 0.1ppm gold.

Mineralized rock grab samples grading 1gAu/t or better were submitted for metallurgical recovery of gold. Oxidized samples were crushed, ground, and bottle rolled for cyanide leach recovery and showed excellent results of greater than 85% gold recovery in 48 hours across all types of samples in the batch.

No comment was made of what comes next on the project but these results certainly put a fire in the field geologist’s mind we believe to get ready for drilling. GDP will retain no less than 25% interest in this ground in the JV.

We retain our BUY rating and 17p price target.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)#

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has opted to pay off the debt early incurred in the acquisition of the initial core license ground at Pastos Grandes with a portion of the funds raised in the past few weeks. This ground had been set up with a payment schedule upon the announcement of its acquisition on 19 July, 2016. Due to highly successful drilling results to date on the ground, ML has consummated a full and final 100% ownership of this first 1,219 hectares with the transfer of deeds completed 5 October, 2017.

In other news, drilling results from the ‘Cruz’ property have proved disappointing. ML has notified the original vendor of the ground that it is terminating its further interest. ML was to have received US$1m in the next option payment from the JV partner by 1 October, 2017.

Though the drilling results from ‘Cruz’ have been disappointing, the early exit from ground which is not prime preserves capital for better opportunities in the ML property portfolio.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - NuLegacy Gold Corp, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:34:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced the results of its recent CPR on the Vulcan Satellites, Blythe and Elgood assets. The key finding of the report is a significant increase in gas reserves from 34 BCF to 303BCF on a 2P basis with the uplift coming primarily from the Vulcan Satellites which now have 2P reserves of 248 BCF. At Blythe 2P reserves were unchanged at 33 BCF while at Elgood reserves increased to 22 BCF.

The increase in reserves has enabled IOG to demonstrate the economic viability of the project following 3D seismic analysis, well design and placement as well as hydraulic stimulation on the Vulcan Satellite. Consequently, IOG has received production forecasts for each field with peak production from 2P reserves indicated at 200 MMcfd. Initial capital for the whole field is projected at £466mn while the pre-tax NPV using a conservative 10% discount is £453m.  

We do expect a further increase to resources at Harvey with a CPR due. The gas hub strategy using the Thames pipeline should enable IOG to scale the project at relatively limited capital expense. We therefore view this CPR as a robust base and additional exploration success is likely to further enhance the economics.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation

Multi-Million Ounce Potential

NuLegacy (CVE:NUG) holds the largest independently owned land package within the Cortez gold trend in Nevada. During 2017 the company has significantly expanded the footprint of mineralisation amongst Carlin Type Gold Deposits (CTGDs) within the license area, building on the existing exploration target* of 90-110mnt at between 0.9-1.1g/t Au. New zones, Serena and the Western Slope drilled for the first time in 2017 yielded intercepts of 85.4m at 0.64g/t including 50.3m at 1.00g/t Au from 133m.

NUG has identified a significant cluster of oxidised gold deposits; however, it has yet to identify the high grade zones of mineralisation typically associated with the centre of CTGDs. We believe that identifying these zones offers significant upside potential for investors, however, we stress that this is not a binary investment case reliant on this type of discovery. The region’s strong infrastructure, the shallow depth of the mineralisation and potential for low cost heap leaching indicate to us that the deposits determined to date are sufficiently attractive to warrant further development.  

Support From the Region’s Experts

Barrick (NYSE:ABX) has discovered some of the world’s leading gold deposits in the immediate vicinity of NUG’s license area, including Cortez Hills (15mnoz+), Pipeline (21mnoz+) and Goldrush (10mnoz+). ABX opted to take equity in NUG and now holds approximately 10.9% of the shares. There is a strong relationship between the two companies and three former ABX executives hold directorships at NUG. Also, NUG’s Chief Geoscience Officer and Co-Founder, Roger Steininger, is credited with discovering the Pipeline deposit and is one of the region’s foremost geologists. The senior management team and Board of Directors in place at NUG significantly strengthen the investment case, in our view.


We believe that the large footprint of oxidised gold mineralisation that NUG has established to date across multiple deposits forms an attractive base for future exploration. With C$11m in cash, backing from ABX and a strong senior management team we believe that NUG is well placed to further the development of these attractive assets. We expect strong newsflow over the balance of 2017 as a 14 hole (c.4.9km) programme has just begun.

We initiate coverage with a Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Oil price, Independent Oil & Gas, Tullow, President Energy And finally... Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:19:00 +0100 Oil price

Another up day for crude yesterday, Opec kicked of the monthly reports session by increasing demand forecasts for next year by an albeit modest 200/- b/d. The EIA STEO is out this morning and at first glance is uncontentious. Crude drifted late in the day and when the API inventory stats came out after the bell oil fell on the news that according to them stocks built by 3.1m barrels against a predicted draw. This morning crude is around 50 cents off last nights closing numbers.

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

It’s a red letter day for IOG as their updated CPR done by ERC has shown that gas reserves at the Vulcan satellites, plus the Blythe and Elgood assets are significantly higher than before. It is almost entirely due to the Vulcan satellites being included as from what I can see Blythe, at 2P 33 BCF and Elgood, 22 BCF are similar to previous numbers. The Vulcan satellites are given 248 BCF giving a total of 303 BCF up from 34 BCF last time with the Harvey numbers still to come. The CPR gives 2P peak production of 200 MMcfd  and an NPV 10 valuation of £331m which should at long last put some meat on the bones of the IOG strategy. Part of this strategy is the use of the Thames pipeline which given what it cost, ie next to nothing, will provide a highly efficient transportation method.

This CPR, along with continued strong support from  London Oil & Gas, should mean that IOG starts to move forward on a much more secure footing. Although this CPR isn’t per se the golden ticket to future riches, it should make planning for the future a good deal easier.

Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

Tullow has acquired 90% of four onshore blocks in Côte d’Ivoire with the state oil company taking the remaining 10%. There is no indication that at this stage that this might be in any way material but adds to the company’s modest in country exposure.

Link- President Energy (LON:PPC

Yesterday I was at Core Finance again to interview Peter Levine, Chairman and CEO of President Energy. We discussed the political state in Argentina where a number of majors have recently entered and the opportunities that lie in the country. We got together primarily though to talk about his recent acquisition and how swiftly the assets are being put to work. With much confidence for the future PPC still looks significantly undervalued to me, the link to the interview is here.

Core Finance CEO interview: Peter Levine of President Energy

And finally…

A bit quiet on the sports front this week, the international break for World Cup qualification has though kept the headline writers busy. For the home nations it was a mixed bag, England are into the finals but playing like this they need only book the hotel for the first stages, Northern Ireland are into a two leg qualifier but Scotland and Wales have the summer off. Further afield, Argentina were 1-0 down until a Messi hat-trick put them through and Holland failed to score the 7 goals they needed so they are missing as well.

]]> SDX Energy, Gulfsands Petroleum Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:16:00 +0100 SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

Further good news this morning from SDX who has reported a gas discovery on well KSR -14 on the Sebou permit in Morocco. The 20 metres of net conventional natural gas pay in the Guebbas and Hoot formations were found over four intervals. These results have exceeded pre-drill estimates and the company is working on evaluating recoverable volume estimates.

This result bodes very well for rest of the programme as the company has 6 more development locations followed by 2 exploration wells. With such a good start to the season, two discoveries in six days, things are looking up, indeed this well was drilled faster and cheaper than any before and found twice expectations. SDX is on a roll and investors can expect some early Christmas gifts if things carry on like this.

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

GPX has announced that their Putumayo-14 licence has been extended to 2021 which includes work programme. Given that I am sure that the company wants to farm-out this acreage this is very welcome news especially given the recent flurry of activity in Latin America. John Bell is doing a grand job at GPX and this is further proof of his hard work.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Gulfsands Petroleum plc, Novo Litio Ltd Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)

Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI) has provided an update on the Sepeda project. Although NLI has opted to progress legal proceedings through the Courts of Portugal via an expedited process, the vendors of the project (Lusorecursos) have threatened violence towards NLI staff on site as part of their attempts to frustrate NLI’s acquisition of the license and license applications. NLI maintains that it has a binding agreement to acquire 100% of the granted license and license applications from Lusorecursos and anticipates that injunction proceedings will commence in November 2017 in time for a Mining License application to be made.

We highlight, however, that NLI has received support from the Baldios of Carvalhais demonstrating that it maintains strong local support and relationships with key Portuguese stakeholders. The Baldios are the administrators of the communal land on which Sepeda is located with whom NLI have exclusive access and land rights for the site. They have intervened to provide support via the local gendarmerie when Lusorecursos have entered the site.

In addition, NLI have brought the actions of Lusorecursos to the attention of the Director General of the Portuguese mines Department and now await a response. Although this represents a frustrating setback for NLI this course of action is unlikely to favour Lusorecursos in the legal process and we await further updates from NLI.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of A$0.2/sh.

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

We note that Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX) has announced that it has secured a reset of its PUT-14 Licence terms in Putumayo, Colombia. This means that Phase 0 which focuses on stakeholder and community consultation will restart giving GPX the necessary time to carry out this process and will have a full three year period to then carry out the Phase 1 exploration. The PUT-14 license will now run until at least mid-2021 thereby providing a more attractive timescale for potential partners for a seismic and drilling programme.

The minimum work programme is unchanged along with the other commercial terms and GPX as part of Phase 1 will need to complete 98km2 of 2D seismic and drill one exploration well. The announcement is a positive step which will enable GPX to better demonstrate the potential of its asset base in what is, in our view, an attractive region for exploration.

]]> Iofina plc on track to beat second half production guidance Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:34:00 +0100 Tom Becker, chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF), tells Proactive they're on track to beat their production guidance of between 225-240 metric tonnes in the second half of 2017.

One plant, IO#3 has been taken offline and is being replaced by a much more efficient unit, IO#7, which is scheduled to come on stream in early 2018.

]]> Oil price, JOG, President, Columbus, Petrofac, Wood Group And finally... Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:33:00 +0100 Oil price

Oil prices faded at the end of last week for no great reason, TS Nate worried traders who thought that it would take out refining capacity but in the end whilst it was all gong and very little dinner by recent standards. The fundamental news is much more positive, the Putin/Salman talks concluded amicably and at a forum in Moscow the Aramco CEO confirmed that the IPO was ‘on track’ for a 2018 listing which should encourage supply discipline from Riyad. Indeed with Iran and Venezuela talking about ‘deepening cuts’ and the Moscow meeting possibly extending them to the end of the year most things in the oily garden are coming up roses, so to speak. With detailed inventory stats this week likely to be sympathetic to the bulls last week may just have been a correction. It’s Columbus Day in the US today so a holiday…

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

Statoil has announced this morning that the Verbier sidetrack well is a discovery (JOG 18%) ‘with a minimum proven recoverable volume in the immediate vicinity of the wellbore of 25 million barrels of oil equivalent’ which is incredibly good news. Initial estimates of 25-130 of oil equivalent are very encouraging but it is likely that an appraisal well will be drilled to look at the sands in the Verbier fan but I understand that Statoil is very excited by the good data points including the 10 Y well data. They will interpret the seismic but this all reads well across the rest of the block which includes the Cortina prospect and the Meribel lead. JOG Andrew Benitz was obviously delighted when I spoke to him this morning saying that this was ‘nothing short of fantastic news’ and that the sidetrack exceeded pre-drill estimates.

I visited JOG last week and spent a day at their offices which I will write up shortly, I was going to do so today but this news has rather superceded that visit. Suffice it to say that, for a small and relatively new company in the sector, they have a highly experienced yet dynamic team, who are flat to the boards assessing potential production deals which hopefully should deliver 1H next year, more later.

President Energy (LON:PPC)

Peter Levine is not letting the grass grow under his feet, he has today announced a well programme at the very recently acquired Neuquen Basin assets at Puesto Flores and Estancia Vieja. The three well programme comprises three workover wells and two more contingent wells, of these five wells, four were shut in prior to the President deal. These wells will be funded from existing cash reserves and are aimed at bringing back production and to test by-passed intervals which demonstrated evidence of hydrocarbons during original drilling. My guess is that previously Chevron may have cherry picked the bigger and better sands and have unwittingly left potential rich pickings behind.

With its existing portfolio and now the acquired acreage, President is likely to have an extraordinarily busy time in the next few months and with so many opportunities to increase production should easily deliver on Peter Levine’s upbeat expectations, accordingly I remain of the view that these shares are extraordinarily good value at 8.175p. He is coming in to Core Finance on Wednesday to explain everything so watch this space….

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP- It’s Columbus day, let’s do a deal… 

Another man on a mission is Leo Koot, CEO of CERP who have announced a placing, subscription and open offer to raise £4.1m this morning. Schroders has agreed to take a 10% holding in the company by investing £3m at 5p and with management investing £100,000 and an open offer for £1m available the company is well funded for this stage of its journey. The proceeds are to be used to accelerate their growth strategy on current assets in Trinidad by further increasing production and cash flow as well as potentially acquiring ‘value added’ M&A opportunities.

I have met with Leo Koot a number of times and he has injected into Columbus what he calls ‘new energy, vision and focus’ and tellingly describes the company as ‘an oil production-led South American exploration business’, whilst these need to be proven it has certainly been a good start. The number of Latam players is definitely on the rise as smart managements realise that the continent is full of promise and potential and more importantly, open for business.

Petrofac (LON:PFC)

PFC has announced a Master Services Agreement with Gazprom Neft over three years for engineering services on the Garmian field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. No indication of size here but adds to the recent flurry of orders adding to a building backlog.

Wood Group

Wood Group has completed its acquisition of AMFW, let’s hope that it is more successful that the Amec acquisition of FW. Wood has sensibly appointed Ian McHoul, Linda Adamany and Roy A Franklin as NEDs and would do well to listen to their wise council.


Last week I gave an interview to Jeremy Naylor at IGTV, we discussed the bucket list and how well, or badly it has done and for the first time I gave a sneaky look at which companies are on the subs bench for the upcoming changes in the list. Look out for comments on Sound, Hurricane, Amerisur, VOG, SDX, JOG, Aminex, Echo, Trinity, Wentworth, Ascent and Empyrean…And subs bench…..

IG interview: Oil bucket list set for a rebound?

And finally…

Watching England play football brings a whole new meaning to the expression ‘watching paint dry’ and listening to Ryan Giggs and Ian Wright made one think of joys of the past. If this lot of rubbish represent us in Russia next year then I shall be washing my hair on the few occasions that they play…

Scotland however will not be in Russia as they narrowly failed to qualify yesterday but did very nearly make it. Tonight it’s Wales v Republic of Ireland, as I understand Wales can draw but the RoI have to win, let battle commence. Northern Ireland are in the play-offs ok.

In the baseball, the Yankees beat the Indians last night to keep the series alive. The Red Sox battled back against the Astros and they also now trail 2-1. The Dodgers are 2-0 up against the Diamondbacks and the Nationals and Cubs are all square heading back for 2 games in Chicago. All 8 teams play tonight.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC, Columbus Energy Resources PLC Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:49:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced the departure of Howard Baker as Non-Executive Technical Director. In place, John Gould, who is a geologist and Partner at Madini (SULA’s technical advisors) will fulfil this role alongside and experienced South African based geologist who has significant experience of Archean greenstone gold deposits. The pair will continue the ongoing structural interpretation work at Ferensola.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.2p


Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced a fundraising of up to £4.1m. The placing is structured in three parts; £3m via Schroders Investment Management for 60m shares at 5p, a £0.1m subscription from the senior management team (Leo Koot; Executive Chairman, Gordon Stein; CFO, Stewart Ahmed; MD for Trinidad and Michael Douglas; NED) at 5p as well as an open offer available to existing shareholders. The open offer is proposed as a 1 for 31 offer of up to c.20m shares at 5p with the timing to be announced in due course. Schroders’ holding of 60m will represent a 9.65% interest in CERP’s enlarged share capital. The price of 5p represents a discount of 16.7% to the prior close and a premium of 14.4% to the one month VWAP.

The investment by Schroders’ represents, in our view, an endorsement of CERP’s turnaround strategy which we believe can unlock significant unrealised value potential at the Goudron field and South West Peninsula. The funds will be utilised to accelerate the execution of this turnaround strategy as well as for targeting potential new opportunities.

Our estimates our Under Review following this announcement.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy/Coro Energy, Echo Energy, Zenith Energy, Frontera Resources, And finally... Fri, 06 Oct 2017 11:24:00 +0100 An interesting week in the oil markets, Brent should end it virtually unchanged with WTI off by a dollar or so. Interestingly WTI is now seeing buyers from far and wide, partly as the discount now makes it cheap enough to take to India, China and the Pacific rim. The EIA announced that last week the USA achieved its record ever week of exports with over 2m b/d sold, including its first ever shipment to India which docked this week.

Elsewhere history was also made as the Saudi King Salman made the first ever state visit to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. The tone was very cordial and the leaders offered further cooperation and a possible extension of the quotas. A number of deals were signed between the countries to seal the deal, as it were.

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)/Coro

I joined Echo and Coro on their river cruise yesterday evening in which during a very detailed and no doubting, glamourous presentation by pretty much the entire management team. CEO James Parsons discussed the company’s strategy including the  recently announced drilling programme in Eastern Morocco. Exploration Director Brian Mitchenor explained the targets and repeatedly brought up the magic 31 TCF number to bear in mind. Recently appointed CFO, JJ Traynor was introduced and spoke as he gets his feet under the table at Sound.

Also speaking was Sara Edmonson who is going to be the CEO of Coro which will be the company that will put together the Italian assets of Sound, Saffron and Po Valley. It is clear that although these assets are quite substantial there is going to be room for expansion, probably across Europe and this may be the start of another exciting E&P company. As I said, the entire team of management and senior executives were aboard to chat to the 375 investors who were also there, indeed it was good to chat, albeit briefly, with Marco Fumagalli who’s Continental Investment Partners are cornerstone investors in Sound and Greenberry plc who perform the same function at Echo, possibly Coro as well?

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

I also attended the Echo presentation yesterday where almost all the executive board were able to put across the new company’s Latin American strategy. Clearly so far the only action has been in Bolivia but there is obviously much going on behind the scenes and I would expect news before long about other potential action in the continent. Exploration VP Julian Bessa gave a really good presentation on the technical situation in Bolivia which made the geology virtually understandable to us amateurs in the audience. It looks to me as if all the right things are happening at Echo especially if one bears in mind that it hasn’t been going long, watch this space…

Zenith Energy (LON:ZEN)

Zenith has successfully perforated a new unexploited production zone in well C-21 in the Jafarli field in Azerbaijan. This is producing 15 bopd and whilst that seems modest there are other pay zones to go after. The addition of a pump should also boost production. I am hoping to visit Zenith’s operations soon so may be able to add some more comments in due course.

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR)

Whilst I was away I noticed that FRR raised £3.5m at 58p at an albeit rather hefty 18% discount. £2.5m was raise on PrimaryBid and CEO Zaza Mamulaishvili put in £1m of his own money. Funds will be used on the Taribani drilling operations which despite having been seemingly going on for a long time show exciting prospectivity. I recently wrote on FRR having met Zaza for the first time and suggested that a raise was important to kick on with the exciting potential in the company. I am also hoping to visit Georgia before long and will report back after that.


And finally…

The MLB postseason has begun and the Yankees and Diamondbacks both won their wild-card games. The Twins and Rockies crash out but credit goes to both of the losers. The Twins lost 103 games last year and no team has ever made the playoffs the following season after losing that amount of games the previous year.

The Yankees then lost the first game of their series against the Indians and they will have to face Corey Kluber tonight after he was rested for game one in favour of Trevor Bauer, who pitched 6 innings of a shutout last night. Ominous signs for the Yankees and the Indians look like the team to beat in the AL.

The winner of that series will face either the Astros or Red Sox in the ALCS. The Astros took a one game lead last night and they play again tonight in Houston before heading to Boston on Sunday.

The NL games also start tonight as the Nationals host the Cubs and the Dodgers face the Diamondbacks.

It’s international break time which means dire football from the overpaid little darlings and England were certainly appalling last night, I am told. Sneaking a 95th minute winner means they have qualified for Russia 2018 but if the manager plays some of the players he put on show last night I feel another Iceland coming on.

Scotland might still join England in Russia, another late own goal kept their chances alive and all they have to do now is win in Slovenia on Sunday to get a play-off place…

And Argentina may not be in Russia, outside the top 6 in their group they must win their final match in Ecuador and as we all know that’s not an easy place to go……

It’s the Japanese GP this weekend and Vettel was fastest in the dry and in the wet Lewis was, dry weather is predicted for the race though.

In boxing there is a Anthony Crolla v Ricky Burns bout with not much love lost there, a Manchester crowd will probably cheer on ‘Million dollar Crolla’.

]]> SDX Energy announces new oil discovery in Egypt Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:22:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX), talks Proactive through their new oil discovery in Egypt, with the Rabul-2 well unearthing heavy crude in the West Gharib concession.

Rabul-2 hit some 101.5 feet of net oil pay across the Yusr and Bakr formations, and the company expects the well will be completed as a new producer connected to processing facilities at the Meseda field.

]]> Sound Energy, Saffron,Po Valley, SDX Energy Thu, 05 Oct 2017 07:56:00 +0100 Still traveling so a flash blog today….

Sound Energy, Saffron, Po Valley

Sound (LON:SOU) has announced a heads of terms with Saffron (LON:SRON) and Po Valley (ASX:PVE) by which Sound disposes of its portfolio of Italian interests and permits to Saffron. They will receive Saffron shares which they intend to distribute to shareholders. This, together with the grant by Po Valley to Saffron of a call option to acquire all of Po Valley operations Limited will result in the combination of the Italian oil and gas portfolios of all three companies to be re-named Coro Energy plc. James Parsons is to be the non-executive chairman, Sara Edmonson CEO and Fiona MaCaulay will be a non-executive. Sound will retain the rights to the Badile land, in the books at £1.6m plus Italian VAT receivables of £4m.

Coro is to be a mid-cap regional gas producer and explorer, and will become a consolidated Italian vehicle with a European gas ‘growth trajectory ‘. It looks to me like a creative deal with Sound shareholders receiving shares and post regulatory suspension could be very exciting. The best if the directors, management and combined on the ground teams will play to their strengths and I wouldn’t be surprised if Continental didn’t appear as a cornerstone investor.

This looks very like Sound 111 with an accent on fair treatment of retail investors as Sound and Echo shareholders have become accustomed to. With the excitement of the return from suspension and the formation of another new company to look forward to, tonight’s river cruise should be quite a party…..More later obv…..

SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

SDX has announced an oil discovery at Rabul 2 in the West Gharib concession in Egypt. The well encountered 101.5 feet of net heavy oil pay across the Yusr and Bakr sand formations. The company expects the well will be completed as a producer and connected to central processing facilities at Meseda.

Paul Welch President and CEO said ‘the well came in ahead of expectations and the ultimate potential will be better understood once the well is completed and tested’. This is a great start to an extensive drilling programme in Egypt and Morocco and stamps SDX as one of my favourite stocks in the sector.

]]> Curzon Energy 'to become a multi asset international oil and gas company' Thu, 05 Oct 2017 04:55:00 +0100 Thomas Wagenhofer, director at Curzon Energy Plc (LON:CZN) caught up with Proactive on the day the firm began trading in London.

Curzon currently has one asset in Coos Bay, Oregon.

The area's home to around 45,000 acres of known CBM gas accumulations.

Curzon's the sole owner and operator of the project.

]]> Sound Energy, Echo Energy Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:17:00 +0100 I’m travelling today so a quick note on the above.

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)

Sound has announced a three well exploration programme in Eastern Morocco which has ‘the potential to significantly increase the value of their core acreage’. The three wells which will be drilled back to back will target high impact locations with significant exploration potential. The aim of the programme is to unlock the company’s internally estimated unrisked gross GOIP volumes in Eastern Morocco of 17 TCF mid case (31 TCF high case, 9 TCF low case) already announced.

The wells which will cost around $10m each will target multiple target types across structural and stratigraphic traps and Triassic and Paleozoic reservoirs in thy’A’ structure, North-East Lakbir and beneath the TE-5 Horst. Following its recent geophysical programme of aerial Gradiometry , 2D seismic surveys and reprocessing, along with geological studies, Sound is kicking on with its exploration programme ‘with a view to rapidly and materially increasing its discovered volumes in Eastern Morocco and enabling right-sizing of the planned facilities’.

There is no doubt that Sound and it’s partners have decided to move ahead with the plan to establish Eastern Morocco as a ‘prolific but low cost province, on the doorstep of large and growing energy markets ‘. With a major presentation to investors tomorrow Sound is remaining very much on the front foot.

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

A quarterly up from Echo this morning in which it announces a new strategic alliance with Zenith Energy and the appo of a regional drilling manager. The last quarter has seen a lot going on in Bolivia which involves building a representative platform in the region. The update also states that the management have been ‘ very active on the business development front ‘ which for regulatory and strategic reasons they are unable to comment on at this stage but will announce when appropriate.

Zenith Energy is to work alongside Echo in the important well planning and permitting at the Huayco blocks in Bolivia and will be a key strategic partner in that process. The appointment of Daniele Polignano as regional drilling manager based in Santa Cruz adds another experienced hand to the rapidly growing team.

Echo are giving a presentation to investors tomorrow and as I understand that they are flying in from Buenos Aires there may be some weary faces on the podium…..

]]> Green Dragon Gas now has 'very specific execution plan' on all exploration blocks Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:55:00 +0100 Randeep Grewal, chairman of Green Dragon Gas Ltd (LON:GDG), discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott three new supplementary agreements that have been signed between its subsidiary Greka Energy and China United Coalbed Methane Corporation (CUCBM).

The deals confirm that exploration activities can begin for three blocks in China.

The new agreements with CUCBM, a unit of state backed CNOOC, will allow the partners to advance operations across the Fengcheng (GFC), Qinyuan (GQY) and Panxie East (GPX) Blocks.

Additionally, the proposed exploration period has been extended until the second quarter of 2019.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Wed, 04 Oct 2017 07:24:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML) has announced an update to its activities across its portfolio. At Pastos Grandes, ML has four drill rigs currently operating and for which results will be used in the anticipated Q4 2017 resource update. Two holes have been drilled with brine analytic results outstanding while four holes are currently being drilled. Also in relation to the Pastos Grandes project, the company has engaged SGS-Lakefield to conduct advanced processing studies which will include on site evaporation test work across 16 trial ponds as well as purity trial test work to create plant grade Li-rich brine (1-2%) from 600 litres of sample brine. In addition, Ausenco has been engaged to conduct ML’s baseline environmental studies.

In relation to the Cruz property to which Southern Lithium (SNL CN) is earning in a two hole drilling programme has been completed. The holes reached depths of 476m and 500m and results from brine analytics are now outstanding.

The announcement follows the closure of the recent financing for which gross proceeds of C$11.5m were raised at a price of C$1.25/sh.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, REDT Energy Tue, 03 Oct 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced that it has signed an LOI with Heerema Fabrication Group for the front end engineering and design as well as the engineering, procurement and installation of up to four Normally Unmanned Installation platforms (NUIs).

The NUIs will be installed on the SNS project with costs front end costs fully deferred and procurement and installation costs 50% deferred until first gas. The final investment decision on the SNS project is due to be made by the end of Q1 2018 and a full contract following on from this LOI is now expected to be signed before year end.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.


redT Announces 1MWh Order in Australia

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced its entry into the Australian storage sector with the commercial sale of a 300kW-1MWh hybrid vanadium flow machine/lithium-ion battery system to Monash University in Melbourne.

• System will consist of 900kWh of flow machines (12 x 75kWh tank unit modules) and a 120kW lithium-ion battery

• To be housed at the University’s Biomedical Learning and Teaching building, be coupled with on-site solar PV and integrated into the ‘Monash Microgrid’

VSA Comment

The recent high profile announcement by Elon Musk’s Tesla (TSLA US) to construct the world’s largest lithium-ion battery project in South Australia (129MWh) has highlighted the significant potential for energy storage in the Australian market.

RED has previously announced its intention to enter this market in H2 2017. It has now delivered on this promise. The company believes that the country’s energy storage market will require investment of between A$20bn and A$30bn up until 2030. The extremely high cost of electricity in Australia means that the payback period of a RED flow machine could be as little as 1-2 years (assuming energy trading is implemented).

This system sale will build on the hybrid system work currently being carried out by RED in partnership with the University of Newcastle (UK) as part of a three-year programme announced in September 2016. The basic premise of such a system is that the lithium-ion battery component provides high power, when required, over a short duration (c20% of a customer’s overall requirements) with the vanadium flow machine providing the long duration output due to its much higher energy storage capability and lack of degradation (c80% of a customer’s overall requirements).

Pairing with lithium-ion battery technology should also make flow machine sales slightly easier, as customers are familiar with the more established lithium storage technology (despite its well-understood shortfalls). 

Although no order value was quoted in the RNS, we estimate that this sale will be worth cUS$1m (cA$1.3m) to RED. Aside from being its first sale in Australia, this will provide an extremely high-profile marketing site for the stimulation of potential further orders in a country which will require significant investment in energy storage capacity for many years to come. 

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Hurricane, Ophir And finally... Mon, 02 Oct 2017 11:14:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price has fallen by around a dollar this morning as there are one or two snippets of indifferent news around. First glance at September output from Opec is apparently a touch disappointing but although Libya is up a bit I think that Nigeria is still down somewhat. This might mean that there is a bit of cheating going on but with the Opec meeting happening this month I would be quite surprised. I am not however surprised to see the rig count up, by 5 units overall and oil up by 6 at 750 as at WTI $52 temptation is right there.

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

More good news from AMER as they release monthly production, OBA throughput and an operational update. Average production per day was 4,022 barrels whilst per operating day was 6,033 b/d with a peak of 7,397 b/d which has now been beaten by flow of 7,400 b/d. At the OBA, average throughput was 6,117 b/d with a peak of 7,137 b/d which should address some of the investor concerns about capacity.

Not much to add to last week’s results but confirmation of the ‘good result’ at Platanillo-21 which has since been placed on production at 1/- b/d and of course will also add to the reserve potential at Pad-2N. The Plat-25 well, a step out from Pad 2N is currently drilling and the company expect logging in mid October. At Mariposa-1 the operator has confirmed that the successful exploration well will go on LTT in mid October as well and CEO John Wardle expects it too will add ‘further material production’ to the company. Last week I interviewed John Wardle, a rare opportunity, and in case you missed it, here is the link.

Core Finance CEO interview: John Wardle, Amerisur Resources

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR)

News today from Hurricane that the FPSO Aoka Mizu has arrived at the drydocks at the World Dubai Shipyard means that the timings for the Lancaster EPS are still very much on track. The shipyard is also undertaking the fabrication of the buoy where the first steel has been cut at the Dubai facility, and there is a lot of steel….

With some investors concerned about a perceived lack of news from HUR, this latest piece of information adds to the flurry of recent RNS’s and should ensure that all is on time, on budget and fully financed. Whilst some indigestion was to be anticipated, the ultimate prize is really not that far away and patience will be rewarded in spades.

Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR)

Ophir has announced that it has awarded the upstream construction contract for the Fortuna project to the Subsea Integration Alliance which is a partnership between Subsea 7 and, you guessed it, Schlumberger. This contract is another milestone towards FID which is expected this quarter with first gas still on course for 2020.

And finally…

The Malaysian GP was dominated by the Red Bulls but one suspects that if Vettel had started at the front of the grid and Kimmi started at all then Lewis would not have been on the podium at all so slow was the Mercedes. Ahead of next week in Japan the team will be trying to eak out some more speed as lady luck cannot be on their side for much longer…

Frankie Dettori duly won the Arc easily enough on Enable which has to be one of the best fillies around, let’s hope it stays in training for next year…

The noisy Neighbours continued their winning streak taking all the points from their visit to Stamford Bridge which should be their hardest match of the season. The Eagles went to the Theatre of Dreams and duly lost 4-0, Chelski next for Woy… Wins for Spurs, the Gooners and Burnley who took all three points off the Toffees which is not so difficult at the moment. The Hammers left it late to beat the Swans 1-0 and Peter Crouch popped up to score the winner against the Saints. The HubCap Stealers went to St James’s and could only come away with a draw, also the results between the Cherries and the Foxes and the Baggies and the Hornets.

]]> Oil price, President, Gulfsands, Pantheon, IOG, RockRose, And finally... Fri, 29 Sep 2017 10:34:00 +0100 Oil price

Oil prices have drifted after the big rises earlier in the week but barring the unforeseen the market looks to be set reasonably fair. Today is the end of the week, month and quarter so don’t expect any fireworks, also with Brent expiry and rollover of contracts looking economically attractive there shouldn’t be much technical selling.

Retiring chief of Chevron, John Watson has made some interesting comments on the market, ‘the heavy sledding of capital and cost reductions is behind us’ and he has a pretty optimistic view to leave to his successor. With capex half of last year and opex costs back to 2009 levels he says that the business is set pretty fair at this oil price with some potential commodity price upside. There is little doubt that some, if no all of the majors are showing signs of getting the cheque book out, viz Total being seen in all the best data rooms around the world.

Some companies just can’t avoid playing a game of dare with their results announcements, today being the last day to present or fall foul of the authorities before the results window closes. Given that most if not all of the results are historic and of no use to man nor beast I will comment only on updates in the statements otherwise we will be here all day.

President Energy (LON:PPC)

Starting with Peter Levine who shares my view of results, ‘they are a milestone only and in the rear view mirror’. Going forward he is pretty optimistic with the objective of delivering profits, good margins and cash flow that will lead to capital growth and ‘in the foreseeable future, dividends’. PPC expects the current Argentine portfolio added to the recent acquisition to give the company production of 2,300-2,400 b/d and on an upward trajectory, what’s not to like?

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

I commented extensively on GPX after my recent meeting with John Bell and his hard work at the company continues. Tunisia is headed for the exit door, as will be Morocco should no partner be found there, whilst the Colombian assets are being held on a care and maintenance basis as GPX still sees value there. So his task continues to be managing the non-core assets whilst ‘preserving the value of the core assets in NE Syria. Finally he is taking a substantial axe to the cost base, my recent report said that last year’s costs of $5m were down sharply, for the 1H 2017 the number is $1.8m proving how badly the company has been run over the years.

Pantheon Resources (LON:PANR)

No figures here just an operational update post the hurricanes that have affected Texas recently. At VOBM#4  there is a further delay and the rig will now be on site on the 24th of October, I have ringed the date in my diary, after which it should be a 30-40 day operation. At VOBM#2 the workover rig is scheduled to be on site ‘early next week’ and the company is bullish (nearly a typo there..) about prospects for this troublesome well. Finally, the work is underway on the gas processing facilities and first gas sales are expected in early November and revenue in December, a date I have also ringed in my diary along with the opening of my Advent calendar.

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

The Thames pipeline acquisition was the feature for IOG as is saves them £100m of costs and makes the SNS gas hub project viable. The Blythe and Elgood FDP submissions are in and various agreements have been made with Schlumberger who will help in the prior period to the FID on the SNS project. Finally, as always, ‘Advanced funding and commercial discussions with key partners for the development of the SNS gas hub continue’ and negotiations continue with the Skipper well creditors for ‘management of liabilities due December 2017’ ouch.

Rockrose Energy (LON:RRE)

Andrew Austin, RRE Chairman is confident that this is ‘the optimum time in the E&P lifecycle for smaller companies to acquire assets from larger ones’ and he is certainly on the charge in terms of deals on the go. RRE  is closing the deals already announced with Maersk, Sojitz and Egerton and expects completion in Q4 2017. Of more interest is a juicy titbit in the statement that says that the company ‘is advancing other transactions that will enable RRE to become a significant producer in the region’, this I assume remains the UKCS and N Europe areas. This sounds to me like a big hint that a deal might be in the air and could propel the company towards its two year target of 10,000 b/d, watch this space.

And Finally… 

In last night’s Boropa Cup the Gooners won easily enough as expected but the Toffees slipped up at home drawing against Apollon Limassol…

This weekend the standout fixture, indeed maybe of the entire season is the visit of the Noisy Neighbours to Stamford Bridge tomorrow. Already missing Mendy for 8 months City are now short of Aguero who broke a rib in an Amsterdam taxi last night, as one does midseason and ahead of the biggest game of the year…Elsewhere the Eagles go to the Theatre of Dreams and Spurs head to the Terriers. The Baggies, due a bit of luck, host the Hornets and the Hammers entertain the Swans. On Sunday the Gooners host the Seagulls whose fans may not know which end to sit at (sorry!) Burnley go to Goodison and the HubCap Stealers are at St James’s Park.

As we come towards the end of the flat racing season it is the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket tomorrow as well as the Cheveley Park Stakes and the Middle Park stakes. Also I think that the Ayr Gold Cup is at Haydock after the Scottish course let everybody down last week…

F1 moves to Malaysia and this morning the Ferraris and the Red Bulls are dominant with Mercedes struggling to find any pace.

And the cricket season finally ends after a week of tumult, Middlesex, last year’s winners, lost at Taunton and blamed the pitch and are relegated with Warwickshire. Today is the last of the One-Dayers against the West Indies who go into it 3-0 down in the series.

And in the rugby Premiership the best looking games appear to be Wasps v Bath, Saints v Quins and the Tigers v the Chiefs.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, Obtala Ltd Fri, 29 Sep 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced interim results for H1 2017. In the period the company made a net loss of £1.4m versus a loss of £1m on year earlier; as despite a reduction in administrative expenses of 20% YoY to £750k finance expanses were higher at £663k.

During the period IOG made significant progress, advancing the development of its core assets. The Thames pipeline acquisition is a key milestone in development of the Southern North Sea (SNS) gas hub and will save around £100m in costs whilst opening up these assets via a fully owned export route. IOG will now undertake an assessment programme to understand any necessary repair work ahead of dewatering. In addition, 3D seismic work was carried out on the Harvey asset demonstrating significant potential. IOG received an extension on the Harvey license in March 2017.

Post period end, the company made previously announced changes to the senior management team and board. In July IOG was awarded Licence P2343 by the OGA strengthening the position at the Vulcan Satellites where positive seismic and hydraulic stimulation studies were completed in June 2017. Furthermore, an LOI was signed with Schlumberger providing a framework for the two companies to work towards the Final Investment Decision on the SNS project.

In the remainder of 2017 we expect a CPR to be commissioned which will cover the entire SNS project which will support funding negotiations for project advancement. Negotiations with creditors relating to the Skipper Well are ongoing in order to determine whether liabilities due at the end of 2017 will be repaid, rescheduled or converted to equity in part.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

Obtala Limited#: Q3 Update

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# has announced a Q3 operational update.

• Forestry: 15,000m3 of logs harvested across Mozambique and Gabon in the quarter; 4,500m3 of export grade timber produced, with a proportion of logs stockpiled for future processing; 100m3 per day sawmill in Mozambique remains on track to be completed at the end of 2017; rapidly scaling of timber production in Gabon, increasing from 900m3 in July to 1,500m3 in August; remains in discussions for a US$25m trade finance facility to significantly scale timber trading business

• Agriculture: First significant Melon harvest processed through upgraded packhouse with product exported through Mombasa, Kenya

VSA Comment

Once again OBT has had an extremely busy operational quarter. However, unlike previous quarters, Q3 2017 marks the first period where OBT has also delivered significant revenues, following its acquisition of WoodBois on 30 June and the harvest of cash crops in Tanzania.

Our FY 2017 forecast for OBT’s log harvest across Mozambique and Gabon is c24,000m3, with c10,700m3 of timber produced. Given the levels achieved in Q3, the company is currently trading in-line with our expectations. Prices are reported in the range of US$400-900/m3, dependent on species and grade. Again, this is in-line with our expectations, with our FY 2017 average selling price forecast at US$400/m3 in Gabon and US$850/m3 in Mozambique.

Although its expansion plans are ambitious, OBT appears to be successfully executing its strategy in-line with our aggressive expectations.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 36p.

]]> Cabot Energy sees 'very attractive' growth opportunities in Canada Thu, 28 Sep 2017 09:29:00 +0100 Keith Bush, chief executive of Cabot Energy PLC (LON:CAB), tells Proactive they're on track for production of between 800-1,000 barrels per day from Canada by the end of 2017.

A 23 well workover programme has boosted Canadian production to 600-700 barrels gross daily while sidetrack and completions should add a further 200-250 barrels.

Civita, in Italy, meanwhile, is producing the equivalent of 130 barrels per day.

]]> Oil price, VOG, JOG, Aminex, Cabot, Podcast, And finally... Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:59:00 +0100 Oil price

At last the price divergence between WTI and Brent is starting to narrow as we head towards the month and quarter end along with Brent expiry. This was mainly to do with the EIA inventory stats yesterday, they showed a draw of 1.85m barrels against expectations of a 3.4m build. We are still dealing with post hurricane effects though and gasoline stocks rose on bigger than expected run rates at the returning refineries. On the horizon one should watch for further trouble in Nigeria as new militant groups have been formed ahead of the 2018 Presidential elections, if they took out production then Brent would be the obvious beneficiary…

Victoria Oil & Gas (LON:VOG)

As we swing into the end of September and deadline dates for reporting results appear a flurry of reports arrive. As is usually the case these historic reports are important but also irrelevant, with so much news having come out since the end of June it is that investors are concentrating on. So, especially with VOG given recent announcements I have said pretty much all I can say at the moment. Production from Logbaba is rising and post the La-107 news should rise more in coming weeks, La-108 is being sidetracked and we wait news from there with interest. CEO Ahmet Dik confirms that ‘the company’s long term ambition is to produce 100 mmscf/d and with Douala alone showing long term demand for 150 mmscf/d VOG is uniquely placed to be the dominant producer in the country’. For this reason and for the potential for Bomono (announced today that discussions are continuing and the option termination date has been extended to 31/12/17) and in Matanda, where initial seismic work is most positive I view VOG’s prospects to be up there with any company I cover and today’s share price fall can only be described as an opportunity…

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

As above, the interims from JOG are meaningless, the company has been carried in the so far unsuccessful Verbier well but the partners are awaiting news of the sidetrack which I expect any minute now. JOG has assembled a high quality team of industry experts and deserve credit for the work they have done in such a short time. The plans to extend the portfolio with exploration and production assets is still going strong and whatever Verbier delivers there will be more news from JOG before long. I am visiting the company next week and will report further after that.

Aminex (LON:AEX)

This year has been good for Aminex and with gas production of 15 mmcf/d expected to rise after further exploration success at Ntorya the outlook is also very positive. Resource estimates for the Ntorya field are now 1.3 TCF and development plans have been submitted along with application for a development licence. The company has paid down its debt, has net cash of $6.91m and highly supportive shareholders and so the outlook looks pretty good to me.

Cabot Energy (LON:CAB)

The turnaround at Cabot continues and validates the management’s decision to concentrate on the workover programme in Canada. Production is 600-800 b/d (Cabot 75%) and will increase by another 200-250 barrels by the end of October, thus meeting the 800-1000 b/d year end target. The management at Cabot have done well as this very inexpensive added value in Canada looks like being the gift that keeps on giving.

And finally…

At the Oval yesterday England pulled off a last gasp Duckworth Lewis victory in the pouring rain. With rain approaching fast it was a battle of tactics and from a very strong position the Windies rather gave it away. To score 350 odd for 5 having been 33-3, with Gayle back in the hutch, was very impressive but ultimately it was tactics wot done it. As for Stokesy words cannot convey the stupidity of it all.

Last night all three British teams went through in the Champions League in good order, tonight in the Boropa Cup the Gooners are sending the junior team to Belarus apparently whilst the Toffees host Apollon Limassol.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:15:00 +0100 Obtala Limited#: H1 2017 Results

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# has released its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2017 (H1 2017).

• Revenue: US$0.2m (H1 2016: US$0.4m); VSA FY 2017 forecast US$13.7m

• Operating loss: US$3.8m (H1 2016: US$2.5m); VSA FY 2017 forecast US$2.0m

• Net assets: US$152.5m (H1 2016: US$120.2m)

• Cash and cash equivalents as of 30 June 2017: US$1.9m (31 December 2016: US$3.4m)

VSA Comment

Having carried out its transformational acquisition of WoodBois International at the end of the period, H1 2017 looks set to be the last period of minimal financial performance for the company, given WoodBois generated US$9.2m in revenues in H1 and OBT has near-term plans to rapidly scale up the trading side of this business through additional trade finance facilities.

The biological assets of WoodBois have been assessed by the same valuer used on its existing concessions and a value of US$53m has been provided. This provides a significant non-cash ‘gain from bargain purchase’ contribution to OBT’s P&L for the H1 period and adds to the already significant biological assets on its balance sheet, which now total US$228m.

OBT has also announced this morning that it will be creating individual Board of Directors’ for each of its forestry (Argento) and Agriculture (Montara) divisions. This additional separation of the business should make it easier for the company to attract new investors and partners into the specific areas of the OBT business that are most relevant in each case. It will also assist in the potential sale or IPO of its agriculture division if such an opportunity arises in the future.

The company has also announced the appointment of Martin Collins as Deputy Chairman of the OBT board as well as Chairman and CEO of the agriculture business, replacing COO Warren Deats, who has resigned from the company.  

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 36p.

Zambeef: Crop Damage Not as Bad as Feared

Following its announcement on 6 September, African agribusiness Zambeef (ZAM LN) has announced that crop damage to its winter wheat crop from the Septoria fungal disease has not been as bad as originally feared. It now expects crop yields to be c10% lower than original expectations, rather than a fall of 20%. The company therefore now expects to report a small profit for the year to 30 September 2017.

NWF Group: In-Line AGM Statement

Ahead of its AGM later today, UK agricultural input business NWF Group (NWF LN) has announced trading in its first quarter (June-August, traditionally its quietest period) has been ahead of last year and in-line with expectations.

Summer feed volumes are reported as robust with margins in-line with expectations. DEFRA data shows that the overall UK ruminant feed market increased by a significant 12% YoY over June and July (no data yet available for August). However, it must be remembered that these months are the quietest in terms of feed demand, so YoY changes can be quite volatile.

Its food division is also in-line with expectations with three new customers adding an additional 4,000 pallets at its Wardle site, leaving 4000 pallets of spare capacity left to fill (of c100,000 total capacity).

Its fuel division has experienced increased commercial business, with lower margin road diesel the main contributor to this growth.

]]> 'Drought in drilling service sector is over' - Greka Drilling's Randeep Grewal Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:52:00 +0100 Randeep Grewal, chief executive of Greka Drilling Limited (LON:GDL), discusses what's been described as a “well-balanced” trading performance in their half yearly results.

The drill contractor reported a 38% increase in first half revenue, up to US$3.6mln in the six months to 30 June, from US$2.6mln in the same period of last year, as it completed twelve wells in the half versus ten in the comparative period.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Novo Litio Ltd, REDT Energy Wed, 27 Sep 2017 07:21:00 +0100 redT energy#: H1 2017 Results

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2017.

• Revenue: €4.5m, flat YoY (H1 2016: €4.5m), VSA FY estimate is €12.2m

• EBITDA: loss of €3.2m (H1 2016: loss of €2.2m), VSA FY estimate is a loss of €7.2m

• Net Cash as of 30 June 2017: €13.2m (31 December 2016: €2.8m)

VSA Comment

RED’s H1 results are pretty academic as the company was busy significantly scaling up its workforce (+100% YoY) during this period, following the December fundraise (administration expenses increased to €5.2m from €3.6m in H1 2016). As revealed in its operations update in mid-July, RED sold just six tank unit modules in H1. However, EBITDA remained in-line with our expectations due to strong performance from its legacy carbon business.

More importantly to us is the fact that commercial sales are now beginning, evidenced by the recent announcement of a 12 tank unit order (as part of a 300 unit pipeline) for certain distributors and a 14 tank unit order (as part of a 150+ unit pipeline) for a Botswana-based client, both announced in the last month.

Of these, we would highlight the Botswana order as most notable given RED’s flow machines are replacing failing lithium-ion and lead-acid products at each of the 14 sites. This is a key marketing angle for the company and we are hopeful that additional potential customers in the sector will also begin to appreciate the advantages of flow machines over more traditional forms of storage in the coming months/years.

In its July trading update, RED revealed that it had €15.9m of potential orders in the final stage of customer selection (up from €6.5m when it released its FY 2016 results in April) and an active customer pipeline of €314m (vs. €246m in April). It also outlined plans to enter the Australian market in H2.

It has delivered on the later goal through its announced distributor agreements and has increased its pipeline even further since this announcement with €16.5m (205 units) now in the final stages of customer selection and an active customer pipeline of €323m.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.


Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)#

Novo Lítio (NLI AU) has announced strong drill results from the Sepeda project in Northern Portugal as well as progress regarding drill permitting for its Swedish lithium prospect, Spodumenberget.

At Sepeda Phase 4 drilling results included 80.3m at 1.36% Li2O and 80.45m at 1.3% Li2O. Both these results relate to infill drilling and confirm the continuity of the mineralisation, providing further support for NLI’s geological model. A resource update is due in Q4 2017, subject to tenure issues, and we believe that these results confirm our view that an increase in confidence from Inferred will be possible.

Furthermore, one of the key finding of the PEA was that in order to support the second stage of processing, i.e. a lithium carbonate conversion plant, a larger resource would be necessary. We are confident that this will be achievable and the latest drilling results confirm this with 68.06m at 1.26% Li2O as part of the extensional drilling, down plunge. This high grade mineralised zone remains open at depth.

In addition to the strong results at Sepeda, NLI has announced that its permitting process is now under way to drill at Spodumenberget in Sweden. Surface sampling earlier this year produced encouraging results and NLI has been able to identify appropriate drill targets as a result. 4 drill holes will test the area which has known pegmatite outcrops over a strike of 340m by 100m partially masked by glacial cover. Drilling is expected to commence in late 2017 once approval is received.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of A$0.2/sh.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas to finalise long term supply contracts after first gas at LA-107 Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:31:00 +0100 Ahmet Dik, chief executive of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG), tells Proactive it's a massive day for them with news of ‘first gas’ from their new well at the Logbaba field.

Well LA-107 has now been classified as a production well following a successful testing programme.

]]> Oil price, VOG, Faroe, Amerisur, Trinity, Tullow And finally... Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0100 Oil price

No blog yesterday, a hugely busy one running around catching up with companies with results as the end of September deadline approaches.

The oil price had an equally frenzied day, a number of factors pushed prices higher, indeed Brent closed at a two year peak although this morning prices have taken a breather retreating by around 30 cents. The main reason for the damage yesterday was the Kurdistan referendum which spooked markets, as I write it looks as if turnout was around 72% with a 90% yes vote which is no surprise. Iraq has its own problems this just adds to them and whilst this vote won’t change much in the short term it concentrates the mind about longer term seccession issues. Fuel was added to the flames by the goon that runs Turkey who said that he would turn off the ‘petrol’ taps of the pipeline to Ceyhan, I wonder if he is a stupid as he sounds, dangerous more like.

I think that other factors are influencing the oil price more and that maybe the short/medium term numbers are rather belatedly stacking up. Following the Vienna meeting last Friday the participants felt no immediate need to change the accord but will take another look at the full Opec meeting on November 30th where I suspect a resolution will be put to the Russians and other non-Opec members.

What all the industry analysts are seeing is a generally much more stable situation, as the last set of monthlies showed with world stocks slowly coming under control. The meeting last Friday showed that by hook or by crook supply is being reined in, hence no need for any change at the moment. More importantly is the demand picture, recent statements by central bankers around the world indicate that there is real heat getting into the bigger economies leading to interest rate hikes and the end of intervention. If you add to that a picture that shows no great increase, at least for the short term, of supply from US shale then stocks are definitely being whittled away. Finally, as we start looking at 2018 and beyond, my long held view about capex cutbacks, which will lead to a real shortage of major projects coming onstream in 2/3 years time is beginning to be taken on board, a loss of $2tn worth of investment in the industry cannot be overlooked. In the meantime my long held year end target of $60 Brent is now looking more achievable, something I wasnt that comfortable about until the last few days…

Victoria Oil & Gas (LON:VOG)

I’m not sure what it is going to take for the market to get quite how good a story VOG really is, news today from La-107 adds a bit of black type into the equation, ie if it were a horse it would be winning Group 1 races and adding significantly to its valuation. La-107 has flowed on test way better than expected at 54 mmscf/d on a 70/64ths choke with a stabilised flowing wellhead pressure of 2,951 psig. Also its AOF potential of 146 mmscf/d was considerably better that expected (La-105 was only 89) and is not only flowing through the processing plant but actually being sold to clients.

The rig has now skidded over to La-108 and started to sidetrack the well aiming at the 100m of pay discovered during the long, arduous and expensive drilling process that was. The good thing is that Ahmet Dik told me when I spoke to him this morning that ‘we have learnt our lessons’ and  now know where the sands are. Expect 4-6 weeks of arriving at TD and testing, and assuming any penetration of that pay then another huge discovery will be booked.

The key to all this is how much scope it gives the GDC operatives to get to work on long term contracts with ENEO and other big local customers. There will need to be some pipeline extensions etc but VOG are in an incredibly strong position in Douala as the area is extremely power short, expect these further installations in 2018 to be followed by potentially several hundred MW of extra sales. At 70p, up 9% on the day the shares are still significantly undervalued, the high earlier in the year was 80p and I said then that it should be valued ‘at a multiple of that figure’, I have not changed my position.

Faroe Petroleum (LON:FPM)

Figures from FPM this morning which reinforce my positive stance as they report numbers ‘ahead of expectations’. Good news in the period included the Brasse appraisal well which upped recoverables there by 20% but I think it could a be a fair bit higher. The company received four new licenses in Norway and farmed-out in Ireland to Nexen whilst keeping a carried interest. Production in the 1st half was 14,800 with Njord and Hyme down for refurb and ’17 guidance unchanged at 13-15/- b/d. with cash at £117.6m and a $250m undrawn RBL the company is in a very strong position.

Undoubtedly the poster boy of the sector as FPM announces strong figures yet again, with a good drilling programme and the results of its excellent exploration success over the years giving it an achievable production target of 40/- b/d. An example of this is Brasse which has been Graham Stewart’s baby from licence application through working up, drilling, discovery and appraisal and will now move into highly profitable development. Graham and his team are out there as the team to beat in the sector, history tells me that they will take some catching…

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

Interims yesterday from AMER and whilst some were surprised by the guidance for the year of 5/- b/d I thought that this had been well telegraphed following the July social issues. More important was the end year target of 7/- b/d and increasing thereafter until a medium term target of 20/- b/d is achieved. With increased production and the opening and increased throughput in the OBA pipeline, costs are down sharply to give $30 of netbacks at $45 oil. Exploration success this year at Platanillo and of course in the Llanos Basin will add to that production, the latter should go on LTT and a likely second well.

From now on in there are 16 wells to drill in the next 18 months, all fully funded and some exciting prospects. I am particularly interested in the  ‘N’ anomaly and seeing how Pad-2N develops not to mention producing lovely 40° API crude from CPO-5. With a mix of appraisal, exploration and development, the programme should finance this and future drilling in what is a truly diversified portfolio.

With a strong local management team and operationally very sound AMER looks very well placed, capacity at the OBA is being proved to be very high assuming tweaking here and there, the future looks very bright. Indeed a sign of significant confidence in the business is seeing directors buying shares, something I spotted yesterday. After the results CEO John Wardle kindly gave me an interview on Core Finance, the link to that is here and in my humble opinion, worth a watch.

Core Finance CEO interview: John Wardle, Amerisur Resources

Trinity Exploration & Production (LON:TRIN)

Trinity also had results yesterday and the turnaround story gathers pace, production which had stalled after the 2016 lull is picking up sharply as the 2017 work programme kicks in. To give an idea of its activity in the 1st half of the year there were 49 RCP’s, workovers and reactivations, in the second half there will be 90 in total evenly split between the three. This means that the company’s 2 rigs are at full capacity and additional rigs have had to be contracted. The success can be measured by the economic indicators per well, so far this year the NPV is $118/-, the IRR 332% and paybacks happens in 8 months, impressive or what?

Key metrics for the first half show EBITDA racing ahead of an admittedly difficult comparison by a multiple of nearly 4x, obviously prices are up but break even price is down again and of course post the refinancing net debt is relatively normal with a healthy cash balance of $11.5m. These numbers mean that margins are up and TRIN has aggressively trimmed costs putting them into a genuine position of increasing profitability, a rare situation for an Aim company.

This combination makes the outlook very bright for TRIN, with a solid balance sheet and sales up on the increased operating activities the assets are working hard under disciplined project management from the almost entirely local team. On that subject I met yesterday with Bruce Dingwall who I have known for some time but also CFO Jeremy Bridglalsingh who is very impressive. Looking forward expect a resumption of the drilling of new wells in Q1 2018 with a 4 well + programme whilst continuing with the hopper of workovers etc, all this from a fixed cost base onshore making increased profitability going down to the bottom line. Further out the prospects are exciting for the offshore Galeota Ridge which could be transformational for the company. Overall the chart looks good, the fundamentals are sound and the management are most impressive making the outlook for the share very promising indeed.

Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

At last some good news from Tullow who heard over the weekend that the ITLOS report on Ghana and the Côted’Ivoire ruled that TLW’s TEN fields were wholly in Ghanaian waters. Accordingly TLW can now resume drilling which had paused whilst the Special Chamber came to its decision and would hope to get up to around 80/- b/d by the end of the year.

And finally…

The weekend and yesterday had a lot of football and the leaders showed that they have set a blistering pace. The Noisy Neighbours score another five goals, admittedly against hopeless Eagles whilst the Red Devils snuck by the Saints 0-1. Chelski won easily, 0-4 at the Potters and Spurs scraped past the Hammers 2-3 and the same score saw the HubCap Stealers beat the Foxes. Last night’s fixture had it all, some bloke called Barry overtaking Gigg’s  record, the words boots and lace come to mind whilst, and again. I am no fan of the Baggies, yet again they had a true miscarriage of justice as they werent awarded a pen that would have put them in the lead…

Tonight it’s the Champions League, all three sides should easily secure their 3 points, the HubCap Stealers are at Spartak Moscow, the Noisy Neighbours host Shakhtar Donetsk and Spurs go to Apoel Nicosia for an autumn break.

On Sunday, the MotoGP in Aragon saw Marc Marquez take a giant step towards his 4th World title with a stunning win. Valentino Rossi rode through the pain barrier only 24 days after breaking his right leg and was battling for the lead with a newly confident Lorenzo until they were both swallowed up by Marquez who was a man with only one aim on Sunday and is now 16 points ahead of his nearest rival Dovizioso, who could only manage 7th. Dani Pedrosa got quicker and quicker putting in the fastest lap at the end to snatch 2nd by passing Lorenzo whose 3rd. place is his best since May. Rossi finished in 5th.behind his teammate Vinales whilst Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was heading for a top 6 until he crashed out, fortunately a rarity for him . In Moto3 John Mcphee rode well to 6th, the winner was Joan Mir whose 80 point lead in the Championship should be unassailable.

Finally with a swashbuckling century on Sunday Moen Ali ensured that England posted a high enough score to even defeat Chris Gayle who still managed 90 odd. 2-0 up in the series now with only two matches left will they beat the weather? It seems that it didnt end there, in Bristol in the early hours of Monday morning Ben Stokes was arrested and Alex Hales is ‘helping the police with their enquiries’…Neither available for tomorrow which is a shame.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 26 Sep 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced further results from its 5,185m Phase 3 drilling campaign including high grade intercepts at the new TZ4 target as well as at Sanama Hill. These are the final results from this programme.

The results at TZ4 included 1.2m at 19.3g/t Au from a depth of 287m which follows on from the earlier result of 5.2g/t Au from hole FDD021 around 600m away. We note, however, that SULA has stated that the structural orientation of these holes is different which indicates multiple controls and that as at Sanama Hill the structural geology is complex. This is something that management is putting significant effort into understanding and will help with future drill targeting and understanding the potential of the mineralisation discovered to date.

Additional drill results were from Sanama Hill and also included encouraging high grades such as 8.6g/t Au over 2m from 134m deep as well as 7.5g/t Au in near surface oxide ore from 31m deep. The drilling campaign has provided robust results including high grade intercepts such as these although now the focus at Sanama Hill will be on low cost analysis of the data with a particular focus on structural geology.

Soil sampling across 8 of 19 identified targets has demonstrated multiple zones with anomalous gold values. One of these includes a new gold target to the northeast of Sanama Hill yielding anomalous gold grades, underpinning the company’s view that there is further potential for gold targets beyond those that have been tested to date.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.2p target price.


Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (LON:ECO)#

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)# has announced it has entered into an option agreement on its interest in the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana, with Total (FP FP). The option allows FP to acquire a 25% working interest (WI) in the block from ECO, of which it currently holds a 40% WI, Tullow Oil (TLW) is the operator and holds the remaining 60% WI.

FP will make an immediate payment of US$1m to ECO for the option and will make a further cash payment of US$12.5m upon exercise of the option. The Orinduik Block is located up dip and just a few kilometers from Exxon’s (XOM US) recent Liza and Payara discoveries confirming, by XOM estimates, between 2.25-2.75Bbbls of recoverable oil. ECO has reviewed 2D seismic data across the block and leads have been identified which TLW estimates contain prospective resources of 900mmboe. This 3D seismic programme is now the next stage of the exploration programme over the block and is being completed on time as per ECO’s guidance.

The option is entirely exercisable at FP’s right and must be done so within 120 days of completion of processing the 3D seismic survey, which has been underway for three weeks now. Should the 3D seismic survey back up or improve the initial resource estimates from the 2D data then we believe it would be highly likely that FP would exercise this option. Should this be the case then ECO will be left with a 15% WI on the Orinduik Block.

Each partner on the block will pay its pro-rata WI from the date of exercise of the option and ECO estimate exploration wells offshore Guyana on the Orinduik block will cost cUS$35m. ECO’s participating interest on a well would then be cUS$5.25m per well, therefore, the successful completion of this option would provide funding to meet ECO’s commitments on two wells and re-cooperate its contribution to the 3D seismic survey.

Following the success of the XOM at Liza, offshore exploration in Guyana has been high on the priority list for many of the majors as they seek to gain exposure to a basin with world class prospectivity but has been de-risked somewhat by XOM. We see this announcement as confirmation of this and as extremely encouraging news for ECO that will likely help move the licence further along the value chain.

We re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 25p TP.

]]> Iofina benefiting from operational efficiencies Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:25:00 +0100 Tom Becker, chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF), discusses the firm's interim results for the six months to the end of June 2017.

Becker says he's confident they can improve profitability and revenue as they take advantage of an improved iodine marketplace.

Spot prices have risen 25% to US$24 per kg since the start of the year and continue to head north, and moving forward, the group will increase output but at lower unit costs.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Mon, 25 Sep 2017 07:16:00 +0100 redT Secures 14 Unit Order in SSA

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced the sale of 14 units in sub-Saharan Africa.

• 14 5kW-40kWh machines sold to a Botswana-based customer for deployment in the country’s critical communications infrastructure sector

• Machines will be hooked up to solar power installations, storing power generated during the day for use in the evening, effectively ‘firming-up’ solar power

VSA Comment

Following on from last week’s announcement of an initial 12 unit order (as part of a 300 unit pipeline), RED has delivered a further sales announcement in a key market. The units will be delivered next year and are expected to generate cUS$850k in revenues for FY 2018 (unit sales + add-on services). We also understand that this single customer has a significant pipeline of additional projects that could eventually require more than 150 RED units.     

This multiple-unit sale into the African market highlights RED’s strong networks in the region, which originally stemmed from its legacy carbon project development business.

Aside from the monetary benefit, this deal also explicitly highlights the advantage of flow machines over lithium-ion and lead-acid solutions, which RED notes that in many cases have already failed on these specific project sites.

It also shows that its business model of deploying seed units in certain key markets (two Gen1 machines are deployed in Africa) is beginning to pay off.

We are hopeful that, once operational, the Olde House installation in Cornwall should have a similar stimulating effect for the UK market and lead to significant orders for RED’s bigger and more lucrative units.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.


Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG LN) has announced that it has signed an LOI and Consultancy Master Services Agreement with Schlumberger in relation to development of two of its North Sea gas hubs; Blythe and Vulcan Satellites. This provides a framework for a joint team to complete field development plans in the period prior to the final investment decision.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

]]> Oil price, Lamprell, Plexus And finally... Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:35:00 +0100 Oil price

Oil vacillated yesterday, Brent rose as Nigerian crude outages kept demand for that crude firm whilst WTI drifted. Exxon have announced that their Baytown and Beaumont refineries have just started producing fuels at reduced rates and that it has opened up crude and product pipelines in the Gulf and other areas of Texas.

Of course today is the Ministerial meeting of Opec and Non-Opec in Vienna, the market expects a further rollover but it may just be a recommendation to the full Opec meeting on November 30th.

Lamprell (LON:LAM)– Profit warning for now, jam tomorrow.

Interims from Lamprell this morning were a true curate’s egg, very mixed with the word challenging being used all over the place and downgrades to guidance for 2H 2017 due to a low level of walk in work, and for 2018. The market is indeed ‘challenging’, not just for the rest of this year but for next year as well. The good news comes in varying places, 1H 2017 was good with rig deliveries securing cash in and margins up to 13% which is very good indeed. With only two major projects to deliver between now and the end of next year, rations are becoming shorter, even though in the longer term there is plenty of good news to come.

In the jam tomorrow department the foundation is the balance sheet which is very strong and has net cash of $305.9m on board, even old Lamps couldn’t spend that in a hurry. The next piece of good news appears to be in the bid pipeline which is now up at $3.1bn having been $2.5bn in December. This is where the jam comes in, any contracts coming from this pipeline will not likely materialise until 2019 in terms of money in. Other pieces of good news are around the big JV which is signed and all the details are being worked out, again 2019 at the very earliest for the early stage of the Saudi yard although the pre-qualifying process with Saudi Aramco is under way.

Overall the longer term outlook for Lamprell is very favourable indeed, cashed up and with wealthy partners in the JV and a lean operation at home ready to challenge in a mix of markets, any reasonable conversion of that bid pipeline will result in lots of work, in 2019 and onwards though. Shorter term investors have sold today and may be able to finesse their return but should remember to buy back in as all being well there really are decent prospects of jam tomorrow.

Plexus Holdings (LON:POS)

Old favourite POS is hanging on in there in what is still a tricky market for OFS companies as highlighted by Lamprell above. Yesterday they announced a bit of good news as they won a new customer in Rosneft in a new territory, Vietnam. The contract is for the usual POS-GRIP HP/HT wellhead equipment for an exploration well. POS are normally pretty good at keeping customers when they get a new one as once tried their kit is usually in for the duration.

And finally…

The Ayr Gold Cup for tomorrow has fallen to the weather already, I had thought that calling off today was to ensure that racing on the TV was good for tomorrow but there has just been too much rain. The only good news is that this must mean we are getting closer to the jumps season which is great news.

The MotoGP is at Aragon on Sunday with Dovizioso and Marquez on level pegging in the Championship. All eyes will be on Valentino Rossi who has turned up less than 3 weeks after a double break on his leg …These guys are made of different stuff !

In the footy the big game might be the happy Hammers hosting Spurs or the Noisy Neighbours entertaining out of form Eagles, the Red Devils go to the Saints and Chelski are at the Potters. In a repeat of the Haribo Cup game the HubCap Stealers go to the Foxes.

Yesterday’s one dayer against the Windies was washed out, wither the next few games which are a risk in September…

Finally there is some boxing this weekend, in the US Luke Campbell faces a task against Jorge Linares whilst Hughie Fury is fighting Joseph Parker.

]]> London Finance Show: Theresa May, Kim Jong-Un, Smiths, Iofina Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:41:00 +0100 Matt Brown and Nick Batsford discuss Theresa May's speech in Florence and North Korea's latest threats as well as an update from Smiths Group PLC (LON:SMIN) and iodine group Iofina plc (LON:IOF).

]]> Rose Petroleum raising £3mln to advance Paradox Basin projects Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:19:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE), tells Proactive they're raising £3mln of new capital through a share issue.

The funds will be used to complete a programme of 3D seismic at the Paradox Basin in Utah which will set up the group for future drill programmes.

]]> Itaconix Plc 'creating the platform for growth' - CEO Dr Kevin Matthews Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:59:00 +0100 Dr Kevin Matthews, chief executive of Itaconix Plc (LON:ITX), tells Proactive they're starting to see the benefits of their March reboot to focus on polymers.

Revenues and gross profits in the first half of 2017 beat those of the same period of 2016, while the company has been successful in lowering its cost base.

The business continues to work with a number of industry players, including funded collaborations, to develop new ingredients for a range of applications in its key markets of personal and consumer health care, home care and industrial products.

]]> Green Dragon to proceed with 'robust' gas sales after finalising CNOOC agreement Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:07:00 +0100 Randeep Grewal, chairman of Green Dragon Gas Ltd (LON:GDG), tells Proactive that the state-backed China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is accelerating plans for the group’s joint assets.

Green Dragon's now finalised a memorandum of understanding with CNOOC subsidiary, China United Coalbed Methane Corporation (CUCBM), over five production sharing agreements and two supplementary agreements – all of which cover the Shizhuang South (GSS) and Shizhuang North (GSN) projects.

]]> Tlou Energy's Request for Proposal submission 'the culmination of a great deal of work' Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:54:00 +0100 Tlou Energy Limited's (LON:TLOU) managing director Tony Gilby and executive director Gabaake Gabaake discuss with Proactive's Andrew Scott their submission of a response to the Botswana government’s Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding a proposed coal bed methane project.

Tlou was one of two companies to submit responses to the government’s RFP, and the submission will be assessed against eligibility, technical and funding criteria.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Hurricane Energy, Providence Resources, Frontera Resources And finally... Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:33:00 +0100 Oil price

A good day yesterday as the market was positive ahead of the Opec/non Opec meeting at which an extension of the deal looks likely. The EIA inventory stats showed a build of 4.6m barrels but although that was slightly ahead of forecasts given the hurricane damage is still pretty irrelevant. The same goes for the product numbers as only 15 of the 20 US refineries are substantially back on line meaning that around 76% is back onstream.

President Energy (LON:PPC)

President has announced what looks like a transformational deal in Argentina this morning. By acquiring  Chevron’s 100% operating interest in the Neuquén Basin, at a stroke PPC has added 1,200 b/d net and at $55 oil has a netback of $27. This makes PPC’s Argentina production over  2/- b/d in country and adds 5.46m MMboe net 2P reserves of which 3.6m is 1P. Totals in country are now 16m 1P and 25m 2P which takes PPC to a new level and makes this acquisition into a proper perspective. Costs of the deal are $400/- to Chevron and $15m to the Rio Negro province for a 10 year extension to the concession, after this there is a $7m payment in 2018. New partner Ediphsa will have 10% and PPC holding the remaining 90% with operatorship.

Expect this deal to grow the company’s production ‘materially’ as recompletions/workovers and new wells are drilled. The fact that this deal has been funded without the need for dilutive equity funding means that such an exceptional deal is substantially accretive and adds significantly to shareholder value. The deal is strongly cash flow positive, it generates $1m a month at present which should increase as production is expected to grow to 3/- b/d with some ease. At a price of around $4 a barrel this debt funded deal looks like a proper no-brainer and will make the shares highly attractive at these levels. The company sees this as a fantastic opportunity, a sentiment that it is hard to oppose, it will continue to press ahead with its programme in Puesto Guardian prospect where I also expect production increases. PPC has a number of former Chevron employees on board which will be extremely helpful as they spend time increasing production from this basin. It should be noted that Neuquén is deemed to be the most prolific basin in Argentina with substantial shale opportunities interesting majors from around the world.

South America in general in general and Argentina specifically are on fire at the moment as I have written about a number of times recently. The BP deal involving a number of international partners gives huge credibility to the country which is undergoing economic rehabilitation on a major scale. Accordingly I would expect more deals in Argentina and elsewhere in what is becoming a fast growing continent for hydrocarbon activity. For President the acquisition of a foothold in the Neuquén basin, seemingly the best post code in country looks like a very smart move indeed.

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR)

Interims from HUR this morning and at risk of repeating myself are of no significance to investors. The key points historically we already know and last week’s announcement of FID for Lancaster with accompanying details of capital spend were well covered at the time. Upcoming information from the company should also be good, expect EPS progression and a CPR on Halifax, Lincoln and Warwick which will move the needle significantly in the right direction. The shares have suffered from indigestion post the raise but those capable of taking anything like a long term view at should ‘make out like bandits’ as they say in most reputable saloons. I still think that the final number will be as much as 2bn barrels of oil and my target price of 100p + may eventually look conservative, the words pay your money and takes your choice come to mind…

Providence Resources (LON:PVR)

There is even less to add to interims from PVR than others in this hectic results season. The figures are meaningless although good through very smart offsetting of risk via farm-outs of the Druid/Drombeg well. As it was dry they now have to move on and the plan is another well on Barryroe which I assume means that they think will bring more potential farminees into the data room. Long term readers will know that I have a long time ago lost all patience with this process and will believe it when I see it, in the meantime there is precious little to attract the shares. There is little doubt that PVR has an unbeatable portfolio in an upcoming postcode into which a number of majors have invested a little time and money, until something is discovered, say at Diablo, the basin remain full of western promise but just that.

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR)

Hardly an earth shattering announcement from FRR but handy to know that the ud-2 well on block 12 in Georgia is progressing as planned. Zaza tells us that they are about to test the three gas bearing intervals in early October and with success should be able monetise the gas quite quickly. Frontera is rapidly becoming an interesting play about which I think we are going to hear a lot more of, watch this space…

And finally…

A quiet day unless you managed the England women’s football team…

In the Haribo Cup there were wins for all the big sides (sorry Baggies fans) as the Red Devils, Chelski, Gooners Toffees and the Noisy Neighbours all won.

Match two today in the One day series against the Windies at Trent Bridge, so late in the season seems a bit of a struggle against the elements as the last game will almost be in October when the clocks go back…

]]> Carnarvon Petroleum's Adrian Cook details the company's oil & gas strategy Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:04:00 +0100 Adrian Cook, managing director for Carnarvon Petroleum, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Oil price, Savannah Petroleum, IGas, Gulf Keystone, Cairn Energy, SDX Energy, Reabold Resources And finally... Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:19:00 +0100 Oil price

It was a mixed old day yesterday, early on prices rallied and my trading spies thought that they might be off to the races again. This was mainly because ahead of the Opec/Non-Opec meeting later this week, Iraq and ‘several other producers’ had indicated that it would be a good idea to extend the deal. With Nigeria and Libya apparently attending the meeting and both countries exporting less than recent peak production things started to look a little better. Indeed if President Trump hadn’t rattled so many cages in the afternoon at the UN then it might have been fine but the traders ran for cover. Having said that this morning the price has rallied again and WTI for example is back up to $50.

Savannah Petroleum (LON:SAVP)

Interims today from SAVP but to be frank there is little one can add to existing knowledge base. The numbers are irrelevant and we know what has been going on even though the shares are suspended. We have had a highly successful 3D seismic survey over a portion of R3 East at $1.2m it was under budget and ahead of schedule. Contracts were signed for a three well programme in Niger with an option for six more after the focus in the first half  on the upcoming drilling campaign. The construction of the logistics camp and pipe yard is complete; all equipment is on site and is thus ready to go. With the announcement that SAVP is potentially acquiring assets of Seven Energy which would be a RTO under UK rules, the shares are suspended until documentation comes out or the deal doesn’t complete. Accordingly the company have sensibly put the Niger drilling campaign on hold until the shares return from suspension. Stand by for a great deal of news from Savannah which should be of huge significance.

IGas Energy (LON:IGAS)

Interims from IGas today but as with most companies they are irrelevant for the purposes of assessment of value going forward, particularly with its fairly recent funding IGas is in a much stronger position than for a very long time. This is fortuitous as as CEO Stephen Bowler states ” Encouragingly, there is a significant level of activity onshore UK, and over the next 12 months, the industry is expected to have over half a dozen operators either drilling or flowing wells, including a number from IGas. We look forward to the future with excitement not only for IGas, but for the wider UK onshore industry as security of energy supply and diversification of the UK energy mix becomes ever more critical.”

IGas themselves are about to start work on two sites in Nottinghamshire prior to drilling and have an application in for testing at Ellesmere Port and further applications for appraisal and flow testing in the North West and the Midlands. IGas has a $240m carried programme and capital now that can be used for incremental projects in their conventional portfolio. Guidance is down unfortunately but I understand that this is only for maintenance and normal, if not better service will be resumed before long. The shares have drifted lately along with the sector but now look a good deal more interesting having refinanced and are about to embark on an exciting campaign onshore the UK.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LON:GKP)

Interims too from GKP yesterday where production is solid at 36,664 b/d and guidance stays at 32-38/- b/d which is high wide and handsome as targets go. Payments from the MNR in the period totalled $84m and receivables are $33m. Today the company has announced another $15m for Shaikan, net $12m to GKP has been paid. The company aim to get to 40/- b/d and with investment 55/- b/d, a story I have heard for some time. The news is solid from GKP but the real reason to start buying the stock has not yet hit the presses and will require a meeting with the formidable Jón Ferrier which I hope to fix up before long. In the meantime very much one for the watch list.

Cairn Energy (LON:CNE)

Cairn has announced that in the Indian tax dispute the final hearing has been set for August 2018 so don’t stand on one foot waiting for that then. To be honest, what with the possibility of 2bn barrels of oil having been discovered offshore Senegal, and an interesting exploration portfolio pretty much whatever happens in India is by the by, it does serve a warning to others to leave this country out of any investment plans. Cairn is most attractive without worrying about this nauseating attempted money grab and whilst not in the bucket list is right up there in favoured stocks.


I managed to catch up yesterday with Paul Welch, CEO of SDX Energy following recent announcements that show that much is going on at the company. Indeed I was lucky to catch him as he is spending a lot of time with the upcoming programme in both Morocco and Egypt. With a host of wells in both appraisal and exploration, SDX is set to grow fast by any stretch of the imagination, indeed, now financed until the end of next year and revenue set to rise dramatically in the period the status looks very solid. I still wouldnt be surprised to see more moves by Paul and the team though, with very solid backing from all his shareholders a number of exciting prospects are being looked at, hold on very tight please…

Reabold Resources (LON:RBD)

This one has been talked about for a long time and at long last something is happening. Reabold is raising £3.96m at 0.5p to invest in European oil & gas projects. Some may know the faces behind this company as both Sachin Oza and Stephen Williams have come from M&G Investments and won’t be the first asset managers moving over to the dark side, they will join Executive Chairman Jeremy Edelman, also well known as he was at Leni Gas & Oil….

And finally…

The FT rarely come up with headlines that make you laugh, it is not the currant bun after all, but today I noticed ‘Weetabix owner buys sausage maker’ which must mean something, are they hedging their bets…?

Last night we were back to the Haribo Cup which clubs only take seriously after they are doing well in it. For the HubCap Stealers it must have been of no significance as they went down 2-0 to the Foxes last night. The Eagles got their first win of the season beating the Terriers, and there were wins for Boro, the Canaries, Leeds, the Cherries, the Hammers, the Swans and even Spurs. For football fans in Brizzle things were mixed, Bristol City went through beating Stoke City but over at Bristol Rovers it was bad news as they lost to Wolves…

Tonight it’s the Gooners hosting Doncaster rovers who probably won’t turn up with 20,000 uninvited fans, Chelski v Forest, the Toffees entertain the Maccams, Burton Albion go to the Theatre of Dreams and the Baggies host the Noisy Neighbours.

England won the first one-dayer against the Windies with Jonny Bairstow, needing no further encouragement to cement his place, scoring a century. Whatever happens in the rest of the series it means that the Windies will have to qualify for the next world cup.

]]> ADES International thriving in tough times Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:08:00 +0100 Dr Mohamed Farouk, chief executive of ADES International PLC (LON:ADES) outlines to Proactive the Egypt-based driller's strategy and plans for growth.

“We buy unwanted or legacy oil rigs, refurbish and use them to become the lowest price drilling contractor in the Middle East market while offering operational excellence and safety,” Farouk says.

At present, ADES has fourteen rigs on its books and utilisation -
which is key for drilling contractors - has always been high at about 90%.

]]> Transglobe well positioned for strong growth in Egypt Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:05:00 +0100 Ross Clarkson, president and CEO of TransGlobe Energy Corporation (TSX:TGL; NASDAQ:TGA) chats with Proactive's Andrew Scott about the group's assets in Canada and Egypt.

''We've been in business 22 years, I created the company and we have been active explorers and developers for that period of time'', Clarkson says.

]]> Oil price, Jersey Oil and Gas, SDX Energy, Empyrean Energy And finally... Mon, 18 Sep 2017 11:26:00 +0100 Oil price

The week ended quietly but performance was impressive with WTI up $2.41 and Brent trailing behind up only $1.84. This morning the trend continues and both are up another 30 odd cents with no sign of the positive trend coming to and end, at least for now. Last week saw the agencies reporting and all were to different degrees positive about demand, supply and stock levels. With 18/20 refineries either fully or partially back up things are getting back to normal, even Motiva’s Port Arthur unit, the largest in the US is on its way to capacity. The rig count, unsurprisingly was down, overall -8 at 936 with oil down 7 at 749.

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

An update on Verbier this morning as it seems that the wireline log data which has been evaluated by Statoil showed that  ‘indications of the potential for hydrocarbons to be present in a smaller accumulation up dip of the well cannot be ruled out’. Accordingly the partners have decided to drill a sidetrack exploration well which will take 25-35 days to complete. Net cost to JOG is around £0.7m which they can fund from cash and receipts. This is a most interesting move, as whilst the statement doesnt over egg the pudding as it were, if there wasnt some genuine reason for optimism I can’t see Statoil putting the money down. It may just be that JOG shareholders have been offered another bite at the cherry…

SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

SDX has announced that they have spudded the KSR-14 development well on the Sebou permit onshore Morocco. This is the first in a nine well programme following extensive technical work for optimum identification of drilling sites. The company are targeting a 50% increase in local gas sales and an increase in reserves of 100%. These results should be out in mid-October afterwhich the well will be completed, flow tested and connected to existing infrastructure within 30 days. Progress is also being made in Egypt where two exploration wells at South Disouq are targeting 150 Bscf of resources in conjunction with two development wells in 1H 2018. With so much low risk, high reward activity  in both Morocco and Egypt and funded through to the end of next year, the investment case for SDX at this level is compelling. More after I meet with the company tomorrow….

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

An update from the Dempsey well this morning  and I detect a touch of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ about the share price. I assume it is because after a flurry of announcements, each one more exciting than the last, today they have announced that they are ‘only’ to flow test multiple zones.

The wireline logs data supports the previous reports of significant gas shows and testing will begin with a more economical workover rig which should be able to mobilise in 2-3 weeks after the drill rig has left. They will test in the ‘sequential way’ with lowest gas zones first and I imagine that they are hoping to tap into the deeper zone, which if my memory serves me correctly should contain 100-300 BCF of gas first. Whichever zone is capable of flowing ‘pipeline quality gas at commercial rates’ will then be placed into production for immediate cash flow.

I see no reason why this well will not be a significant, profitable producer with the added advantage of bringing in revenue within weeks of testing  so payback should be within months, a very solid achievement. In addition, as I mentioned last week the partners should move the rig to one of the three Dempsey lookalikes or even test the casing at Alvarez, exciting times indeed.

And finally…

The Cleveland Indians finally lost on Friday after a 22 game winning streak. It has been blog policy not to mention the streak but congratulations to Terry Francona and the Indians on a new American League record and also winning the AL Central this weekend.

The Golovkin Alvarez fight was indeed a sensational event with both fighters displaying their unique abilities and it may well have justified being called a draw. However that result was rather tainted as judge Adalaide Byrd scored the bout 18-10 in favour of Alvarez which was ludicrous, Ray Charles would have seen it better…

Carnage at the first corner of the Singapore GP as both Vettel and Raikkonen honed in on Verstappen hoping to ensure that his well known wet weather skills were negated. As it was, Kimi took out Max and in a rather quaint expression Seb ‘spun on his own coolant’ and crashed out as well. That left Hamilton in front and Ricciardo, without the pace he had in testing, followed him home.

In the weekend’s football the Hornets, unbeaten in the league and looking to potentially go top lost 0-6 to the Noisy Neighbours. At the Theatre of Dreams the Red Devils beat luckless Toffees 4-0 which even I admit was a bit flattering. With the Cherries beating the Seagulls 2-1, getting their season off with a first win, it left all eyes on the Eagles who lost 0-1  at home to the Saints so no points or goals for them yet this season, no worries as next week they are away at the Noisy Neighbours…Elsewhere Spurs failed to win at ‘fortress’ Wembley drawing 0-0 with the Swans and that was the same score at Stamford Bridge between Chelski and the Gooners. In the bugle derby neither side claimed victory as the Terriers drew first blood but the Foxes hit back and snuck away to fight another day.

Finally the rugby season is getting under way with some fairly surprising results. Wasps lost their home record yesterday losing to the Quins who havent looked that special so far this season, I hear that it was quite tasty between Marler and Haskell. Sarries won easily at Newcastle, the Tigers beat the Cherries and top of the table Chiefs cruised past Worcester.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment - M.P. Evans Group PLC Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:32:00 +0100 MP Evans: H1 2017 Results

MP Evans (LON:MPE), the Indonesian palm oil producer, has announced interim results for the period ended 30 June 2017.

• Revenue: US$57.5m, +89.4% YoY (H1 2016: US$30.4m)

• Adjusted Operating profit: US$15.9m (H1 2016: US$3.4m)

• Fresh fruit bunches (FFB) processed (own, majority-owned estates): 213,800t, +25.5% YoY (H1 2016: 170,300t)

• Crude palm oil (CPO) produced: 70,500t, +55.6% YoY (H1 2016: 45,300t)

• Interim dividend: Increased to 5.0p (H1 2016: 2.25p)

VSA Comment

As expected, MPE continues to increase its cropping levels as its young estates develop into maturity and, more specifically for H1, production levels in the sector recover from the 2015/16 El Niño. Stronger CPO prices (+10% YoY) and a c15% YoY fall in its cost of production (US$380/t) also contributed to a much improved financial performance, with its adjusted operating profit increasing by more than 4.5x.

In terms of the outlook for pricing, palm oil prices have increased c10% over the last month, touching six month highs in Malaysia, as expectations of a relatively muted peak production cycle have been played out in the market. The latest data from South East Asia suggests that for July and August at least, these expectations have not yet been realised to the extent that some were forecasting.

However, we are likely to see strong near-term export demand with the approach of the Mid-Autumn Festival in China (4 October) and the Hindu festival of Diwali (19 October). Although this is likely to be supportive to CPO pricing in the near-term, production will likely be strong in September and October, which may lead to weaker pricing as we move towards the end of the year. Last week’s upgrade to the US soybean crop by the USDA is also a bearish indication for vegetable oil pricing (soybean oil premium over Malaysian CPO is currently around its historic average at cUS$110/t). 

Having completed c99% of its £5m share buy-back programme, last Friday MPE announced that it would be extending the programme by a further £2.5m. Extrapolating from the rate of share purchases so far, this extra allocation should last through to at least mid-January. Given the low liquidity in the stock (the buy-back has accounted for c20% of all traded volume since the scheme began), we believe this programme is an important factor in maintaining the share price at the current levels.

Having perhaps made a slower start on its post-KLK bid strategy than we had originally expected, MPE has now impressively disposed of its Agro Muko joint venture (and paid a special dividend of 10p per share as a result), acquired a new majority-owned 10,000ha newly planted plantation in Kalimantan, extended its share buy-back scheme and now more than doubled its interim dividend.

With MPE anticipating that its crop levels will double between 2016 and 2020 (as they did between 2010 and 2016), it is clear that the company is set for significant levels of growth in the coming years, which is precisely the reason it remains such an attractive acquisition target.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:19:00 +0100 redT Signs Partnership Sales Agreements

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has signed partnership agreements with a number of distributors in Central & Eastern Europe, South East Asia and the Pacific region. It has also announced two new senior hires.

• Combined, the distributors have made an initial commitment of 12 units as part of a qualified pipeline of more than 300 units

• Bengt Stahlschmidt has been announced as Global Business Development Lead, alongside Adam Whitehead who has joined as Research Principle. Both join from flow battery peer Gildemeister, which has recently entered the administration process in Germany

VSA Comment

RED has secured its first commercial orders from a group of specialist energy sector distributors with longstanding experience selling flow machines from Gildemeister and others into the global market. The fact that RED has now been selected to deploy its machines through these channels highlights the company’s move towards becoming the flow machine manufacturer of choice in the market.

The apparent demise of key flow competitor Gildemeister has given RED access to its key people, the first two being Bengt and Adam as detailed above, as well as its future pipeline, with the Austrian company having done much to promote the benefits of flow machines in the global energy storage sector.

Although RED’s commercial sales have started slower than we had anticipated, this announcement is clearly good news for the company and we hope a sign of things to come as the company looks to move from generating a limited number of individual sales, to becoming the low cost mass market producer of flow machines for the global energy storage sector.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 22p.

]]> Oil price, Echo Energy, Frontera Resources, Wood Group, Aramco And finally... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 11:11:00 +0100 Oil price

There is little to add about the oil price, the dollar remains weak, Libya is exporting well below its best levels, hurricane damage has affected production and refining capacity is still down. Opec and Non-Opec production is under control especially from Saudi Arabia. Traders will be particularly cautious about being short here although both WTI and Brent are trading at recent highs, WTI went through $50 in intraday trade yesterday and $55 seems high enough for Brent for the time being. This week all three reporting agencies were displaying unusual accuracy in expecting a fall in global fall in oil stocks.

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

Echo has announced the award of a seismic reprocessing contract for 3D seismic data over the Huayco and Rio Salado blocks in Bolivia. The recipient is DMT Petrologic who have ‘extensive experience of reprocessing data in similar thrust belt areas’. The work should be completed in Q1 2018 and shows that whilst Echo are still to finalise the deal on the blocks they are getting on with the work and showing a very positive attitude which should go down well in country.

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR)

I have met Frontera before but not in Person, that was a call with Steve Nicandros which made me interested but thereafter little happened. So I was most interested to hear that a number of changes had happened and there was a new broom in town and Zaza Mamulaishvili had become President and CEO of the company with such exciting assets in Georgia. I met up with Zaza on Tuesday which was a most interesting meeting. The primary asset hasn’t changed although I would suggest that the focus has, Block 12 is a substantial piece of real estate (5,060km²)  onshore and 100% owned and with significant history. It is adjacent to the huge offshore finds such as Shah Deniz and has similar attributes to the BP operated structures.

Valuations by Netherland Sewell on three occasions give rise to optimism that the long serving Taribani field and the Dino-2 well could provide a great deal more hydrocarbons, indeed only a handful of the 25 available zones have been produced from and only a 13m section. They (NSA) have oil OOIP of 10.2bn barrels of which 1.7bn is recoverable and gas OGIP of 12.9 TCF, 9 recoverable.  It is clear that a fairly minimal investment could increase the value of this company in a big way. It seems that a number of small frac jobs would bring much more to surface and the pay is so good that a decent return should be made, indeed I understand that sidetracking is also an option.  As one might expect in such a cradle of the international oil and gas industry infrastructure is all around and oil and gas pipelines intersect the acreage on their way to lucrative international markets.

The investment opportunity here seems fairly low beta, the current production brings in $3-3.5m p/a which FRR can run the business on and expect more oil and gas discoveries and more production in the next few months. The company will look to farm-out some of this prime acreage but I also expect a possible offering to existing shareholders in due course as capital shortage appears to be the only major impediment to growing this asset. More to follow after a further meeting with the company.

Wood Group/AMFW

The final capitulation of the once mighty Amec is near, following the disaster that was the Foster Wheeler acquisition just at the wrong time in the cycle, there was some inevitability of its demise.  It is a shame to see a company with so many good people let down and if it wasn’t for Ian McHoul the fall might have been faster. The UK upstream business and clients of AMFW are to be sold off after a deal with the CMA. Last day of dealings is 6th October after which Wood should start taking real advantage of their windfall.

Saudi Aramco

It seems that the City of London Corporation has approved the new listing rules put forward by the FCA which would allow state-owned companies to qualify for a premium listing in London with less onerous disclosure and regulatory rules. These rule changes are in order to let the City compete for the Aramco listing when it floats next year. Interestingly the newly merged Aberdeen Standard Life is against such rule changes, its UK head of Governance saying that their opposition is to ‘protect the London market and that it is not made more volatile and less attractive, by the inclusion of a huge, deeply cyclical, company’. Now I don’t have a view either way about Aramco but I find it hard to believe that Aberdeen Standard Life does not already have ‘huge, deeply cyclical companies’ in its portfolio already…

And finally…

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will face Gennady Golovkin this weekend in what could potentially be the fight of the year. Canelo has only lost once in his professional career and Golovkin is unbeaten in 37 professional fights. Both men have had to chase their opponents around the ring throughout their careers so it will be interesting to see who takes the first step backwards on Saturday night. It is a real 50/50 fight that will cement the legacy of the winner as an all time great. It is likely that the winner will face either Billy Joe Saunders or Willie Monroe Jr to unify all the belts in the middleweight division. Saunders and Monroe Jr fight earlier on Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena in London.

This weekend sees the Singapore GP which I am reliably informed will suit the Ferrari’s and Red Bulls better than the Mercedes, indeed Hamilton said that his ‘was not the best package’ for this track.

Doncaster hosts the oldest classic in the British racing season tomorrow, the St Leger is not only thus but for investors who sold in May are expected to return to the market on Monday…..

Last nights football was rather peculiar, 20,000 Cologne fans pitched up to the Emirates and pretty much all got in after only having 3,000 tickets allocated. Spread around the ground where I hear that there was no segregation or searching of fans, they had tickets in the family stand and some Gooner season ticket holders ‘helped form an orderly market’….They won 3-1 after going behind to Cologne whilst in Italy the Toffees lost 3-0.

The footy weekend starts tonight where the south coast ‘Riviera Derby’ takes place as the Cherries host the Seagulls, both need the points badly. Tomorrow’s big games include pointless and goalless Eagles under Woy taking on the Saints, the HubCap Stealers entertain Burnley, the Noisy Neighbours are at the Hornets, Spurs host the Swans, the Baggies have the happy Hammers and its the ‘Bugle derby’ as the Terriers go after the Foxes. Tomorrow the big weekend game is Chelski v the Gooners and the Toffees go to the Theatre of Dreams.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane, Echo, Sound, Range Resources, Pantheon, Ophir, Touchstone And finally... Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0100 Oil price

Another healthy day for the oil price although to be fair on the ground life has not yet fully got back to normal. Accordingly the inventory stats are going to be at best an indication of what is happening in both crude and products. Last night the EIA numbers showed a 5.9m build which was higher than the 4.4m estimates but refinery capacity is now 77.7% having fallen again. Gasoline however drew by 8.4m barrels which is the largest weekly fall since records began in 1990 and distillates drew 3.2m barrels.

It was the IEA that sealed a good day, coming out with its monthly the day after the other two with a headline of crude supplies falling on ‘robust’ demand and the production deal holding. Indeed since then the Saudis have cut back more and so for choice it may have got a bit better. This is only a temporary rally but WTI at nearly 50 bucks and Brent at over 55 is worth cheering about and it may not bring on too much more US production….yet.

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR)

In an operational update this morning Hurricane have announced that they have made the Final Investment Decision for the Lancaster EPS and that it is still on schedule for first oil in 1H 2019. The FPSO Aoka Mizu is now on tow to Dubai where its upgrades will take place by Bluewater Energy Services. A rig contract has been signed with Transocean to complete the EPS production wells and fabrication orders have been signed with Technic FMC for  SURF and SPS. This news is most welcome and comes after the funding that means that the company is fully funded to first oil and has taken all the steps to ensure that the next 18 months will be incredibly busy. For Hurricane and the UKCS, the visibility of, in my view, of well north of 1bn barrels of oil coming on stream is transformational and very welcome indeed. The shares have languished before and since the raise in the summer but once that indigestion has cleared up I can see a realistic long term target price of in excess of 100p.

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

Echo has announced the appointment of a country representative for Bolivia, Andres Brockmann has had 15 years with Petrobras and is a director of the Bolivian Chamber of Hydrocarbons and Energy where he will represent Echo’s interests. Echo is getting its team together and in country structure, now being led by a highly respected, well known industry figure and shows further progress at this stage.

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)

Interims from Sound today but as always are somewhat historic and dont convey the reality of the company going forward. Highlights were the Anoual farm-out to Schlumberger for the $27.5m carried exploration programme and the TE-8 well which opened up the Palaeozoic play. In all these areas, Anoual, Tendrara and Matarka, Sound are building an exploration focussed onshore Moroccan gas business with markets both domestically and internationally. Following the Badile result the board are considering all their options in the country and keeping all options open but with the recent completion of the OGIF deal the focus is for all to see.

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

Range have had their Aim listing cancelled this morning as they have been suspended for six months following the RRDSL RTO for which they have been preparing documentation. These listing documents have been complicated by further acquisitions of assets in Indonesia and the West Coast of Trinidad and inclusion of these was not possible given the strict deadline.

Range are making it very clear that they  are still very much committed to maintaining a listing in London and ‘will work on completing the required documentation to seek admission to AIM at the earliest opportunity’. They are also proceeding with the three announced acquisitions (Range Resources Drilling Services Limited; West Coast, Trinidad; and Perlak, Indonesia) and the cancellation of trading on AIM will not impact on these processes. Shareholders in Range have been very patient over the years and another hopefully short period of suspension should see the company return to the lists a much changed animal.

Pantheon Resources (LON:PANR)

A post hurricane update from PANR this morning who have had some disruption to their operations in Texas. In Tyler County things are getting back to normal and the VOBM#4 sidetrack rig is expected on location around the second week of October where drilling operations are expected to take around 30 days plus testing if needed. This appears to be about a month behind the original schedule but it could have been worse. In Polk County they have had plenty of rain and work needs to be done on some local roads before work recommences but they are back laying the gas pipeline from VOBM#3 to the Gulf South trunk line. The Kinder Morgan gas facility will be on the VOBM#3 pad and is scheduled for installation in October. The VOBM#2H well flow-testing has been delayed and will commence as soon as the roads are fixed. Whilst this means yet further delays to their programme it was definitely outwith their control…if gas starts to be transmitted in November as currently envisaged then that will be a major step in the right direction.

Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR)

Half year statement this morning from Ophir where the company are concentrating on getting the next stages ready for the FID on Fortuna, expected to be by the end of this year. Production is down but guidance is not reduced, something will have to give but they are continuing to invest in Bualuang and Kerendan despite rigorous cost cutting in the business. I wasn’t invited to the analysts meeting but watched the presentation this morning on the webcast and it was slick enough, playing on the strong balance sheet and ‘material discovered resources’. Certainly monetising these resources is important, I don’t share quite such enthusiasm on the financials nor their exploration prospects, indeed on the latter it seems neither do they, having reduced from 7-8 exploration plays down to 2-3 right now. Ophir needs to get the project financing on Fortuna sorted and then get the FID and final approvals through after that it will be much more plain sailing and the ‘unlocking of value’ can begin.

Touchstone Exploration (TSE:TXP)

TXP announces an operational and production update this morning that shows that progress is being made by increasing production by spinning the drill bit. Funny that, especially in an onshore province such as Trinidad where new wells are coming good. In July and August they averaged 1,470 b/d and the two wells on the Coora-1 block and on Grand Ravine WD-4 block, combined with the recompletions mean that the 1,500 b/d mark is being hit. The statement talks about a possible four more wells before the end of the year which would certainly put TXP into stronger territory and maybe make them wish that they could have raised a bit more moolar when they came over here for a quote.

And finally…

Champions League again last night and very solid performances by the Noisy Neighbours and Spurs who may have finally shaken off the Wembley jinx, up until last night Anthony Joshua had won there more often than Spurs in big matches.. The HubCap Stealers in the end got a 2-2 draw but again defence was iffy and they had another player sent off.

Tonight sees the Gooners and the Toffees getting used to Thursday night football in the Boropa Cup which we now know can prove to be fruitful…

]]> Hillcrest Petroleum aiming for 1000 barrel benchmark Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:54:00 +0100 Don Currie, chairman and CEO of Hillcrest Petroleum Ltd (CVE:HRH) updates Proactive on the company's progress at their Alberta and Saskatchewan licenses and plans for production.

The assets are previously producing properties which they plan to get up and running as soon as possible - with plans to further develop and expand the resources.

]]> Touchstone Exploration planning to drill a further four wells in Trinidad Thu, 14 Sep 2017 07:24:00 +0100 Paul Baay, president and chief executive of Touchstone Exploration Inc. (LON:TXP TSX:TXP), tells Proactive Investors they're looking to drill a further four wells this year in Trinidad after a programme earlier this year boosted production by more than predicted.

The Aim and Canada-listed group made total sales in July and August of 1,349 and 1,591 barrels per day respectively.

]]> Oil price, BP, Range Resources, Chariot, SOCO, BPC, Empyrean, Columbus, Sundry-IOG-WG/AMFW-Faroe-Sound- And finally... Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:04:00 +0100 Oil price

Another up day for crude yesterday with short term weather related problems still to the fore, refining in Houston and the Gulf is returning, in some cases slowly, but over in Florida significant power outages remain. We have had reports from Opec who are calling August production down a touch and also the ever important STEO from the EIA. In that document they revise down US production slightly, primarily due to Harvey and have taken 100/- b/d off this year’s forecast to 9.25m b/d and 70/- b/d from next year’s to 9.84m b/d. They cite ‘an uncertain return to normal operations for critical energy infrastructure’ in their report. Last night’s API numbers showed a 6.2m barrel build in stocks and a draw in gasoline, analysts are expecting a bigger build with the EIA stats tonight but all will be difficult to put into context post hurricanes.


BP have been in the news a bit in the last few days, they have apparently decided to go ahead with the IPO of their BP Midstream Partnership and realise value from the pipeline systems in the US. Sunday saw an article saying that the company are to ‘part company’ with Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg after a ‘chequered’ seven year reign. Whilst a Chairman of such an organisation is normally a figurehead position, BP have had a number of major league problems on his watch and a change might easily have been made some time ago.

Finally and much more importantly it looks like the company is going to put its Argentine assets into a new JV with Axion, Bridas and thus also with CNOOC. BP claim that this would be the largest private energy company in the country and with its conventional and unconventional plays being amongst the most alluring in the industry, Argentina is very much back on the map. With many companies, amongst them a number of smaller UK quoteds showing interest in South America it is interesting to hear BP CEO Bob Dudley saying that it would a platform for ‘growth and development opportunities in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Mexico’, now where have I heard that recently…?

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

Range has announced that it has spudded the QUN 161 development well on the Morne Diablo field, the well is targeting the Lower Forest and Upper Cruse horizons and will be at TD in around two weeks. It is being drilled by RRDSL which is being acquired by RRL using  one of their newest and most up to date units. Although Range is still suspended I can’t imagine that it will be too long before the listing returns…

Chariot Oil & Gas (LON:CHAR)

Interims from CHAR this morning which are as meaningless as usual but much work is going on behind the scenes. The action as far as drilling is concerned will be next year with the big excitement around the carried Rabat Deep well in 1Q 2018. Data rooms have been opened for both Namibia and Morocco and in order to expedite drilling preparations are being made to be drill ready. With $21.7m of cash, no debt and few commitments Chariot is beginning to look exciting as a medium term prospect.


Production fell to 8,606 boe/d from 10,862 but guidance has remained at 8-9/- boe/d which I presume will eventually be made up by further investment at TGT. With cash of $132m and approvals received for the next stage of longer term investment in Vietnam all looks good. I’m not a big fan of their African assets but they might buy a little more production if necessary. Finally I wish Roger and Cynthia well after a long stretch at SOCO, Roger was instrumental in getting me into looking at the company which has been extremely worthwhile.

Bahamas Petroleum (LON:BPC)

An operational update from BPC this morning which serves to remind us that they raised $3.5m at 1p back in July. They are continuing with the attempts to find a partner and have signed up numerous NDA’s some of which they are taking further. Accordingly the process for the company remains incredibly tortuous and at the moment provides little opportunity for turning more positive. They are also having to engage with the new Government and are ‘proactively meeting’ representatives, Ministers and officials.

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

In the last few weeks I have written a lot about EME after a conference call with Tom Kelly in which I updated myself about the new assets he has brought into the company. It has turned out to be a smart if fortuitous move as the news from their Dempsey well has been coming thick and fast. Today they have announced that the well has reached TD at 9,750′ which is very close to the original thought of it being around 10,000′, accordingly they have completed drilling after intersecting two further zones of ‘high’ gas shows. Wireline logs will now be run to fully evaluate these gas shows and reservoirs, after which a more detailed and accurate picture of the prospectivity of the well will be proven.

Yesterday I was fortunate to meet up with Tom Kelly along with fellow directors Gaz Bisht and Frank Brophy, both key to the development of EME. It has become clear that the Dempsey well has encountered enough gas to ‘at least pay for this well’ and if the wireline logging evaluation is as it seems may confirm the pre-well hopes of 1 TCF of gas. Indeed it seems that the deeper zone may alone contain 100-300 BCF and therefore only two zones may be tested, the shallower zones on the way down supported ongoing drilling but will now be left ‘for another time’ and the larger, deeper targets opened up. With the infrastructure almost on the doorstep, the gas metering station is literally 40m away and accordingly payback on this well will be remarkably short, indeed the company expect cash flow ‘within weeks’ of testing.

There are a number of Dempsey lookalikes (3) which are also cretaceous plays and I expect the company along with the operator to start drilling these soon. Equally, if not more exciting is the Alvares prospect (EME 25%)  which is away from the lookalikes and is a separate and bigger accumulation and has a target of 2 TCF and already has logged gas shows. The operator may put a small workover rig onto Alvares just to test and see that the casing is satisfactory but then will be drilled in this programme. Further good news is that gas prices here are very strong and they will receive a premium of 20% to Henry Hub which further improves the economics of the area of mutual interest.

So, what to expect next, depending on the wireline logs and the setting of the cement it shouldnt be long before some more definitive numbers can be attributed to Dempsey and we can put a firmer valuation on the well. If that is as big as recently envisaged then the share price rise in the last few days will be more than justified, indeed I see considerable upside depending on the lookalikes and Alvares.

It should not be forgotten that Dempsey is only a part of the portfolio, Indonesia and China are already both showing very decent promise. The Mako South -1 well results exceeded pre-drill expectations and is a very large structure with permeability and flowability both excellent. Hoping for 50 Milli-Darcy’s the company instead got multi-Darcy’s and the flow rate will be significantly exceeded on production. The operator here is already looking to a development plan and the authorities, occasionally slow movers in this area, are keen to get under way as there is a shortage of gas in the area. In China they have recently announced a third prospect after 2D seismic and have run 3D after which raw data processing are now looking very interesting indeed. The three prospects in Jade, Pearl and Topaz have significant trap sizes for such a small company and should the new data prove to be accurate then this basin will add a lot more value to EME.

The shares have risen substantially in recent weeks and stopped at around 23.75p today, investors will be weighing up whether that is high enough and waiting for confirmation of the wireline logs, should they be confirmatory then the shares will be off to the races. Clearly the other risk may be another funding but given how well the shares have done and with the huge upside a I dont see a problem, all in all the shares show prospects of a multiple upwards valuation from here.

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

MOre good news from CERP over the last couple of days as the new management headed up by the indefatigable Leo Koot continues to make progress in Trinidad. Figures here are therefore totally meaningless and holders are correctly looking forwards and hoping to see what the new strategy might bring. Yesterday they announced that the CEC had been issued for the water injection pilot programme on the Goudron field so the company now kick on and increase production, all funded from existing cash resources. CERP continues to provide the market with helpful updates and I suspect there are many more to come, watch this space.


News of changes at Board level at IOG (LON:IOG) come at  regular intervals and today’s report is that Hywel John has left ‘with immediate effect’ to pursue other interests and will be replaced as CFO, but not a board position by James Chance. The share price increase of 24% as I write seems rather over the top, indeed relegating running finance to a non-board position always ups the risk profile of a company in my eyes.

Wood Group and AMFW yesterday announced that the CMA had accepts the ‘remedy’ that is the selling off of AMFW’s UK upstream oil and gas interests. Expect closure in October as this pretty much completes the jigsaw.

Faroe Petroleum (LON:FPM) announced yesterday that the Goanna well has proved to be a water bearing reservoir which is disappointing, costs were below budget so FPM are fully carried and they will learn much from this well. Still a very cheap stock on any long term valuation.

And Sound Energy (LON:SOU) confirmed that the previously announced deal with OGIF in Morocco has been completed. 272m shares will be issued to OGIF and first day of dealings will be 18th September.

And finally…

Last night saw the return of the Champions League and the stirring music that starts every game. A solid win by the Red Devils and a big one by Chelski were to be expected as was the trashing dished out to Celtic by PSG…

Tonight we have the HubCap Stealers, Spurs and the Noisy Neighbours on parade, all of whom should win too…

]]> Iofina kicks off construction of IO#7 at new site Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:27:00 +0100 Tom Becker, chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF) tells Proactive their newest iodine production plant will be called IO#7 and will be built in the core area of the company’s current Oklahoma operations.

The new plant will be based around the existing IO#3 plant, which was hitherto Iofina’s highest cost per kilo plant.

As IO#7, though, the new plant will have similar production capabilities and cost structure to Iofina’s lowest per kilo production cost plant.

]]> Diversified Gas & Oil's Hutson: 'Pro-forma the bottom line was up 1000%' Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:14:00 +0100 Diversified Gas & Oil plc's (LON:DGOC) Rusty Hutson says dividend is key to strategy as acquisitions send costs tumbling and production soaring.

]]> Mosman Oil & Gas picks up new assets in Texas Mon, 11 Sep 2017 14:52:00 +0100 Andy Carroll, technical director of Mosman Oil And Gas Limited (LON:MSMN) discusses with Proactive their latest acquisition in North America which sees them pick up the Welch Permian basin project in West Texas in a US$310,000 deal.

The project, located about 550 kilometres from Dallas, comprises ten existing production wells plus ten shut-in wells and seven injectors.

It presently produces around 34 barrels of oil per day.

]]> Horse Hill approaching key phase after green light for extended flow test Fri, 08 Sep 2017 12:38:00 +0100 The independent oil & gas analyst Barney Gray discusses with Proactive the news that the Horse Hill oil project has been approved for an extended flow test by the Environment Agency.

Stakeholders UK Oil & Gas Investments PLC (LON:UKOG) and Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) confirmed that the approval will allow the programme to test the HH-1 well, as well as drill a side-track to HH-1 and the new HH-2 well.

]]> Chariot Oil & Gas secures drill rig for Morocco well Thu, 07 Sep 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Larry Bottomley, chief executive of Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (LON:CHAR), tells Proactive they've secured a drilling rig for the upcoming RD-1 well, targeting the JP-1 exploration prospect.

Project operator ENI has contracted Saipem 12000, an ultra-deepwater drillship, for the programme and it is currently anticipated that the rig will arrive in the later part of the first quarter of 2018 with drilling due to start shortly thereafter.

]]> SDX Energy back in execution phase after US$10mln raise Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:12:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX), talks through their US$10mln of new cash which was raised through an oversubscribed placing.

The injection of capital is earmarked for the acceleration of the group’s exploration and appraisal of the South Disouq asset, where a well last year confirmed a new gas discovery, in addition to the development drilling programmes in Morocco.

]]> Union Jack Oil sizing up new projects as they launch into 'particularly busy' second half Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:12:00 +0100 David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO), says he's expecting a ‘particularly active’ next six months.

Bramhill caught up with Proactive on the back of their first half results, in which he highlighted they remain debt free with around £1.9mln of cash.

]]> Sound Energy buoyed by funding news while 88 Energy investors wait patiently Mon, 04 Sep 2017 14:31:00 +0100 Proactive Investors oil and gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft talks through today's funding offer for Sound Energy PLC's (LON:SOU) eastern Morocco gas project.

The indicative, non-binding proposal is from Advisory & Finance Group Investment Bank (AFG), a Moroccan financial institution that funds Oil & Gas Investment Fund (OGIF), Sound Energy’s partner and soon-to-be major shareholder.

Ashcroft also puts 88 Energy Plc (LON:88E, ASX:88E) under the microscope -- telling Andrew Scott that Icewine-2 has yet to deliver the sort of decisive result that investors have been hoping for.

The Alaska-focussed explorer, in a stock market statement, told investors that a week after restarting flow back operations the Icewine-2 is presently flowing back frack fluid at a rate of 70 barrels of oil per day.

]]> Solo Oil boss delighted with estimated Ntorya gas resources boost Mon, 04 Sep 2017 14:12:00 +0100 Neil Ritson, chief executive of Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) described as 'fantastic' the boost for its flagship Tanzania gas project - where partner Aminex plc (LON:AEX) almost tripled its estimate of gas resources.

Aminex told investors that its new estimate sees some 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas initially in place at the Ntorya project, up from prior estimates of 466 billion cubic feet.

Solo Oil owns a 25% interest in the gas discovery.

]]> Aminex announces major upgrade to Ntorya gas resources estimate Mon, 04 Sep 2017 08:01:00 +0100 Aaron LeBlanc, chief operating officer at Aminex plc (LON:AEX) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've almost tripled their estimates of gas resources at the Ntorya gas project in Tanzania.

The company has told investors that its new estimate sees some 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas initially in place ... up from prior estimates of 466 billion cubic feet.

]]> Cadogan Petroleum more than doubles production revenue in first half Wed, 30 Aug 2017 11:30:00 +0100 Guido Michelotti, chief executive of Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD), tells Proactive first-half losses narrowed even though revenue fell due to a decline in gas trading.

Revenue from production at the Ukraine-focused firm more than doubled in the period.

For the six months to June 30, the AIM-listed firm reported a pre-tax loss of US$2.0mln, down from a US$3.1mln loss a year earlier.

]]> New kids on the block Pulse Oil Corp get ready to raid Canada Thu, 24 Aug 2017 15:24:00 +0100 Brand new oil and gas acquisition company Pulse Oil (CVE:PUL) has only just gone public and is already building quite a reputation while leaving lots of room to grow. With assets in Queensland, Alberta CEO Garth Johnson tells us how he aims to grow Pulse Oil significantly from now on.

Pulse raised C$4.8mln in the first tranche of its placing. They didn't close the second tranche of financing but instead decided to work with strategic partners and larger investors.

Impressive executive and operational teams are steering Pulse now through low cost drilling, low cost production and low cost acquisitions through the rest of this year and Garth says he's determined to turn a profit by speeding up operations to increase production.

]]> New mining licence in Botswana de-risks Tlou Energy's CBM project Thu, 24 Aug 2017 10:05:00 +0100 The first ever gas-to-power mining licence to be granted in Botswana has sent TLOU ENERGY (LON:TLOU) shares jumping as the Lesedi coalbed methane project moves from appraisal to development.

TLOU ENERGY CEO Tony Gilby explains how the thorough appraisal process has derisked implementing the development stage of the project which can now begin.

The issuing of the licence will pioneer a new and exciting natural CBM gas industry in Botswana leading to much-needed investment and local employment. It also bodes well for another proposal still in the pipeline for a CBM-fuelled pilot power project.

]]> PowerHouse Energy fired up over successful extended G3 trial Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:55:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE), tells Proactive an extended trial of their waste-to-power system has returned some encouraging results.

Their G3-UHt unit used a feedstock of tyre crumb as part of the extended trial at the Energy Centre of Thornton Science Park in Cheshire.

]]> A busy Q1 sees TAG Oil set up operationally for the year ahead Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0100 Toby Pierce, chief executive of the New Zealand and Australia-focused TAG Oil Ltd (TSE:TAO) talks Proactive through their Q1 update ending June 2017.

The producer reported output for the three months of 1,169 boe/d (barrels of oil equivalent per day) (77% oil) compared to  1,218 boe/d for the preceding quarter (to end March).

This was largely down to a 10 year plant inspection and recertification that took production offline for eight days in April.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas expecting La-107 to be a 'substantial' producer Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:50:00 +0100 Kevin Foo, executive chairman of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) discusses with Proactive the firm's Logbaba drilling update.

La-107, which will be flow tested soon, should be in production by the end of next month, supplying the country’s second city and industrial hub, Douala.

]]> Greka Drilling's Randeep Grewal hails new drill contract wins in China Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:37:00 +0100 Randeep Grewal, chairman of Greka Drilling Ltd (LON:GDL), talks Proactive through the company's two new drill contracts with PetroChina Huabei Oilfield Limited, for coal-bed methane blocks in Shanxi Province.

The China-focussed drilling and well services contractor estimates that the new contracts will be worth at least US$2mln.

]]> Clean tech firm Verditek makes AIM debut Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Verditek's (LON:VDTK) Theo Chapman speaks to Proactive Investors as the clean tech company lists on London's AIM market.

Focused on green technology, the firm's put together by the acquisition of three early stage businesses - an arm that makes electricity-generating solar roof tiles, as well as a carbon capture and an odour control business.

]]> Echo Energy 'in the right postcode' with Bolivian assets - CEO Fiona MacAulay Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0100 Fiona MacAulay, chief executive of Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through her first five weeks in the job as chief executive.

In that time the explorer's sealed two deals in Bolivia with news of their third acquisition 'imminent'.

In a wide-ranging discussion MacAulay also touched on the growth strategy, relationship with Sound Energy and 'getting the job done' in Latin America.

]]> Frontera Resources to unlock 'huge' crude potential in Georgia Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:12:00 +0100 Formed back in 1996, Frontera Resources Corporation (LON:FRR) is an oil and gas exploration and production company focused predominately in Georgia.

''We're sitting on quite a volume of gas in Georgia'', president and chief executive Zaza Mamulaishvili tells Proactive.

''12 tcf of natural gas from which 9 tcf is recoverable ... and almost 788 mln barrels of crude oil''.

''This is what we're sitting on right now and we're trying to unlock and start production of that crude oil starting this year''.

]]> i3 Energy could be worth 'north of $150mln' after cash injection Wed, 02 Aug 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Neill Carson and Graham Heath of i3 Energy (LON:I3E) chat through with Proactive's Andrew Scott their asset in the North Sea - the Liberator field.

They say an estimated 10 mln barrels of oil is in situ and possibly another 5mln to be found.

i3 Energy listed on AIM in July.

]]> Powerhouse Energy celebrating milestone week after first gas from G3 unit Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:06:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) updates Proactive on what's been a massive week for the green energy provider - culminating in first gas from their G3-UHt gasification reactor.

]]> Rose Petroleum close to drawing a line under Mexico gold asset sale Tue, 01 Aug 2017 14:25:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) tells Proactive they've given Magellan Gold Corporation just over two weeks to complete the proposed acquisition of its San Dieguito de Arriba gold mill operation in Mexico.

The non-core asset sale was announced in March, with Magellan paying a US$100,000 deposit, but the buyer was supposed to have deposited a further US$900,000 of cash into escrow and previously, in June, Rose granted a 60-day extension to the option period.

]]> An incredibly busy 2018 for Eco Atlantic with drill campaigns in Namibia and Guyana Fri, 28 Jul 2017 10:39:00 +0100 Gil Holzman, chief executive of Eco Atlantic Oil and Gas Ltd (LON:ECO, CVE:EOG) tells Proactive they're gearing up for a ‘high impact’ 2018 as the company’s recent progress sets the explorer up for drill campaigns in both Namibia and Guyana.

]]> Zak Mir: Faroe Petroleum targets 92p Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:45:00 +0100 Faroe Petoleum has initial target of 200-day moving average zone at 92p, says technical analyst Zak Mir.