OPEC COLUMN: Oil analysts are hoping for a better second half of the year, but they aren't betting on it Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:56:00 +0100 Hurricane Energy share price decline the drag on Crystal Amber stock, investor believes Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:50:00 +0100 Centrica extends recent rally as another broker upgrades after this week’s Queen's Speech Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:51:00 +0100 Fusionex sets up matched bargain facility to allow investors to trade shares once it goes private Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:03:00 +0100 Eland details Helios Natural Resources share conversion Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:47:00 +0100 Trinity now has “clear strategic focus” says Bruce Dingwall Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:33:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum to unlock opportunities with exploration technology Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:00:00 +0100 Hurricane Energy shares are ‘likely’ to be considerably higher in a year, subject to Lancaster funding - broker Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:44:00 +0100 Royal Dutch Shell, BP downgraded as leading broker turns bearish on the oil price Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:24:00 +0100 NUOG awaits regulatory approval in Canada Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:01:00 +0100 HSBC upgrades rating for British gas-owner Centrica after Queen’s Speech revealed no intention for tariff cap Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:46:00 +0100 Tlou Energy appoints Hugh Swire as non-exec director Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:28:00 +0100 Point Loma Resources closes $4.02mln strategic investment from Evenergy Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:41:00 +0100 Saudi Arabia announces shake-up as oil prices hit nine-month low Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Echo Energy: Bolivia entry marks most significant step to date in James Parsons ‘carefully orchestrated’ reboot Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:13:00 +0100 Centrica shares rise after British Gas-owner's £318mln cash sale of two UK power plants Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:00:00 +0100 Oil price, Echo Energy, Cairn/FAR, Sundry-Ophir-Faroe-Various broadcasts- And finally... Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:57:00 +0100 Oil price

Momentum seems to be the watchword in what is a particularly lethargic market at the moment, general blaming of Opec and Non-Opec production from Nigeria, Libya and the US is deemed to cover the situation. Whilst on those organisations it seems that Opec compliance in May was 108% and Non-Opec 100% giving a record level of 106%. This is no time to panic unless your uncle is King of Saudi Arabia as he has just removed you from power as Crown Prince and replaced you with his son, thick blood being thicker than thin blood one might say…

API stats after the bell were better than expected but all eyes will be on the EIA release later particularly looking at product inventories as the API crude draw was better than forecast.

Echo Energy

At long last the first deal has come through for Echo and the hashtag #Boliviaandbeyond really did give the game away. The company has signed a technical evaluation agreement with Pluspetrol for an 80% operated interest in the Huayco block in the Tarija Basin in Southern Bolivia. The evaluation will take place and if a well is drilled Echo will pay for 100% before reverting to 80%, and no cash back worries either. As promised this has huge potential upside and I’m sure that it is not the last in the opening gambits from Echo. I interviewed Non-Exec Chairman James Parsons and new CEO Fiona MacAuley on TipTV yesterday and the link is below.

TipTV CEO interview: Echo Energy New CEO Fiona MacAulay Shares Her Vision


I’m not sure why I have put Cairn in the title, a nod to the fact that this is their operatorship but the other partners are where the current arguments lie. Back in early June we saw a skirmish as WPL appeared to want to kick on with becoming the operator as per an alleged JV agreement that had been made with COP although that seems to have little credibility. As FAR has filed for arbitration, as I understand it to protect their own ability to have taken part in COP’s disposal, at the moment this is the first time since COP sold their stake without referral to the JV agreement, which is why FAR are now having to use arbitration. Another point is that whilst going through arbitration is  a slow process that may take between 9-12 months, operationally nothing should change, drilling continues and the size of the prize continues to rise.

To be honest the argument about operatorship strike me as being a bit of a side-issue, unless there has been a legally agreed pre-empt it is neither here nor there. This is the nitty gritty, WPL say that they have ‘Government support’ for their entry but it is not for the Govt to handle, quite rightly they have said that it should be sorted at JV level and FAR do not recognise WPL as a legit JV partner to do business with. Finally on this issue it seems that at the original time of the ‘deal’ between COP and WPL, FAR may have been considered the poor relation, that is sublimely no longer the case, raising A$600m +/- with their recently announced backers will be less of a problem. I think that FAR has called Woodside’s bluff here and for modest legal fees may force WPL and COP to undo the deal and re-offer a correctly legal pre-empt, either that or settle out of court….


Ophir has announced a new $250m RBL and an added $100m accordion with a syndicate of seven banks. Whilst I am more comfortable with Ophir after a recent company meeting I have always thought that they would sell down some of the Fortuna stake to keep the business on a sound footing, maybe this loan will help that process.

More good news for Faroe as Statoil announce that the Njord and Bauge development plans have been approved. Whilst realistically this was never in doubt it is highly encouraging as these developments will be key to Faroe in the future.

I have done a number of broadcasts this week and they can be viewed on links which are below.

Proactiveinvestors interview: ”This is a very exciting time”, as Sound drills at Sidi Moktar

VOX Markets podcast: Savannah Petroleum, Providence Resources, Far Limited and Echo Energy

And finally…

Muzza lost in the first round at Queen’s yesterday so with other losses and withdrawals the tournament looks a bit star-lite now. Long odds for Wimbledon now one thinks…

After being accused of not mentioning English rugby enough it was cheering to watch the second defeat of the Pumas on saturday, even more galling as at least half the team would make credible Lions although not being Welsh hampers that opportunity…

Royal Ascot started yesterday and was, as usual a fantastic display of the best international equine talent around, no Frankie was a  big loss.

]]> Zak Mir tips Faroe Petroleum shares to re-test 2017 highs Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:45:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the Faroe Petroleum plc (LON:FPM) share price to re-test its 2017 highs and head towards the 110p mark.

“[Shares] hit as high as 100p by February but they’ve come back since then [but] it looks like we’re still in an uptrend from the beginning of last year,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“The floor of this channel [is] at 85p and really while we’re above that we should hopefully get a re-test of the best levels of this year-to-date up to £1.10.”

]]> Ophir Energy lands new reserves based lending facility Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:08:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:02:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced an update demonstrating robust operational progress as well as the potential impacts from the recently proposed changes to the South African Mining Charter. The notable changes that GDP would need to make relate to BEE ownership and board quotas. Currently the required BEE stake, with which GDP is compliant, is 26%. However, the new proposals would increase the stake to 30%. The Chamber of Mines of South Africa had not been consulted on the proposed changes and given the controversial nature of the new Charter; it is taking legal action against the Government to prevent its implementation. This is likely to be a drawn out process.

Operationally, GDP has announced that Kilimapesa is now running profitably, this is a major step for the company and one we expect to unlock significant value in the coming years. Installation of Stage Two at Kilimapesa was completed in mid-June and commissioning of the new crusher and leach tanks should be completed by the end of the month. Target Stage 2 run rate using stockpiled ore was achieved in May 2017 at 120tpd. GDP has found a solution to switch to grid power earlier than planned which should have a positive impact on costs and once production is stabilised on this basis Stage 3 can be commenced.

GDP has altered its plans for adding an elution plant in Ghana, saving US$1m of the original US$2m budgeted. This has been achieved by purchasing a second hand plant rather than moving an existing one from the South African operations. This will also bring forward the planned completion date.

In South America, GDP has reported signing its first recurring contract demonstrating clear positive progress as the company looks to diversify and expand its network of suppliers of processing material.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 12.2p/sh. target price.

]]> LekOil continue to advance Otakikpo and Ogo assets in Nigeria Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Faroe Petroleum boosted as Statoil gets green-light for Norwegian projects Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:57:00 +0100 Echo Energy unveils first deal in Bolivia Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:50:00 +0100 Highlands Natural Resources lands first US patent for DT Ultravert well services technology Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:35:00 +0100 UK Oil & Gas Investments Broadford Bridge well uncovers signs of gas; Lenigas bullish Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:23:00 +0100 Bengal Energy set to benefit from Australia's gas market, reckons Mackie Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:01:00 +0100 Are Horse Hill partners still a ‘strong stable’ or are Gatwick Gusher bosses becoming a coalition of chaos? Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:39:00 +0100 UK Oil & Gas’s Broadford Bridge well can be the litmus test for Weald Basin believes analyst Gray Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:36:00 +0100 Are Horse Hill partners still a ‘strong stable’ or are Gatwick Gusher bosses becoming a coalition of chaos? Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:48:00 +0100 Hydrocarbon shows from Broadford Bridge drilling 'pretty encouraging' - analyst Barney Gray Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:36:00 +0100 Oil and gas analyst Barney Gray talks through the announcement this morning from UK Oil & Gas Investments PLC (LON:UKOG) that gas has been found at the Broadford Bridge well in the Weald Basin.

UKOG’s licence area is on the southern flank of the basin and is described as a mirror image of the fault block at Horse Hill, host to one of the most important onshore discoveries of recent times.

]]> Being debt free 'gives us a new base to grow from' - Aminex CEO Jay Bhattacherjee Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:27:00 +0100 Jay Bhattacherjee, chief executive of Aminex plc (LON:AEX) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they've now repaid their corporate loan facility in full.

The company now describes itself as a ‘debt-free’ gas producer.

]]> First power from Botswana CBM 'a very significant development' for Tlou Energy Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:59:00 +0100 Tony Gilby, managing director of Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) tells Proactive they've achieved ‘first power’ from their coal bed methane (CBM) project in Botswana.

]]> Fusionex falls on last day of trading before AIM cancellation as nomad and broker resigns Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:02:00 +0100 Solo Oil continues farm-out efforts as Ntorya advances towards field development Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:49:00 +0100 Aminex celebrates major milestone as it becomes debt-free Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:41:00 +0100 Providence Resources banks US$16.2mln from Total farm-in ahead of Irish exploration well Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:24:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has provided an update on its current drill programme and financing. The first hole on the new programme has been completed with the core now being logged whilst two further holes, also at Sanama Hill, are underway. One of the two currently operating drill rigs will soon be moved to TZ4 where recent scout holes yielded encouraging results.

In addition, Sula has announced that it has raised £340k of the planned £400k, of which the outstanding balance is expected to be received in the coming days. The planned issue price has been adjusted downwards marginally from 0.268p to 0.25p and will result in a further 160m shares being issued.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.6p

]]> 88 Energy completes frack programme at Icewine-2 shale well in Alaska Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:41:00 +0100 Tlou Energy hails ‘first power’ from Botswana coal bed methane project Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:29:00 +0100 Point Loma shares surge as Mackie gives upbeat assessment Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:27:00 +0100 'Exciting times' for Sound Energy; broker remains bullish on the stock Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:35:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy making quick progress with Mako South well in Indonesia Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:35:00 +0100 Oilex receives US$1.4mln of owed cash-calls Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:30:00 +0100 Cairn Energy India dividend claim moves to The Hague as co seeks US$1bn of damages Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:28:00 +0100 Mosman Oil and Gas raises £600,000 to support growth plans Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:20:00 +0100 US shale merger: Rice Energy agrees to around US$6.07bn takeover bid from rival EQT Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:58:00 +0100 Sound Energy's Sidi Moktar drilling has two shots at a big target reckons Graham -Wood Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:36:00 +0100 88 Energy successful completes first fracking of Icewine-2 well in Alaska Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:10:00 +0100 ''This is a very exciting time'', as Sound drills at Sidi Moktar - Malcolm Graham-Wood Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:42:00 +0100 Oil & Gas commentator Malcolm Graham-Wood chats through with Proactive's Andrew Scott his recent visit to Morocco to see first-hand the Sidi Moktar project.

Graham-Wood also touches on drilling operations for the Badile exploration well, near Milan in Italy.

Discussing too the recent hiring of Fiona MacAulay as CEO Of Echo Energy (LON:ECHO) he says: ''I think she's absolutely world-class ... it's a very good deal as far as Echo is concerned''.

''She's one of the best in the business''.

]]> 88 Energy shares still on track to hit 5.5p this summer, says Zak Mir Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:05:00 +0100 Leading technical analyst Zak Mir says the 88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) share is still on track to hit the 5.5p by the end of summer.

“We’ve gapped through this trend line from March last year at the beginning of this month and we’ve followed through quite well,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“The implied target once we broke the line was up towards 5.5p at the top of a rising 2016 price channel, and that can still be hit over the next one to two months.”

]]> Greencoat Renewables launches €250mln funding to grow Irish wind farms business Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:11:00 +0100 Europa Oil & Gas extends licences offshore Ireland Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:24:00 +0100 Oilex granted an ASX trading halt Sun, 18 Jun 2017 23:30:00 +0100 Buru Energy restarts production from Ungani Oilfield Sun, 18 Jun 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Tlou Energy: Access latest PPT from Proactive's CEO Sessions Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:00:00 +0100 Pulse Oil cashed-up and ready to roll in Alberta Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:29:00 +0100 Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas boosted as Exxon green-lights Liza oil field development Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:22:00 +0100 United Utilities faces charges over contaminated water from Franklaw treatment works Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:06:00 +0100 Hornbeck Offshore Services buoyed by new credit facility Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:15:00 +0100 UKOG Investments is nearing Kimmeridge targets in Broadford Bridge well Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:10:00 +0100 Exxon major oil field project offshore Guyana Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:06:00 +0100 Sanchez Energy sells Eagle Ford shale asset to Lonestar Resources for US$50mln Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:42:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:09:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (CERP)# presented to investors yesterday evening to officially launch its rebranding and gave an outline for its strategy going forward. Having spoken to the almost entirely new management in place we now view this as a materially different company. In short, we are extremely impressed by CERP’s new leadership and the significant progress that has been made both in Trinidad and London in the 5 weeks since Leo Koot was announced as CEO. Our key takeaways from the event are summarised below.


Leo Koot - CEO

In the coming years we will probably view 10 May 2017 as the day that realistically transformed LGO Energy into CERP upon the appointment of Leo Koot as CEO. We view Leo’s appointment as an extremely positive step made by the company for a number of reasons and, in truth, the announcement was a very welcome surprise to us at the time.

Primarily we are excited by LEO’s wealth of experience, not just his 28 years of expertise in the oil and gas industry but by the fact he has built an oil company effectively from scratch before as Managing Director of TAQA (Abu Dhabi National oil Company) UK. In this role he built the organisation from a few people to an organisation of over 2,000 staff and contractors and delivered a mature E&P operating company that managed 60kboepd production with US$1.7 billion in annual revenues. Further to this he has been a board member of AIM listed Sterling Energy (SEY), Managing Partner of MENA Gulf Investment Partners (Abu Dhabi), whilst prior to TAQA he was CEO of Energy Development Partners an oil and gas business creating ways to match capital and resources with developing production, for which he helped raise a US$350 million private equity fund. Leo has a Master in Petroleum Engineering and a business degree from Harvard Business School.

Gordon Stein – CFO

Further to Leo’s appointment Gordon Stein was announced as the new CFO on 15 June 2017. Gordon has already made his influence felt in the very short time he has been appointed as at the briefing yesterday it was announced CERP was moving its London office, which is estimated to be saving the company c£20,000 per month.

Gordon has over 24 years of international experience in the oil and gas sector and was most recently CFO of Madagascar Oil. Prior to this, he was CFO at Cadogan Petroleum, Vanguard Energy Limited and Regal Petroleum. Gordon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy.

Stewart Ahmed – Managing Director, Trinidad

Stewart Ahmed’s appointment as effectively country manager in Trinidad is another appointment we view as being important in turning the company around. Previously under the old management CERP did not have a board member in country, however, Stewart will be based in Trinidad to oversee operations and as outlined at the briefing has already made a number of operational improvements at the field to make it more productive at minimal cost. Significantly by having Stewart both on the board and working on site in Trinidad we believe this will remove any disconnect between the two and will bring his wealth of technical and commercial expertise from his international career.

Stewart has 32 years oil industry technical, commercial and management experience, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Madagascar Oil in Antananarivo from 2013-2016. Operating the Tsimiroro Field steam flood pilot, he gained the first Field Development License in Madagascar’s history.

Geological Potential

From the presentation made to investors yesterday it is clear that Leo is extremely enthusiastic about the potential in CERP from a geological and technical perspective. The first point he makes is that the quality of the oil is particularly good (38° API) i.e. the oil is light. This is particularly unusual when considering that the reservoir depth at Goudron is shallow (c500m), ordinarily at these shallow depths one would expect the quality of the oil to be much lower and viscous due to biodegradation of the oil and interaction with bacteria. However, as this is not the case this would indicate that the oil is leaking and, therefore, migrating from a deeper and much larger source which the management indicated it will be targeting to exploit.


Strategic and Operational Improvements

CERP has already moved on from the days of LGO and its strategy has moved accordingly and it plans to implement a 3-5 year strategy to add incremental value to the business. Previous management indicated it wanted to drill 45 new wells into the Goudron Field which were expected to produce c50bbls/d initially before gradually tailing off. The new management has now confirmed this strategy will not be followed and will be implementing a new one. Whereby, instead of drilling new wells CERP plans to increase the pressure in the reservoir through water injection in order to encourage the existing wells to produce at or close to their initial production rates. Indeed the field has produced c2000bbls/d in 2014 and these are the sort of numbers that the new management is targeting.

Management are confident by implementing these changes and a number of other cost cutting measures this will allow it to become cash flow positive in a matter of months. CERP will then use some of this cash to build up production further.


South America

Finally CERP indicated its intention to export its expertise into South America, therefore, we expect it to announce M&A activity in this region in due course.


We have summarised the key points of the meeting below and we now view CERP as an entirely different investment proposition to LGO and we are excited to see the new management follow through on these plans.

• CERP plans to implement a 3-5 year strategy to add incremental value to the business

• The first part of its strategy is to grow its production organically from its currently producing assets in Trinidad to allow it to become cash flow positive through a number of cost cutting measures

• CERP then intends to invest part of this free cash flow into its exploration portfolio in the South West Peninsula where it is targeting several large prospects

• CERP plans to build on its asset base in Trinidad with a portfolio of assets across South America

]]> Tip TV: Diversified Gas & Oil targeting as much as 100p in next few months Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:08:00 +0100 Zak Mir takes a look at Diversified Gas & Oil plc (LON:DGOC) after the company confirmed it's secured US$35mln in a heavily oversubscribed share placing.

Alongside a US$110mln loan facility, the funds will help the group advance its proposed acquisition of producing assets in the United States.

]]> DGOC boss Rusty Hutson welcomes “strong demand” seen in fund raising Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:26:00 +0100 PowerHouse Energy Group prelims chart a year of significant progress Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:01:00 +0100 Greka Drilling receives letter of intent for ONGC contract in India Fri, 16 Jun 2017 06:31:00 +0100 'A big day for us', says CEO Leo Koot, as LGO Energy becomes Columbus Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:58:00 +0100 Leo Koot, chief executive of Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP), , the reboot of LGO Energy, speaks to Proactive's Andrew Scott on the day of the name change and outlines the strategy ahead.

''Columbus Energy gives us the opportunity to take the positives from the past and build on them''.

''I'm very excited about the oil fields themselves, we've got four oil fields producing at the moment for us - the most exciting one is the  Goudron Field''.

]]> Premier Oil shareholders sign-off long awaited refinancing Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:24:00 +0100 'The first half's shaping up pretty well' - Iofina's Tom Becker Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:19:00 +0100 Tom Becker, president and chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF) stopped by the Proactive studio while in London for their AGM.

Becker updates on first half production as well as plans for the remainder of 2017.

]]> Solo Oil investments “reaching monetisation milestones” Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:46:00 +0100 Diversified Gas & Oil confirms dividend proposals as it advances US acquisition Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:09:00 +0100 Drax plans £50mln dividend this year and expects to grow its payout, as it forecasts strong underlying earnings growth Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:44:00 +0100 Petro Matad gets formal approval to extend exploration projects in Mongolia Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:41:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources makes new senior appointment on ‘reboot day’ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:38:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

As of this morning LGO Energy (LON:LGO), the oil and gas E&P company focussed on onshore Trinidad, has officially changed its name to Columbus Energy Resources (CERP).

Further to this, CERP has announced that Gordon Stein has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer. Mr Stein has over 24 years of international experience in the oil and gas sector and was most recently CFO of Madagascar Oil. Prior to this, he was CFO at Cadogan Petroleum, Vanguard Energy Limited and Regal Petroleum. Mr Stein is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy. James Thadchanamoorthy has stepped down from his position as finance director effective immediately.

As a reminder, CERP will be holding a re-branding launch event this evening at Patch St Paul’s at 18:00.

]]> What is in the water? UKOG reveals make up of its drilling fluid Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:05:00 +0100 Echo Energy to exit Egypt project through stake sale to partner Nostra Terra Thu, 15 Jun 2017 06:29:00 +0100 IOT Group to dial up some more cash Thu, 15 Jun 2017 02:30:00 +0100 Sound Energy shares rise but investors warned not to get carried away just yet Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:09:00 +0100 88 Energy “on cusp” of fracking and flow testing at Project Icewine Wed, 14 Jun 2017 11:02:00 +0100 It is a critical year for Bahamas Petroleum - broker Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:45:00 +0100 Solo Oil boss says Ntorya in Tanzania is 'demonstrably commercial' Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:40:00 +0100 Standard Life slates Fusionex International over plans to cancel AIM listing Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:24:00 +0100 Oil price, Sound Energy, Rockhopper, President, Sundry-Enteq-Bahamas Petroleum- And finally... Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:08:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price rallied yesterday on no particular reason, Opec production was up a little but mainly due to Nigeria and Libya who are outside the agreement. The API stats which come out after the close were poor showing a build of 2.8m barrels of crude and prices have dropped modestly this morning. All will depend on the EIA tonight, if they confirm a build prices will undoubtedly retreat.

Sound Energy

Potentially very good news from Sound this morning as the first news from Badile is good. The well has reached its primary reservoir target and found ‘significant gas shows’ at 4,375m which is most encouraging. They have suspended drilling ahead of running the 7″ liner after which they will proceed to the rest of the reservoir. The company are correctly warning investors not to get carried away (some chance) until the full results are known. Having said that, if this was to come in then the last few years would have been worthwhile, a long time ago I remember having 50p a share in for Badile, i’m not going to change that now although it will need tweaking depending on the results.

Rockhopper Exploration

RKH has announced news on Sea Lion and in Egypt this morning, overall potentially good on both fronts. At Sea Lion the FEED has made substantial progress and work has de-risked the development. A number of oilfield service companies have expressed interest in potentially providing funding which is helpful and all being well the project might be sanctioned in 2018. At Abu Sennan the Al-Jahraa SE-2X well was dry in the primary target but has been sidetracked and the company is optimistic about finding oil and putting this on as a producer. Expect news from the Al Jahraa-9 development well in August which could provide more positive news from the area. On positive news RKH has received a $5m payment from the receivables file making $6.4m so far, a very acceptable return in the circumstances and the cash sum in the balance sheet is now $63m. I am not expecting any news on Ombrina Mare for a while so nothing on that front.

President Energy

News is also flowing thick and fast from PPC, investors who have forgotten about this share might like to revisit, Peter Levine is a man on a mission at the moment. Today’s update is from Puesto Guardian where workovers have been progressing with the first two wells producing at higher than expected rates of 100-150 bopd whilst the third is suspended with more work needed on the casing. I am assuming that following that a workover will be completed here too. Indeed with Dos Puntitas being converted to a water disposal well options are all on and the company seem very relaxed with its target of 1,200 bopd by the end of September.


An old friend, Enteq Upstream has results today and due to cost cutting and generally careful progress the losses are reduced. The company say that they have retained a ‘sustainable business in difficult market conditions’ and have looked after the cash, they still have $15.3m for sunnier days. Another one to keep an eye on…

Bahamas Petroleum have raised £2.6m through a placing at 0.002p a share which might be more when the directors come out of purdah. 70% of the money is to maintain the licences and the company remain confident about a farm-out in due course. I havent abandoned BPC and have requested a meeting, let’s see how that goes.

And finally…

France v England last night was 3-2 but extraordinarily flattering to England who were very poor against 10 men for half the match. With only a year to go until the world cup things are looking worse than expected…

The semi finals of the cricket are upon us and England take on Pakistan today having finally ditched out of form Jason Roy for Jonny Bairstow.

And i’m away for a couple of days but not totally out of contact should anything happen, in the meantime the US Open starts tomorrow and I notice that the rough has been shortened even more to make life easier for them…

Finally, with apologies I have a lot of emails stacking up and will not be able to reply to all of them. I can if possible but am not able to give individual portfolio advice, I simply dont have the time but answer questions where I can.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced the results of its updated CPR for its Thai lead zinc silver assets. A CPR was previously completed in 2013 by ACA Howe and formed the basis for our assumptions. The new report completed by SRK Consulting indicates that on a 10% discount rate the study has shown an NPV of US$45.9m with an IRR of 33% and upfront capex of US$50.3m.

In addition a JORC 2012 resource update to that defined in 2012 has been announced. This has increased the confidence categories of the resource, however, resulted in a slight reduction in tonnage. The scheduled mine life remains unchanged at 14 years.

The project is brownfield and the CPR highlights that mines are in good condition and that much of the existing infrastructure including the processing plant may be utilised.

Our target price and recommendation are withdrawn

]]> Rockhopper eyes Sea Lion sanction in 2018 as funding talks continue Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Bahamas Petroleum Company raises £2.6mln as farm-out talks continue Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:51:00 +0100 Sound Energy reports "significant gas shows" from Italy well Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:34:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy raises cash as exploration starts in the three locations Tue, 13 Jun 2017 13:43:00 +0100 Mosman Oil and Gas officially a producer as it confirms first sale of oil from Strawn Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:05:00 +0100 Oil price, Faroe, Wentworth, Sundry-Petrofac-Echo-SOCO-Touchstone-Chariot-Sirius- And finally... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:35:00 +0100 Oil price

A quiet day in the markets according to my man at the bourse, oil gained modestly as reports of the Saudi export cutbacks to the USA and Far Eastern clients via price rises and restrictions fed through to markets. As we enter the peak of summer in the Gulf, with its highest domestic use of oil for domestic power generation this will hurt the KSA more than ever but they are sticking to their guns, as it were…

Faroe Petroleum

FPM has announced the results of its Brasse appraisal well this morning and they appear pretty good, certainly enough to make further plans even though an increase in reserves is a little way off. The well, 2km SE of Brasse found an 8.5m column of gross oil bearing sands in the Jurassic reservoir importantly above the oil/water contact. The company say that they have ‘discovered oil in a sand rich reservoir of very good quality with good pressure communications within the reservoir’. The company are performing a DST and considering either a side-track or a second appraisal well. With good local infrastructure this confirms Brasse as a discovery and makes a significant value impact on the portfolio.

Wentworth Resources

Wentworth has announced this morning that a farm-out at Tembo-1 in Northern Mozambique is underway. P50 gas of 1.7 TCF and oil of 219 mmbbls prospective resources are encouraging as is the fact that payments for Mnazi Bay gas are coming through. A slow burner this one as finances are a bit stretched but I remain a believer for the longer term.


Petrofac has announced a $35m training contract with the KOC, the company are in the throes of the SFO investigation but trying hard to keep business as usual with contract announcements.

Echo Energy has completed its financing as the Pegasus subscription closes the £10m side of the raise. Now fully cashed up, with a new CEO about to join and ready to go   #sambatime..

SOCO has a trading and operational update out to go with AGM statement, no change in production guidance at 8-9/- boepd and  a strong balance sheet with cash of $150.8m the company remains very strong.

Touchstone has announced Peter Nicol as a new non-executive director, a wise move imho, I am meeting with the company today post their recent, rather meagre raise so will comment more in due course.

Chariot also has an AGM statement today and actually says that there is ‘no new news’ in it which after recent announcements is not surprising. CHAR is working hard behind the scenes in a year that has no drilling ahead of what might be busier next year.

Sirius Petroleum has confirmed months of gossip by noting that it is indeed in talks with BP about a possible offtake agreement for the Ororo field. Bit by bit things are coming together at SRSP and you never know, the long awaited action could be on the cards…

And finally…

With the greatest of ease, the Golden State Warriers have won the NBA Championship beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the finals.

A topsy turvey game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan yesterday meant that the latter will play England in the first semi tomorrow and India will play the Bangas on Thursday.

Mixed news for The Lions as Stuart Hogg goes home after his injury last week and potentially worse as Courtney Lawes has taken a knock today. In this morning’s game v the Highlanders it is 10-10 at halftime.

Another febrile soccer friendly tonight this time England take on France…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:40:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced an update on its 30% owned T3 copper project in Botswana. Assay results from geotechnical drilling using wide diameter holes are encouraging and confirm the initial pit design whilst wide intersections such as 46.6m at 2.1% Cu and 6g/t Ag may benefit the resource update due in July 2017. These wide holes are primarily to determine a greater understanding of rock strength and stability as well as to provide samples for metallurgical testing, further drilling will seek to determine the potential for an expanded pit design.

MTR has stated that it expects the remaining assays from Zone 2 drilling to be returned by the end of June. A resource update is due in July 2017 covering Zones 1 and 2 although further drilling is also due to take place on nearby anomalies at the same time. In August drilling will focus on Zone 3, below the current T3 resource while in Q3 2017 the company aims to complete metallurgical, mining and processing testwork for the PFS.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4p target price.

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron and Gold (SULA LN) has announced that its Phase three drilling programme has commenced. The new programme is for 5,000m and will again be carried out by Equity Drilling. The focus of this drilling will follow up on the promising results from Sanama Hill as well as the Southern Target TZ4 where the initial scout hole yielded 5.2g/t over 1.2m.

The final assay results from the recent programme have now been received. The second scout hole at TZ4 also returned mineralisation with two intervals of 0.8m at 1.59g/t and 1.79g/t. At Sanama Hill hole FDD020 hit intervals of 1.3m and 1.8m at 0.97g/t and 1.48g/t respectively and in total 10 of the 14 holes at Sanama Hill returned mineralisation with an average 2.05m at 3.9g/t (average true thickness and length weighted grade).

Sula has also announced that a detailed structural review of the local geology has been carried out resulting in the identification of a total of 19 target zones including Sanama Hill and the Southern Target which includes TZ4. Given the recent results we believe that a stronger understanding of the structural geology will significantly benefit future drill targeting and enable Sula to capitalise on this drilling programme which demonstrated the potential at Ferensola for multiple zones of gold mineralisation as well as thick mineralised structures.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.6p/sh.

]]> Echo Energy confirms completion of Pegasus share subscription Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:27:00 +0100 Faroe Petroleum hits appraisal success at Brasse oil discovery offshore Norway Tue, 13 Jun 2017 07:21:00 +0100 Chariot Oil & Gas looking at ‘value-accretive’ opportunities Tue, 13 Jun 2017 06:45:00 +0100 Eland readies for production growth as it inks rig contract Tue, 13 Jun 2017 06:28:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum starts to unravel the Labyrinth Tue, 13 Jun 2017 02:00:00 +0100 Altech Chemicals receives strong support in raising Tue, 13 Jun 2017 01:00:00 +0100 Broker Mackie still upbeat on Touchstone Exploration Mon, 12 Jun 2017 19:31:00 +0100 Sirius Petroleum soars as it confirms talks with BP over Nigeria project Mon, 12 Jun 2017 15:21:00 +0100 2016 'a great year for us overall', says Diversified Gas & Oil's Rusty Hutson Mon, 12 Jun 2017 15:00:00 +0100 Rusty Hutson, CEO of Diversified Gas & Oil plc (LON:DGOC) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through their 2016 results as well as their recent ‘transformational’ acquisition of assets in North America’s Appalachian Basin.

]]> Europa Oil & Gas raises additional £1.3mln as it advances projects in UK and Ireland Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:25:00 +0100 Solo Oil upgraded for Tanzania gas and helium potential by Shore Capital Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:25:00 +0100 Results 'a clear demonstration of our ability to grow the business' - Mytrah's Bob Smith Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:25:00 +0100 Bob Smith, executive vice president of Mytrah Energy Ltd (LON:MYT) talks through their results for the year to the end of December 2016.

The group reported underlying pre-tax profit rose to US$4.6mln in the year to 31 December 2016 from US$2.15mln a year earlier.

Revenue jumped to US$362.23mln from US$74.72mln, driven by 72% growth in power generation capacity.

]]> New Dimension Resources' partner hits high grade gold at Domain project Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:38:00 +0100 'We're in a great position' - Europa Oil & Gas' Hugh Mackay after additional £1.3mln raise Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:03:00 +0100 Hugh Mackay, chief executive of Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc (LON:EOG) tells Proactive: ''We got great support in the open offer, raising £1.3mln and the level of participation exceeded my expectations ... it's an endorsement of the story - particularly in Ireland and it means we can go ahead into 2018 with great confidence''.

]]> Sound Energy kicks off new Morocco well programme Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:35:00 +0100 Echo Energy reboot continues with Rockhopper director named as chief executive Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:30:00 +0100 Capacity surge boosts revenues for India-based renewable energy group Mytrah Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:26:00 +0100 Egdon Resources picks up new midlands gas project Mon, 12 Jun 2017 10:45:00 +0100 Centrica's investment case overshadowed by Tory plans for energy price cap, says Barclays Mon, 12 Jun 2017 10:28:00 +0100 Oil price, Amerisur, President, Echo/Rockhopper, Sound, Sundry-EOG-Trinity- And finally... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:09:00 +0100 Oilprice

A poor week for oil as well documented supply issues took the best part of 4% off the prices. Friday recovered slightly as Nigeria suffered a pipeline incident and the outage ensured that Shell played hard ball. The rig count grew again, overall the count was up 11 units at 927, in oil it was up 8 at 741. Inventory stats this week, particularly in products will be the key tomorrow and Thursday.

Amerisur Resources

May production data from AMER this morning and the number was down slightly, average production was 4,792 b/d with a peak of 5,173 b/d and the OBA took 4,266 b/d with a peak of 5,017 b/d. This was due to ‘expected and unexpected’ maintenance at the RODA system in Ecuador which is par for the course and the pipeline is now back up and running. Investors here know that production in Colombia is always a bit of a moving target although I am very confident that the longer term trend is firmly upwards especially after the recent drilling news at Mariposa-1.

President Energy

PPC has provided a Paraguay update this morning which is most encouraging. It has appointed ENVOI to support its farm-out work in the country and gives updated management expectations of prospective resources, new numbers are 3bn bbls with 10 TCF of gas and 300m bbls of ‘drill ready’ oil resources in the extension of the light oil play only 30-70 km away in Argentina. This means that according to Chairman Peter Levine ‘this reinforces the size of the on shore prize here’ and gives hope where there might have been little after the last Paraguay well, so further positive news from PPC.

Echo Energy/Rockhopper

It has been announced that Fiona MacAulay, currently COO at RKH, is joining ECHO as CEO in July. This is clearly a great chance for her and one I suspect was too good to turn down with Echo about to start up a fully funded gas operation in South America where she will be a great asset to the new operation.  In addition at RKH much of the technical work on Sea Lion has been completed and now it is primarily financial and commercial work left to be done. I know that she leaves a first rate team at RKH who are well placed to complete Sea Lion and continue the good work in the Greater Med  area. Echo has also announced that Julian Bessa has been appointed as exploration VP, he has wide-ranging experience from BG in Bolivia and Brazil which will undoubtedly come in handy.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that the programme at Sidi Moktar is under way, starting with the re-entry and testing at Koba-1 in the Lower Liassic and potential testing of the Argorian. This should take around 10 days then it’s off to Kamar-1 for the second stage of the operation before assessing the situation. It is worth noting that there is an investor visit to Sidi Moktar later this week. At Badile Sound has reached 4,328m and TD is expected later this month.


Europa Oil & Gas has announced that it has raised another £1.3m as the uptake in the recent Open Offer was 88%. Shareholders are wise to do such a thing as one way or another things are beginning to take shape primarily in offshore Ireland but also with some excitement upcoming onshore UK.

And Trinity Exploration has appointed James Menzies as a non-Exec director, a man with much experience in Salamander and TAP Oil.

And finally…

In the Catalunya MotoGP, the Ducati mounted Dovizioso showed his mettle with his second win in 7 days, easily beating Honda’s Marc Marquez and Danny Pedrosa. The 57 degree track temperature affected grip and prevented both Yamahas of Rossi (8th) and Vinales (10th) from challenging at the front. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was 11th. In the Isle of Man, Honda’s woes continued when they withdrew from the Senior TT before the start. The race was red flagged after 2 laps when pre race favourite Ian Hutchinson crashed and broke his femur while contesting the lead with Peter Hickman. In the restart Michael Dunlop, on the untested new Suzuki, led from the flag to win at an average speed of over 130mph. The tiny British Norton factory achieved a superb 6th and 7th . Whilst waving the flag, a mention is deserved for 72 year old Tony Baker and his daughter Fiona who achieved 6th place in the Sidecar race at 109mph…Makes you proud !

In Canada, Lewis set a flaming time to be at the front of the grid and led from start to finish to get his season back on track. Behind him it was a great race but not quite what was expected. Vettel changed a nose cone but managed to get almost back to a podium space and Verstappen started with a proper charge then the lights went out.

In the cricket England had revenge over the Aussies who now go home with the Bangas going through from that group with England. The other group was totally open but India saw off South African and today Sri Lanka and Pakistan fight for the last spot in the semis.

The World Cup football was played like it was in the holiday camps but Scotland must have felt that they had won with that second free kick. In addition Wales and  Ireland can still qualify from their group and NI are well placed too. The big result was England winning the World Cup, at Under 20 level to be fair but a great performance.

The Lions ( and I have been ticked off about how you call them!) had a much better match against The Crusaders and are look much better now, finding a place for the skipper might be a problem…

]]> Zak Mir tips Egdon Resources shares to head back towards 12p Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:55:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir thinks Egdon Resources Plc (LON:EDR) shares can rediscover their mojo and head backs the 12p zone over the next few months.

“We’ve seen the shares come back after the fever there was in this area in the autumn, back to the main support zone for the shares between 7p and 8p,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“While we’re above that, there’s a chance for a push back towards the 200-day moving average at 12p over the next three to six months.”

]]> Mytrah Energy sees full year profit surge as exceeds target of constructing wind turbines Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:44:00 +0100 Broker says Sound Energy’s ‘retrenched’ share price is an attractive opportunity Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:31:00 +0100 James Menzies, founder of Salamander Energy, joins Trinity Exploration's board as non-exec Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:51:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:39:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has acquired a 50% interest in PEDL278 in its core area of the East Midlands from Celtique Energie Petroleum and Investcan who were originally awarded the licence in the 14th licencing round. The licence contains the Kirk Smeaton tight gas discovery and further conventional and unconventional prospectivity.

IGas (IGAS) is acquiring the other 50% and will act as operator. Therefore, this acquisition adds 4,695 net acres to EDR’s unconventional resources position, which now totals c205,800 acres. The acquisition was completed for a nominal cash consideration.

This acquisition is in-keeping with EDR’s strategy within its core area. We now await further update on the development and exploration programme on this licence from EDR and IGAS.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> Solo Oil 'at a very important point in its development' - exec chairman Neil Ritson Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:20:00 +0100 Neil Ritson, executive chairman of Solo Oil (LON:SOLO) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott: ''We're beginning to capitalise on the investments we've made over the years and seeing a lot of progress''.

Ritson also discusses Kiliwani North, Ntorya-2, Horse Hill plus their recent Helium addition to the portfolio.

]]> Lekoil hails OPL 310 asset interest transfer Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:02:00 +0100 Encana to sell its Piceance natural gas assets to Caerus Oil and Gas for US$735mln in cash Fri, 09 Jun 2017 12:23:00 +0100 Water tech group HaloSource tanks as it warns on possible insolvency Fri, 09 Jun 2017 10:51:00 +0100 Centrica ticks higher as it offloads Canadian E&P joint venture for £240mln Fri, 09 Jun 2017 08:14:00 +0100 Savannah Petroleum's potential acquisition would be reverse takeover Fri, 09 Jun 2017 08:06:00 +0100 Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas more than doubles seismic acqusition at Orinduik, offshore Guyana Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:30:00 +0100 Savannah Petroleum shares suspended as it mulls reverse takeover Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:03:00 +0100 Oil price, Rockhopper/Northern, Hurricane, FAR, Savannah, And finally... Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:37:00 +0100 Oil price

A short blog this afternoon, I have been meeting with companies and recording an Interactive Investor’s video today. I will update most of these stories in greater detail in the next few days.

The oil price crashed yesterday after the EIA stats showed a 3.3m build in stocks against expectations and the API numbers the night before. Imports were primarily to blame but the huge ramp in refinery utilisation jacked up gasoline stocks by 3.3m and distillates by 4.4m. Elsewhere, Nigeria production went up again as Shell stopped force majeure and Libya despite further problems rose slightly.

One might have thought that the bombing of the Iranian Parliament and Mausoleum might have put a few cents on the oil price…


In a deal that seems to suit both sides RKH has ‘sold’ its non-core Italian assets to NOP by handing over them and $1.6m of cash but in return the deal removes $8.5m of P&A work and decommissioning liabilities which tidies up both the balance sheet and the portfolio. RKH remain with some production at Guendalina, some drilling at Monte Grosso and a court case at Ombrina Mare.

Hurricane Energy

AGM time for HUR yesterday and a meeting which gave CEO Dr Robert Trice an opportunity to give his state of the nation address. As in previous years he pulled it off in style and if it hadnt been for the warrant deal the meeting would have been a success. Chairman Dr Rob Arnott handled it pretty well, admitting some problems but not being steamrollered into putting a price ticket on the company, or a date for that matter and pointing out the exceptional position that the company is in. Hurricane has a number of the best finds in the UK in the last few years and heads for EPS and its inevitable funding in a hugely strong position.

FAR Limited

Things are ‘hotting up’ in Senegal if one can say that as FAR release a spirited response to Woodside’s recent comments about the development. Reminding us if it were necessary that they were a properly early starter in Senegal and that they were continuing to support the JV which is being run by Cairn as Operator, the company reminded investors that they had promoted ‘an accelerated development schedule to the JV. This belies the WPM comments that FAR were putting the ‘timely development at risk.

On the point about Operatorship, which WPM say they are ‘transitioning to’ FAR state that there is no JV agreement for this to occur, indeed that there has been no notification that the Government of Senegal has approved the transfer of interests from ConocoPhillips yet. Verdict, if you thought that this dispute was going away quietly, think again, FAR have some high value cards in their hand and appear more than happy to play them…

Savannah Petroleum

When you have been planning this drilling campaign for quite so long it must be pretty galling to see your market cap fall so quickly as it did for SAVP yesterday after its Capital Markets event. Indeed for those who have been waiting a number of years and are now getting seriously interested in the Niger blocks being drilled it was hardly noticeable. Also blamed was the absence of the announcement of a farm-out which again I had not been expecting although one may well appear before the August drill date.

SAVP has a spectacularly large and ‘robust’ asset base in country which has best estimate prospective oil resources of 2.2bn barrels over its acreage. I have been waiting for this moment to come for some time and yesterday I saw the quality, depth and  experience of the team all ready to bring it on. Weakness caused by obscure technicalities should only be considered an opportunity to buy the shares, they will be replacing Ithaca in the bucket list  as soon as I get round to it. More later…

And finally…

Muzza is through to the semi-finals of the French Open but Djoko is not, more concerning is the sight of Stan the man to play next, worry not about Rafa for the time being…

The British Lions were beaten 22-16 yesterday but one should genuinely consider that these early games of mixed up teams etc are not the midweek games some of us remember from the past, none will be easy especially if Gatland uses his Welsh mates to play Warrenball…

And Pakistan beat South Africa yesterday and with India in command today against Sri Lanka the semis of the Champions Trophy are slowly taking shape.

]]> Northern Petroleum takes 'exciting' first steps into Italian production & development market Thu, 08 Jun 2017 10:10:00 +0100 Keith Bush, chief executive of Northern Petroleum Plc (LON:NOP) talks through their acquisition of several onshore production and development gas assets in Italy from Rockhopper Exploration Plc (LON:RKH).

]]> Northern Petroleum set to retest 2017 highs of 5.5p Thu, 08 Jun 2017 08:05:00 +0100 Shares in Northern Petroleum Plc (LON:NOP) have eased lower of late but technical analyst Zak Mir expects them to pick up in the coming months and retest their January highs of around the 5.5p mark.

“[There’s been] a rising trend channel on the Northern Petroleum chart from as long ago as April last year, with support notionally coming in towards the 3.5p level,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“If you’re cautious on the shares you’re probably looking for a break of the 50 and 200-day moving averages at 3.87p.

“Up above that and we could retest the best levels from the start of 2017 above 5.5p.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Thu, 08 Jun 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (LON:ECO)

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)# has announced that its operating partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN) have approved a c2,550km2 seismic survey on its Orinduik Block offshore Guyana. ECO anticipate the survey to commence in the next two weeks and will be completed by Schlumberger Guyana.

As a reminder ECO owns a 40% working interest in the Orinduik block with TLW owning the remaining interest and acting as operator. 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, in excess of 1.5Bbbls 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.

TLW will fully carry ECO over the first 1,000km2 of the survey at a cap of US$1.25m with the balance being funded by both parties on a pro-rata basis. ECO is well funded to cover this by its own cash following its £5.1m raise in February. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 25p TP

]]> Clontarf Energy's David Horgan 'delighted' with offshore Equatorial Guinea rights Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:04:00 +0100 Clontarf Energy (LON:CLON) director David Horgan discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their exploration plans for Block 18 after being awarded the license by the government of Equatorial Guinea.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:47:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced an additional assay result from its recent drilling programme at Ferensola. Hole FDD021, a scout hole 2km South of Sanama Hill and beyond the Southern extent of the Eastern Target Zone at an anomaly known as TZ4, has yielded encouraging results.

The assay shows 5.22g/t over 1.2m at a depth 116m and is the first of two holes in this programme drilled at TZ4. Although only a single data point at this stage, the result does confirm the exploration potential beyond the existing target at Sanama Hill. Previously trenching and grab samples at TZ4 have yielded grades of 3.28g/t and 2.54g/t and the IP anomaly has a strike length of c.1km with a shallower dip than at Sanama Hill; as confirmed by the initial drill result which showed a dip of 38⁰.

A total of seven assays remain outstanding from the current programme, including a second from TZ4.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.6p target price.

]]> Oil price, Genel, Ascent Resources, President, And finally... Tue, 06 Jun 2017 09:19:00 +0100 Oil price

Another down day although the complex moved up quite strongly  initially as traders thought that the Qatar problem might lead to geo-political grief in the Gulf. They soon realised that it may only cause the Opec production agreement to fall apart even though Qatar’s quota is only a 30/- b’d cut. It seems that the start of all this was the kidnapping of a party of Qatari princes on a falconry expedition for which their families paid a $1bn ransom demand to al Qaeda…

Genel Energy

An AGM statement from Genel today, next year’s board will show significant changes as the current members are dropping like flies. There is little doubt that new Chairman Stephen Whyte will have his work cut out but it is a good appointment and it is not all finished at Genel yet. Production at Tawke is ok, at Taq Taq it is still pretty grim but just the faintest signs of the fall being arrested. The development of the gas assets continues and real progress has been made here in recent months, it could still be the pot of gold so many have predicted. Sensible debt management has paid off a fair slug of bonds and they are clear until 2019 for the next refinancing. Not an easy situation but the political situation is slowly getting better, the assets with the notable exception of Taq Taq are still in place and before long there will be a new board in place, hold on for the time being.

Ascent Resources

An operational update from Ascent today which looks like a bit of shareholder handholding. At Pg-11A the downhole section is likely to be completed in around 7 days and after that the construction of the short flowline will be completed to connect to the CPP pipeline. The company are on track to sell gas to INA ‘in the coming weeks’ which is continued good news for the company.

President Energy

A new CFO for PPC today as Bruce Martin is appointed Group finance chief and gives a lead that Peter Levine is preparing for bigger things as his predecessor was a part time appointment. Martin appears to be extremely well qualified with 22 years at Schlumberger and significant experience in senior roles in South America. With all the other news from PPC lately, shareholders should be comforted that in all areas the company is looking to grow and I expect further activity on all fronts in coming months.

Voxmarkets Podcast

Yesterday I did my weekly podcast for Voxmarkets and talked about Echo Energy, SDX Energy, Amerisur Resources and LGO Energy, the link is below…

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy covers Echo Energy, SDX Energy, Amerisur Resources and LGO Energy


And finally…

It seems that Anthony Joshua is going to have the rematch against Klitschko as was in the contract, with many other options available and titles to defend and belts which may have to be relinquished, never before will the young man need to make good decisions.

Yesterday the Aussies got rained off again and looking at the forecast and the rain here it may be a short game at Cardiff today where England play New Zealand. Yet again Morgan proved to be a useless tosser and Kane Williamson has elected to field first…

]]> New funding 'a turning point' for PowerHouse Energy, says chairman Keith Allaun Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:10:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of the waste-to-energy specialist PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) tells Proactive they've secured funding from a “large corporate partner” which has committed up to £500,000.

]]> Oil price, Chariot, Cape, Plexus, And finally... Mon, 05 Jun 2017 11:43:00 +0100 Oil price

Not a good week for oil prices, WTI was down $2.14 and Brent $2.20, Friday saw disappointing data from the rig count, oil up 11 to 733 units, and the Non-farm-payroll was way less than expected at 138/-. This weakened the greenback which might have given a modicum of support but better (?) news over the weekend on the geo-political front has tightened things up this morning.

It seems that the KSA, Bahrain, Egypt, the Yemen and the UAE have cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar claiming that the country is backing IS and al Qaeda. Whether this is enough to create any meaningful grief in the area is a moot point but will surely add to the risk in the area. Finally, and again on the upside, Saudi Aramco announced yesterday that it has raised official prices to all major regions, confirming that it is still sticking to its knitting on the output front. The next few months will be interesting for Saudi exports as at this time of the year domestic demand increases dramatically…

Chariot Oil & Gas

News from Chariot this year has been remarkably thin, hunkering down with nothing to drill is the order of the day but this announcement does at least show that Larry and what is left of his team are keeping busy. Indeed for a company that has been so quiet the share price performance ytd has been remarkably good, a sign of confidence in the future perhaps? Today’s announcement is about the CPR on the Namilian blocks 2312 and 2412A where 3D seismic from 2016 has identified 5 structural prospects each ranging from 283-459 mmbbls of gross mean prospective resources. With a target of drilling these of 2H 2018 nothing is imminent on the drilling front but patient long term investors at least know that something is going on behind the doors of 19-21 Old Bond Street…


Cape has announced two contracts this morning and accordingly says that for FY 2017 the numbers are ‘materially ahead of expectations’. At the Ichthys project for JKC in Australia the work is for insulation and coatings, whilst the other contract is for BP in the UK North Sea and is worth £150m and holds 400 jobs in place. The latter contract has been a long time coming so may have seen some margin erosion which is also evident in the Middle East as the company gently warns for 2018. I remain extremely positive about Cape as the executive management is first rate and the company is in a strong position and the flexibility to do well off a very low rating, still a shame about that divvi though…..

Plexus Holdings

A new, four year contract from Maersk in the North Sea has been announced by Plexus this morning for provision of wellhead, mudline suspension systems and associated services. These will provide longer term revenue, starting next year but are a welcome piece of good news after recent warnings about the current situation and proves that Plexus will undoubtedly survive owing to its excellent quality and safety conscious kit.

And finally…

Well, the massive weekend of sport sort of lived up to expectations…Firstly I have to apologise that I failed to mention the first game of the British Lions on Friday, can’t imagine how that slipped through as we have had four years to think about it! As it happened it was a very poor display by the Lions and whilst it is only game one, the excuses are already coming out, let’s hope that the adopted Welshman doesnt just pick his mates or it is tour over and the Blues on Wednesday will be no pushover…

In the Italian MotoGP, the fireworks between Yamaha team mates Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales were extinguished by a charging Dovisioso on a Ducati who won with Vinales in second and a superb third from ‘Home boy’ Danilo Petrucci.

In the Isle of Man TT Superbike race Hondas woes continued when Guy Martin crashed out on a problematic Fireblade which had already sidelined 23 times Champion John McGuinness. The race was won by Ian Hutchinson on a Tyco BMW.

In the cricket the weather put paid to the Aussie/Kiwi game but yesterday saw India wallop Pakistan and with a dodgy weather forecast over the next few days I worry about the appearance of Duckworth Lewis…

The Warriors will head to Cleveland on Thursday with a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals thanks to another ruthless display to defeat the Cavs 132-113.

And in the Derby,  which was the most open for years not many saw the 40-1 shot Wings of Eagles swooping past Cracksman and Cliffs of Moher…

Finally I was very sad to see that one of my blog readers and old city contact, Geoff Ho was badly injured in the London Bridge bombing on Saturday night. It was therefore great to receive a tweet from the man himself a few minutes ago thanking all for their best wishes and that he is out of surgery and on the mend. @FinanceHog get well soon.

Oh and thanks very much to Noel Gallagher who could have made such a difference but…..left the kids disappointed…

]]> TomCo Energy takes next steps towards unlocking potential of Holliday shale block Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:48:00 +0100 Chris Brown, chief executive of TomCo Energy Plc (LON:TOM), tells Proactive they've agreed a framework for their new TurboShale Inc business to help them move towards production at the Holliday block in Utah.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, SDX Energy, Northern Petroleum, Echo Energy. And finally... Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:38:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price rallied hard yesterday on the back of the inventory stats but had lost most of it by the end of the day and again this morning after the US leaving the Paris accord led to thoughts of even more drilling. However those EIA stats were pretty impressive if easy to call for those reading the blog.

The draw of 6.4m barrels was higher than the analysts guess of 2.7m after a combination of factors swept across the energy mix. Crude imports fell by 1m b/d while exports rose by 700/- b/d to a record 1.303m b/d which speak for themselves, while the product numbers were pretty predictable. Refiners knew that the start of the driving season on the Memorial Day holiday weekend would stimulate demand, as reported here on Wednesday with the AAA saying that demand was at a 12 year high, accordingly refinery utilisation also broke records at 17.51m b/d. This in turn led to a draw in gasoline stocks of 2.9m barrels and another record being broken as 9.822m b/d of gasoline was consumed.

President Energy

As always historic results are just that and in PPC’s case 2016 was a year to forget with the DP-1002 S/T well being fouled up by the service companies and leading to an impairment charge of $10.9m although the company is still pursuing claims against them.

Production last year was 506 b/d but is already at 1,100 b/d heading fast towards the September target of 1,200 b/d which it should cruise through. 2P reserves in Puesto Guardian are up 10% at 19.9mmboe which bodes well for President’s future. Cash of $17.6m, net being $8.5m leaves the company in a strong financial position when added to significantly increased cash flow and admin costs down 30%. Paraguay will as expected be put up for farm-out, the US acreage does the necessary whilst the Aussie stuff has been relinquished. Overall PPC is looking very interesting, it has a low geological risk portfolio in a hugely recovering economy in Argentina and with plenty of potential targets into the bargain. Peter Levine is determined to get PPC back to its former glories which in case you had forgotten is just short of 50p, who would bet against it happening?

SDX Energy

SDX continues to bring news to the market, yesterday was an operations update from Morocco. The company have been awarded an onshore exploration permit on the Gharb Centre for eight years. The cost of this is 200km² of 2D and 3D seismic and two exploration wells. With some seismic on the area already which has established multiple horizons throughout the Miocene-aged strata similar to the company’s production in adjacent licences, expect action in 2H 2017 as pre-drilling activity is underway with the tendering process for kit and services indicating a Q3/4 start-up. SDX remains a key bucket list stock with activity across the portfolio and management determined to continue to take advantage of potential transactions as well.

Northern Petroleum

Yesterday I did a TipTV interview with Keith Bush, CEO of Northern Petroleum which went very well, the link is below and on

TipTV CEO interview: Exploration in Italy is ‘company changing’ – Northern Petroleum’s Keith Bush

Echo Energy

And this morning I did a catch-up interview with Proactive on Echo Energy where excitement builds and much is to come, the link is below, or on

interview: Echo Energy ‘quite close’ to first major acquisition

And finally…

It is another massive weekend of sport with action taking place across the globe in many different sports.

In Bermuda the America’s Cup continues, I watched the GB race against France last night and can honestly say that the Sherman’s need not worry on our behalf unless things improve dramatically…

The Golden State Warriors lead the Cleveland Cavaliers 1-0 in the NBA Finals after winning the first game 113-91. The Cavs will hope to level things up on Sunday before they head back to Cleveland for two games.

It is the Italian MotoGP on Sunday. Whilst the footballers go for a well earned break, the real men go to the Isle of Man TT. This year the tiny British Norton Factory aim for a top five result (albeit ridden by two Aussies ) against the might of the Japanese Factory Teams . Guy Martin returns as the sole Factory Honda rider after his teammate, 23 times winner, John McGuinness was sidelined following a crash in Ireland. The Superbike race is on Saturday.

A cracking card at Epsom today for The Oaks and of course for the Derby tomorrow. If anyone in the sector feels lucky then the only bet for tomorrow’s Blue Riband is of course….Permian.

In the cricket England started well yesterday beating a continually improving Bangas team, in this competition losing is almost terminal so in what are both tough groups this was key. As I write the crunch match between the Aussies and the Kiwis is rained off, it is in Birmingham though…

And those footballers who are on holiday will be in the Champions League Final tomorrow night…

]]> Green Dragon Gas' Randeep Grewal on their 'very exciting' asset development plans Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:49:00 +0100 Randeep Grewal, founder and chief executive of Green Dragon Gas Ltd (LON:GDG) caught up with Proactive to add more detail around their overall development plans for 2017/18 as well as their intention of a Hong Kong listing.

]]> Echo Energy 'quite close' to first major acquisition - Malcolm Graham-Wood Fri, 02 Jun 2017 09:43:00 +0100 Oil & Gas commentator Malcolm Graham Graham-Wood tells Proactive's Andrew Scott the team at Echo Energy 'are not people who let the grass grow under their feet' and suspects we're quite close to news of their first major acquisition 'with two or three others possibly in the pipeline as well'.

]]> Zak Mir: Eland Oil & Gas can rise to 85p Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:53:00 +0100 Oil producer Eland Oil & Gas PLC (LON:ELA)  has been on a slow recovery trend and could rise to 85p, the top of the channel, over the next 3-4 months believes technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> Oil price, Lamprell, SDX, Amerisur, Echo Energy, Sundry-IGas-Faroe-EOG-Petrofac-Touchstone- And finally... Wed, 31 May 2017 11:10:00 +0100 Oil price

Watching from afar it looked like that all sorts of panic was around in the oil market during and after the Opec meeting but prices are only off less than a dollar from when I left and that includes Brent expiring. From what I could read the meeting was a success but the marché suffered from a bout of travelling and arriving syndrome. What would have been a good settlement by extending the deal until March was deemed to be inadequate as the were no further cuts. Add to that Libya pumping hard, maybe at 800/- b/d and the US still rising the bears had a good day or two but who might win longer term? With global demand rising by more than the US can grow it’s shale production it seems that stocks will draw solidly in the second half of this year.

My old friends at the AAA have also indicated that this Memorial Day weekend was a very big one for driving miles, you have to go back to 2005 for a better one so keep an eye out for the inventory numbers across the board.


Confirmation this morning of Lamprell’s JV with Aramco, Bahri and Hyundai to set up a maritime yard for the construction, maintenance and repair of offshore drilling rigs and vessels. Lamps will invest $140m for a 20% stake of the capital with the facility scheduled to be partly opened by 2019 and fully open by 2022. With a minimum of 20 jackups and 52+ vessels this should create significant opportunities for Lamprell, not just for the JV but through potentially significant work for Saudi through the UAE yard when pre-qualifying status is gained.

SDX Energy

SDX has announced the flow test results from the SD-1X South Disouq well, with 82 ft of net pay with 25% porosity the well was indeed a beauty. It flowed at a stabilised rate of 25.8 MMscf/d through a 48/64″ choke, restricted by land facilities, which was significantly above pre-drill estimates of 10-15 and had no water or sand which bodes well for production. A degree of sensitivity was used as locals were observing Ramadan so flare and noise was kept to a minimum and condensate samples were also taken. The company has come away with a lot of data to work on and must be delighted that this has gone so well with much more to come. Away from Egypt work is moving fast in Morocco and keeping Paul Welch and his team busy, and very happy.

Amerisur Resources

John Wardle and his team in Colombia have been  very busy whilst I have been away and I was quite surprised that the shares havent already gone significantly higher. The Platanillo-21 update showed a 36′ net oil column in the V sands and a 17′ one in the T sands whilst further potential is being evaluated.

The Mariposa-1 update was even more exciting, as this could be a real monster on the CPO-5 block as indicated recently. A flow rate of 4,601 b/d of 40.8° API crude on a restricted choke is exceptional and the well will be shut-in pre a long term test. This size of discovery should add significantly to the company’s long term production targets and make what might have seemed a daunting prospect all of a sudden genuinely realistic. I am increasingly confident about upcoming newsflow having seen such good news in recent weeks.

Echo Energy

Echo has announced that lender Greenberry has completed its sales process and has a total loan of €20m making a combined £26m of cash. The company has been highly active in assessing a number of attractive projects in South America and investors can expect to hear news before long about its strategy.


In other news around in my absence I noted that IGas have completed their Section 106 agreements for both Springs Road and Tucker Lane which bodes well for upcoming activity in the portfolio.

Faroe has announced the spudding of the Brasse appraisal well, this will be important in assessing the extent of the field and potentially increasing the size of the development.

Europa Oil & Gas is raising £2.1m through a placing at 6p and an Open Offer for a further £1.5m which should go a long way to financing the seismic work on the Irish Atlantic margin which is potentially huge but very expensive…

Petrofac has gone off big time while I have been away and with the COO suspended and having resigned from the board something looks very wrong. Having said that the company has set up a committee to engage with the SFO in its enquiry but it looks like a bit more than a little local difficulty…

And Touchstone Exploration has been in town, coming to the Aim market and raising $2.552m via  private placing at 7.25p. Touchstone is another Trinidad play to add to the growing band of opportunities in the area.

And finally…

As revealed here some months ago Arsene Wenger has been given another two years in charge of the Gunners, something that won’t please all the fans but probably will delight the rest of the League…

Again while I was away, the Red Devils beat Ajax and collected their third trophy of the season but more importantly a Champions League spot which won’t this year include the Gunners who will be playing on Thursday nights…

Huddersfield will join the Premiership and be a joy to visit, may be worth a flutter on total points, may do well…

The America’s Cup team GB ended their awful starting run by beating Sweden, qualifying should be possible but the setup looks pretty flaky just now.

And of course I was indeed in Monaco for a few days watching the Grand Prix where Lewis had a shocker as they couldnt set up the car and Ferrari did the dirty on Raikkonen bringing him in early to give Vettel the advantage.

And I was going to have a word about BA who were truly atrocious yesterday and who should get rid of both Walsh and Cruz but its hardly worth the bother…talk about blowing the brand…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Dakota Minerals Wed, 31 May 2017 07:25:00 +0100 Dakota Minerals (ASX:DKO)

Reported this past Monday, DKO confirms metallurgical suitability for production of Li2CO3 for the battery market from its petalite mineralisation from the Sepeda pegmatite in Portugal. Dorfner-Anzaplan of Germany conducted the work and accomplished 99.88% purity prior to bicarbonation and 99.97% purity after. This quality is quite suitable as battery grade and was accomplished with industry standard methodology of calcination (roasting), acid baking, and leaching.

DKO reported back on 24 April that metallurgical testing had confirmed the petalite would produce technical grade products suitable for the ceramic industry. It is now shown that the producible Li2CO3 will also be prime for the battery market off-takers as well.

DKO expects to have a Scoping Study completed incorporating these results by mid-June.

All the signs and results are still pointing to a robust lithium project being put forward in coming weeks for definitive feasibility studies and eventual construction finance.

]]> Buru Energy's Eric Streitberg talks cash flow from transformational asset swap Tue, 30 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Eric Streitberg, executive chairman for Buru Energy, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> 'All eyes on the summer work programme and beyond' - Northern Petroleum's Keith Bush Tue, 30 May 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Keith Bush, chief executive of Northern Petroleum Plc (LON:NOP) updates Proactive on their plans for the upcoming summer work programme as well as plans on how to take the company forward.

]]> SDX Energy's Paul Welch 'very pleased' with better than expected well test Tue, 30 May 2017 12:23:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc. (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX) talks Proactive through the “highly positive” test of its well on the South Disouq licence, Egypt, which flowed a better-than-expected 25.8mln standard cubic feet (scf) of dry gas.

It is working to get SD-1X, which tested 82 feet on net pay, into commercial production as soon as possible.

]]> Itaconix 'offering performance advantages at a competitive price' Tue, 30 May 2017 10:33:00 +0100 Dr Kevin Matthews of Itaconix Plc (LON:ITX) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they supply bio-based ingredients to the consumer market.

''We are trying to improve performance of functional products that are already out there today ... with competitively priced materials that are essentially sustainable''.

]]> 'All hands on deck' at PowerHouse Energy Tue, 30 May 2017 08:20:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, executive chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group Plc (LON:PHE) talks Proactive through their recently established advisory panel as well as the game plan for the company over the next couple of months.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 30 May 2017 07:38:00 +0100 Stratmin Global (LON:STGR)

Released on Friday, STGR announced the resignation of director Shishir Poddar. He will now focus on the development of the Vatomaina graphite mine in Madagascar, which is a joint venture between Tirupati Resources Mauritius and STGR. Mr. Poddar retains a 3.55% shareholder stake in STGR. STGR holds 1.45% of Tirupati Resources Mauritius (TRM). TRM is passing its interest into private firm Tirupati Graphite plc with the intent of a future IPO.

Stratmin is proceeding to transform to a gold exploration company with the Scheme of Arrangement now filed with the Australian authorities for the reverse takeover of private firm Signature Gold by STGR. Shareholders of STGR will have a vote on the transaction at a future date.

Our recommendation and target price are suspended while STGR is not trading.

Sula Iron and Gold (LON:SULA)

SULA is not allowing any lapse in drilling activity at Ferensola with the signing of a new 5,000m contract with Equity Drilling (EQD) under largely the same terms as the previous one just completed. EQD will take a portion of its fees and costs in shares of SULA just as it did in the prior contract.

The contract is valued at US$700k and is intended to be infill and step out drilling concentrating on the TZ0 target of Sanama Hill where the latest program encountered 21m true width at 3.65gAu/t in assay. Some assays from the previous round of drilling are still pending.

As the company completes more holes into the gold and geophysical anomalies of the Ferensola gold targets, the better it understands the controls to gold mineralisation on this very big anomaly.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation and 1.6p price target.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas' Kevin Foo on 'terrific' revenue and gas sales Fri, 26 May 2017 10:59:00 +0100 Kevin Foo, executive chairman of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) talks through the firm's preliminary results for the year to the end of December 2016.

]]> Zak Mir: Any dip in Andes Energia towards 50p is a buying opportunity Fri, 26 May 2017 10:00:00 +0100 Oil explorer Andes Energia PLC (LON:AEN) broke though the 200-day moving average in October and the target now is 75p with any dip towards 50p a buying opportunity, says technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> Europa fundraise 'to accelerate our licence position in Ireland ' - CEO Hugh Mackay Thu, 25 May 2017 11:03:00 +0100 Hugh Mackay, chief executive of Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) PLC (LON:EOG) talks through with Proactive's Andrew Scott their latest fundraise and how the strong support for it underpins the increasing significance of Offshore Ireland.

The AIM-listed explorer placed £2.1mln of shares at 6p per share with up to a further £1.5mln to come from an open offer.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Thu, 25 May 2017 07:09:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Announced yesterday, MTR plans significant exploration work in the Kalahari Copper Belt in support of MOD Resources (MOD AU) field work on the T3 area of Botswana. This work will take place over the summer and be led by the joint venture local operating company Tschukudu Metals Botswana.

Airborne geophysics over the wider T3 Dome area of the licenses will be undertaken beginning in June to identify areas where the apparent geology and mineral signature is a repeat of that which has localised the current high grade copper discovery at T3. The even larger T20 Dome feature will get its first detailed look as well.

The Botswana government has determined that it does not need a formal EIA completed for the next phase of exploration activity. This means the current drillers on break can return to punching holes to find new orebodies from July rather than having to wait for those more exhaustive environmental studies and measurements to be undertaken and completed. Targets to test in the next phase of 30 drillholes include under the current Zone 1 and Zone 2 compliant resources to give further definition to the size and grade of Zone 3 at the sandstone contact and a new geophysical target lying 800m north of the T3 mineralisation.

Further studies toward completion of a PFS on T3 will be undertaken over the next two quarters as well.

There are many, many kilometres of favourable rock stratigraphy yet to test on MTR licenses. We believe the chances of finding further high-grade copper-silver mineralisation in new near surface zones as very high.

We retain our BUY recommendation and 5.86p price target.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Vedanta Resources Wed, 24 May 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Late yesterday, ML announced the entry into a JV with TSX-V junior Liberty One Lithium (LBY CN) upon its Pocitos West property. LBY may acquire a 70% stake in the property for US$5.5m in staged cash payments over 36 months and completion of work commitments of US$1m. It may increase its interest a further 10% to 80% by completing a bankable feasibility study within 42 months of the closing date of the transaction.

This transaction monetises Pocitos West to the benefit of ML by covering underlying property payments on Pocitos West while it incurs drilling costs in firming up the resources on its primary project of Pastos Grandes to the east. ML only acquired 100% of Pocitos West in February for US$4.5m and these JV payment terms and sums are in excess of those in the underlying agreement for a net gain in current valuation of the Pocitos West property to ML of US$2.1m if all thresholds are met by LBY.

ML is simultaneously advancing, profiting from, and de-risking the Pocitos West ground, a sound capital management strategy. This transaction also shows that well positioned, early stage ground within the Lithium Triangle continues to change hands for a premium on acquisition costs.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.

Vedanta Resources (LON:VED)

A final dividend of US$0.35 is declared by Vedanta Resources (VED) as it discloses an underlying full year profit of US$0.011 vs a loss last year. Revenues rose 7% to US$11.5b while EBITDA rose a strong 37% to US$3.2b on the back of better commodity prices. Gross debt however worsened as a result of paying a special dividend during the year and now stands at US$18.2b. Prices in copper, aluminium, zinc, iron ore, oil and gas have all shown a strong recovery last year.

The chairman, Anil Agarwal, states a dedication this year to deleveraging the balance sheet. We hope he is serious as prior expressions of intent have not been forthcoming in large measure in prior years; lagging other integrated metal miners in that regard. Stronger commodity prices will help out, therefore, now is the time if at all.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Wed, 24 May 2017 07:43:00 +0100 Obtala# Acquires Forestry Business

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT) has conditionally acquired (subject to due diligence) the forestry business WoodBois International ApS (WBI) for US$14.8m.

• WBI consists of three operations – a wood trading business in Côte d’Ivoire, a sawmill operation in Gabon with 41,300ha of concessions and an under construction veneer factory in Gabon, which is due to be completed in H2 and should contribute to earnings from 2018 onwards. The group employs c150 people.

• The US$14.8m consideration will be paid in three tranches. OBT will pay US$3m cash and US$3.8m in new OBT ordinary shares on completion of due diligence (target: 30 June), US$3m 120 days after completion (or on 30 September 2017, whichever is earliest) and US$5m over five years in quarterly payments starting 30 September 2017 (conditional on the continued employment of the two founders).

• In FY 2015, WBI generated revenues of DKK 106.8m (then £10.4m), an EBIT of DKK 2.54m (then £0.25m).

VSA Comment

This acquisition represents OBT’s first major move since raising cUS$27m in 2016 and early 2017 as it looks to build a leading African forestry and agriculture business.

WBI has been starved of working capital in recent years and as such OBT will look to secure export finance to significantly expand WBI’s trading operations as well as investing cUS$500k to increase the output of its sawmill (current annual capacity 24,000m3 sawn timber) and complete construction of the veneer factory in H2 (planned annual capacity of 18,000m3 veneer).

This deal also provides OBT with an established trading operation for its existing hardwood operation in Mozambique to gain greater access to international markets, with WBI currently selling wood into more than 40 separate countries. Importantly for a trading business that relies on personal networks, the two founders of the business have agreed to remain with the company for a minimum of five years.

Management believe that with additional capital WBI could rapidly improve its financial performance, contributing an operating profit of more than cUS$12m to the group by 2019 under its base case scenario.

We maintain our BUY recommendation but place our target price under review while we assess the likely impact of this significant acquisition on the wider OBT business.

Wynnstay H1 2017 Trading Update

Wynnstay Group (LON:WYN), a UK manufacturer and supplier of agricultural inputs and retail group, has updated on trading for the six months to 30 April 2017.

• WYN’s pet business, Just for Pets (JfP), has produced a loss in H1, which will result in a non-cash goodwill impairment charge being booked. Excluding JfP, H1 group performance is ahead YoY. JfP restructuring plans to be announced in H2

• Group H1 reported profits will therefore be materially below those reported last year with its adjusted PBT (before the impairment) marginally below last year, due to the loss in JfP

• Interim results will be announced on 21 June 2017

VSA Comment

Following on from UK-listed agricultural peer Carr’s Group (CARR LN)# earlier in the year, WYN has delivered its own profit warning, despite generally improving conditions in its core UK agricultural business.

WYN has long discussed the challenging trading conditions in its pet business, as well as the below expectations performance of newly opened stores. WYN had been trying to address this through the launch of new concept stores and a focus on service sales (in-store vaccinations etc…), which has been the strongest performing sub-sector in the industry. (Earlier this year, industry leader Pets at Home (PETS LN) highlighted ‘Merchandise’ like-for-like revenue growth slowing to -0.5% YoY in its Q3 (14 Oct – 5 Jan) but ‘Services’ revenue growth continuing to show decent strength, +7.0% YoY).

The 25 JfP stores contribute a proportion of group profit in the low single digits and given the challenges and seemingly unrelated nature of the business have long been seen by investors as a potential target for disposal. We would expect this to be at least considered as part of its upcoming strategic review for this division.

]]> Obtala takes 'step-up the value chain' with WoodBois acquisition Wed, 24 May 2017 06:15:00 +0100 Miles Pelham, chairman of Obtala Ltd (LON:OBT) talks through with Proactive's Andrew Scott their acquisition of WoodBois International - a global trader and producer of sawn timber.

]]> 'Very exciting times', says LGO Energy's Leo Koot Tue, 23 May 2017 14:28:00 +0100 Leo Koot, executive chairman of LGO Energy (LON:LGO) updates Proactive on his first 14 days in the new role at the company and their upcoming work programme.

]]> Lesedi 'progressing very well' - Tlou Energy's Tony Gilby Tue, 23 May 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Tony Gilby, managing director of Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) updates Proactive on developments at their Lesedi project in Botswana.

''We have the only independently certified gas reserves and resources in the entire country of Botswana and we're the only company with a full upstream environmental approval as well to go into further development''.

]]> Mosman's Arkoma acquisition 'ticks all the boxes' - Chairman John Barr Tue, 23 May 2017 08:19:00 +0100 John Barr, chairman of Mosman Oil And Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN) tells Proactive their US subsidiary Mosman Texas has executed a contract to acquire a 10% interest in the Arkoma Stacked Pay Project located in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma.

]]> Oil price, Pantheon, Sundry- Premier-Echo Energy- Wood Group- Providence Resources- And finally... Mon, 22 May 2017 10:56:00 +0100 Oil price

With the Opec and Non-Opec meetings due this week, culminating on Thursday with what should be a straightforward  discussion about whether to extend by 6 or 9 months the only change appears to be around deepening the cuts. I suspect that anything of that order will be discussed but probably kept back for a rainy day, it may be that should there be less than hoped for draw of stocks a bigger cut will be needed. Elsewhere the rig count on Friday showed a rise of 16 units overall, oil was up 8 at 720. Finally I’m sure that you dont need reminding that next Monday is Memorial Day in the US which signals the start of the driving season, let battle commence…

Pantheon Resources

A long-awaited operational update from PANR on Friday which gave some clarity about the problems that they had encountered at both the VOBM#4 well and the VOBM#2H wells and details of a gas processing plant to be constructed. In a conference call this morning the CEO, Jay Cheatham, answered a few pre-prepared questions about the situation. The first thing to realise is that the problems on both wells were wellbore specific and in some cases it appears to me that they had some pretty rank service company attention.

In the VOBM#4 well it appears that finding the Wilcox gas which was never even on the agenda may prove to be quite a winner. After failure of the liner hanger to seal correctly it seems that the best thing to do is to drill a sidetrack and produce the Wilcox leaving the opportunity to drill another well from the same position to go after the Eagleford sandstone.

The VOBM#2H caused problems after the attempt to re-enter the suspended horizontal wellbore and drill  a deviated well path caused technical challenges. It seems now that that well will be best completed as an upper tier well and that fraccing it will provide good flow rates, and that as it lies between the 1 and the 3 well,  will provide ‘significant potential’.

As a result of this news PANR has announced an agreement with Kinder Morgan to construct a 15 mmcf/d gas processing plant to receive the offtake from these three wells. This amount of gas would generate over $1.6m per month of free cash flow to the company. There is no doubt that this is not huge but CEO Cheatham said on the call that it was ‘a compromise with room to grow’.

Pantheon has $4.7m of cash and total commitments until the expected cash inflow in say, October are considerably less than that, giving the company adequate scope for further operations. The recent operational problems cannot be forgotten but they havent changed the resource number which is substantial and the timescale is still attractive. Finally this company is fully intending to drill out sufficient wells to prove up its acreage and then sell on, investors have a rare opportunity to participate in this journey. I havent changed my 200p target price through thick and thin, I will leave it like that for the time being…


Premier has spudded its Zama-1 well offshore Mexico which I am told its in-house team are very excited about. Indeed my last comments about being high-risk high-reward went down badly as it is relatively low-risk but with the potential of 100-150m barrels!

Echo Energy confirmed that Pegasus A Fund is investing £10m in the business and will be at no discount as suggested. Echo is building up nicely now and I imagine that investments in South America are very likely to be seen before long.

Wood Group has won a contract with Sakhalin Energy for engineering support services for Sakhalin-2, no amount given but a long contract and likely pretty important.

Finally, Providence Resources has announced that FEL 3/04 has been extended until 2019, this is the famous Dunquin block where currently work is ongoing to try and ‘square the circle’.

And finally…

A huge weekend of sport, in the end the Noisy Neighbours and the HubCap Stealers joined Chelski and Spurs in the Champions League spots. (Apologies for not mentioning Spurs 1-6 demolition of the Foxes the other night…)

Billy Vunipola is out of the Lions tour which is the worst news possible..But what incredible rugby at the weekend as both semis went down to the wire with the Chiefs scoring in the corner to beat Sarries 18-16 and Wasps doing the same to beat the Tigers 21-20…

In the most exciting finish of the year so far Yamaha team mates Maverick Vinales forced ‘The Doctor’, Valentino Rossi, into a rare mistake, and with 2 corners to go to the chequered flag, Rossi crashed out of a certain 2nd place, losing 20 points and his lead in the World Championship to Vinales. To the delight of the partisan crowd, this put Frenchman, Johann Zarco into 2nd place after leading the first half of the race. The final podium went to Danny Pedrosa, sparing Honda’s blushes after No 1 rider, Marc Marquez crashed out. Brit Cal Crutchlow maintained his strong finishes with 5th place. With the next race at Mugello, Rossi’s ‘home’ race, the honeymoon might be over for the Yamaha pairing ….Roll on Italy ! The Moto2 race saw Franco Morbidelli win from Bagnaia and Thomas Luthi. In Moto3 leaking oil caused a huge crash on lap 2 causing a Red Flag. In the restart Joan Mir continued his domination of this class with another win. British Team Talent rider John McPhee fought through to finish 12th. Britain’s Danny Kent, 2015 World Champion, who walked out of Moto2 last week, came in 10th on a KTM, probably ensuring himself a ride for the rest of the season.

I am taking a few days holiday, but technology permitting I hope to blog with any big news and will be at a sporting event to report back from at the weekend….

]]> Zak Mir: 88 Energy can head back to 3.5p over next month says chart Mon, 22 May 2017 09:48:00 +0100 88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E)  is starting to collect data from its Icewine#2 well in Alaska ahead of production testing in June/July. Shares have ticked up since December and if they break 3p can head back to 3.5p over the next month says technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> Timber license deal a 'match made in heaven' for Active Energy - CEO Richard Spinks Mon, 22 May 2017 09:22:00 +0100 Richard Spinks, chief executive of Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) tells Proactive they've signed an in-principle deal for a Crown timber licence and forest management deal with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada relating to two Forest Management Districts covering 1.2mln hectares.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 22 May 2017 07:27:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has announced that it has completed the balance of payments to Equity Drilling Limited via the issue of 52.4m shares at 0.43p. SULA previously announced that a significant portion of the contract would be paid for via equity. The dilution of just 2% has been minimised as a result of the shares strong performance, indeed, the shares have risen 95% since the contract was agreed.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.6p target price.

]]> Iofina's Tom Becker 'pretty pleased' with 2016 performance Fri, 19 May 2017 14:47:00 +0100 Tom Becker, president and chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF) tells Proactive they managed to increase revenues and remain profitable last year, despite it being a difficult period for the industry as a whole.

]]> Hillcrest Petroleum's Don Currie on Western Canada acquisition Fri, 19 May 2017 13:20:00 +0100 Don Currie, chief executive of Hillcrest Petroleum Ltd (CVE:HRH) talks Proactive through their planned acquisition of interests in two petroleum assets in Western Canada.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Plexus Holdings, Solo, And finally... Fri, 19 May 2017 10:52:00 +0100 Oil price

Bear with me today if you will, I have had a breakdown in communications and am not able to retrieve much in the way of news.

The oil price remains firm ahead of next week’s meetings, as I write WTI is up another 61 cents and knocking on the door of $50, Brent is up 67c and has cleared the $53 barrier. As is always the case the run up to the meetings will see a variety of position taking but on this occasion most of the grandstanding has been done already so  it should all go according to plan…

SDX Energy

Quarterly figures from SDX this morning but as usual the numbers are pretty much irrelevant, with the Circle deal, the raise and the excitement of South Disouq it has been a busy few months for the company. There is plenty of news on the way as well as the statement says that there has been operational progress in Morocco and that the company will drill seven wells this year in the region. In Egypt there is also much going on, the workover programme at NW Gemsa and the drilling of wells at Meseda along with the facility capacity upgrade. At South Disouq the company will complete the testing of the well and get moving on developing the gas with the aim of commercial production by Q1 2018. There will also be work on the next target, the deeper oil potential found in the recent well where a location has been planned. All in all it will be a most interesting time for SDX, fully funded and with a strong balance sheet it has the necessary high value production as well as appraisal and exploration programme to give it SDX appeal…

Plexus Holdings

POS has announced its first purchase order from Aker BP and whilst its value is a modest £0.7 they all count. The contract is for wellhead equipment at the Hyrokkin and Nordfjellet exploration wells offshore Norway. For Plexus at the moment it is all about sticking to the Knitting, more orders will come through before long.

Solo Oil

Solo has called a General Meeting in order to gain authority to allot more shares in order to make the second stage investment into Helium One. In the statement the company also say that they are ‘reviewing options’ to monetise a portion of the Ruvuma PSC and are ‘seeking a partner’ to help fund its share of the costs of the development. By the very nature of the way Solo acts as an investor this should come as no surprise, providing that is, you like the portfolio they are assembling.

And finally…

Its has been a great week up at York although the rain has made selecting winners slightly more tricky than usual. In yesterday’s Dante Stakes where to be honest the favourite was taken out, a suitably named Permian romped home making it a possible starter in the Derby.

It is Moto GP time again and we move on to France where the Grand Prix will take place on Sunday at Le Mans. On a more serious note the World MotoGP Champion of 2006, Nicky Hayden, now a World Superbike contender, was knocked of his cycle by a car in Italy and is in a serious condition. We wish him a speedy recovery.

In the Premiership two from the HubCap Stealers, Noisy Neighbours and the Gooners will qualify for the Champions league next year…

Rugby has another thrilling weekend, tomorrow sees the semi finals with the Chiefs taking on the Sarries and Wasps playing the Tigers, how good will that be?

]]> Sound Energy moves rig on site ahead of work-over programme at Sidi Moktar Fri, 19 May 2017 10:22:00 +0100 Proactive Investors Oil & Gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft looks back on what's been a busy week for the sector.

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) revealed details of its preparations for work-over programmes at the Sidi Moktar gas project onshore Morocco.

88 Energy Plc (LON:88E) confirmed that the drilling phase of the pivotal Icewine-2 programme is now complete, with the well reaching target depth of 11,450 feet.

Ashcroft also talks through the latest developments with Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR), Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) and Cairn Energy (LON:CNE)

]]> Zak Mir: 75p is target for SDX Energy Inc Fri, 19 May 2017 08:41:00 +0100 Egypt and Morocco-focused oil and gas group SDX Energy (LON:SDX)  can rise as high as 75p in the next month or so according to technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Fri, 19 May 2017 07:16:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR) has announced the issue by the Environment Agency of the variation to the Mining Waste Permit for the planned Wressle field development and associated operations.

The issue of this permit is a key regulatory approval in the proposed Wressle development and provides support to the new Planning Application as submitted on 28 April 2017. This application included additional information to specifically address the concerns raised by the local council on the first refusal of Wressle. We remain confident that this new application will be accepted.

We now await further news from the company on the updated timing of the development. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane, Cairn/FAR, Sound, Tullow, Sundry-Petrofac-Cycles analysis- And finally... Thu, 18 May 2017 09:28:00 +0100 Oil price

Another up day yesterday as the market’s eyes turned to the EIA inventory stats following the rather disappointing API numbers the night before. Whilst the draw of 1.8m barrels was short of the 2.5m whisper it was enough to keep the bears at a distance. It will be worth watching the net long positions when they come out as I suspect that there has been a lot of bear closing in the last few days.

Hurricane Energy

Hurricane has announced the completion of the warrant scheme and there are no more in issue and the scheme has lapsed. The shares had been issued to broker Stifel who had exercised and sold 5.5m shares in the market prior to yesterday and the remaining 19.5m were placed in the market yesterday at 51p raising £12.7m for the company. The buyers I am told were existing shareholders who were keen to support the company and clear up any possible overhang. Word on the street yesterday gave me the impression that Crystal Amber were particularly supportive in the process as befits a major shareholder.

With some concern in places that this warrant issue may have created an unwelcome tap on the market the placing of all of the balance makes a lot of sense for which the company and shareholders should be praised. The ‘supportive’ shareholders are also wise as the exciting prospects for HUR over the next few months should not be overshadowed by such market concerns. With some expensive long lead items to pay for now, in order to keep the development process on schedule this solution has ended up doing the job. The modest raise means that the company have a free run to the FID and of course will continue the process of raising the approximately $467m needed to  fund the EPS which we have already been told will be a combination of Debt, equity and possibly a farm-out of some nature. This process is well under way and I consider that it will be complicated but not impossible and that with a potential 2bn barrels at stake investors will be found in each asset class. Hurricane has a superb portfolio of basement plays led by Lancaster and my existing target price of 100p is looking well past its sell by date and I shall be updating that substantially shortly.


Cairn has announced the results of the SNE-6 appraisal well offshore Senegal and it is another success. The well proved good connectivity with SNE-5 in the Upper Reservoir and the oil quality was similar to previous finds. This is incredibly good news for the partners who are now looking at a huge oilfield with massive potential, it also does nothing but increase the excitement around the whole area where deals are being done and every major worth its salt is in town. The rig moves on to FAN SOUTH where they are targeting prospective resources of 110m barrels and who’s to say that  this won’t be success no 10 for the partners. Excellent news for Cairn and of course even better for FAR who are now funded up and the shares should rise significantly, my 25c target remains in place.

Sound Energy

Sound announced yesterday that the Saipem rig has arrived at Sidi Moktar, onshore Morocco to re-enter and test the lower and middle Jurassic in two existing wells in the Kechoula discovery. Stage 1 will complete, perforate and test Koba-1 by the end of May and stage 2 will do the same at Kamar-1 by mid June. If these are successful expect an EWT and first commercial gas could be flowing by the end of this year.


Also yesterday, Tullow announced an oil discovery at the Emekuya-1 well in Block 13T in Northern Kenya. With 75m of net oil pay in 2 zones this de-risks the Northern part of the Etom block and goes some way to proving that the Greater Etom Structure is oil filled. Good news for Tullow who also announced extensive plans for the TEN area for when litigation ends there.


I havent commented about the PFC situation as it is clearly sub-judice but today’s announcement that a non-executive who only joined the company in November 2016 has resigned ‘with immediate effect’ doesnt sound good.

For those of you who dont follow Cycles Analysis, run by Andrew Pancholi, I had a conversation with him yesterday whereby he is seeing a build up of a significant nature in his commodity charts which could lead to something big on the geoseismic front. As he has an incredible track record I thought I would pass it on…

And finally…

Very little on the news front after a dreary nil-nil draw between the Saints and the Red Devils last night. JM has asked for forgiveness if he plays the kids v the Eagles on Sunday, a sure sign that they will lose the final of the Boropa Cup… And watford have sacked another manager, what are they like?

]]> Petsec Energy's AGM Wed, 17 May 2017 06:00:00 +0100 You can now access presentation of Petsec Energy's AGM held on Thursday, 11th May.

]]> Petsec Energy's chairman Terry Fern talks AGM highlights Tue, 16 May 2017 23:00:00 +0100 Terry Fern, chairman and chief executive officer for Petsec Energy, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Oil price, Plexus Holdings, Links to Premier, SDX and Jersey O&G. And finally... Tue, 16 May 2017 09:53:00 +0100 Oil price

The only news in town is the Saudi/Russian rapprochement and the oil price is rising, albeit slowly as it takes on board the ramifications of the deal. Should it go ahead then the oil price hasn’t risen enough although both are about 40 cents better again this morning, clearly a modicum of bear closing. Two things are emerging, both from the bearish camp, who firstly don’t see the deal working, primarily as they dont exactly see eye to eye on Middle East politics, and secondly feel that the 1.8m b/d reduction is not enough and that there should be bigger cuts on May 25th. For me a rollover of current rates until March 2018, maybe with a review at the year end meeting would be good enough, a further reduction would certainly push the price a fair bit higher.

Plexus Holdings

A trading update this morning from Plexus, or as we used to call them, a profit warning. It should come as no surprise to market watchers that things remain pretty difficult for service companies like POS but it is important to differentiate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. The company says that the ‘challenging conditions continued in the second half of the financial year’ which ends in June ’17 and that opportunities are ‘taking longer to conclude’. With a number of potential new contracts I suspect in the pipeline it is wise to flag that they might now slip into the ’18 financial year. Having said that, POS has undergone a substantial cost-cutting and restructuring process and has cut back capex substantially which will eventually pay off, this is a top quality company at the forefront of oilfield safety and will come out of the downturn stronger than before.

And finally…

Last night Chelski, already in possession of the title beat the Hornets 4-3 in a spirited battle at the Bridge. Tonight it’s the Gooners hosting the Maccams and the Baggies go to the Noisy Neighbours with the HubCap Stealers watching on hoping for slip-ups for the Champions League spots

]]> Union Jack Oil 'one of the lucky ones' - executive chairman David Bramhill Tue, 16 May 2017 08:14:00 +0100 David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) talks through the firm's 2016 results describing the period as one of 'solid progress'.

]]> Green & Smart eyeing 'enormous' growth - Saravanan Rasaratnam Tue, 16 May 2017 07:11:00 +0100 Saravanan Rasaratnam, managing director of Green & Smart Plc (LON:GSH) sits down with Proactive's Andrew Scott to look back on the company's first year on AIM and how the business has developed.

''Within a year we've completed seven plants, of which two of them are our own and one's been connected to the grid - our flagship plant'', Saravanan Rasaratnam says.

''The important part is that we've moved from being a mere EPCC player to an independent power producer in the country''.

]]> Oil price, Premier Oil, Echo Energy, Ophir Energy, And finally... Mon, 15 May 2017 11:12:00 +0100 Oil price

The edging up of the oil price on friday meant that the week ended up +$1.61 for WTI and +$1.74 for Brent. The best was yet to come as at a meeting in Beijing it seems that the Saudi and Russian Oil Ministers have ‘seen the need to prolong the current deal through the first quarter 2018’. As I write both crudes are over a dollar up at $49.04 for WTI and $52.05 for Brent. Now, little confirmation on the detail of the agreement has yet been announced but if this is a genuine agreement then I would expect the price to rise more as these two heavyweights will carry the rest of the group with them. Having said that, the usual large dose of cynicism will undoubtedly exist and proof of the pudding will be demanded by the market.

Premier Oil

A trading, operational and refinancing update this morning ahead of wednesday’s AGM, the period covers the first four months of the year. The good operational performance continues with production of 82.6 koepd,up 44% on this time last year although guidance remains at 75/- for this year excluding Catcher and until the summer maintenance plan is fully known. Solan remains a basket case but Catcher is on time and will deliver first oil this year, indeed with good results from the wells drilled already there is some thought being given to increasing the FPSO capacity.

Operating costs are $13.7/boe which is 11% below budget and well below FY guidance. Capex guidance for this year is down from $390m to $350m partly due to Solan whilst the FEED contracts for Tolmount have been awarded ahead of sanction early next year. Sea Lion is expected to be sanctioned in 2018 which remains a disappointment but it is-just- still on the agenda and might move faster with a farm-out.  The company, or at least its engineers, are excited about the high risk/high reward Zama project in Mexico and that well is expected to be drilled this month. The refinancing implementation is underway, net debt is $2.8bn after ‘marginally positive cash flow’ in the period. I have to say that I still think that things are going fairly well for Prems and with a chance that the oil price might help them out, the good most definitely outweighs the bad and with projects such as Tolmount and Sea Lion to follow Catcher the future is indeed rosy…

Echo Energy

Echo has announced this morning that it has signed its first institutional funding with an enlarged loan on the same terms as announced before. Greenberry has agreed to subscribe for €20m with the right to purchase another €5m on the same terms with the warrants as previously announced. With a potential £26m of cash after the equity raise later this month, the company is well set to deliver on its aim of acquiring assets in South America as part of its Latin American gas strategy.

Ophir Energy

Ophir has announced that the Ayame-1X well offshore the Cote D’Ivoire is dry as although oil was encountered it was not in commercial quantities. At a recent meeting with the company there was optimism for this well but it really was always a wildcat and life goes on.

And finally…

In the Premiership the top five all won at the weekend, (Man United must be tired of going to a stadium that is being closed down at the end of the season), so it looks like the Gooners are hoping that the Noisy Neighbours will slip up in at least one of their two remaining games and let them qualify for next year’s Champions League, those teams are the Baggies and the Hornets, ho hum…

Lewis steamed past Sebastian Vettel to win the Spanish GP so closing the points gap, this is going to be fun, Monaco up next in two weeks time where anything could happen.

Sarries won the European Champions Cup and head for the Premiership semi-finals on saturday with much to prove…

]]> Golden cross suggests Haydale Graphene is on course for £2.50 Mon, 15 May 2017 08:55:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) share price to add another 50% this summer and push on towards the £2.50 mark.

“We’ve had a consolidation since this time last year but a golden cross buy signal between the 50- and 200-day moving averages at £1.78 suggests we could trade higher,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“The top of the channel from the beginning of last year is as high as £2.50 and that’s the implied target over the next three months while we hold above the 50- and 200-day lines.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Premier Oil PLC Mon, 15 May 2017 07:18:00 +0100 Premier Oil (LON:PMO)

Premier Oil (PMO) has produced a positive operational update ahead of its AGM on 17 May. Production for the year to date has averaged 82.6kboepd  (+44% YoY) and ahead of the current full year guidance of 75kboepd. PMO will update further on its FY production guidance once the summer maintenance period is over. The strong operational performance is largely driven by its UK North Sea operations which averaged 45.7kboepd (+160% YoY) due to a full contribution from the acquired E.ON assets and Solan.

Over this period PMO’s operating costs averaged US$13.7/boe, 11% ahead of its budget, whilst G&A costs are also anticipated to be below budget. Similarly development and exploration spend for 2017 is expected to be US$350m, reduced from US$390m, this is largely due to the deferral of a summer well workover on Solan. Net debt remains unchanged from year end at US$2.8bn with financial headroom of US$585m. PMO expects to be cash flow positive after capex and disposals in 2017 above US$50/bbl allowing it to start reducing its net debt. With the refinancing programme now completed the outlook for PMO is looking better, so long as Brent remains above US$50/bbl.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane, President, Sundry-Ithaca-Tower- And finally... Fri, 12 May 2017 09:16:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil complex moved higher yesterday as Opec released official production numbers that indicated ‘overcompliance’ by its members and despite higher non-Opec supply gave a positive review of the market. With the Kuwaitis adding their two pennyworth in the extend camp the market added half a dollar.

Hurricane Energy

Results today which are even more immaterial than ever and a clever warrant issue that bolsters working capital at a time when, with plans for the EPS going full steam ahead, big ticket, long lead, items can be ordered. No figures have been changed since the recent Capital Markets Day and the FID, EPS and first oil for 2019 are still on track. This warrant issue is pretty smart, with the company in the throes of the more substantial development finance package it gives them a modest amount of money with little or no hassle. The CFO has provided the company with the flexibility it needs and an innovative solution such as this means that all boxes can be ticked, all options for financing remain open and value has been preserved. That value is still immense and HUR remains as good an exploration company as you will find in the UKCS and certainly in the oil and gas sector.

President Energy

President has updated the market today on the state of its dispute with two service providers after the failure of the DP 1002 S/T well last year. PPC remain of the ‘robust view’ that it has valid and substantial claims and has said that it will go to arbitration or the legal process to secure what it believes is the right result. All sides still disagree so the process will linger on but I have to say that in such a fight I know who I would rather have on my side…Nothing new today operationally but this news has been regularly good so far this year and I expect it to continue, PPC remains very undervalued.


Further salt into the wound of those who consider that management and shareholders sold Ithaca out on the cheap as the compulsory purchase order is announced. If I thought that tying myself to the gates would help I would but i’m afraid that the fat lady really has sung this time. ( Don’t forget that I never buy or sell any shares that I write about in the blog btw)

And readers who remember my long and enduring battle with Tower Resources will know that I will take no pleasure in today’s announcement where the company have suspended the shares ‘pending clarification of its financial circumstances’. For those who need to be reminded, just because oil is steady-ish at around $50 the blog rule of sticking with the haves and avoiding the have nots, still applies…

And finally…

With a final flurry to cause palpitations amongst fans, the Red Devils scraped home last night into the Boropa Cup final. Good news especially for the Eagles fans who go to the Theatre of Dreams on the last day of the season, that will be only three days before the final and Utd will have an under 23’s team out…

In the Prem there is much still to fight for, Chelski can win it tonight at the Baggies whilst tomorrow the Gooners are at the Potters, the HubCap Stealers go to the Hammers, Utd are at Spurs and the Noisy Neighbours have the Foxes in. The bottom is tough with the Eagles really needing a win against Hull City Tigers as the Swans have an easier trip to the Maccams.

I won’t forget rugby this time as its the Euro-Final between Clermont and Sarries up at Murrayfield tomorrow evening.

With the F1 circus arriving in Europe it’s the Spanish GP and if the earlier races are anything to go by we are in for a treat.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Fri, 12 May 2017 07:44:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced the results from its Batch 1 assays which cover 5 over the 14 drill holes in this current programme. One hole was from Sanama Hill (the existing Exploration Target) and the remainder were from the Eastern Target Zone which has not previously been drilled.

Highlights from hole FDD014, on Sanama Hill, included high grade intersections such as 15.9g/t Au over 4.8m (3.1m true width), and 37g/t Au over 0.75m both from within a mineralised shear zone interval with a true width of 21m. This was intersected at a depth of between 122.85m and 155.45m. These are the most promising results that Sula has returned to date and indicate that the Sanama Hill prospect may be more attractive than previously thought.

The initial results from the Eastern Target confirm that there is indeed a mineralised system present although as yet the gold assays returned have not been significant. The most notable result was a 1m intercept at 0.63g/t. However, as structural controls are better understood this will aid in defining future drilling. There are still three drill holes with results outstanding on this target, however.

Batch 2 results will include the remaining 9 holes including the final three from the Eastern Target and the samples have been dispatched from the exploration camp. The initial results from Sanama Hill are encouraging while it remains early days for the Eastern Target.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and target price of 1.6p

]]> South America 'the new focus' for LGO Energy Plc - Executive Chairman Leo Koot Thu, 11 May 2017 10:20:00 +0100 Leo Koot, executive chairman of LGO Energy (LON:LGO), which is soon to be re-named Columbus Energy Resources, introduces the company and its new focus to Proactive Investors.

''As of yesterday we re-branded ourselves as an oil production-led exploration company focused on South America'', Koot tells Andrew Scott.

''We will venture into South America because we believe, I believe, it's an under-explored area''.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Hurricane, SDX Energy, Trinity, Solo/LGO, And finally... Thu, 11 May 2017 08:50:00 +0100 Oil price
All of a sudden the oil market is hotting up as a combination of Opec Ministers chatter, Aramco cut backs and inventory draws make the bears head for some serious short covering. At the meeting between the Iraqi and Algerian Oil Ministers yesterday the former said that ‘Iraq is on board with extending the deal at the next Opec meeting to help stabilise oil prices and balance the market’ with which the Algerian Minister,  ‘concurred’.
Also yesterday Aramco announced that it was cutting supplies to its Asian clients by 7m in June which is important as up until now those clients had received all of their quotas. Finally the EIA inventory numbers were better than expected, crude drew 5.3m barrels, way more than the expectation of just under 2m and there were draws in gasoline, 150/- b’s and distillates, 1.6m b’s as well. The crude number was better as imports fell by 800/- b/d in the period but even though that number can be variable the fact that total stocks fell was good news.

It’s a very quiet couple of days on the company news front so yesterday I headed into the TipTV studio to chat to Zak Mir about the oil price and a quick look at the charts on some stocks I have been talking about lately. The link is below and here are the stocks with the times they come up so that you can go straight to them if you need to save time.
Amerisur 4m 40s, Hurricane 7m 21s, SDX Energy 9m 20s, and Trinity 11m 50s.
TipTV interview: Oil sell-off – perception overpowers reality

I notice that Neil Ritson has increased his commitment to Solo by moving from Non-Exec to Executive Chairman which is no surprise as there are now a number of projects of increasing importance for him to work on. It also suits that he has ‘stepped down’ from the Chairman/CEO position at LGO to make up the time. Whilst on the subject of LGO I detect a considerable changing of the guard, indeed one could almost say that it was a clean sweep as Leo Koot, formerly of TAQA joins as Executive Chairman amongst other exec and non-exec changes. The company is even changing its name to Columbus Energy Resources, I suppose to try and exorcise the demons that the letters LGO mean to many. It will be interesting to watch this process, for the time being from a distance and I will be meeting the new management soon.
And finally…
For Gooners fans the top 4 is now a realistic possibility after last night’s victory over the Saints, indeed it must firm up the contract that Arsene has had in his desk for weeks now, for better or worse.
In the Champions League the final in Cardiff will be between Real Madrid and Juve after last night’s second legs. In the Boropa Cup Celta Vigo travel to the Theatre of Dreams for what will be the most important match of the season….so far.

]]> Zak Mir: 16p still a valid target for Dekeloil Wed, 10 May 2017 09:44:00 +0100 Palm oil group's move on Norpalm in West Ghana has highlighted rising trend since September and as long as price stays above 12.74p a valid target for the shares is 16p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Wed, 10 May 2017 07:18:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO)# has announced that Leo Koot will be appointed as its Executive Chairman effective immediately, with Neil Ritson stepping down from his role of Chairman and CEO.

We see this as a particularly positive appointment by LGO when considering the calibre of Leo’s track record. Leo has over 28 years of industry experience and he brings both financial and technical experience to LGO.

His experience in the industry includes his role as Managing Partner of MENA Gulf Investment Partners (Abu Dhabi), President of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Managing Director of TAQA UK where he built the organisation from a few people to over 2,000 staff and contractors and delivered a mature E&P operating company that managed 60,000 barrels/day production with US$1.7 billion in annual revenues.

Leo has also held roles as a board member at AIM listed Sterling Energy (SEY LN) and as CEO of Energy Development Partners, an oil and gas business creating ways to match capital and resources with developing production. In this role he helped raise a US$350 million private equity fund.

LGO has also announced its intention to change the company’s name to Columbus Energy Resources by the end of this month.

Following this news, we maintain our BUY recommendation and keep our TP under review whilst we await an update of the new management’s plans going forward.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur Resources, Podcast on Hurricane, Amerisur, Savannah and Trinity, And finally... Tue, 09 May 2017 09:43:00 +0100 Oil price

Weak support is probably the right way to describe yesterday in the oil market, solid words from Saudi and Russia just about kept the bears away. Energy Ministers al-Falih and Novak weighed in, the former saying that the producers would ‘do what it takes’ to rebalance the market and would extend the deal and maybe through next year, the latter gave his support.

Amerisur Resources

With so much good news in recent weeks from AMER, Chairman Giles Clarke in his AGM statement this morning had little left to add but he did let out a few pearls to the shareholders watching and reading. Activities in the year to date have exceeded the board’s expectations with production growing, exploration success and the social environment improving as the peace process evolves. With the recent discoveries at Platanillo-22 and Mariposa-1 in the Llanos Basin confidence is high and the company has accelerated the drilling schedule and will now drill 16 wells by the end of 2018. Finally the guidance for production is firmed up, an exit rate for this year is now ‘on track’ for a more confidant 7/- b/d whilst the board ‘consider 20,000 bopd of production to be a realistic and achievable medium term production target’. This is very much what the punters wanted to hear and with costs down significantly things are very much back on the up for Amerisur…

And finally…

Apologies rugby fans who were upset that I hadnt covered the weekends news, I was running late enough but should have included! As it was Wasps beat what was considered a weakened Sarries team to get a home draw against Leicester whilst in the other semi the Chiefs will host Sarries. With the other final upcoming Sarries might feel that the sacrifice was worth it, we shall see.

Last night Chelski comfortably beat Boro who are relegated and the blues can tie up the Prem on Friday night.

]]> Zak Mir: ‘Sirius Petroleum to hit 2p over summer if it can close above this number’ Tue, 09 May 2017 08:30:00 +0100 Zak Mir tells the proactive Investors Bulletin Board that Sirius Petroleum Plc (LON:SRSP)shares could hit 2p this summer if they can post a weekly close above 1.15p.

“[There is] resistance around 1.15p from last month but a decent weekly close above that should complete what looks like a cup and handle formation heading towards the 2p area over the next two to three months,” explains the technical analyst.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Dakota Minerals, Millennial Lithium, Metal Tiger Tue, 09 May 2017 07:51:00 +0100 Dakota Minerals (ASX:DKO)

Yesterday, Dakota Minerals (DKO) announced that it was entering the Scandinavian lithium minerals sector with the acquisition of newly granted leases in Sweden. Three areas have been acquired - Spodumenberget (Spodumene Mountain), Raggen, and Hamrange - all in eastern Sweden near the coast.

Spodumenberget was previously sampled by LKAB in the 1980s and found to have pegmatites over a large area with some tin and columbite also. The Hamrange area contains multiple pegmatites as well. The Raggen area is a historic tin-bearing pegmatite area.

Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

MTR announced late yesterday that it was exiting the Semenovsky tailings treatment venture with Eurasia Mining (EUA LN). Semenovsky is a Russian tailings re-treatment project dominated by silver which was in assessment for a new plant. MTR will have no further interest in the JV and will focus its capital on its base metal projects.

MTR appears to have had a nominal investment in the venture of less than £0.5m and we have never considered this project material to the MTR investment case.

We re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 5.68p price target

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has added veterans of Allana Potash to its management and board of directors with the appointment of Farhad Abasov as CEO and director, Richard Lacroix as Director, and Peter J. MacLean as Sr. VP of Technical Services.

Mr. Abasov has over 15 years of experience and most recently Mr. Abasov served as President & CEO of Allana Potash Corp., a potash development company which was sold to Israel Chemical Ltd. (ICL NY) for US$170M in 2015.

Mr. Lacroix has extensive experience in all aspects of potash mining, processing and marketing including 30+ years with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (PCS).  Mr. Lacroix is a former Senior Vice President of PCS and former Director and Chairman of Canpotex. Most recently Mr. Lacroix served as a Director for Allana Potash.

Most recently Dr. MacLean acted as SVP-Exploration of Allana Potash Corp. and directed all exploration and development activities on its flagship Danakhil Potash Project in Ethiopia up to its takeover by Israel Chemicals (ICL NY) including managing the Company's Feasibility Study and overseeing pilot solution mining and evaporation pond trials.

The appointments of Mr. Abasov and Mr. Lacroix as directors follow the resignations of Mr. Brian Morrison and Mr. Brent Butler as Directors. The appointment of Mr. Abasov as Chief Executive Officer follows the resignation of Mr. Kyle Stevenson as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Stevenson will remain as President and director of the Company for the transition period.

The addition of these experienced men in feasibility studies on brines should serve ML well in coming months as it advances its Pastos Grandes brine project in Argentina.

We re-iterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> Active Energy to focus on 'enormous upside' of CoalSwitch and forestry management Mon, 08 May 2017 15:05:00 +0100 Brian Evans-Jones, CFO of Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) runs Proactive Investors through their decision to sell off their WoodFibre operations in Ukraine.

The AIM-quoted firm said it is shaking up its structure in order to focus more on the global roll-out of its CoalSwitch fuel product as well as the development of a forestry management business.

]]> All eyes on Canadian Overseas Petroleum's offshore Nigeria asset Mon, 08 May 2017 14:50:00 +0100 Arthur Millholland, chief executive of Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) tells Proactive they've engaged two investment banks for a potential funding of the group’s plans in Nigeria.

Paris based COFARCO SAS and London’s Zeus Capital have been tasked to raise funds for drilling on the OPL 226 asset, offshore Nigeria.

]]> Oil price, Hurricane, Savannah, Europa, Amerisur, Kosmos/BP, And finally... Mon, 08 May 2017 13:44:00 +0100 Oil price

That was the week that was, even after the rally on Friday, both WTI and Brent were down the best part of three bucks on the week. As I said before, it was a momentum thing and the data showed that money managers did indeed follow the bear and took money off the table. Some people find it difficult to grasp that a few small influences can, at least for a while, change the nature of the direction, add a hedge fund shorting and away you go…..

Over the weekend the Saudis in particular have shown confidence that Russia will extend supply cuts and their Opec Governor has said that they are ‘close to an agreement’. They had better be as if for any reason it wasnt to rollover now then last week’s fall will be as to a drop in the ocean…

Hurricane Energy

The long-awaited HUR CPR has arrived but is little more than a damp squib in my view. Only for Lancaster, it expects recoverable volumes of 523mmbbls up from 207 and OOIP is 2.3bn barrels depending on recovery rates, to make life more confusing both rr’s are calculated on a different basis. I would have thought that 25% was a decent working number and quite possibly a touch conservative but that is just how the company are approaching the whole EPS process, most commendably IMHO. After that and way before the RPS ten year EPS case, numbers will have been firmed up and most likely will be part of a full field development. Overall, with all the areas yet to be assessed, Hurricane is sitting on a likely 2bn barrels + and with plenty of work to keep them busy for the foreseeable future are still incredibly cheap.

Savannah Petroleum

The news just keeps on coming for SAVP as today sees the announcement of signed drilling contracts with the Great Wall Drilling Company for a three well programme and a further six options. All systems are go for SAVP now and with a Capital Markets Day on June 7th and a retail event to follow all we really need after that is a spud date. Andrew Knott and his team have prepared meticulously for this scenario and I am sure that the share price will rise appropriately…

Europa Oil & Gas

Another CPR, this time for EOG where ERC has found two new ‘significant’ prospects in Lo 16/2 offshore Atlantic Ireland in the South Porcupine Basin. Called Edgeworth and Ervine they add gross mean un-risked prospective resources of 251 mmboe and 302 mmboe respectively. Put together all EOG’s resource numbers and you get to 4.7bn boe and 1.5 TCF over all seven of the company’s Irish Atlantic margin licences, hopefully partners are not far away, they are likely to be nearer after the Druid/Drombeg well later this summer livens up the market.

Amerisur Resources

In its constant quest to be governance and regulation friendly, AMER has announced the second Non-Exec in the space of a few days. Enter Alex Snow, former rugby player, CEO of Lansdowne and latterly of Evolution and Investec, he brings much needed experience including that of a substantial institutional investor to the board.


Kosmos has announced this morning a ‘major’ gas discovery in Senegal with its Yakaar-1 well in the Cayar Offshore Profond Block. With a 120m gross hydrocarbon column and 45m of net pay, the find is believed to add 15 TCF to the bag and the well results confirm the presence of thick, stacked, reservoir sands over a very large area with very good porosity and permeability.

Apart from the find itself, the find further verifies the status of the area, the West African coast is currently very hot as recent activity has shown. BP is trying to buy more of this via the T*mmis deal, Total are buying, FAR is buying in The Gambia and CNOOC has joined forces with them whilst other bargains are being rumoured almost every day. In the meantime the resignation of the Senegal Oil Minister has complicated matters and added further piquancy to an already spicy dish…

And finally…

This weekend in the Prem nothing was decided except that Spurs are living on a prayer after losing to the happy Hammers at the London Stadium on Friday night. Tonight Chelski can consign Boro to the Championship leaving Hull City Tigers, the Swans and the Eagles in the shake up for the last relegation spot. With the HubCap Stealers only drawing, the Gooners took advantage to catch up by beating a weakened Red Devils side 2-0, Boropa Cup, you’re having a laugh…

In an exciting MotoGP in Jerez, the Spaniards reigned supreme in all 3 classes. The British challenge fizzled out with John McPhee finishing a miserable weekend by crashing out in Moto3 which was won by Aron Canet in a close finish with Romano Fenati and Joan Mir. In the MotoGp, Cal Crutchlow had a superb practice lap to start on the front row but a gust of wind caught him out causing him to crash leaving the Factory Honda of Dani Pedrosa to win from his team mate Marc Marquez.The Spanish domination was completed in Moto2 with the younger Marquez brother Alex winning comfortably. Meanwhile in Moto2 the British rider Danny Kent walked out of his Kiefer Team before the race, after just 2 races, claiming “irreconcilable differences” ….As with all divorces there could be repercussions !

And in the first brace of the home One-Dayers England comfortably saw off Ireland on both occasions, I understand that Ireland are applying for Test status…..

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 08 May 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Sula Iron and Gold (LON:SULA)

The current drilling program on the Ferensola gold project in Sierra Leone is now complete. A total of 14 drill holes comprised of 3,788m, 40% more than planned, have been completed. We believe this extra drilling was accomplished without additional expense above the pre-drilling budget.

Drilling extended previously completed holes in Zone 1 (Sanama Hill) and tested two other new targets (TZ2- the Eastern target, and TZ4) based upon surface sampling and geophysics anomalies as well. A hole was also for the first time put into the ‘Kuwait’ artisanal gold area, a new area of bedrock mineralisation identified last year.

A first batch of samples was sent off to the assay lab a couple of weeks ago. A second batch of samples will be dispatched from the project camp around 10 May.

We look forward to the results of the assays and re-iterate our BUY recommendation and 3.1p price target.

]]> Europa's Hugh Mackay hails CPR firming up two large Offshore Ireland prospects Mon, 08 May 2017 07:09:00 +0100 Hugh Mackay, chief executive of Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc (LON:EOG) talks Proactive through the findings of an independent Competent Person’s Report on two new pre-rift prospects - Ervine and Edgeworth - offshore Atlantic Ireland.

]]> Ntorya plans 'all leading in a positive direction', says Aminex chief following resource upgrade Fri, 05 May 2017 13:10:00 +0100 Jay Bhattacherjee, chief executive of Aminex plc (LON:AEX) gives Proactive's Andrew Scott some added detail about their recent announcement of a major upgrade to the gas resource estimates for the Ntorya project in Tanzania.

]]> SDX Energy's Paul Welch on their 'significant success' at SD-1X Fri, 05 May 2017 10:43:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX) gave Proactive's Stocktube details of the deeper exploration target in the SD-1X well, in Egypt, where drilling is now complete.

Having already made a significant gas discovery in shallower gas targets the company has now confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons and a working petroleum system in the deeper exploration target, though there wasn’t a sufficient amount of hydrocarbons to warrant further testing at this time.

]]> Zak Mir: Hurricane Energy's rising trend points to 80p in coming months Fri, 05 May 2017 10:41:00 +0100 Technical analyst  Zak Mir explains why North Sea explorer Hurricane Energy PLC's (LON:HUR) share price can can rise to as high as 80p over the next few months.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, SDX Energy, Falcon Oil, Sound Energy interview, And finally... Fri, 05 May 2017 09:26:00 +0100 Oil price

As predicted the oil price is continuing to head southwards as goons around the world telegraph their innermost worries for all to see. Accordingly which respected wheeler dealer wouldnt partake of a touch of short selling, safe in the knowledge that with three weeks to go to the conference uncertainty would prevail? The stories yesterday werent actually that bad, just various  group members suggesting that whilst an extension is on the cards, further cuts were unlikely, beware as they say, careless talk costs er, money…


I’m actually quite surprised that AMER didn’t go up much more yesterday afternoon when ONGC released the results of the Mariposa-1 well on the CPO-5 block in the LLanos basin in Colombia. The 120 ft of oil saturated net pay, particularly where they drilled it on the edge of the block could be very significant indeed. This is AMER’s primary interest in that part of the world and as there is a lot of oil up there infrastructure is not a problem. Indeed if it goes to plan, what with other recent successes, the 7,000 b/d target has just got a lot easier. I understand that John Wardle’s comments were of what can only be described as significant joy and his real words certainly not for a family publication such as this. It’s been a good few weeks for AMER and I would expect further rallying of the share price to take all the good news into account.

SDX Energy

Overall the news this morning from SDX is very encouraging, the deeper part of the well confirmed reservoir intervals and true, they were not worth completing here but for a virtually free carry it was a no-brainer and valuable information was gleaned. So, they made a discovery in the Abu Madi and to prove the source rock in the Cretaceous section both of which ticked the appropriate boxes. Sure it was difficult to find a trap but then when the well was first planned that wasnt the target, it was 5km East of this location and as I said it was a very cheap reservoir test. The news that they have proven hydrocarbons in the block is, to quote Paul Welch ‘truly awesome’ and of course the next location is already staked and permitted to test the horizons at SD-Deep.

This well is undoubtedly a major achievement, already a gas and liquids discovery which is near infrastructure and enabling fast-track monetisation the well has proved potentially transformational with this deeper oil potential. I mentioned the next well but exposure is not limited to that, with the source rock and reservoir proved there is plenty of scope left in what is a very big block, 1,275km². All in all confidence remains high and with such upside and of course other high value assets in the portfolio the sell off this morning is well overdone.

Falcon Oil & Gas

Sasol has sold its 35% stake in Beetaloo to Origin giving them 70% of the project, FOG stays at 30%. The carry, which gives FOG $200m of free spend remains the same and the moratorium also goes on. I have written on Falcon recently so no need to add much more but I remain of the view that the moratorium may well cede at least part of the Beetaloo and will lead to at least a start of a development. Bear in mind that Australian energy policy is nothing short of a disaster, with gas and LNG being shipped all over the world at ‘favourable’ tax rates and yet a shortage of domestic gas, you couldnt make it up…

Sound Energy

I did a short interview yesterday with Proactive Investors just to talk through the situation at Badile, the link is below.

Proactiveinvestors interview: Sound Energy’s crucial final stage at Badile

And finally…

Last night in the Boropa Cup it was Celta Vigo 0, Red Devils 1, return leg next thursday…

This weekend the Prem is spread over three days, tonight Spurs go to the London Stadium to take on arch rivals the Hammers which is never easy. Tomorrow the Noisy Neighbours host the Eagles then on Sunday the HubCap Stealers entertain the Saints and of course the Gooners welcome the Red Devils.

It’s Guineas weekend which is always the proper start of the flat season and I notice that four of the mighty Frankel’s offspring are represented in the two races. Also over the pond it is the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, good luck to Sailors valentine in the latter…

And the first big One-dayer starts the season off with England playing Ireland today…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Fri, 05 May 2017 07:46:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO)# has reported its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2016. Operationally LGO was constrained in 2016 by the BNP Paribas (BNPP) loan facility which saw production from its Goudron Field materially reduced. However, LGO managed to maintain production throughout this period and group oil sales for the 12 month period were 47% lower YoY at 169,702bbls (2015: 323,080bbls).

At the corporate level LGO refinanced the balance on the BNPP facility by means of a new facility from Lind Partners, of which US$1.825m was drawn down to make a payment to BNPP and to remove the previous loan from default. Revenue for the period was 52% lower YoY at £4.55m (2015: £9.48m) and was impacted by problems with production and the lower oil price environment. Pre-tax loss for the period was £11.9m (2015: £11.5m) and was largely a result of a £7.9m impairment charge against its Spanish asset.

Post balance sheet end has seen a more positive outlook for the company as it kicked off its drilling campaign in the Mayoro Sandstone interval of the Goudron Field. We now await a further update from LGO at its investor strategy briefing on Wednesday 10 May 2017 to be held at the offices of VSA Capital, 15-17 Eldon Street, EC2M 7LD at 2:00pm.

]]> Malcolm Graham-Wood on Sound Energy's crucial final stage at Badile Thu, 04 May 2017 14:59:00 +0100 Oil & Gas commentator Malcolm Graham-Wood discusses with Proactive's Stocktube Sound Energy's final decisive stages of work on Badile.

It has reached the fourth casing point at the well, near Milan, at 3,379 metres in the Eocene Scaglia formation.

This puts it just over 1,000 metres from its total target depth, set at 4,450 metres.

]]> PowerHouse Energy's Keith Allaun fired up as journey to commercialisation begins Thu, 04 May 2017 14:52:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group Plc (LON:PHE) runs Proactive's Andrew Scott through the relocation of their G3-UHt system to its new home at the Thornton Science Park, operated by the University of Chester.

Last month the AIM-listed group told investors the system – which was shipped over to the UK from Australia - operated at a temperature of over 1,000 degrees Celcius, demonstrating its capacity to “gasify any historically difficult waste material and generate synthesis gas”.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Sound Energy, Sundry-Shell-Ithaca- And finally... Thu, 04 May 2017 10:06:00 +0100 Oil price

So, the story goes like this, the momentum of the market is downwards it is only going one way, how do we know that? Well in recent weeks while crude stocks were falling and product stocks building, (ahem, the driving season is just around the corner and following maintenance, refinery rates are up, drawing more crude and building gasoline inventory) analysts didnt like those product builds and got bored. Yesterday they were even more baffled, the EIA stats showed a draw in crude of 930/- against predictions of 2.3m and gasoline added only 200/- vs a guess of +1.3m, result total confusion, oil was marked up but today they are having second thoughts, roll on 24/25th of May…Long term it is a very different picture.

Amerisur Resources

More good news from AMER this morning by way of another operational update from Platanillo. The Platanillo-22 well is producing 719 b/d, well in excess of highest hopes whilst the Platanillo-21 well is drilling on, ahead of time and budget, expect TD in around 20 days. Platanillo-25 is in planning stage and will spud as soon as -21 finishes testing so there should be even more good news down la carretera as they say in Bogota. All this is coming from Pad 2N which is definitely exceeding expectations, in fact CEO John Wardle states that ‘may become an important new production centre at Pad 2N’ which is good for analysis of the Platanillo field. Finally, the company has devised an organic chemical treatment to try and enhance production on some wells, this has been used on Plat-8 and production has risen from 108 b/d to 350 b/d and whilst not jumping to any conclusions might benefit a number of other Platanillo wells. All in all things are going very well for Amerisur and we can expect a bullish presentation from Mr Wardle at the upcoming AGM.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that at Badile the 4th casing point in the Eocene Scaglia formation at 3,379m and will now drill on towards TD of 4,450m. Never a quiet moment at Sound #Ticktock…


Another good set of figures from a major as Shell comes in today with top of the range numbers, good cash flow, reduced debt and a covered divvi. Apart from the obvious upstream benefits it was a good quarter in chemicals and with $20bn of divestments already Shell cum BG is looking quite a beast…

The death Knell has sounded for Ithaca today as Delek announce that they have 94.2% of the company. It was a valiant but not wasted effort to try and persuade investors that more was surely to come, but in the end the Israeli’s C$1.95 was too good to be true, after all it was already a huge performer. Let’s hope that Les and team might start up something new now that their wallets have been warmed…

And finally…

Finally the goal machine at Monaco ran out and the typical Italian efficiency came good and they take two away goals back home which should be plenty. Tonight in the Boropa Cup it’s semi final time as the Red Devils travel to Celta Vigo for the first leg

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Asiamet Resources, Glencore International, Randgold Resources Thu, 04 May 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Asiamet Resources (LON:ARS)

Latest drilling results in the infill program for the Beruang Kanan project of Asiamet (ARS) have encountered unexpected thicknesses of high grade copper deeper in the BK044 area than currently anticipated in the modelling of the open pit.  Representative values include:

• 33m at 1.11%Cu from 110.5m in hole BKM32400-10

• 18m at 1.6%Cu form 13m in hole BKM32400-07

• 20m at 0.95%Cu from 86m in hole BKM32650-05

Multiple intervals of high grade copper have been encountered in this area with many zones grading well over 2% Cu. This deeper oxidized mineralisation is well beyond the PEA study pit limits suggesting the upcoming feasibility study will reflect significant increase in minable tonnes and a deeper pit model in this area.

Glencore (LON:GLEN)

Glencore (GLEN) slightly raised full year EBIT guidance range to US$2.3bn to US$2.6bn on the back of improved commodity market prices, even as Q1 production results across its commodities were mixed.

Attributable oil output was way down by 43% to 1.4mbbls due to ongoing depletion of reserves. Nickel production was down by 10% to 24,600t and copper also sank by 3% to 324,100t on a variety of local production issues at its mines. On the bright side, ferrochrome was up 10% to 439,000t and zinc 9% to 279,100t.  In these times it is a benefit to be diversified like GLEN.

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS)

A solid performance from Randgold Resources (RRS) though it was not quite as good QoQ on costs and gold production. Gold sales were down 10% to 409,603ozs vs last quarter at 453,051ozs. The gold price received was US$30 higher but did not offset the change of the cash costs which rose to US$619/oz from US$549/oz  The additional hydropower station for the Kibali mine is just about complete.

YoY comparables however were positive across all metrics with gold output, cash costs, and gold prices all improved. The cash position rose to US$600m and a dividend increase of over 50% was declared to US$1/share during the quarter.

Today’s results represent solid numbers which appear to be sustainable in the foreseeable term. The building cash pile offers great opportunity to capitalise on exploration discovery or M&A opportunity going forward.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Thu, 04 May 2017 07:41:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO) has announced details its Investor Strategy Briefing to discuss its future programme and strategy. The meeting will be hosted by the Board and attended by senior management and will be held at the offices of VSA Capital, 15-17 Eldon Street, EC2M 7LD on 10 May 2017 at 2.00 pm and will be simultaneously webcast for those unable to attend in person.

]]> Oil price, Egdon/Europa/Union Jack, Trinity Exploration & Production, Range Resources, Sundry- Amerisur-Ascent Resources- And finally... Wed, 03 May 2017 11:13:00 +0100 Oil price

The conflicting pressures on the crude price at the moment remind me of the rhyme, Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace, Grace is a little girl who didn’t wash her face. At the moment the bears are winning as the downward pressures are mainly short term, Libya (which will surely go wrong again), Nigeria (ditto) and of course the ‘C’ word. Which is of course cheating and figures out have shown that adherence, which is a much nicer way of putting it, has come down to 90% and the Russians are getting the blame…

The bulls news is all rather longer term although the API inventory stats last night did help and after hours and this morning crude is up around 60 cents. Crude drew 4.2m barrels v a forecast of 2.3 and the gasoline draw of 1.9m b’s appeased last week’s bears. Let’s see if the EIA is comparable tonight. The other longer term bull argument is that with demand still pretty strong I expect to see a decent draw in world stocks 2H this year, particularly if the agreement is rolled over on May 24/25. Let battle commence…

Egdon/Europa/ Union Jack

Not new news but the participants in Wressle wanted us to know that after the disaster that was North Lincolnshire Council throwing out the planning application, it has now been re-submitted. With a wave through expected we are told to expect validation in a couple of weeks as the specific concerns have been addressed.

Trinity Exploration & Production

Results yesterday from TRIN which as is always the case, old news, however there were a couple of points worth drawing from the numbers which make the investment going forward an even more interesting one. Production numbers are fine, indeed being down only 10% at 2,542 b/d on no spend, is nothing short of remarkable. Guidance for this year is 2.6-2.8/- b/d and the target is 3/- b/d. I think that this is very achievable as with recompletions and swabbing as well as four wells to be drilled this year and four next should easily cover production. 2P reserves were up at 21.3m bbls even after 0.9m of production and 0.8m of divestments which again is creditable and shows the quality of this portfolio.

Cost cutting, like others in the industry is impressive although I am sure that TRIN had a greater incentive than most to make cutbacks, they must be paid less that one of Diane Abbott’s coppers at this rate. Opex is down 29% at $15.6m and the G&A cost is down 61% at $4.2m, whilst the most impressive is the, ahead of target, cut in operating cost per barrel from $47 to $29.

Recent history at TRIN doesn’t do the company justice and its roots in country go back further than most, some assets onshore go back to 1998 and the company have drilled many wells and will drill many more. It is probably wise to treat the last couple of years as a watershed in the company’s life, without the support of its workers, stakeholders and of course the Government, lesser companies  would have undoubtedly folded, it has come back stronger as a result of it all. That leads to the recapitalisation  in January where the company raised $15m in equity and convertible and settled its outstanding debts, thus transforming the business. It now has a hugely supportive shareholder base and a strengthened board although credit should mainly go to the Dingwall/Mackenzie team for ultimate survival.

Perhaps because of the recent difficult times, which is entirely understandable, the valuation of Trinity is way below a number of its peers and is out of kilter, I will reassess this stock after it has tripled which is no less than it deserves…

Range Resources

Still in Trinidad I notice that in my absence yesterday RRL put out a notice that they had signed an SPA for the repurchase of the RRDSL drilling company. The deal looks even better now as the repayment terms have been amended significantly making them less and later than planned, payments starting in 2020 give Range every chance to succeed with this business pretty soon. The shares remain suspended as this is an RTO but should return a good value play.


Also yesterday Amerisur took the chance to publish April production figures which at 4,845 were around 500 b/d up on March. With production and reserves increasing all the time and the OBA now taking over 5,000 b/d the economics at AMER look better and better, just think what it might be like if a few of the planned wells come in…

Ascent Resources also announced that they were preparing to produce gas from the Pg-11A well at Petišovci, this should take around four weeks and be a modest but important step in the right direction.

And finally…

Not doing a blog on a Monday puts the sports report right up the swanny, I will miss most of it out i’m sure.

Despite Spurs beating the Gooners to finally confirm North London supremacy, Chelski winning as well has pretty much won them the title. With both Manc clubs dropping points the HubCap Stealers are set fair for a Champions League place proving that no midweek football helps something rotten.

The GP was fun to watch and may be a thing for this summer, having three potential winners at every race certainly makes it competitive…

And a great card at Sandown for the Whitbread Gold Cup saw Nicky Henderson with the trainers title on the last day of the season, Dickie Johnson had the jockeys equivalent sewn up weeks ago. Would you believe that next weekend it’s the Guineas…?

]]> LGO Energy's Neil Ritson 'excited' about exploration prospects on South West Peninsula Wed, 03 May 2017 10:19:00 +0100 Neil Ritson, chief executive of LGO Energy PLC (LON:LGO) gives Proactive Investors an update on the firm's operations at Goudron and developments with their South West Peninsula assets.

''The big prize in the South West Peninsula is the deep prospectivity and that's still really to be  finalised and announced over the next 6-9 months''.

Ritson also gave more detail on an investor briefing which is being held next week in London.

]]> 'We're back to breathing oxygen again', says Trinity Exploration & Production's Bruce Dingwall Wed, 03 May 2017 10:02:00 +0100 Bruce Dingwall, executive chairman of Trinity Exploration & Production PLC (LON:TRIN) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott  the Trinidad focussed oil firm's 2016 results - a period which the company has described as 'transformational'.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc, LGO Energy PLC Wed, 03 May 2017 07:37:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR) has announced it submitted a new planning application for the Wressle field development on 28 April 2017 following North Lincolnshire Council’s original decision to refuse the application in January. The new application includes additional information to specifically address the concerns raised by the local council on the first refusal and we are confident this new application will be accepted.

We now await further news from the company on the updated timing of the development. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO Energy (LGO) has provided an update on its operations in Trinidad ahead of its FY 2016 results on 5 May 2017. Following the completion of the planned two infill wells in the Goudron Field, GY-682 and GY-683, the rig used to drill these wells has been demobilised whilst the new drilling contracts are negotiated for upcoming wells. Further to this, four additional infill locations have been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) and work will commence as soon as the drilling contracts are agreed.

Well GY-683 has now been placed on rod pump at a stable rate of 55bopd, ahead of company guidance of 45bopd. However, GY-682 was producing at 32bopd in the first half of April suggesting it is being affected by depletion. The well will now be left on pump and LGO will perform interventions to restore production closer to the initial rate of 55bopd.

Total production in Q1 17 averaged 435bopd, however we expect this figure to be 80-90bopd higher in Q2 due to wells GY-682 and GY-683 coming on line in the period.

We now await further updates from the company in its FY 2016 results and its Investor Strategy Briefing on 10 May 2017

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Wed, 03 May 2017 07:35:00 +0100 redT energy to Deploy Unit with the RNLI

redT energy (LON:RED), a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, will be installing one of its flow machines at the RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The site is used to manufacture and maintain the RNLI’s fleet of inshore lifeboats.

• The Gen1 15kW-180kWh unit will be used for solar firming at the site and will also operate as a back-up power provider, removing the need for a diesel generator

• The site has a 100kW solar PV farm and currently exports up to 15kW when generation exceeds demand. Once the machine is installed, excess energy will be stored and time-shifted for internal use

VSA Comment

This placement represents the final deployment of the seven Gen1 15kW-180kWh flow machines that were originally destined for the Isle of Gigha (with the other six being moved to The Olde House project in Cornwall, as announced on 18 April).

Although this is again not strictly a commercial sale, this does have commercial implications with regards to accessing further sites in the RNLI’s 238 site portfolio. While only 23 of these sites currently have solar panels installed (and the majority are sub-10kW), the RNLI has a clear desire to increase its use of renewable energy (currently c5% of its total consumption). Coupling solar power generation sites with RED’s flow machines could help accelerate these expansion plans.

More importantly for potential future product sales, this deployment also provides an unique marketing opportunity into the UK charity sector, as we understand that the RNLI currently chairs Fit for the Future, a network of organisations from the not-for-profit sector, including the National Trust and 80 other organisations, that are working together to become “climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient”.

We view it as positive that RED has now re-deployed all seven of its ‘Gigha’ Gen1 machines into attractive marketing locations and hope to see these sites generating commercial Gen2 (2017) and Gen3 sales (2018) in the coming months and years.

We currently have a BUY recommendation on RED with a target price of 22p.

]]> 3D seismic shoot at Paradox Basin 'still on track', says Rose Petroleum's Matthew Idiens Tue, 02 May 2017 13:53:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) tells Proactive they're continuing to look forward to their planned 3D seismic programme in Utah’s Paradox basin during the second half of this year.

The company's been updating investors on the ongoing permitting process for the seismic work, following a request for more information by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Tue, 02 May 2017 07:51:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

LGO has announced that it will be publishing its audited full year 2016 financial results and issuing its Annual Report and Accounts on Friday, 5 May 2017.

In addition it then plans to hold an Investor Strategy Briefing on the morning of Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at the offices of its joint broker VSA Capital, New Liverpool House, 15-17 Eldon Street, London, EC2M 7LD where shareholders will be briefed on the Company's plans and the Board and management will be available to answer questions.  It is also intended to webcast the event and further details will be provided by Monday, 8 May 2017.

]]> Oil price, FAR Limited, IGas Energy, Sundry-BP-Falcon O&G- And finally... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:58:00 +0100 Oil price

Yesterdays close was off the worst of the day but nothing to write home about, the market is getting into a tizzy about product prices a full month before the driving season as demand hasn’t picked up yet.  Others feared for output from Libya where the Sharara and the El Feel fields appear to be back online producing 400/- but you can guarantee that won’t last…

FAR Limited

Quarterly report time from FAR and the good news keeps on coming. So far offshore Senegal they have drilled 8 wells at 100% success rate and the most recent completions at SNE-5 and VR-1 were completed on time and below budget. SNE-6 is at TD and doing extended flow testing and estimated prospective resources are now up at 1.5bn bbls. In the quarter FAR stayed busy with farm-in announced in The Gambia and the AMI with CNOOC executed. Post the period end FAR raised $80m through an oversubscribed placing which keeps them well financed for the rest of the campaign. FAR remains the best way into this exciting play in Senegal as well as way the best bang for your buck in the increasingly hot West African margin where the big boys are hovering…

IGas Energy

I managed to go into Down Street yesterday and saw the full team there for a proper catch up post their results on Wednesday. Given I have already commented, there shouldn’t be much to add but actually it was a very good meeting, after a long period of discomfort things are seriously looking up for IGas. The completed refinancing and fundraise whereby Kerogen took a 28% stake for a $35m investment and introduced a number of new and substantial shareholders has left net debt at $7m having been $122m, ouch!

IGas is cash flow generative at these oil prices and are carried to the tune of up to $230m, with a much more positive approach inching through planning, applications are coming through and will lead to drilling before long. Looking at the programme I see them working at Springs Road and Tinker Lane and of course others in the sector such as Ineos, Third Energy and Cuadrilla also have prospects to drill. With little acreage up for grabs there is a new found atmosphere of caring and sharing of data and information which should also help matters a lot.

Guidance for its conventional production is 2,500 b/d which is currently profitable and offers leverage to any pickup in oil prices yet with some downside protection. The UK shale industry is demonstrating a significant degree of momentum at the moment, IGas at 4.7p might just be the way to play it, albeit slightly later than planned…


It has been announced that BP has sold its 50% stake in the SECCO Petrochemical company to Sinopec for $1.68bn. This goes a fair way to achieving this year’s sell-off proceeds even if it is quite a jewel to be parting company with.

Results from Falcon Oil & Gas, as ever meaningless especially as I have already written this week post a meeting with PO’Q. A cracking operational report with costs down and shedloads of other people’s money to spend, the only fly in the ointment is the moratorium. If I had to guess I would suggest that provided all safety measures are taken, and a small area is chosen to start, such as the Beetaloo then they should get the all clear, if so, stand by for take off…

And Finally…

In the Manc friendly last night Mr Fellaini gave Mr Aguero a ‘Glasgow kiss’ and proved just how thick some of these guys are, another fine mess for JM with now one fewer player to pick in the run-up.

This weekend the key game will be the North London derby at the Lane where the Gooners come visiting. With Arsene no longer worried about his contract the team might yet upset the odds… Elsewhere Chelski are at the Toffees, the Noisy Neighbours go to the Boro and Swansea travel to the Theatre of Dreams. Monday night sees the HubCap Stealers at the Hornets. Other relegation fights include the Hull City Tigers at the Saints, the Maccams host the Cherries and the Eagles host Burnley who are without their star gambler who would have bet on that result…?

With a good card at Sandown Park the jumps season ends tomorrow with Richard Johnson picking up the jockeys title again.

Testing has started at the Russian GP, if only they knew whose name was in Putin’s envelope in which he declares the winner…only joking…

And of course we will all be up late tomorrow to watch AJ take on Wladimir Klitschko, we wish him all the very best.

]]> Tlou Energy's Colm Cloonan 'absolutely delighted' with A$6.7mln funding Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:35:00 +0100 Colm Cloonan, finance director at Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) talks through with Proactive's Andrew Scott the response to their A$800,000 raising of new capital through their share purchase plan (SPP).

They also separately raised a further A$700,000 after additional requests for new shares.

The Botswana focussed coal bed methane (CBM) group in March raised A$5.2mln (£3.1mln) of new capital through a share placing taking cash proceeds to A$6.7mln.

Money will be spent on new 2D seismic data for areas deemed to be highly prospective, and the company also plans to drill a limited number of new vertical wells (down to 500 metres) to gather core for analysis.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:29:00 +0100 REA Holdings: FY 2016 Results

REA Holdings (LON:RE), the Indonesian palm oil producer, has released annual results for the period ended 31 December 2016 (FY 2016).

• Revenue: US$79.3m, -12.4% YoY (FY 2015: US$90.5m); FactSet consensus was US$83.7m.

• Loss before Tax: US$9.3m (FY 2015: loss of US$12.2m*); FactSet consensus was a loss of US$11.5m.

• Own Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) Harvested: 468,371t, -22.0% YoY (FY 2015: 600,741t).

• Third Party FFB Harvested: 98,052t, -29.3% YoY (FY 2015: 138,657t).

• Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Produced: 127,697t, -21.1% YoY (FY 2015: 161,844t).

• CPO Extraction Rate: 22.8% (FY 2015: 22.2%).

• Newly Planted Land: 5,758ha (FY 2015: 2,251ha)

• No dividend declared (FY 2015: Nil)

* Restated due to adoption of amended IAS 41

VSA Comment

Another difficult year for REA in terms of cropping, with the severe dry periods in 2014 and 2015 continuing to have a negative impact on yields (FFB yield fell to c15t/ha vs. 20.5t/ha in FY 2015), and even as production began to show signs of picking up in the last two months of the year, heavy rains then arrived to disrupt harvesting operations.

Despite these issues, the company carried out significant financial restructuring during the year, improving its debt maturity profile and bringing in Indonesian planter Dharma Satya Nusantara (DSNJ IJ) as a 15% equity holder in REA’s principal operating subsidiary.

Although the operational figures have already been revealed in the February trading update, we would again highlight the record level of planting during the year, which would likely have hit 6,000ha had it not been for the heavy rainfall in the last two months. We are hopeful that this level of operational improvement can be sustained, despite the unexpected departure of Managing Director Mark Parry earlier in the year.

For 2017, REA has a planting target of 4,000ha. The group remains in active discussions to restructure the remaining portion of the maturing sterling and US dollar notes that it has yet to refinance, in order to meet this target.

Looking forward, although REA has not revealed its own cropping levels for Q1, a number of palm oil producers have already reported a significant uptick in production in Q1, particularly those in Indonesia – Anglo-Eastern Plantations (AEP LN) FFB production +20% YoY; MP Evans (MPE LN) FFB production +15% YoY; SIPEF (SIP BB) CPO production +22% YoY; First Resources (FR SP) FFB production +44% YoY. Official data from Malaysia also highlights this uptick, with CPO production in the country reported +18% YoY for Q1. We are therefore hopeful that REA will also have seen significantly improved crop levels early in the year.

However, this production surge has clearly had a negative impact on pricing, with the European CIF Rotterdam benchmark now trading at US$680/t, down from a 2017 high of US$827/t reached in late January. Expected large soybean crops in the Americas combined with the EU’s recent moves, which, if enacted, would result in the removal of palm oil from the EU’s biodiesel sector by 2020 have also contributed to the current negative market sentiment.

Despite this, recent comments from United Plantations (UPL MK) and SIP have highlighted the upside risk to pricing from any supply disruption due to the current low palm oil stock situation (Malaysian stocks are at about 8% of total consumption and exports, compared to a long-term average of c10%). This may be wishful thinking on the part of producers looking for higher pricing but significantly increasing production levels and stockpiles does seem to us to already be priced into global palm oil prices.

On the supply side there is some early evidence that the strong production increases in Q1 will not be sustained through Q2 (although we would still expect YoY growth). REA has also highlighted a relatively weak market for soymeal, which may constrain soybean oil production and support prices in H2 2017, a period which has been highlighted as a likely bearish period by most analysts (including us) for at least the last year.

Given the expected pick-up in production and other operational improvements, 2017 should prove to be a much better year for REA. It should deliver a significantly improved financial performance with a return to paying ordinary dividends certainly possible (cropping and price dependent).

]]> 'An exciting time for 88 Energy' - Proactive's Jamie Ashcroft Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:32:00 +0100 Jamie Ashcroft, Proactive Investors oil and gas correspondent tells Andrew Scott: ''A lot of investors have been following  88 Energy and after the start of drilling this week we're all on well-watch''.

The Alaska focussed explorer's announced this week the start of the Icewine-2 well which is designed to provide a production test of the HRZ shale play.

The Arctic Fox rig started drilling Icewine-2 on Monday, at 19:15 local time in Alaska, and 88 Energy anticipates that Icewine-2 will undergo production testing in late June or early July.

]]> Oil price, Trinity, Sundry-VOG-FOG-EOG-NOP-Gulfsands- And finally... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:19:00 +0100 Oil price

A very mixed market at the moment as shown by movements yesterday. Do they ever learn is the watchword as yet again the teenage scribblers on the Strasse completely missed the point. I read one report that suggested that it was difficult to understand why there was a build in product stocks after such a good draw in crude… Indeed the crude draw of 3.6m was much higher than the 1.1m forecast but, and it’s a big but, refinery utilisation was up thus giving higher product stats. If any further guidance was needed for the imbeciles at their desks it is that come Memorial Day (29th May this year) the driving season starts and refiners always switch to over producing gasoline at this time of year, kids eh….?

Trinity Exploration

The Trinity update flew under my radar on Tuesday as I blogged rapidly ahead of all those interviews, going back to their website proved almost impossible to navigate but here goes! Production is looking good as with a clean bill of health post the raise much activity on wells is upping output, 2,500 appears to be the current norm with guidance of 2,600-2,800 b/d and a target of 3,000 b/d. The company is in fine form and released from its shackles is raring to go. I am increasingly confident about the future here and look forward to another update before long but little doubt that the bucket list beckons when a space appears.


Falcon O&G point out that the latest inquiry report says that they are looking into the economic implications of the possibility of developing the unconventional shale gas reserves in the Beetaloo sub-basin only. That works for me for the time being…

Victoria Oil & Gas announce that negotiations between GDC, Altaaqa and ENEO in relation to a new contract continue and gas is still being supplied to ENEO.

EOG says  that it has identified four new ‘significant’ prospects, two with 200m boe on their acreage which is good but delivery is the key here, investors do not live on leads alone…

Gulfsands says that it has drawn down the 3rd tranche of its financing ahead of the due date with approval of the lenders. The final two tranches should last the company until 1H 2018 after which an equity raise is planned. Am keeping a close eye here as new boss John Bell is smart and there may be a phoenix moment….

Northern Petroleum has announced a pretty positive update, more on which when I get a bit more time. Basically the acquisitions in Canada are finally coming good and their financial backers are serious and highly supportive. Production keeps rising and with a short term target of 1,000 b/d and much more optimistic longer term NOP are most definitely back on the watchlist.

And finally…

More crucial games in the Prem last night, Spurs kept their faint hopes alive by beating the Eagles and the Gooners also remain optimistic about a top 4 place after a similar win over the Foxes. The Maccams proved that they are joke status last night losing at home to Boro, it doesnt get much worse than that. Tonight its the Red Devils at the Noisy Neighbours….

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Hochschild Mining, Kaz Minerals Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:20:00 +0100 KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ)

KAZ Minerals (KAZ LN) has announced strong results for Q1 2017 with copper production up 16% QoQ and 130% YoY to 52kt as the ramp up at Bozshakol and Akotgay continued. The two assets now make up the majority of KAZ’s production and it is on track to produce 225-260kt of copper in 2017. We also note that gold production remained strong at 43koz in line with Q4 2016 but up 140% YoY. Grades at Bozshakol were stable which with rising production should benefit unit costs.

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Hochschild Mining (HOC LN) has released robust production results for Q1 2017 with attributable silver production flat QoQ and up 12% YoY to 4.1mnoz. Gold production of 61koz up 19% YoY although down 2% QoQ implying total equivalent ounces of 8.6mnoz. Stronger grades at Inmaculada enabled HOC to offset some unplanned stoppages. The stoppages mean that Q1 production is likely to have disappointed, however, HOC have maintained full year guidance of 37mnoz along with all in cost guidance of US$12.2-12.7/oz guidance.

]]> IGas chief 'looking forward to getting on' with East Midlands drilling Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:55:00 +0100 Stephen Bowler, chief executive of IGas Energy Plc (LON:IGAS) runs through with Proactive their drilling plans in the East Midlands for 2017.

Bowler also mentions they're looking at sites in England's north west for further projects.

The group's recent financial restructuring was also touched on.

They've exchanged US$40mln of debt for new equity, in addition to a US$49mln bond buy-back as well as amendments being made to the terms for the remaining US$30mln of bonds.

]]> Oil price, Rockhopper, IGas, Sundry-Sound interview-Falcon Oil & Gas-Ascent Resources- And finally... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:49:00 +0100 Oil price

Yesterday’s first up day in six might prove to be a rarity as crude has opened  this morning a bit weak after a confusing set of API stats. A build of 897/- b’s in crude wasn’t expected, a draw of 1.7m was forecast but at Cushing the 2m draw was better for the constitution. Gasoline stocks built by 4.4m b’s against the forecasts but why can’t these overpaid numpty analysts take a look at the refinery rate, it’s a month til the driving season and that’s what happens…Take a look at the retail gasoline price, $2.45 overnight against only $1.90 on Nov 28th….Those stats btw were after the close, tonight’s EIA numbers will hopefully look a little better/clearer…

Russia is not helping matters with its position taking ahead of the meeting next month, however at the moment I’m sure that’s all it is. Stand by for a joint communique from Moscow and Jeddah…


RKH is starting to get things done in the Greater Med part of the business and today they announce the spudding of Al Jahraa SE-2X well in Egypt. Targeting the Abu Roash-C reservoir, pre-drill STOIIP of 20 mmbbls might be added to the development lease. Expect news from here in around 40 days after which the company intend to drill Al Jahraa-9 which is a development well aimed at the AR-C deep reservoir with the intention of finding a connection between the Al Jahraa and the South East fields.

IGas Energy

Results today from IGas which are even more inconsequential than ever after the recent raise and Kerogen financing. With a strong balance sheet now and cash flow from the, guided, 2,500 b/d of production things are definitely looking up for IGas. With a modest spring in its step I expect to see more favourable planning decisions on the way and maybe even some drilling this year. IGas has cut hard back on G&A which is creditable, they were hardly overspending before but are now pretty lean, from the board down and with the shares at 4.65p may well be worth taking a serious look at…


I met with Philip O’Quigley, CEO of Falcon Oil & Gas yesterday, a good opportunity to catch up during this period of moratorium. Readers know that I am incredibly bullish about its value, assuming that the inquiry goes its way. Only that slight fly in the ointment stops entry to the bucket list to be honest. Timing-wise the enquiry is proceeding quickly, expect an interim report, no more, mid summer and a likely advisory statement for the PM in October. Should this be positive, FOG would be expected to rise sharply again, remember it has already doubled this year so far but it has a wallet full of other people’s cash and is sitting on huge potential reserves.

I also met with Colin Hutchinson, CEO of Ascent Resources yesterday and it was a great pleasure to hear the news in person, of the first gas from Slovenia. With that milestone successfully completed the gas is now able to be sold to INA via the GSA signed last year. With more work to be done, more gas will inevitably flow and there are plans to sell gas into the grid once any final objections can be overcome. This news after such a long time is extremely positive and 2H 2017 should even start to look profitable. It has been a long haul for patient Ascent shareholders but there is a decent light at the end of the tunnel.

Finally yesterday I also managed to catch up in the TipTV studios again with Sound Energy CEO, James Parsons.  With much to talk about, Morocco from East to West, another Schlumberger deal and of course Badile the time went very quickly, the link to the interview is below…

TipTV CEO interview: Sound Energy ties up with Schlumberger for Morocco projects

And finally…

After Chelski dismantled the Saints last night I guess that Spurs have to do the same to the Eagles tonight although Big Sam appears to have them cooking on gas right now. Elsewhere the Gooners host the Foxes, not easy now and the relegation derby is between the Maccams and the Boro with seemingly little to play for…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, BHP Billiton plc, Fresnillo Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO)

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) Q1 2017 copper production was up 9.4% YoY although down 16.4% QoQ to 172kt due to expected weaker grades at Los Pelambres. Gold production was also weak, down 6% YoY and 42% QoQ to 53koz. ANTO is, however, on track to meet full year guidance of 685-720kt yet continues the trend of copper production underperformance by the majors in Q1 2017.

The impact of production weakness was naturally negative on cash costs which were up 12.4% QoQ on a net basis to US$1.27/lb, although down 7.3% YoY. Before by-product credits cash costs were up 8.9% QoQ and down 7.6% YoY to US$1.59/lb.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) has announced disappointing operational results as although modest gains were made in bulks production this was offset by significant declines in petroleum and copper production.

Total copper production of 939kt was down 20% YoY largely due to the strike action at Escondida although production at the other mines of 393kt was down 14% YoY also. Petroleum production of 157mmboe was down 15% YoY largely due to curtailments relating to market conditions.

Iron ore production of 171mnt was up 3% YoY as productivity improvements continued. Despite the cyclone impact BLT was able to increase met coal production by 2% to 31mnt YoY. Thermal coal production was unchanged YoY at 21mnt.

Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) has produced robust operational numbers for Q1 2017 with total silver production of 13.5mnoz up 10% YoY and 1.6% QoQ. This annual increase reflects the contribution from the San Julian mine although the marginal quarterly increase was a result of weaker ore grades at Saucito which offset improvements elsewhere.

Gold production was, however, weaker as expected and down 3.3% YoY and 17% QoQ to 222koz. FRES previously guided towards lower gold grades at Herradura in 2017. Full year silver production guidance of 58-61mnoz has been maintained along with 870-900koz gold and in order to achieve this the second phase of the San Julian ramp up is required. Currently it is due to be commissioned at the end of Q2.

]]> Solo Oil's Fergus Jenkins on 'major upgrade' to gas in place estimates for Ntorya Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:49:00 +0100 Fergus Jenkins, Solo Oil PLC's (LON:SOLO) chief operating officer, outlines to Proactive their view of the Ntorya gas project’s contingent resources.

The Ntorya discovery is now estimated to have some 466 BCF of mean gas initially in place (GIIP), up from the previous estimate of 153 BCF. The new estimates range from 62 BCFin the more conservative P90 case to 1.13 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in the P10 scenario.

It follows the successful Ntorya-2 well, drilled earlier this year, with the latest estimates now based upon data from two wells. The estimates do not include any consideration for the adjoining exploration acreage.

]]> 'A very good year under difficult circumstances', says Northern Petroleum's Keith Bush Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:00:00 +0100 Keith Bush, chief executive of Northern Petroleum Plc (LON:NOP) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott 2016 was a 'pivotal year' for them which saw revenues climb and losses narrow.

Bush also updated investors on their winter as well as upcoming summer work programmes.

]]> Zak Mir: '80p the best case scenario for SDX Energy Inc' Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:24:00 +0100 New wells are planned by SDX Energy Inc (LON: SDX) for Morocco later this year, while the technicals suggest that after a great run this year the best case scenario is 80p and any dips towards 60p are a buying opportunity.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) has announced drill assay results from four further holes at the T3 copper project in Botswana. The current drilling is focused on the area at depth immediately below the existing Zone 1 resource; known as Zones 2 and 3.  Highlights from the latter two zones include 5.6m at 1.4% Cu and 20g/t Ag from 243m, 8.9m at 1.7% Cu and 29g/t Ag, 13m at 0.8% Cu and 9g/t Ag from 460m and 13m at 1% Cu and 18g/t Ag from 220m. Results on a further 19 holes are outstanding which are a mixture of geotechnical and infill drilling.

The drill results which demonstrate further mineralisation at depth mean there is potential for an expanded resource and enlarged PFS. However, we believe there is further potential in the surrounding license areas and recent geophysics surveys have identified further chargeable anomalies which will be drill tested as soon as approvals are granted. In addition, airborne electromagnetic surveys are due to be carried out in May 2017 in order to assess the broader area (100km2).

The PFS appears to be progressing well with geotechnical drilling complete and metallurgical testing underway. In addition, pump testing and environmental impact assessment work is due to commence soon.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4p target price.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, SDX Energy, Savannah Petroleum. And finally... Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:09:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price started ok but drifted during the day, as I said yesterday it’s a month to the Opec/Non-Opec meeting and the market only has a limited amount of patience, a bit like a goldfish…Inventory stats will be key, as ever at this time of the year.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that it has signed binding heads of terms with Schlumberger which expands the relationship between the two companies into Meridja and the Tendrara relinquished areas of Eastern Morocco. In exchange for a full carry on SOU’s forthcoming Eastern Moroccan geophysical survey programme, estimated at $27.2m and subject to completion of the acquisition of these assets from OGIF the deal will go ahead.

This means that the existing Field Management Agreement between the two companies will be extended to include these two areas of Meridja, and the area of Tendrara relinquished under the Morrocan Hydrocarbon code . Schlumberger will be granted a 27.5% NPI in both areas and in return will contribute ‘services in kind’ to cover the agreed scope of the geophysical programme mentioned above. This will include the acquisition and processing of approximately 2,600km of new 2D seismic and 24,000 sq km of Gravity Gradiometry, the seismic of which will cover the TAGI and Paleozoic across both Tendrara and Meridja areas.

Yet again Sound have managed to acquire and share really interesting acreage securing a full carry on a key programme of work. With a supportive partner creating a key, strategic relationship, their options in the area are still multi-faceted.

SDX Energy

A Morocco update today from SDX, with so much exciting news from Egypt it is easy to forget that particularly since the Circle deal SDX has significant exposure to exciting production and exploration in country. The Lalla Mimounia Nord and Sud permits have been extended to March 2018 with drilling on two exploration wells planned for 2H 2017. At Sebou several extensions for production and exploration have been granted over the next eight years with a number of wells planned this year which, if successful are close to pipeline infrastructure. Overall these developments provide significant potential to increase both production and reserves with plenty of exploration upside. Things at SDX are still going from strength to strength.

Savannah Petroleum

I have picked up on a very interesting article in the Niger press which is extremely exciting for the country and in our case Savannah Petroleum. Talking about the five major discoveries, and ‘smaller ones of the order of 200m barrels’ in the second half of 2016 in the southern part of the Agadem block, the article suggests that CNPC will intensify their drilling.

The good news doesn’t end there, talk of fast track exports of oil to the Kaduna refinery growing from a starting 5/-b/d to 10/- b/d, ‘gradually’ by truck means that prospects are bright. In addition the Niger Oil Minister has spent time in Nigeria recently holding talks with his counterpart also discussing a new pipeline between the two countries. For Savannah, the pipeline options are either via Chad-Cameroon or to Kaduna in Nigeria and news that both of these routes are becoming more of a reality is extremely good news.

News from Savannah is coming thick and fast, a rig has been selected and work on the camp has begun, yesterday  we heard that there will soon be a Capital Markets Day and a call for retail investors, as the article concludes ‘a succession of good news’ is due from Niger, as SAVP prepares to spin the drill bit at Agadem, exciting times indeed..


Primeline has announced that CFO Stuart Joyner is leaving ‘to pursue other interests’ which I hope means spending more time in the UK and looking after his asparagus harvest… Stuart is a great bloke and i’m sure that if he wants to he will pick off a very senior position in the sector and it will be good to have him back…

And finally…

A bit briefly but Newcastle fans will be delirious this morning as they have secured promotion to the Premier League for next season. At least that means the bookies can install them as early favourites to go down and Rafa to be the first manager to get the sack, only joking….

]]> 'The Rovuma Basin continues to deliver', says Aminex boss following Ntorya upgrade Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:12:00 +0100 Aminex plc (LON:AEX) has told investors of a major upgrade to the gas resource estimates for the Ntorya project in Tanzania.

Chief executive Jay Bhattacherjee says the Ntorya discovery is now estimated to have some 466bn cubic feet of mean gas initially in place (GIIP), up from the previous estimate of 153bn cubic feet.

The new estimates range from 62bn cubic feet in the more conservative P90 case to 1.13 trillion cubic feet in the P10 scenario.

''Not only do we have a large gas resource in play but we also have the potential here for liquids and what we're looking to do now is just to go through the basin model we currently have, update that and  then build a development programme which we anticipate will be very important for the country''.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Anglo American Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Anglo American (LON:AAL) has reported robust production results for Q1 2017 with strong production of bulks and diamonds offset by weakness in base metal production. Iron ore production at Kumba of 10.5mnt was up 17% YoY due to ongoing mine plan improvements whilst at Minas Rio the ramp up continued with a 30% YoY increase in production to 4.3mnt. Meanwhile, met coal production of 5.2mnt was up 28% YoY while thermal coal production was up 6% YoY to 6.5mnt.

De Beers also reported strong operational performance with diamond production of 7.4mnct up 8% YoY, as curtailments were partially relaxed due to improving trading conditions. Meanwhile, copper production of 143kt was down 6% YoY due to weak grades at Los Bronces and a temporary suspension at El Soldado. We note that AAL is the second of the majors to realise weak copper production results in Q1. Nickel production, down 12% to 9.9kt was also impacted by unplanned maintenance. Platinum production was largely unchanged at 572koz.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Ithaca Energy. And finally... Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:26:00 +0100 WTI $50.27 -17c, Brent $52.99 +6c, Diff -$2.72 +23c, NG $3.16 -3c

Oil price

The news was fairly good yesterday but despite that, crude oil trade was lacklustre. Both the Saudis and the Kuwaitis suggested that production cuts should be ‘prolonged’ but Kuwait added that they could be reduced if 2H demand rises as expected. Finally it was reported that Iraqi output is down at the moment by around 140/- but that hasn’t affected markets yet either.

Certainly if the refinery run figure we saw this week continues demand for crude will rise but then the bears will say that product stocks will rise, let’s see what happens come the Driving Season which starts May 29th. Finally, whilst it’s not an oily matter there are elections in France at the weekend in which 11 candidates are whittled down to 2. As they stand at the moment, the polls who should not be trusted,give an order of Macron, Le Pen, Fillon and Melenchon, most of whom fill with despair but a Le Pen v Melenchon final would take some choosing…

Amerisur Resources

Plenty of news around from AMER at the moment and it is good to see the share price at long last picking up, it has been unjustifiably low recently. The promised wells are now coming thick and fast and today they announce the spudding of Platanillo-21 on Pad 2N. This is a short deviation directional well aimed at the crest of the mapped structure aimed at getting better information about the structure in the northern part of the field. They will do logging while drilling and use wireline techniques and intend to acquire core data through the entire Villeta sequence. Expect the well to take around 27 days subject to data gathering and dry hole costs area modest $3m. Finally the company has announced that the AGM is to be held on 9th May, I might even make the trip this year…

Ithaca Energy

Last week I had been planning to write another interim report on IAE but heard that it was all over bar the shouting so didn’t in the end. Today the company has announced that 70.3% of the non-Delek votes have accepted the offer. This reminds me of the Centrica offer for Venture Production where shareholders also sold the company down the river. Of course the VP directors stood and fought, unlike the IAE directors who have taken their 30 or so pieces of silver. Now don’t get me wrong, I have immense respect for Les Thomas and team which is why I have said that they should have stayed and taken the company to the next level and I do appreciate that they have to assess the risks involved in making that decision, I would at least like to see Les and team reappear with another ‘venture’. Date extended to 3rd May, after which I will need a new bucket list participant, might even be a company run by someone who was on the board of Venture…

And finally…

After a hard fought game with what seemed like endless chances the Red Devils finally beat Anderlecht last night but injuries and tiredness will likely take their toll. Back home it’s the FA Cup semi-finals with Chelski v Spurs and the Gooners v the Noisy Neighbours. It looks like Arsene is keeping his job which will be made easier if he wins the Cup but that is far from a certainty.

In the remaining Premiership games the Eagles go to the HubCap Stealers and Burnley host the Red Devils whilst at the bottom of the table the Hull City Tigers take on the Boro.

And whilst talking about football it is very sad to see that Ugo Ehiogu died this morning at the age of 44 having most recently been coaching at Spurs.

Rugby sees the Semi-Finals of the European Champions Cup, tomorrow is Munster v Sarries and on Sunday it is Clermont Auvergne v Leinster.

And of course a mention for all those dedicated runners taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday. A special shout out to Tim Gregory, Founder of Vermeer Investment Management, and of course Catherine Berrow who is raising money for the Anthony Nolan Trust which we hold very close…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)
Metal Tiger  has announced that its private placing with Sprott has closed, raising £4.85m at a placing price of 3p/sh via the issuance of 161.7m shares with an equal number of warrants which have an exercise price of 6p/sh and five year exercise period. The funds will go towards the development of the T3 copper project in Botswana.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation although reduce our target price by 17% to 4p to reflect the dilution.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:18:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)
Goldplat has announced an operational update for Q3 FY 2017 and reiterated its targets for the full year. Production of 6.7koz in the quarter was down 45% QoQ and 7% YoY, however, this is largely due to a delay in the receipt of processing material in Ghana. Indeed, on a nine month basis, production of 28koz which is up 14% YoY is on track to meet the target of 45koz for group FY 2017 production.

In Ghana 803oz was produced with 5.5koz sold. The discrepancy between gold sold and produced had been expected due to an outstanding license which was received towards the end of Q2 FY 2017. However, this difference was exacerbated by a delay in the receipt of material for processing which negatively impacted production in Q3. Production in Ghana had been expected to be lower in H2 versus H1, however, and with the arrival of the first shipment of material from South America we expect a more normalised production level in the final quarter. Capital projects in Ghana are progressing on target, including the construction of the additional 4t elution column.

The South African operations delivered a robust performance with 5koz produced, up 2% YoY although down 30% QoQ due to a particularly strong prior quarter. Following the recent announcement regarding the legal proceedings with Rand Refinery, GDP has confirmed that it has identified an alternative refinery as well as Aurubis in Germany where shipments can be processed meaning it has largely mitigated the associated operational risk.

At Kilimapesa the ramp up is performing well with quarterly production of 964oz up 70% QoQ and 92% YoY. Stage Two is expected to be completed by the end of April 2017 with the crusher installed by the end of May 2017.

Overall, we remain positive on GDP’s operational performance and our forecasts remain unchanged.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 11.2p/sh. target price.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Jersey Oil & Gas, Thalassa, Echo Energy. And finally... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:27:00 +0100 WTI $50.44 -$1.97, Brent $52.93 -$1.96, Diff -$2.49 +1c, NG $3.18 +4c

Oil price

A bit of a tumble for crude yesterday which was mainly down to the EIA inventory stats. Whilst crude drew 1m barrels which was close enough to the whisper, it was the gasoline numbers which showed a build of 1.5m barrels that put the cat amongst the pigeons, a draw of 1.9m b’s was forecast. With a rise of 1.9% to 92.9% refinery rates were indeed high but no more than can be expected given that we are only about a month away from the start of the driving season. Interestingly, distillates drew by 2m barrels showing that the product markets are in a bit of a quandary.

Amerisur Resources

The good news from AMER just keeps on coming and today’s announcement is no exception. The well on Platanillo-22 has flow tested at 613 bopd ‘materially’ in excess of the pre-drill estimates of 300-400 b/d. (it was also slightly better crude at 31.5º API than the main Platanillo field) The crude is already on production and is being trucked the short distance to the OBA pipeline. It gets better, it seems that PAD 2N is a separate closure to the PAD 3N and the greater Platanillo field and the oil/water contact is deeper than the main field.

Accordingly, the PAD 2N recoverable reserves are now calculated at 7.82mmbo up from 1.4m and with the rig now mobilising to drill Platanillo-21 from PAD 2N more good news might be around the corner. The shares are up 7% on the news but at 22.5p are still significantly undervalued.

Jersey Oil & Gas

Results today from JOG and like all results they are history and more so as it is a company with all in front of it. New news since the period end is that mean prospective recoverable resources are at 162 mmboe up from 118m and the COS is up to 29%. With the various carries, the company is fully funded for the drilling programme and it is still out there looking to buy some production. The shares which are in the bucket list, have been strong this year as the market prices in the chance of a success at Verbier, with the ‘lucky’ Transocean Spitsbergen on their  side, the next few months promise to be an interesting ride.

Thalassa Holdings

After yesterday’s  announcement I picked up the phone this morning to Duncan Soukup to try and catch up on what exactly is going on. Always a refreshingly honest and intelligent view on the oil market is forthcoming and today was no exception. There are discussions ongoing about a potential sale of either WGP Group or ARL although I get the feeling that DS wouldnt shed a tear if nothing were to come of it. The company has a terrific record at the moment with activity in most key areas of the North Sea which gives predictable cash flow and of course ARL has potential across a much broader bunch of sectors than just oil  and gas. Always an interesting ride, whatever happens to THAL you know that it is in good hands.

Echo Energy

I attended the EE strategy launch on Tuesday but most of the presentation had been in the announcement that I wrote about then. Briefly, the aim is for EE to become a mid-Cap Latin American exploration company focusing on a regional gas strategy in certain key markets. Initially the suggestion  regarding countries appears to centre on Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia but nowhere has been ruled out as many potential deals are clearly being evaluated.

The question on everybody’s lips was whether, with its similar management and cornerstone investor, Echo is going to be another Sound? There is no doubt that as they describe it ‘the DNA is cloned from Sound Energy’ with its technical focus, and gas based agenda similarities will be clear. Greg Coleman stays on as CEO from IRG and he has experience in the region as do other members of the board coming over from SOU as non-execs. Chairman James Parsons has spent a long time in Brazil and Stephen Whyte has long time regional experience with Galp, BG and Shell. Also on the board is Marco Fumagalli who is the Founding Partner of Continental Partners who cornerstoned Sound and is performing the same task here. Expect more directorial and operational appointments as the company looks to open its first regional office, probably in Bolivia.

And finally…

The Lions touring side for the summer has been announced and as one might expect contains plenty of surprises. To look at it one could hardly guess that Wales came 5th out of 6 in the 6 Nations Championship this spring, only above Italy who were to be frank, only making up the numbers. Former Wales coach Gatland has certainly looked after his own…

No luck for Barca last night who couldnt score in either leg and went out to a highly organised Juve whilst Monaco also progressed and look likely to score all the time. Tonight the Red Devils host Anderlecht in the Boropa Cup, maybe the only way in the CL next year…

]]> 'A transformational year for us', says Jersey Oil & Gas' Scott Richardson Brown Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:42:00 +0100 Scott Richardson Brown, finance director at Jersey Oil & Gas Plc (LON:JOG) runs Proactive through their financial results statement for 2016, telling Andrew Scott they're looking forward to summer drilling.

Partnered with Statoil the company will be part of a high impact exploration programme, to test the Verbier prospect which has the potential to contain some 162mln barrels of oil.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, And finally... Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:45:00 +0100 WTI $52.41 -24c, Brent $54.89 -47c, Dif -$2.48 -24c, NG $3.14 -2c

Oil price

A lacklustre day yesterday with little trade and few signs of position taking. The US shale production story from Monday was bearing down on the price whilst the Saudis are rumoured to be cutting more than they have to. The API stats showed a draw but not as big as hoped so the EIA numbers today may move the market.

President Energy

There is much going on at President both in Argentina and in the US, today is the turn for news from Louisiana. PPC has announced that it acquiring incremental production in its Triche well, East Lake Verret property in Louisiana which makes a lot of sense. The gain will be around 150 b/d and they will take on the operatorship which means no increase in G&A costs. The cost of the deal is $2.5m plus $400/- earn out which means that this will pay back in 30 months at $50 oil.

The deal takes PPC to production of 1,100  b/d and the work in Argentina continues so expect that figure to rise as workovers and cleanups deliver value added throughput. Overall this is very good news, with no further G&A, PPC can use their detailed knowledge of the well and the benefit of operatorship to take this production rapidly to the bottom line. One way and another there is mounting evidence that things are changing at President and for the better, weather apart, the good news shines through and patient shareholders can expect some decent upside in the coming months.

And finally…

Bad news for the Foxes as they were knocked out of the Champions League last night at the QF stage. Going behind early almost finished them as the away goal made the task almost impossible. With Real going through courtesy of a Ronaldo hat-trick the semis will be worth watching.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Altyn Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Altyn (LON:ALTN)
Altyn  has provided an update on Q1 2016 production highlighting the ramp up progress. Ore milled, grades and recoveries have all improved through the first quarter resulting in production of 5.2koz gold compared to 7.3koz in the entire of H2 2016.

The monthly ramp up demonstrates a clear positive progression with ore milled at 17.8mnt followed by 18.1mnt and 28.5mnt in each month through the quarter. Grades and recoveries of 1.79g/t, 2.59g/t and 2.55g/t and 73%, 86%, and 87% respectively demonstrated similar progression.

Through the year we anticipate further improvement in grades as higher grade ore is accessed while the improvement in recoveries is expected to be sustained now that the company is focussed on processing ore solely from the underground mine. Q2 production is expected to benefit from the addition of a load haul dumper for filling underground trucks which was delivered in March. Furthermore, a prospect drilling machine delivered in April will be operational in May 2017. This should enable more accurate definition of mineralisation and reduced dilution.

We believe that the company is on track to achieve its guidance for 2017F of 40-45koz and our estimates remain unchanged.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 5p target price.

To read our recent initiation report please click here.
Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)
Sula Iron & Gold has announced that the first batch of samples to be assayed have been dispatched for analysis at the ALS laboratories in Ireland. Currently two rigs are on site with one focusing on the Sanama Hill area where the JORC Exploration Target was previously defined and the second on the significant IP anomaly known as the Eastern Target.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.6p target price.

]]> 'An exciting time for Green Dragon Gas', says chairman following GCZ development plan approval Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:28:00 +0100 Randeep Grewal, chairman and founder of Green Dragon Gas Ltd. (LON:GDG) tells Proactive their development plan for the Qinshui Basin Chengzhuang Cooperative CBM Block (GCZ) has been approved by the Consultation Center of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

''What the plan does is allow us to get on with the execution ... with our close working partners CNPC over 2017/2018'', Grewal says.

''It's quite an exciting time for Green Dragon ... we've been waiting on this for quite a long time''.

]]> Confirmation of second gas discovery at South Disouq 'a pretty positive result'' - CEO Paul Welch Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:33:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (CVE:SDX, LON:SDX) tells Proactive they've now confirmed a new gas discovery at the South Disouq project.

The SD-1X well encountered conventional natural gas bearing horizons in the Abu-Madi targets.

It hit some 65 feet of net pay with average porosity of 25% in line with pre-drill estimates.

]]> LGO Energy's Neil Ritson pleased with production from second new Goudron well Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:12:00 +0100 Neil Ritson, chairman of LGO Energy PLC (LON:LGO) runs Proactive through the announcement today that their second new well at the Goudron field has come online - adding 80 barrels to daily oil production.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Sound Energy, Independent Resources, And finally... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:12:00 +0100 WTI $52.65 -53c, Brent $55.36 -53c, Diff -$2.71 n/c, NG $3.16 -6c

Oil price

As predicted, the oil market was very quiet on thursday with few positions being taken ahead of the weekend especially with events in North Korea warming up. New oil rigs were up 11 units which was in line and the IEA are becoming more positive about the world supply and demand position. The EIA has slightly put a spanner in the works by predicting a big May for US shale but to be frank, not much more than expected.

SDX Energy

When it was first thought of, South Disouq was just a gas prospect but fresh mapping meant that the seismic showed the potential of a deeper target that might contain oil. Today’s result therefore has effectively delivered everything that was expected from the well and the company can drill on for oil as an added bonus.

Having reached 7,777 ft the well has found conventional natural gas bearing horizons in the Abu Madi with 65′ of net pay with a porosity of 25%. This was in line with pre-drill estimates and proved with remarkable accuracy the company’s mapping ability which bodes well for future targets here and elsewhere. Next here the well will continue to the deeper Abu Roash and AEB sections, targeting oil and in the meantime shareholders can stand by for some recoverable volume estimates which should make very pleasant reading indeed. The statement rightly points out that this is only part of the bigger plan, although this has been an excellent start it looks like there is much more to come…

Sound Energy

Sound has mobilised its Saipem rig from TE-8 and it is now on its way to drill Sidi Moktar which those with a long memory will remember Longreach for. Initially the rig will re-enter and test the two Kechoula discoveries and may side-track if it looks interesting. With the farm-out having been left behind Sound feels that it can use its strong financial position to retain its 75% WI and participate in any upside from the well. This strategy appears, well, sound as the Sidi Moktar licences expire on 28 August this year and with any luck the results should enable the company to renew for another eight year period.

Independent Resources

IRG has announced that following its earlier news regarding ownership etc it will proceed with a strategy based on a regional gas focus in South and Central America. They are planning an exploration and production campaign based on a ‘multi TCF, low cost onshore gas programme’ piping to high value markets on the continent. Initially they are to concentrate on Bolivia, Colombia and Brazil where the management have many years of experience.

Funding is to start with £10m of equity from Spartan Fund and €15m of debt from Greenberry both which will have warrants attached. These funds are intended to be used to evaluate, drill and develop assets acquired by the company and it is planned that, with approval, the shares will be consolidated by 25:1. Existing assets in Italy and Egypt are for sale and in Tunisia are under review.

I will write more tomorrow as I am heading now to the GM and strategy launch for what will become Echo Energy, however with such a strong team of backers, regional knowledge and significant potential this may become very much one to watch…

And finally…

Briefly, I suppose the news from the Prem is that with Chelski losing at the Theatre of Dreams Spurs may feel that they have a chance to mug them on the way to the party but looking at the run-in’s it may be easier said than done. Aftera  miserable run the Gooners won away from home but at ‘Boro it’s not much to shout about…

]]> New gas discovery 'another very good result' for SDX Energy, says analyst Sam Wahab Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:55:00 +0100 Cantor Fitzgerald's Sam Wahab talks through the significance of SDX Energy Inc (CVE:SDX, LON:SDX) confirming a new gas discovery at the South Disouq project.

The company told investors that the SD-1X well has encountered conventional natural gas bearing horizons in the Abu-Madi targets.

It hit some 65 feet of net pay with average porosity of 25% in line with pre-drill estimates.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:27:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)
LGO Energyhas announced that the second development well of its drilling campaign in the Mayaro Sandstone is now on production. It was drilled to a total depth of 1,250ft and perforated over a 269ft interval of net oil pay before flowing at an initial rate of 80bopd, above company guidance of 45bopd. Once the natural flow period ends the well will be placed on pump at an initial stabilised rate of c65bopd.

LGO has approvals in place for the next three wells in its campaign and is now evaluating the drilling contracts before embarking on the next 3-5 wells in its programme. We maintain our BUY recommendation.
Benchmark Prices
- Brent:   US$55.36/bbl -US$0.53/bbl
- WTI:   US$52.65/bbl -US$0.53/bbl
- Henry Hub:   US$3.16/MMBtu -US$0.06/MMBtu

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 18 Apr 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Metal Tiger
Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) has announced that the closing date for the previously announced placement of £4.29m with Sprott Private Wealth has been extended from the 17th April to the 20th April. The placement is subject to certain conditions being met ahead of closing.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4.8p/sh. target price.

]]> Battle of Britain - what do Hurricane Energy’s successes tell us about Scotland’s oil future Mon, 17 Apr 2017 06:34:00 +0100 'Growth projects emerging' for oil juniors, says Proactive's Jamie Ashcroft Sat, 15 Apr 2017 06:45:00 +0100 ''It's been a good start to the year'', says Proactive Investors Oil Correspondent Jamie Ashcroft.

''We've obviously seen support from  crude prices after the volatility of recent years  - there's now a bit more stability at the moment and the companies that have survived the downturn are looking at $50+ a barrel  and that's probably decent enough for a lot of their plans''.

Ashcroft also runs through 'the magnificent seven' - the oil juniors who've now more than doubled in value.

]]> Falcon Oil & Gas has seen success but investors await binary Beetaloo decision Fri, 14 Apr 2017 06:34:00 +0100 'It's been a terrific year and a great quarter', says Victoria Oil & Gas' Kevin Foo Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:37:00 +0100 As part of an operational update for the three months to the end of March 2017, Victoria Oil and Gas Plc (LON:VOG) executive chairman Kevin Foo tells Proactive: ''It couldn't have been better''.

As part of the update Foo mentioned they've hit a large gas pocket at one of two development wells drilled recently at its Logbaba field in Cameroon.

The well, La-108, hit 125m net pay of high permeability, high porosity gas bearing sands that should result in a significant increase in proven reserves.

]]> Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas, Range Resources, Ascent Resources, And finally... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 10:39:00 +0100 Oil price

Definitely a pre-holiday sort of day in crude markets yesterday, marked down from the start as traders were unwilling to carry too many long positions over the weekend, even the better than expected inventory stats couldnt revive the patient. An increase in US production started it all but this should be no surprise as we have weeks of warnings from the EIA and more importantly the rig count, also due today, one day early.

The EIA stats showed crude oil drawing 2.2m barrels vs a forecast of 772/- which should have been encouraging but the overall products news was even better falling by 4.1m b’s. Gasoline drew 3m and distillates 2.2m against expectations of a 1m fall for both, higher demand should be noted here and still no mention of you know what…

Victoria Oil & Gas

A Q1 2017 operational update today from VOG which has been a stellar performer of late as the market tags on to just how much the stock is undervalued. The key features are, production up, again, two Logbaba wells currently drilling, the Bowleven farm-in under way and initial positive news from Matanda where early seismic shows ‘considerable gas in place potential’.

So, Logbaba gas production is up 10.7%to 14.57 mmscf/d as the dry season continues and thus sales remain on an upward track. Drilling two new wells continues and La-108 has encountered gross pay of 125m of high permeability, high porosity gas bearing sands which should result in a ‘significant increase in proven reserves’. ( Bear in mind that the La-105 well pay was only 84m) The well has since been side-tracked after a ‘well control incident’ that was safely dealt with but will add around five weeks and $8m to the overall cost of the well but will be recouped from revenue. La-107 has been drilled and casing set to 1618m, both wells will be tested in Q2 and complete in Q3. A high pressure gas flowline is being installed to enable early production.

The Q1 revenue was $8.1m (Q4 4.6m) and the current cash position is $14.1m. With record gas sales in March one can remain genuinely optimistic about the future, especially as the company has completed phases 11 and 111 of the pipeline making 50km in total and added six new customers with two more waiting to tap in. This confirms that there is large, unsatisfied energy demand in Cameroon and VOG is very well placed to profit from it.

I have just returned from a visit to see VOG in Cameroon and its subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) where I was extremely impressed by the set up and its local management. We visited the Logbaba gas project including seeing the two wells currently drilling and saw the pipeline from Logbaba all the way through Douala. In the process we saw a number of GDC’s key clients, including the ENEO power stations using GDC gas. ( a contract that is shortly due to expire but I am convinced will rollover as negotiations are ‘well advanced’)   Other clients we saw were a palm oil factory, two huge brewing operations at Guinness and SABC as well as Chococam which is part of Tiger Brands, chocolate and beer, what more could you ask for? Finally we visited Bomono which is intended to supply gas to the other end of the pipe in Douala where significant expansion is already under way. This would complete this part of the jigsaw and whilst subject to Government approval, should mean that either of the existing wells at Moambe and Zingana or even new wells, could supply gas to the rapidly expanding Douala customer base. The existing pipeline is only 9.5km away and most of the route could be constructed through a rubber plantation that has been untapped for several years making the infrastructure much easier.

The VOG format in Cameroon is rapidly becoming a significant money making operation, supplying gas to power projects and substantial commercial customers. There is no sign of any slowdown and the ‘cradle to grave’ utility model is proving to be a highly successful. Cameroon is seeing considerable inward investment, particularly from Chinese companies in the area and I see the total available market for gas to be growing faster than GDC can supply it. It would not be stupid to suggest that some such clients might even help finance the pipeline construction in order to be at the front of the queue for gas. Accordingly, providing the Bomono deal completes, then further gas supplies can be easily and cheaply brought on stream ensuring considerable increases in revenue and profitability. The longer term but potentially huge opportunities provided by the Matanda block can only add to the model which already looks in very good shape. Recent operational problems aside, I continue to view VOG as a significant opportunity and remain with my current target price of 200p.

Range Resources

A Q1 update from Range where all is continue to go as planned. Production is 567 b/d up 4% and the RRDSL RTO is continuing. Production is under way at the Beach Marcelle waterflood project at 60 b/d and Range has struck a deal with Petrotrin to use their water for injection here and at Morne Diablo when necessary. Whilst RRL is suspended for a while until the deal completes there seems still to be good things going on behind the scenes.

Ascent Resources

The flags are out at AST as first commercial production from Pg-10 in Slovenia has been announced. After 10 years and €45m it must surely be worth the wait but I congratulate Colin Hutchinson and team who certainly believed more than most in the project…

And finally…

Last night the Foxes went to Madrid and came away with a 1-0 only, might have been better but for a hooky pen but I suspect that they would have settled for that score, might have been half a dozen…

Tonight the Red Devils go to Anderlecht in the Boropa Cup but they might need it, the top of the Prem is very tight. At the weekend they also have the top tie as they welcome Chelski to the Theatre of Dreams. Also at the weekend the Noisy Neighbours go to the Saints, the HubCap Stealers are at the Baggies and Spurs host the Cherries.

In F1 it’s the Bahrain GP and for once, very open.

And some good rugby as we get to the vinegar strokes, best of them probably Saints v Sarries and Quins v the Chiefs.

And of course for the next 8 weeks its the Snooker World Championships……………

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:10:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced that the holdings of Madini Occidental (304.6m shares), a subsidiary of Madini Minerals, have been transferred entirely, including warrants (304.6m warrants) to Galactic Tide. Madini does continue to hold 38.1m shares through a different subsidiary, “Ongeza Mining”. Aside from the initial US$400k cash investment, Madini’s contribution has been technical and capital markets advice which has primarily come from Roger Murphy and Iain Macpherson in their executive roles for SULA. Roger and Iain remain committed to SULA and there is no operational change as a result of the share transfer.

With 304.6m shares Galactic Tide, its interest in Sula is now approximately 13.76%. Galactic is a private investment company incorporated in the Seychelles. This means that despite the transfer, SULA, continues to have a strategic partner as a key shareholder. Indeed, Iain Macpherson holds an indirect shareholding in Galactic meaning his combined direct and indirect interest represents 5.8%. Furthermore, Mike Warren, an experienced mining professional and 100% owner of Equity Drilling, the drill contractor on the current programme, has a non-controlling shareholding in Galactic (meaning a personal indirect interest in SULA of 6.9%).

We reiterate our Spec Buy recommendation and 1.6p target price

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced positive results from its recent geophysical survey at its Cauchari East project, as expected. The survey identified high resistivity upper zones and low resistivity lower zones. Low electrical resistivity is likely an indication of brine bearings sediments based on the evidence of technical studies on adjacent properties owned by Lithium Americas (LAC US) and therefore likely represent a continuation of the same brine bearing aquifers.

The results demonstrate continuous block of between 72-105m thick running north south. Towards the southern end of ML’s tenement the thickness increases beyond capability of the measuring equipment whilst there is also indications of further confined low resistivity zones. An application for a permit to drill has been applied for and is expected in Q2 2017.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation


]]> Oil price, Providence Resources, Hunting, Thalassa, Enteq Upstream, And finally... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 11:36:00 +0100 Oil price

Well, it doesnt get much better than this at the moment and unless the EIA stats rain on oil’s current parade tonight then all should remain in an upward trajectory. Yesterday saw both the Russians and the Saudis giving genuinely positive information out. The Russian Oil Minister called for an extension to the agreement but also said that his country were now at 250/- b/d down in the quest for a fall of 300/- b/d. The Saudi Minister also called for a rollover of quotas but also said that compliance was now 104% which should start to make an impact on the stock levels.

The inventory stats from the API also helped after hours, crude drew by 1.3m barrels when analysts had been guessing at a rise but products also helped, gasoline drew 3.7m against a forecast of -1.7m and distillates drew 1.6m against expectations of 885/-.

Providence Resources

Results today from PVR and a conference call with a new presentation added a bit but as ever with financial results there isnt much to add to current sum knowledge. The company is cashed up from the raise and ready to drill Druid/Drombeg in June having farmed out 30% to Cairn recently. Seismic this summer on Dunquin may prove interesting and the data room is still very busy we hear but none of the old favourites such as Barryroe or Spanish Point have yet been farmed-out.


AGM trading statement today from Hunting which was fairly predictable but revenues are ahead of expectations primarily due to the busy state of the US shale market. Underlying EBITDA was $5.5m and stars were in perforating systems, premium connections and trenchless and speciality businesses. There is still no growth offshore and this is likely to remain so as per Dennis Proctor’s comments at the time of the results. On the subject of DP, when I was away last week i’m sure I read that he was going to step down as CEO later this year but put it down to deliria. I havent had a chance to speak to anyone at Hunting since I returned but I am presuming that this was not a decision that he made himself and now that things are looking better the board have felt more empowered, as it were. More if and when I get it…

Thalassa Holdings

The trouble with writing long and ethereal statements, especially when the bumf at the top is all about world economies is that sometimes people dont get down to the good bits about your company. When I saw the THAL price first thing I feared the worst, indeed I was about to fling myself overboard until I progressed past the economics lesson. If you do that you get to see that the Chairman has ‘cautious but unpredictable optimism’ and that  ‘in 2016 we exceeded performance expectations at every level from sales to the bottom line’. Other positive comments include that the company has the same, asset light, model and its flexible management structure gives remarkable competitive advantages over the competition. So, the shares should be up, not down as the operating side of the company has performed very creditably and continues to do so…..Top stuff Duncan…

Enteq Upstream

It’s been a long haul for Martin Perry and Enteq but the shares have doubled as a tribute to their stickability quotient. Today’s year end trading update is hardly milk and honey but as at Hunting, the management do acknowledge a pickup in US onshore activity. Cash has been preserved and remains at around $15m so I would hope to see some sort of geared recovery at some stage. For those of you who have stayed the distance with NTQ you deserve a medal and I still think that you will do ok, I do not advise standing on one leg whilst you wait however…

Hurricane Energy

Yesterday I did a TipTV CEO interview and caught up with Dr Robert Trice of Hurricane following Friday’s Capital Markets Day. The longest but probably the best ever chat can be seen on the link below…

Tip TV CEO Interview: Lancaster and Halifax oil fields are actually one body – Hurricane Energy

And on Monday I did my usual Voxmarkets Podcast in which I talked about my trip to VOG, Hurricane, Amerisur Resources and FAR Limited, this link is below and I will be writing about VOG at more length shortly.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Victoria Oil & Gas, Hurricane Energy, Amerisur Resources and Far Limited

And finally…

With the bombing of the Borussia Dortmund coach last night the game was moved to tonight, leaving just Barca playing and they will need to do another lazarus like trick having lost 3-0 at Juve. Tonight the Foxes go to Athletico and it’s a good night as Bayern take on Real…

]]> Iofina's Tom Becker talks through 'a pretty good start' to the New Year Tue, 11 Apr 2017 13:37:00 +0100 Tom Becker, president and chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF), walks Proactive through the company's trading update for the first three months of 2017.

Becker says they performed well despite having to deal with a couple of challenges.

The firm’s IOsorb plants have performed solidly so far this year and are producing crystalline iodine at forecast rates, while its Iofina Chemical division benefitted from strong demand for non-iodine halogen derivatives.

]]> Oil price, Rockhopper, Savannah Petroleum, And finally... Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:46:00 +0100 Oil price

As I commented some days ago the oil price is a one way street at the moment and so far no amount of inventory worries can overturn that feeling. Yesterday saw Libya shutting in its Shahara field after a terrorist attack on the pipeline but anyone who cites Libya producing more anytime soon needs a trip to the funny farm. The Kuwaiti Oil Minister said yesterday that Opec adherence to the agreement was actually ‘higher’ than quota in March and a rollover is increasingly in the price., again as I said a few days ago the risk in the oil price has been being short, a problem that might get worse before it gets better…


FY results from RKH this morning but as always on these occasions there is little or no news in the numbers or Chairman’s comments. Probably of most import is the continued growth of the Greater Mediterranean portfolio and the focus on reducing costs, now down to$14pb.

Cost savings at Sea Lion continue with life of field costs down to $35 and break even to $45 which at current oil prices gives some headroom. Cynics will remain of course but surely the sight of a debt agreement at Premier must accelerate the situation one way or another. Comparisons are futile as I have noted before, but costs of a development here are attractive if you were to compare with roughly similar sized finds in, say, Senegal but with Sea Lion being several years ahead on points…

RKH has $81m in a strong, debt free balance sheet and is fully funded for current commitments, but cost savings continue to be made across the board. The action against the Italian Government continues and is at an early stage but advisors remain confident, investors should keep an open mind.

Savannah Petroleum

SAVP has announced an update of its drilling campaign scheduled to start this quarter in Niger. Unsurprisingly they have opted to focus the initial three well drilling campaign on the R3 PSC which appears to be ideally located in the ‘sweet spot’ of the basin. With large discoveries both to the north and south and producing fields and infrastructure nearby this is ideal, as is the decision to keep this phase of the exploration programme within R3 in order to minimise expensive rig movements.

The R3 East seismic survey is still being evaluated and I understand more data will be released before long but they must be pleased with the initial indications on this block, declaring as they have that they ‘confirm the existence of multiple fault blocks’.

The company also announce that they are using the GW 215 rig instead of the GW 89 unit, this has to be good news, the new rig is ‘warm’ and coming off another contract and has an experienced crew which must help matters. In addition the camp construction has commenced and drilling is on target to commence in 1H of this year.

Savannah is strongly financed and has been supported by its blue chip shareholder base which includes CEO Andrew Knott with significant skin in the game. Now that things are starting to happen at SAVP I expect much more news from the company as they get closer to giving more news on seismic and of course when the drill bit turns. This ‘slow burner’ is about to get a whole lot more exciting, when a space in the bucket list appears it might just be the perfect time to be a ‘super-sub’.

And finally…

It’s all about Arsene this morning after the Gooners went down 3-0 to the Eagles last night, what appears to be most irritating to the fans is the uncertainty, a new contract appears to have been offered and signed but still no comment which is odd….

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR LN) reported H1 2017 results with revenues decreasing 51% YoY to £0.51m (H1 2016: £1.05m) owing to the shut-in at Ceres. Despite this, EDR narrowed the loss per share of 0.31p from a loss of 0.90p per share in H1 2016, due to one off charges in H1 2016.

Having successfully completed a £5.06m placing and open offer in November 2016, EDR substantially strengthened its balance sheet. EDR remains debt free with a strong cash position (H1 2017: £6.80m vs. H1 2016: £5.26m.

EDR’s production during the period was c94boepd and therefore broadly in line with the revised production guidance for FY 2017 of c.100-110boepd. The revision was due to Ceres having remained shut-in since the end of the maintenance shut-down in September/October 2016.

A series of acquisitions of additional interests has been made in PEDL068, PEDL201, PEDL306 and PEDL334 and the farm-in agreement on PL161/162 has been extended to December 2018. Post period-end EDR acquired an additional unconventional resource interest in PEDL209, an a revised Opt-in agreement was also secured with Total on PEDL209.

Wressle Development - Appeal and New Planning Application Update

EDR has announced today that it will start the appeal process in respect of North Lincolnshire County Council’s decision to refuse planning consent for development of the Wressle Oil Field. We expect the Planning Inspectorate to validate the submitted appeal documentation within the next 1-2 weeks and will then notify Egdon and the Council of the start date and timetable for the appeal process.

In parallel, EDR intends to submit a new planning application during April for the Wressle development. This new application is expected to include even more detailed information to address the specific points raised by the Council in their refusal. It is also anticipated that the Environmental Permit for Wressle should be issued by the end of April, subject to the outcome of the current consultation process on the draft permit which closes shortly.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> Savannah Petroleum's Andrew Knott confirms R3 PSC area to be focus of initial drill campaign Tue, 11 Apr 2017 07:04:00 +0100 Andrew Knott, chief executive of Savannah Petroleum PLC (LON:SAVP) outlines their upcoming drilling campaign in Niger.

''Alongside confirmation that R3 will be the starting point for our campaign ... the company we have awarded the rig contract to is Great Wall Drilling'', Knott says.

''Consistent with our previous guidance we're very much on track to start our operations in the first half of the year so from us it's a very positive update''.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Hurricane, Cape, Wentworth. And finally... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:01:00 +0100 Oil price

I should go away more often, last week the oil price rallied further, WTI being up $1.64 and Brent +$1.71. The reasons are two-fold, obviously the US involvement in Syria stepped up the geo-political temperature but the fundamentals were also positive. High adhesion to the quotas and an increasingly likely rollover of the agreement meant that high US stocks and a further increase in the rig count was discounted. Asian demand remains mainly strong with Indian demand in March up 4.9% y/y although the rest of the continent is a bit mixed. This week will provide a number of key moments, G7 in Rome today after which Rex T flies off to Moscow, a place it seems that Boris is too scared to go….

Amerisur Resources

Results today from AMER which as usual tell us little about the forward investment case. Key to everything is the OBA which came online last year and is now jacking up throughput. Volumes are key here, at 5/- b/d cash opex falls from $26 to $15 changing all the economics and that milestone is now within reach. Indeed a peak flow rate of 5,008 was achieved on the 6th April and should be par for the course from now on. Guidance for this year is now 6-7/- b/d, exiting 2017 at 7/- b/d rising to 20/- b/d by 2019.

The company has nine, fully funded wells planned in the next 18 months and are creating the much discussed ‘Putumayo Cluster’ which should provide focus and economic strength. The company had $40.1m of cash at the year end and an undrawn RBL facility if needed so remain in a strong position on this front. I remain of the view that this potential good news is not reflected in the price and that upside is substantial particularly once the technical situation in the market is sorted out, more after con call which is at 2.30.

Hurricane Energy

HUR had its long-awaited Capital Markets Day on Friday and there was a huge amount of data to take in. I guess that the headline was the Lancaster reserves base case of 593m bbls and the use of a 25% recovery rate which is conservatively comparable with similar developments. Opex is down to $20 per barrel,  from $26 and every time one looks at this whole area it seems to grow. (Small finds get smaller, big ones get bigger) The company is evaluating the data from the most recent well, particularly as the DST was a bit awry with the drilling fluid compromised, we saw a picture of a lot of gunk rather spoiling the party. Having said that 1km of hydrocarbons is exceptional and will add considerably to the reserves in due course. The EPS is very much underway but the management stressed that this is very much a low risk way of developing what might turn into a full field development, ie a preliminary, money making, data gathering process towards much bigger potential.

As the FID is expected in 1H of this year it will likely go ahead before all data has been analysed but that is only as there is so much of it, also any CPR will be on a preliminary basis with, I imagine plenty of upside. Another good thing is that services have been procured early and cheaply,also around 75% of the capex is lump sum keeping costs under control and risks transferred back to service providers. The funding is also being worked on, whilst there will be an element of equity as one might expect, there are a number of debt options and of course farm-out possibilities. I understand that the data room has been full, with many re-entries and a phase one partner could easily emerge quite soon, this may not be one of the many circling super majors but possibly a service company or even an oil trader looking to balance some risk.

For a company with only 15 employees much has been going on lately but careful subcontracting should reduce risk and keep a control on costs. The main message I took from the conference was that this is a low-risk, high reward process over a very long timescale, there is no way the anything will be compromised for early bucks and reservoir management is key. With reserves eventually being likely north of 2 billion barrels Hurricane’s value should now be way in excess of my current 100p target price. An upcoming interview with Dr Trice should be of significant interest to all.


Cape has announced that it has reached a litigation settlement with Aviva regarding its employer liability with all claims withdrawn and no admission of liability. Good news and means that the board can continue to carry on with its excellent work as proved by recent trading announcements.

Wentworth Resources

Things are beginning to look up for Wentworth as production from Mnazi Bay delivers in line with guidance. With expectations of between 40-50 mmscf/d the outturn of 43 was fine. Payments from the TPDC are being made and new clients such as the Goodwill Tile factory are a bonus. Things are picking up for Wentworth and it is very much on my radar screen…

And finally…

What a weekend of sport that was! Sergio broke his Major’s duck, beating Rose in a play-of on what would have been Seve’s 60th birthday.

In the F1 in China Lewis managed to pull off a piece of tactical genius as he discovered that he could change his tyres behind the safety car and not be overtaken. The Ferrari wasnt going to catch him but being stuck behind his own teammate must have annoyed Vettel.

The Brits shone again at the motorcycle Argentinian MotoGP. In the Moto3 race, Plucky Brit , John McPhee rode to another superb second place behind Joan Mir whilst in the top class the ever improving Cal Crutchlow managed a superb 3rd behind the factory Yamahas of ‘Wonder Kid’ Maverick Vinales ( 40/1 to win the Championship before the season commenced with William Hill !) who was never challenged for the lead ahead of his team mate Valentino Rossi. Both works Hondas of Danny Pedrosa and Marc Marquez crashed out whilst Jorge Lorenzo’s pay packet of a reported 12 million is beginning to look like a poor investment for Ducati as he got no further than the first bend.

Great Britain got trounced in the Davis Cup and not surprisingly as the team chose a player who by his own admission couldnt play on clay. Sometimes these managers need their heads knocking together eh?

In the Prem, Chelski, Spurs, the Noisy Neighbours, the HubCap Stealers, Red Devils and the Toffees all won so no pressure on the Gooners at the Eagles tonight then…

The Grand National ended with all 40 horses and jockeys coming home safely which is good and also good to see the British horse called One for Arthur bringing home the bacon…

Finally I was captivated by the Wasps v Saints game yesterday afternoon which could have gone either way…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Centamin PLC Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:29:00 +0100 Centamin (LON:CEY)

Centamin (LON:CEY) has announced soft Q1 2017 production data which was down 20% QoQ and 13% YoY to 109koz. The company has, however, maintained its full year guidance of 540koz. The weakness was primarily due to weak grades at the open pit which were below the reserve grade and the company’s forecast. In 2016 open pit grades averaged 0.95g/t Au whilst in Q1 2017 they averaged 0.58g/t. In addition underground ore grades were also weaker; down from an average of 9.04g/t in 2016 to 7.44g/t in Q1 2017, however, these were ahead of the company’s forecasts for the full year of 7.26g/t.

The weakness in grades is likely to result in higher unit costs for the period although CEY has maintained its full year guidance of US$580/oz and US$790/oz for AISC.

]]> Gulf Keystone 'seem to have turned a corner', says analyst Sam Wahab Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:19:00 +0100 Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd (LON:GKP) boss Jón Ferrier said he is “strongly encouraged” by the stable performance of the Shaikan field, which is in-line with expectations.

Having reset its finances, with a dilutive debt-for-equity swap, the company is now funded for the next programme of work – which first aims to stabilise output at around 40,000 bopd, before growing to 55,000 bopd.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Sam Wahab tells Proactive: ''They're cash flow positive ... I would agree they seem to have turned a corner''

''The results were very pleasing and the share price has obviously reacted well this morning''.

]]> Oil price, Cairn/FAR, Amerisur Resources, President Energy, Range Resources, Sundry - And finally... Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:41:00 +0100 Oil price

I am just back from a trip to West Africa, Cameroon to be exact where I was fortunate to see the Victoria Oil & Gas operation in action and to visit Bomono and the Bowleven wells now mostly, part of VOG. Much more on that in due course but it is safe to say that I was most impressed with the whole set up.

Having had a couple of good days, oil is slightly easier this morning after the EIA stats poured cold water on the better numbers from the API. Higher than expected stocks didnt go down well and the US domestic production numbers were up by 52/- b/dto 9.2m b/d.


Two pieces of news out whilst I have been away, one on the drilling front and one more in a financing vein. Cairn announced that the VR-1 well which was a  5km away step-out had successfully encountered better and slightly thicker sands than before which was the primary target of the well. The secondary target, the VR Aptian carbonate prospect did not provide commercial quantities of crude which is a shame but well offset by the news on the primary target.

FAR has announced that it is raising $80m at 8c which is a very modest discount of less than 5%. The proceeds will go towards development of Senegal, spending on the recently acquired blocks in The Gambia and other general expenses. With all the activity in this area in only the last few weeks those who have been given the chance to participate in the placing are fortunate indeed.

Amerisur Resources

Two pieces of news from AMER this week, one was the monthly production data  from Colombia which is creeping up nicely, and is now heading for the 5/- b/d mark through the OBA pipeline and the other was in the form of a new director. Dana Coffield joins the board after an exhaustive search and he becomes a new independent non-executive Director and brings with him a wealth of knowledge from his time at Gran Tierra but more directly the Putumayo Basin. AMER is way too cheap at these levels and is oversold, something that will, almost certainly change before long.

President Energy

The news from PPC earlier in the week was also mainly strong as the company announced that the latest workover well the DP 1001 was performing a lot better than had been expected. Without the need for a pump yet the well is still flowing at around 350 b/d making the PG area around 800 b/d. Now, clearly the well will need pumping but this is excellent news from the area. Not so good news is the weather where torrential flooding has made roads into rivers and impossible to yet move the rig to the next project, the three well frac programme but it won’t be long i’m sure.

Range Resources

When is a PSC not a PSC? When the Georgian Government try to sell the VIA block which is partially owned by RRL and on which the minimum work programme has been completed. Whilst this is no longer a ‘material asset’ for Range it is still important and Governments cannot surely behave like this wherever they are located. If they do attempt to ‘re-sell’ the block I would advise any potential purchaser to stand by for incoming legal action…


Other notable things this week while I have been away, BP confirmed that they had indeed sold the Forties pipeline system to Ineos for $250m, half now, half on an earn-out over 7 years.

Providence Resources have announced that they and their partners on 3/04 have agreed to underwrite the cost of some more 3D seismic.

Premier has done a handy deal by selling the Pakistan business for $65.6m with a fair bit up front to ensure the deal gets done. The price seems to be in line with market expectations but above Premier’s own internal NAV. This progresses the non-core disposal programme and reduces net debt, a little!

Cape has announced an insulation and passive fire protection contract in Kuwait. There is no value announced but you can be sure that it will be worthy of celebration for such a good contract.

And surprise surprise Wood Group have already found another $40m of savings in the Amec deal, given how cheap they got it I wouldnt be surprised to see more costs coming out of the deal.

And finally…

One of the most exciting weekends of the sporting season and in both the action starts early. The Masters will have already teed off as I write this, increasingly tired after the flights but very much worth the while.

The same goes for the Grand National meeting at Aintree and as I know that there is a party of oil leaders going tomorrow I wish them luck…

]]> Aminex 'working on development plan' to monetise Ntorya gas Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:08:00 +0100 Jay Bhattacherjee, chief executive of Aminex plc (LON:AEX) tells Proactive they're keen to monetise gas from the Ntorya project, on the Ruvuma acreage in Tanzania, as quickly as possible.

Bhattacherjee also ran through the company's financial results telling Andrew Scott 2016 was a transformative year with Aminex achieving first gas production from its Kiliwani North field, the introduction of a strategic investor and spudding the Ntorya-2 appraisal well.

]]> Greka Drilling up 67% today and heading for 7p, claims Zak Mir Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:05:00 +0100 Shares in Greka Drilling Ltd (LON:GDL) are up 67% in early trading to 4.5p and technical analyst Zak Mir reckons they’re on track to hit 7p over the next couple of months.

You can see that there’s been a decent basing for the stock over the last year and a half towards the 2p zone…breaking back above the 50 and 200-day moving averages with the latest announcement,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board segment.

“The best case scenario target over the next couple of months as high as 7p towards the 2015 resistance line projection, especially while we hold above the 200-day line at 3p.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:46:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LGO Energy)

LGO Energy (LON:LGO) has announced that its second new development well in the 2017 drilling programme successfully reached a total depth of 1,250ft. Electric log interpretation of the Mayaro Sandstone target interval confirms the presence of oil and will shortly be put into production over a net oil pay of 269ft.

The previous well in this programme, completed in Mid-March was perforated over a 273ft net pay interval producing an initial 55bpd. Three further wells have been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.

Our target place and recommendation remain under review.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:37:00 +0100 VSA Morning Agri Comment, 06/04/17

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MP Evans: FY 2016 Results

MP Evans (MPE LN), the Indonesian palm oil producer with residual Malaysian property interests, has released its annual results for the period ended 31 December 2016 (FY 2016).

• Revenue: US$83.9m, +15.6% YoY (FY 2015: US$72.5m)

• Profit from continuing operations: US$16.4m, +110% YoY (FY 2015: US$7.8m)

• Own fresh fruit bunches (FFB): 399,300t, -5.8% YoY (FY 2015: 423,900t)

• Smallholder fresh fruit bunches (FFB): 92,400t, -8.2% YoY (FY 2015: 100,700t)

• Outside crop purchases of fresh fruit bunches (FFB): 52,000t, +37.9% YoY (FY 2015: 37,700t)

• Crude palm oil (CPO) produced: 117,300t, +14.8% YoY (FY 2015: 102,200t)

Total dividend: 20p per share, including 5p special dividend (FY 2015: 8.75p).

VSA Comment

Given the torrid time experienced by many palm oil producers during 2016, MPE needs to be commended for its full year results, which certainly supports our view, maintained from the start of last year, that it was the most attractive of the London-listed palm oil producers. 

Crops fell (as expected and mirrored across the whole sector) due to exceptionally dry weather, but it is worth noting that H1 saw a YoY decrease of 9%, whereas for the FY this had reduced to a fall of 6%, which suggests that production is now moving towards a more normal state. This has accelerated into 2017 with its own crops to the end of March standing at 99,900t, +15% YoY.

MPE also had planting success, with a total of 3,600ha planted during the year (2,100ha group, 1,500ha smallholder co-operatives) and an additional 800ha cleared for planting entering 2017.

Away from the numbers, the real story for MPE in 2016 was the attempted acquisition from Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK MK) and MPE’s strong rebuttal in the last few months of the year (at a cost of cUS$2m). As we wrote at the time, we believe both the initial bid and the revised bid significantly undervalued the company. In the end, MPE was very successful in its defence, with the revised KLK bid attracting just 13.2% shareholder acceptances However, KLK has since bought c11% in the market and is free to try again in nine months (at the end of December).

As part of its defence strategy, MPE has paid a 5p special dividend, announced an increased dividend policy (minimum 25p total dividend in FY 2017) and commenced a £5m share buy-back scheme (c50% complete). It has also disposed of its JV PT Agro Muko for US$100m and will likely dispose of its other JV PT Kerasaan in due course.

Looking forward, investors are waiting to see MPE deploy its surplus cash (net cash US$75.3m at 31 December 2016), which may include additional land near its existing Kalimantan project (+5000ha to 20,000ha) and a potential new 10,000ha project. In particular, investors should examine the price MPE will be required to pay to acquire these new assets, as prices have been increasing as CPO prices moved upwards last year.

On pricing, the benchmark European CPO price increased almost 40% in 2016 with the Malaysian benchmark increasing almost 25% as the impact of El Niño-induced dryness continued to linger on regional palm oil production. This strength continued through January but prices have been decreasing since.

This has slightly surprised us given that this has occurred during the low production months, as we had expected weaker pricing to start in H2 given that the palm oil market was reacting to facts, not in anticipation of facts, through much of 2016. However, Malaysian CPO production saw its only YoY increase last year in December and this has been followed up with a 13% YoY increase in January and a 21% YoY increase in February. This suggests production is starting to bounce-back strongly and traders are clearly anticipating greater supply over the rest of 2017, despite another likely fall in Malaysian stockpiles for March (data due Monday).

On the demand side, exports have remained lacklustre, +1.2% YoY for the first two months of the year. With Europe the second largest importer of palm oil (behind India) investors should note Tuesday’s vote in the European Parliament in favour of certain resolutions to eliminate palm oil use in biofuels by 2020 and enforce stricter regulations on production and certification. Despite, the measures still needing to be enforced, this has the potential to impact medium-term consumption growth.

The first point is more important (if it ends up being enforced) than the second (the trend is for stricter regulations in any case), with c45% of European palm oil consumption currently used in biofuels (c3 million tonnes), compared with biofuel’s share of global palm oil consumption at 10-15%.

Global consumption of palm oil is growing at about 3% (c4% if you exclude the EU), which is about two million tonnes a year. So, assuming that all of that European palm oil consumption disappears overnight, then this accounts for the removal of about one and a half years of global consumption growth. In reality, this would likely be spread over a number of years, so the impact would likely be more muted but is still a fairly significant factor and may have negative implications for pricing. However, the potential impact could also be offset if Indonesia carries through on its promise to fully roll-out its palm-based biodiesel strategy.

The announcement that US farmers are likely to plant a significantly increased area with soybeans, a rival vegetable oil, in the coming season is also adding to the current negative sentiment in the sector.

MPE has impressively maintained its bid premium since late 2016, despite an immediate drop when the bid lapsed. This has been largely as a result of investors realising that KLK remains in the shadows but MPE’s share buy-back has also helped, accounting for c25% of an average day’s total trading volume. With c50% of the share buy-back now complete, three months into the programme, investors need to consider what happens after this (although the board may look to extend it). Any sensible acquisitions will certainly help and we expect positive cropping updates in 2017, but we suspect KLK’s continuing interest will remain the biggest influence on the share price.

We would remain holders of MPE having been strong buyers through 2016. However, although the share price seems well supported at the current level, we think it is unlikely to see much upside from here, except in the case of a stronger bid from KLK once its bid restriction period ends.

]]> Europa Oil & Gas' Hugh Mackay 'confident' of closing further farm-out deals in 2017 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:04:00 +0100 Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC (LON:EOG) tells Proactive they've had a busy first-half and the rest of 2017 looks to be just as exciting, with further farm-out deals expected offshore Ireland, and strong potential from its onshore UK assets.

]]> Can Tlou Energy break 10p before June? Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:30:00 +0100 Zak Mir certainly thinks so. The technical analyst is tipping the Tlou Energy Ltd (LON:TLOU) share price to add more than 50% in a matter of weeks.

“We had a decent technical signal in July with a gap higher through the 50-day moving average and since then, the 6p zone has come in as support,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“We’ve got an uptrend line from this time last year…and while we’re above that line a re-test of February resistance through 10p is possible over the next one to two months.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:00:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON;EDR)

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR) has acquired a 12% interest in the unconventional resources exploration rights in UK Onshore licence PEDL209 located in one of its core areas, the Gainsborough Trough, from Stelinmatvic.

• As part of the consideration for the acquisition, EDR has transferred 12% out of its interest in the remaining conventional prospects on the PEDL209 licence to Stelinmatvic

• It has also issued 580,646 ordinary shares (£54k) to Stelinmatvic, representing 0.22% of EDR’s enlarged share capital

EDR has also entered into a new opt-in agreement with Total E&P UK to provide an option for Total to farm-in to unconventional resources exploration in PEDL209 and to earn a 36% interest in the licence by paying EDR’s remaining 36% (together with Total's own 36% interest) of an exploration programme of up to £13.47m, which would include seismic acquisition and the drilling of a well. The option is exercisable until 31 December 2018 and supersedes the previous agreement announced on 30 January 2014.

The acquisition from Stelinmatvic adds a total of 1,898 net acres to EDR’s unconventional resources exploration acreage holdings (949 net acres post-option exercise).

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 34p TP.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:06:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has provided an update on the dispute with Rand Refinery relating to a batch of by-product material treated in 2016. Although the results of the Independent review support GDP’s position, in the company’s view, the Rand Refinery have not accepted the findings of the report. Consequently, GDP will now take the dispute to court. The disputed sum owed to GDP is ZAR13.5m (£640k at time of the original announcement although with the weaker pound this is now valued at around £780k).

Much of GDP’s focus in the past 12 to 18 months has been to reduce its single refiner risk by sending material to Aurubis, a European refinery, as well as the five-fold increase in elution capacity in South Africa. Therefore whilst disappointing we believe that the strong operational turnaround, as well as the recently secured US$2m loan mean that GDP is in a robust operational and working capital position, minimising any potential negative impact. Indeed, we expect no material operational impact and we continue to expect GDP to receive the full amount and a negative resolution remains unlikely, in our view.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 12.2p/sh. target price.

]]> LGO Energy's Neil Ritson 'keen to keep drilling momentum going' following £2.5mln raise Mon, 03 Apr 2017 11:31:00 +0100 Neil Ritson, chief executive of LGO Energy PLC (LON:LGO) talks Proactive Investors through the company's recent £2.5mln of new funding as well as drilling which has just got underway on the GY-683 well - so far it's reached 350 feet.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - LGO Energy PLC Mon, 03 Apr 2017 07:41:00 +0100 LGO Energy (LON:LGO)

On Friday LGO Energy (LGO)# announced that it had raised £2.5m by the issue of c113.6m new ordinary shares at an issue price of 2.20p, representing a discount of 12% to the previous day of trading closing price.

This fundraise comprises an institutional placing of £2.2m in conjunction with a fully underwritten retail offer of £0.3m that was announced as fully subscribed this morning.


This fundraise will strengthen LGO’s balance sheet and allow it grow production from its Goudron Field in Trinidad as well as carry out further operations on other licences, as outlined below.

• Continue the drilling of Mayaro Sandstone infill wells in the Goudron Field of Eastern Trinidad

• Close the existing arrangements with Beach Oilfield Limited to acquire a 100% controlling interest and access to their petroleum leases in the SW Peninsula of Trinidad

• Continue the preparations for a waterflood pilot project in the C-sands at Goudron

• Commence an independent resource audit of the SW Peninsula assets leading to the issue of a Competent Persons Report

• Provide corporate overhead and general working capital

We view this as a positive step made by LGO which, not least, is vital for the ramp-up of the infill drilling programme at the Goudron Field.

As a result of this fundraise we reiterate our BUY recommendation but place our target price under review whilst we determine how this raise will influence LGO’s work programme going forward.

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, FAR Limited, Pantheon Resources, And finally... Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:49:00 +0100 Oil price

Another good day yesterday and mainly down to Kuwait who’s Minister said that discussions were already going on about rolling over the November agreement. Combine that with comments from Russia and Iran and shortages especially from Libya and the market looks much better. Let’s see what the money managers have been up to in this afternoon’s CFTC figures…

Amerisur Resources

AMER announced the preliminary data on the Platanillo-22 well and it looks very encouraging. 50ft of pay over three zones was better than expected and from the N and upper and lower U sands good and made better by the N sands discovery to the north where they had only calculated limited development. This endorses the strategy in the Putumayo Basin and oil from here will be trucked to the OBA pipeline which is currently carrying 4,610 of AMER’s barrels which is good news. This stock is still way too cheap and I expect more discoveries to stamp a much higher valuation in due course.

FAR Limited

Wow, what a week in West Africa where deals are being announced on an almost daily basis. Last night FAR announced that it had entered into an AMI agreement with CNOOC which covers selective blocks offshore Senegal and The Gambia. To quote FAR ‘this dramatically advances FAR’s ability to acquire new assets in our core strategic geographic area of expertise’. FAR has already announced this week a farm-in to The Gambia for very modest expenditure.

CNOOC have already announced a farm-in with Impact, mentioned here on Wednesday and this shows that they are most serious about this increasingly popular post code. It does pose a number of questions not least how pleased WPL will be that FAR is now in bed with a very smart, very rich operator who may have a little more sway with the Oil Ministry. In addition, as per my comments of a few days ago about FAR’s options, this not only strengthens FAR in its negotiations but just might provide CNOOC as the super-major who could cut a deal with Cairn if they were ever to become a seller.  Also, if partnered by CNOOC in any upcoming licence awards, the future just got significantly better for FAR in the region.

This action may well smoke out all sorts of other players in this highly exciting acreage offshore West Africa as there are a number of majors who have yet to show their hands. There is much to play for here and FAR just got a strategic partner with’ the deep technical, operational and financial calibre of CNOOC’, the only way is up…

Pantheon Resources

Results from Pantheon this morning are totally irrelevant but give slightly better visibility around the two keys wells being waited for. Both wells have suffered delays at the hands of service companies but I am assure that there has been no negative indications from the appropriate reservoirs. There appears to have been a decision made about gas treatment or at least ‘big progress’ as they call it, and a final decision will be made after VOBM#2H is completed.

And finally…

As mentioned yesterday Arsene’s new contract at the Gooners may rest on what happens on Sunday when they host the Noisy Neighbours, a seeing to may lead to withdrawal of the offer. Elsewhere its derby day on Merseyside at the Toffees head over the Park to meet the HubCap Stealers, another derby the south coast riviera meeting between the Saints and the Cherries.

And Johanna Konta beat Venus and now meets Caroline Wozniacki in the Miami final.

The bog might be a touch erratic next week as I am travelling in Africa, will write when I can…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Millennial Lithium Fri, 31 Mar 2017 07:48:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

GDP has announced that Ashanti Gold (CVE:AGZ) has exercised its option to earn into the Anumso project in Ghana. In the first 18 months AGZ must spend US$1.5m on the project to earn 51% which included a six month review period. Once this has been spent AGZ must spend a further US$1.5m to earn a further 24% which would result in an effective interest of 67.5%.

Whilst we expected AGZ to exercise the option and begin to advance the Anumso project it is nonetheless a positive outcome and enables GDP to realise value for one of its non-core assets.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 12.2p/sh. target price.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

ML has made its initial option payments to gain 100% control of the Pocitos West Project of 15,857 hectares as first announced 2 February, 2017. The property can be purchased in full for payments totalling US$4.5m over the coming three years in staged payments.

The Pocitos basin is a known lithium bearing basin where ML already has a land position. The basin of 60km length lies west of ML’s flag ship project Pastos Grandes but is orders of magnitude larger in total area than Pastos Grandes. Geophysical evidence suggests the basin is at least 500m deep and tips toward the west and ML’s ground.

This acquisition further cements a growing land position of scope and scale for ML in highly prospective lithium brine basins within the Lithium Triangle.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy Fri, 31 Mar 2017 07:34:00 +0100 redT energy# Manufacturing Update

LON:RED | MC: £56.6m | Vanadium Redox Flow Machine Developer

redT energy (RED LN)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced that it is delivering a 5kW-20kWh flow battery to its customer, University of Strathclyde.

The machine will be used alongside the grid and connected renewables as part of a joint project between the University and Gaia Wind at a site in Glasgow, Scotland. RED has confirmed that its production schedule remains on track and it is due to ship additional Gen2 machines to Africa shortly.

RED has also noted the announcement last week by its manufacturing partner Jabil (JBL US) that it will be closing its Livingston manufacturing plant. This closure does not impact the RED business model, with mass production always due to take place at other JBL plants around the world under its global manufacturing service agreement, in order to minimise its unit production cost.

We recently initiated research coverage on RED with a BUY recommendation and a target price of 22p.

]]> Jersey Oil and Gas PLC's Lansdell believes Verbier is a 'material project' Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:35:00 +0100 Ron Lansdell, Jersey Oil and Gas PLC’s chief operating officer, explains to Proactive just why the market is so excited about its forthcoming Verbier well.
Jersey has just upgraded its resource estimate for the North Sea project following additional work by its competent person, consultant ERC.
Statoil will drill the well in the summer and Lansdown says having such a world class operator as a partner underlines how material the project may become.
"We are confident about the North Sea and hopefully will find an excellent sized resource that can be developed a standalone project."

]]> Oil price, Plexus, Bowleven, Genel, And finally... Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:03:00 +0100 WTI $49.51 ++$1.14, Brent $52.42 +$1.09, Diff -$2.91 -5c, NG $3.17 +8c

Oil price

The Russian Energy Minister has this morning in an interview on CNBC said that they are fully behind the Opec initiative to cut production. He said that Russia ‘is reducing production in stages’ and that by the end of April would have reached their target of 300/- b/d and that the cut is up to 200/- b/d at the moment. Overall the picture looks good too, Reuters claim that Opec production is down to 32.01m b/d which shows a 93% degree of ‘adhesion’ and getting better. If these are your yardsticks for the oil price then, at least in the short term it is time to close off those bearish bets, they are exposed.

Yesterday’s inventory stats were a mixed bag but for choice better than market expectations. Crude stocks built but not by as much as expected, 867/- vs f/c of 1m barrels was certainly tolerable for the market. Products drew big time again, gasoline was down 3.7m barrels against expectations of 1.9m and distillates fell 2.48m b’s, twice the guess. With April on the doorstep and time for refiners to step up to the plate it would be a reasonable guess that throughput will rise and increased runs will draw more crude.

Plexus Holdings

A not unsurprising loss from POS after such a hard time in its core markets but after all the cost cutting and industry turmoil it might have been worse. Revenue was almost halved and led to a pre-tax loss of £2.5m but cash flow, as you would expect, is strong. The company strengthened its already debt free balance sheet with a raise and now has £10m of cash to be able to use as the market turns round. This may not happen immediately, in his usual extremely long but, worth reading statement, Ben van Bilderbeek says he is ‘looking forward to an upturn in conditions in the next financial year’, which I am taking to mean 2H of this year at the earliest.

Unlike other oilfield service companies the POS share price has behaved badly in recent months, having peaked at 125p in January it is now 72.5p which I suggest doesnt take into account adequately its prospects. With a state of the art product range and blue chip client list, recently added to by yet more new wins I predict better times ahead for POS.


It’s game over at Bowleven as Chairman Billy Allan leaves the building, swiftly followed by Kevin Hart and Kerry Crawford as COC wield the axe. One assumes that now the asset sale will move ahead speedily with calls into messrs Foo and Lowden and then the return of cash to shareholders.


The loss of $1.3bn was down to the telegraphed Taq Taq impairment charge and the production fell sharply with no longer any forward guidance offered. 2P reserves are 161 mmbbls  from 242m following the Taq Taq annihilation. Going forward the outlook is on Tawke and the gas developments at Miran and Bina Bawi but that’s quite a long wait….

And finally…

Arsene Wenger has told his morning news conference that no final decision has yet been made about his future but those in the know suggest that he is about to sign a new, two year contract with the club. That may change of course if they get stuffed by City on Sunday… It may not please a large contingent of fans who are getting more and more restless as the likelihood of their normal run to the last 16 of the Champions League stops altogether next year…

And it’s Konta v Venus in the semi-final in Miami…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger and Sula Iron & Gold Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:59:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)#
MTR has announced that following further drilling at the T3 copper project in Botswana MTR and its JV partner MOD Resources (MOD AU) intend to include the additional recently discovered mineralisation into the broader resource. The initial results included an assay of 72.6m at 1.5% copper and 27g/t Ag from 250m depth as well as 13m at 1% cu and 16g/t at 271m depth.

The extent of the zone has now been delineated over a 700m strike length and sufficient drilling has now been completed to expand the existing resource and therefore the scope of the pre-feasibility study. 16 holes have been completed in six weeks and assays are currently underway. This zone of mineralisation is directly below the existing resource and has significant positive implications for the project economics.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 4.8p/sh. target price.
Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#
Sula has announced that it intends to change its name to Sula Gold.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation and 1.6p/sh. target price.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Gulf Keystone, Impact Oil & Gas (FAR), And finally... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:39:00 +0100 Oil price

A welcome bounce for oil producers yesterday and carried on this morning in early trading. The usual irony of Libyan production and exports was to be seen, as within 24 hours they had shipped a full tanker of crude and then, after terrorist activity, shut-in 252/- b/d of crude oil.

Adding to the news was the Iranian minister who said that he was in favour of extending the initiative, but then he would, wouldn’t he? Even Azerbaijan has suggested deeper cuts as Ministers look carefully at their balance sheets. The API inventory stats were a bit mixed, the build was bigger than expected at only 1.9m barrels but yet again products drew, gasoline by 1.1m and distillates by 2m barrels. Let’s see what the EIA number looks like tonight.

President Energy

An operational update from PPC this morning from Puesto Guardian where the company announce the successful working over of the 2nd previous producing well the DP1001. The Puerto Guardian concession is already producing 750 b/d which will drop a little to 600-650 b/d after initial flush production but is already very encouraging. The programme continues next week, delayed slightly by heavy rains in the area and the three well frac programme is next, I am confident that yet more barrels will be added to production.

It is worth taking a further look into the value of PPC as a recent upgrade in its reserve position in Argentina appears to have had little impact on the share price. With 1P oil reserves up 9% to 12 mmboe and 2P reserves up 10% to 19.9 mmboe (and mostly oil) the group when you add in Louisiana exceeds 20m barrels of 2P oil equivalent and is valued at a fraction of that. As Peter Levine points out, this reserve position ‘is comparable to companies whose market cap is a multiple of President’s’ and also in my view, the market has yet to catch up with this value inconsistency. The 2017 workover programme that is delivering success after success is indeed a key factor to increasing the important production to reserves ratio, when that is understood by the market the shares will surely rebase in an upwards direction.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

I met with Jón Ferrier and Sami Zouari round at GKP the other day, my first invitation for some time and certainly since the refinancing…The winds they are a changin around at New Fetter Lane but the main asset, Shaikan is certainly not, it is still a high quality asset with significant growth potential. The reserves which are 622 mmbbl of 2P give current stable production of 40/- b/d  and with investment that figure could and should grow to a much higher number. At present Shaikan crude is back to being trucked to Turkey on a temporary basis’ at the behest of the MNR who are paying for all transport costs.

Effectively under new management and after last year’s refinancing with a balance sheet that actually has net cash GKP is in a stronger position, albeit having wiped out most of the equity holders which they would be minded to remember. KRG payments for their oil have been regular and adequate and means that in due course they will be able to contemplate further investment to increase production, but this time they will do things in the right order one hopes. As they build up cash resources and continue to work closely with the MNR the next stage of 55/- b/d is achievable if not imminent, in the meantime focus is the watchword across the board, JF’s office is not only small (four was a crowd) but now away from the finance function and next to the production and operations team. I have a poor record on GKP in recent years as I am regularly reminded, and know that this is a new base and new shareholders but apart from that there are grounds for guarded optimism if you hung on in there.

Impact Oil and Gas

I don’t often write about private companies but Impact is a rare beast, privately owned and run by the exemplary Mike Doherty it is getting a reputation for doing good deals and building a cracking portfolio. I mention this because today’s deal does both those things, it has farmed-out to CNOOC part of their holding in the PSC on the AGC Profond block which is in the Joint Offshore Development Zone between Senegal and Guinea Bissau and added another major to its list of partners.

Those who read my last week’s and yesterdays piece on FAR Limited will know that I believe that this area is slowly getting very warm and scheduled to be hot before long. With BP farming-in with Kosmos in Mauritania/Senegal and Far in The Gambia this latest deal starts to link up the deals, I can guarantee that this is only the beginning and there is much more to come. The good news is that investors can play this a number of ways but our old friend FAR Limited is the obvious route, yesterdays deal in the Gambia was not the last I suspect and other majors are all over the area like a cheap suit, opportunities will keep on coming.

And finally…

International break time so journos turn to transfer gossip, likely ones at the moment are for Hazard to quit Chelski and Eric Dier to move to the Theatre of Dreams which at least will rile one Rob Davies, Guardian scribbler and huge Spurs fan…

]]> 'We're sitting on something pretty special', says Caspian Sunrise chairman Clive Carver Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:01:00 +0100 Clive Carver, chairman at Caspian Sunrise (LON:CASP) introduces the company to Proactive Investors.

The company was established in 2006 and admitted to trading on the AIM market when it was known as Roxi Petroleum plc.

Carver says the merger with Baverstock is a major milestone in the Group’s development as they're now free to develop their main asset - the BNG contract area - at a pace that suits Caspian Sunrise shareholders.

]]> Obtala chairman 'delighted' with Hong Kong investment Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:53:00 +0100 Miles Pelham, chairman at Obtala Ltd (LON:OBT) tells Proactive the African forestry and agriculture group has raised £4mln through a share issue to a Hong Kong-based high net worth investor.

Obtala owns ten forestry concessions in Northern Mozambique, while its agriculture business is planting melon primarily but also butternut, onion and feed maize.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Wed, 29 Mar 2017 08:56:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

MTR has announced a placing of £4.29m led by Sprott Private Wealth and other Canadian investors at a price of 3p/sh with the issue of 143m shares. The price represents a premium of 6% to the close prior to the deal’s announcement, subsequently the stock has risen 16% to 3.275p/sh. The placing is still subject to due diligence by Sprott and will close on April 17th.

The funding will primarily be used as part of MTR’s commitment to the T3 Project in Botswana for which it has a 30/70 JV with MOD Resources (MOD AU).

We have adjusted our target price to 4.8p/sh. to reflect the dilution of 15.5% although reiterate our Buy recommendation.


]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, FAR Limited, Sundry-Bowleven-Genel-Petrofac- And finally... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:26:00 +0100 Oil price

More drift yesterday as oil markets found the assorted communiques from the Kuwait meeting confusing which was probably the idea from the start. Russia is talking the talk but is yet to fully deliver and as we approach monthly confession time oil may have a bumpy ride. If all is well then as we approach month four and compliance stays in the 90’s you never know things may pick up, also in April my readers allow me to talk about the D season and its implications. Inventory stats will also show this week how much effect the 300/- b/d from Saudi is being missed…

Sound Energy

Sound has announced the results from the TE-8 well, a 12km NE step out from the last discovery which establishes the westward extension from Algeria into Morocco. The presence of the TAGI sands in this well, albeit of a lower quality, will ‘materially uplift’ discovered volumes. The well identified and penetrated a full sequence of Westphalian sands in the Palaeozoic which had gas shows and although a test was not possible it is believed that they are permeable and should produce with stimulation. This Westphalian discovery is able to materially de-risk the original 3-10 TCF case announced in February and the success of the Paleozoic success here cannot be underestimated. Although things never go quite as planned, Morocco is still very much a key and the size of the prize is still very substantial with a number of opportunities presenting themselves.

FAR Limited

FAR has announced that it has secured an 80% WI with operatorship in blocks A2 and A5 offshore The Gambia, these blocks, which are on trend and adjacent to their Senegal blocks have above average potential. Bought from Erin Energy Corp for an upfront payment of $5.18m, the farm-in requires FAR to pay up to $8m of Erin’s costs for an exploration well due to be drilled by late 2018. Prior to that FAR expect to complete seismic reprocessing and interpretation work some of which has already given up valuable potential.

There are several large prospects and the company has already mapped three potentially drillable prospects and leads and the two blocks between them contain prospective resources of in excess of  1bn barrels of oil on an unrisked, best estimate 100% basis. It is no surprise to see FAR going back to their roots of West African exploration and this looks most exciting to me, maybe they have got in on the ground floor again….


Bowleven interims today and worth even less of a glance than usual as events have rather overtaken results. The COC reign of terror continues, having COC’d up the number of directors they need for a majority another vote is required so peace is at a premium. What COC has done is alert every buyer in the market that Etinde is in play again, word on the street is that they have a sweetheart deal with Steve Lowden at NewAge in the pipeline…

Not a good day for Genel where a huge write down of Taq Taq reserves is announced, from 171.8 to 59.1 mmbbls which is bad enough but then there’s the impairment cost of $181m…

And Petrofac has announced the win of a $1.3bn contract for the KOC’s gathering project in the Burgan field in the South East of the country.


And finally…

Not much doing i’m afraid, the ECB has announced that there will be a big Twenty20 tournament starting in 2020 would you believe hoping to rival other international events.

Muzza is out of the Davis Cup so kiss goodbye to that this year….

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:07:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced the closure of its placement which raised gross proceeds of C$5.98m at C$1.25/sh via the issuance of 4.75mn shares with a half warrant issued with each share. The price which had been previously announced represents a 5% discount to the previous close and indicates 12% dilution for existing shareholders. Each whole warrant is exercisable for two years with a price of C$1.50/sh.

The fund raise means that ML will now resume drilling at Pastos Grandes where it is targeting a NI 43-101 compliant resource. ML has identified 11 additional drill sites. Additionally ML will carry out 72 hour pumping tests at the sites measuring draw down and brine parameters to determine suitable pumping rates and conditions.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.


]]> Oil price, Hurricane, Amerisur, Jersey Oil & Gas, Primeline Energy Holdings, Sundry-Wood Gp-Bowleven-Sirius-IOG-And finally... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:15:00 +0100 WTI $47.97 +27c, Brent $50.80 +24c, Diff -$2.83 -3c, NG $3.08 +2c

Oil price

Last week saw a modest but continued fall in oil prices, WTI was down $1.34 and Brent 96 cents. Downward forces just exceeded upward ones and on Friday the rig count showed a rise of 20 overall to 809 and in oil of 21 to 652. The meeting of the Opec/Non-Opec monitoring committee took place at the weekend in Kuwait and they reported a high level of ‘conformity’ up from 87% to 94% and that the pact should be extended. After some behind the scenes activity it turned out that the committee didnt have the power to make such a recommendation and watered down the final wording to be subject to a risk assessment nearer the time.

Hurricane Energy

Further justification, if any were needed this morning that HUR have a monster find on their hands in the West of Shetlands. The Halifax well has been completed and has concluded that Lancaster and Halifax are a single, very substantial hydrocarbon accumulation. Speaking to CEO Dr Robert Trice he said that he was ‘chuffed’ that the well had come in better than, although on the same lines as, the original licence application in the 23rd round where the company had expected a ‘basement prospect with a 700m oil column’. Several years later this has been totally justified, indeed the only difference is that the column, including the gas cap, exceeds 1km which is huge.

Reports that the DST failed due to technical factors should be treated with scepticism, likewise the  chatter about overrunning on costs, true it was an expensive well as exploration wells are but here it was primarily down to a deeper than expected ODT to number which was even deeper than Lancaster. No oil/water contact was found and with no barrier or fault it was established that it was a tilted contact which simply put means more oil.

Life is very busy at HUR, they have already appointed subsea specialists and hired the FPSO that will be needed for the EPS, this result will mean more work again. The CPR, which will be the base for the FID will see an initial report within the next fortnight and a final one to include that data from this well and the Lincoln discovery should be out in the second half of the year. With the FID imminent-ish and  so much progress on the FID the market has turned to questions of funding which are understandable but in no way bearish. Having made the, in hindsight, correct call to delay the farm-out process, the company has restarted the negotiations and I understand that the data room is brimming with high class oil companies most of whom mistakenly didnt believe that the good Doctor was going to be proved so right. Also it is inevitable that the company  will be discussing financing needs as they move towards the development stage, this will likely be a combination of debt, consisting of regulation instruments as well as more contemporary ones and inevitably some equity portion, investors should consider this to be an opportunity rather than a threat and ensure that they are on the placing list for when it happens.

My target  price ever since the first discovery on Lancaster has been 100p, in the early stages that was something that made me a laughing stock, to paraphrase the old gag , they are not laughing now. With such huge amounts of hydrocarbons discovered, now well in excess of my much scorned 1bn barrels, I think that a working number would be a conservative 150p but adding in bid premium could easily be well in excess of 200p. HUR has been a big favourite and is a bucket list stalwart, the drilling campaign hasn’t put a foot wrong and accordingly will remain at the top of my list of cheap stocks in the sector, the shares are up only 5% this morning which only proves the stupidity of some of those who should know better, still a massive long term buy.

Amerisur Resources

One of the mysteries of the market at the moment is why AMER has had such a dramatic fall, dealers report a large seller but the news flow only gets better. Today that is confirmed as the company spud another well, this time on the CPO-5 block and away from the OBA region. A multi well programme later in the year should spice up AMER’s life and the shares are way too cheap.

Jersey Oil & Gas

A new CPR by ERCE on the Verbier and Cortina prospects has upped the gross mean prospective resources. For the former it goes from 118 to 162 and the latter 91 to 124m whilst the COS rates for Verbier rise from 26 to 29% and for Cortina to 19%. With a Capital Markets Day on wednesday I remain of the view that this is the most geared up play in the sector  ahead of Statoil drilling in the summer. As close to a no-brainer as one can get, providing one is agile ahead of the drill bit spinning, JOG has a lot further to go.

Primeline Energy Holdings

In dispute for sometime, PEH has received full payment for the gas sales contract for LS36-1 from Zhejiang Gas. This represents RMB 256m or C$49m and it is in full and final settlement of the dispute with Zhejiang Gas . PEH are on the TSX Ventures exchange and this should be highly beneficial to them.


Wood Group announce the winning of a contract worth $50m with Premier Oil which extends and reviews their North Sea agreement..

Bowleven has announced that it strategically reviewing all its options including the COC poison pill one but that refuses to bite the bullet on a fire sale transaction…

Sirius Petroleum has signed a contract for a seabed survey that is needed as a  preparation for rig positioning. This should enable the market to relax in the hope of a spud dare in the not too distant future…

And IOG has seen its Harvey licence extended by a year but an appraisal well is needed for any further extension. At the Elgood discovery where it has up to 22 BCF of gas it is preparing a submission for a tie-back to the Blythe hub.

And finally…

In the football at the weekend there was a bad tempered match between the ROI and Wales which ended goalless whilst Northern Ireland beat Norway and Scotland just nosed past Slovenia. England made a bit of a meal getting past Lithuania 2-0 but they did park the bus making it difficult to break down the defence.

The F1 circus got under way and the Mercedes might have been the faster car but they were undone by a craftier Ferrari team who pitted more cannily thus keeping Lewis second, this may be a fun season….

In the Qatar MotoGP our British hope Cal Crutchlow unfortunately crashed out (twice!) but the improving Scott Redding finished an excellent 7th. The race was won by Yamaha newcomer Maverick Vinales from Andrea Dovizioso and ‘Old Man’ Valentino Rossi in 3rd. In the

Moto3 race the British rider John McPhee just missed out on the top step with a superb 2nd place. The circus moves on to Argentina in a fortnight…

]]> Jersey Oil & Gas' Verbier exploration project 'a no-brainer', says Malcolm Graham-Wood Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:00:00 +0100 Oil & Gas Commentator Malcolm Graham-Wood runs Proactive through the latest developments at Jersey Oil & Gas Plc's (LON:JOG) Verbier exploration project in the North Sea.

Verbier, to be drilled by Statoil in the coming months, is now estimated to host some 162mln barrels of oil equivalent resources, up from a prior estimate of 118mln barrels.

]]> Hurricane's Halifax well 'as good as it gets' says Malcolm Graham-Wood Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:38:00 +0100 Oil and gas commentator Malcolm Graham-Wood talks through initial well results from Hurricane Energy Plc's (LON:HUR) Halifax Well.

Hurricane's told investors that the exploration well encountered a very significant oil column, meaning the confirmation of a multi-billion barrel oil discovery is now likely.

Graham-Wood also discussed news out from Jersey Oil & Gas Plc (LON:JOG) in which they've highlighted an upgrade of the potential prize at the Verbier exploration project in the North Sea.

]]> Hurricane Energy can hit 80p if this one thing happens Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:20:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) share price to hit 80p if it can break above the current trend channel at 62p.

“There’s been a rising pattern here since May last year, gapped through the 50-day moving average in September and we’ve been in this channel from last summer, bounded by 52p and 62p ever since,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“The good news if you’re a fan of the shares is if we can break 62p on a weekly close basis the next target will be the May resistance line projection as high as 80p.

“The stop-loss on the whole buy argument at the moment just below the 50p level.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:28:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)
Independent Oil & Gas  has updated the market on the Harvey and Elgood licences.

Firstly, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has continued licence P2085, which contains the Harvey discovery until 20 December 2017. If successfully appraised, this licence has the potential to be the largest gas discovery in IOG’s portfolio, with an internal P50 estimate of 113BCF. In order to extend the licence further IOG must commit to drill an appraisal well, which it expects to do later in 2017. If this licence can be successfully appraised IOG expects to tie it back to the same pipeline which it has signed an MoU to acquire. This pipeline will also be used to export gas from the Blythe and Vulcan Satellite hubs.

Secondly, technical work submitted by IOG in relation to the Elgood discovery has been accepted by the OGA and will be added to the Blythe Field Development Plan (FDP). This has an internal P50 estimate of 22BCF of recoverable gas.

Benchmark Prices
- Brent:   US$50.80/bbl +US$0.24/bbl
- WTI:   US$47.97/bbl +US$0.27/bbl
- Henry Hub:   US$3.08/MMBtu +US$0.02/MMBtu

Risers and Fallers (Last Close)
Risers Price Movement % Chg
Sirius Petroleum +0.09p +12.1%
Empyrean Energy +0.37p +11.5%
Serica Energy +1.50p +7.1%
Fallers Price Movement % Chg
Premier Oil -2.50p -3.8%
Urals Energy -0.38p -6.3%
Gulfsands Petroleum -0.75p -9.7%

]]> SDX Energy chief highlights 'very strong performance' in 2016 Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:38:00 +0000 Paul Welch, chief executive at SDX Energy (CVE:SDX; LON:SDX) discusses the group's 2016 financial results with Proactive Investors.

]]> SDX Energy tipped to add 20% over next two months Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:05:00 +0000 Leading technical analyst Zak Mir reckons the SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX) share price is on track to add another 20% before the end of May.

“There’s been a rising trend channel since the end of last year, with the floor of the channel currently around the 50-day moving average at 43p,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“While we hold above that, we’re heading towards the top of the channel as high as 60p over the next one to two months.”

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Lamprell, And finally... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:57:00 +0000 Oil price

Both crudes are likely to be down slightly on the week as the bears think they are winning the battle but the bulls still have more fire power. High inventories have spooked a touch but as warned before, it is often like that at this time of the year when it is sometimes better to look at product stocks which are drawing.

The key event is the meeting this weekend in Kuwait where all will be present from the Opec/Non-Opec team including the Saudi Minister and all the members of the monitoring group which is Kuwait, Algeria, Venezuela, Russia and Oman. They should, if all goes well, say that compliance is high and improving and that whilst they won’t make a decision about rollover until May, point out that it would all have otherwise been a waste of everybody’s time. Indeed, whilst nothing can be taken for granted, the sight of the downside should strike terror into their collective balance sheets.

SDX Energy

Results today from SDX are, given that they are pre-Circle and pre-raise, pretty meaningless but do make a good point as to how fast the company is moving and there is much exciting progress being made. As pointed out earlier in the week the South Disouq well is under way and looks for gas as well as oil and is virtually free for shareholders. Work continues on NW Gemsa as well as upgrades at Meseda, all part of the existing SDX story and of course there is a good deal of work to be done in Morocco as another part of the Circle deal. Today the shares are over 50p, a new high but deservedly so, they went into the bucket list for a good reason and have the scope to climb higher.


Results today from LAM were as expected awful, after a huge impairment figure of $180m hit an already weak number. Admittedly cost have been cut big time and there is $275m of cash in the balance sheet, in addition the yards are still busy, but take a look at the order book and bid pipeline and things still look fairly grim. The order book is $393m (740m) and the bid pipeline is $2.5bn ($5.4bn) and the jack up market is still worryingly quiet. Margins have suffered and the unadjusted number is 4.3% down from 10.3% although similar after adjustment.

Guidance for 2017 revenue, which is all we get, is down to the lower end of the $400-500m mark after $705m last year so unless business walks into the yard pdq then this year will not break any records. Readers know that I have been, and remain a big fan of LAM but with the current state of work and the Saudi project being only a pipe dream at the moment its quite a leap of faith to be too optimistic at this time. With the shares having doubled since the last results in September optimism, like elsewhere in the sector, has prevailed but at the moment I would want to see some pretty good additions to the order book for that price strength to continue.

And finally…

Football is World Cup qualifying this weekend and the best match maybe the ROI v Wales but Northern Ireland host Norway, Lithuania come to Wembley and Scotland welcome Slovenia.

F1 is back and with i’m told faster, noisier cars which will make it more fun and with new owners and team changes at least there will be some changes. No change so far in practice where Lewis is streets ahead may take some catching even by his new teammate.

I am drawn to MotoGP which also restarts this weekend in Qatar giving the ‘2 wheel nutters’ a chance to see their heroes. At the top of the list last year for us was Cal Crutchlow who I am told is the new Barry Sheene and on the LCR Honda whilst Bradley Smith on the KTM and Sam Lowes who steps up from Moto2 is on the Aprilia. Favourite may be Jorge Lorenzo having switched to Ducati, but Valentino Rossi, older but not out of it, may fight with new team mate Maverick Vinales but in the end Marc Marquez, last year’s winner will start favourite…

]]> Sound Energy 'pushing on with two exciting drill programmes' says Proactive's Jamie Ashcroft Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:57:00 +0000 Jamie Ashcroft, Proactive Investors oil and gas correspondent, takes a look at some of the week's main industry headlines.

Ashcroft talks Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) and their two drill programmes in Morocco and Italy, Solo Oil PLC's (LON:SOLO) new venture in Helium with their 10% interest in Helium One,  88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E, ASX:88E) kicking off their new drilling programme in Alaska and rounds off by discussing the excitement around Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) and their potentially huge shale project in Australia's Northern Territory.

]]> 'We've learnt a lot of hard lessons and reined back the business', says Cloudbuy's David Gibbon Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:59:00 +0000 David Gibbon, CFO of CloudBuy (LON:CBUY) tells Proactive they've learnt some hard lessons in 2016.

Gibbon says the focus now is on projects that have a larger upfront fee, as this mitigates the risk for cloudBuy and provides a larger incentive for the customer to continue through to the transaction revenue phase.

]]> Oil price, Rockhopper, Sound Energy, And finally... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:38:00 +0000 Oil price

A mixed day yesterday, it might have been worse as the EIA inventory stats were worse than forecast at a build of 4.95m barrels against expectations of +1.77m. Crude did stage a late comeback which saved the day to a certain extent. More on the OGA licences later when I have looked at them all.

Rockhopper Exploration

Rockhopper has announced that it has commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Italy in relation to the Ombrina Mare project. This follows the decision by the Ministry of Economic Development not to award the company a production concession covering the Ombrina Mare field which has clearly resulted in very significant lost profits. It seems that the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) that was set up in 1998 and had Italy as a founding signatory has been breached and damages and compensation are distinctly possible.

Given the wording of the statement from Rockhopper I would be incredibly surprised if they were taking this lightly and of course have said that they have taken ‘legal and expert opinions’ which must have helped make this decision. In addition to this the company say that they have secured non-recourse funding for the arbitration from a specialist in this form of claim. To you and me this means no win no fee and seems very wise, above a certain level RKH still get a ‘very material proportion’ of any award.

The company has said that whilst it had hoped to avoid this process it has become pretty much the only option and protects its shareholders interests ‘at no extra cost to the company’. At this stage it is impossible to try to guess quite how much RKH might be awarded should they win, and of course this case is likely to take a couple of years but a spreadsheet of the Ombrina Mare project would likely suggest a very substantial number, indeed what says the settlement may well exceed what RKH paid for MOG in the first place…..

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that the Badile well has reached its second casing point so a long time to go yet, while over at TE- in Tendrara things are getting interesting as drilling has completed. At this stage, although further gas has been encountered nothing can be read into the situation until further wireline logging and testing has taken place.

And finally…

The honeymoon is over for England’s new manager, his first outing as a permanent fixture led to a 1-0 defeat by Germany, something he may have to get used to. As i said yesterday it was a B vs B team and little can be got from it.

]]> Oil price, Far Limited, RockRose Energy, IGas Energy, Solo Oil, plus links on SAVP-SDX-IGas- And finally... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:55:00 +0000 Oil price

Yesterday was a bad day for oil, not because it fell but more as it started brightly moving up on general news from Russia and sundry participants that a roll over was increasingly likely at the May meeting. During the day announcements from Libya that it was increasing production (something to be taken with a large pinch of salt as a rule at the moment) and the the inventory figures rained on oil’s parade.

April WTI expired yesterday and May (above price) was already a bit weak, this morning Brent is down 72 cents so flirting with the key $50 level which the chartists hate. So, those API stats showed a build of 4.5m barrels, more than the expected 2.8, and although gasoline stocks drew by a bigger than expected 4.9m barrels the market was disappointed. Stand by for EIA tonight…

FAR Limited

Readers will know that I have been planning a piece about FAR that addresses some of the points I am regularly being asked about regarding where FAR goes from here, how the ConocoPhillips ‘exit’ has affected them and what options they have from here. It looks to me that COP has effectively driven a coach and horses through the letter of the law and certainly the well accepted behaviour of partners in a joint venture  as it exits Senegal. The deal with Woodside appears to have been done almost as a ‘fait accompli’ and whilst FAR has tried to understand the terms of their pre-empt rights (after all, they were offered these rights from COP), they have been frustrated at every turn. Attempts through the usual official routes have appeared to have so far failed despite the fact they have signalled that they have the necessary funding (with a partner) to exercise their pre-empt option should they wish to do so. I understand that the Senegal Oil Minister fully appreciates the situation and understands that FAR are going by the book but share in their frustration. They also must understand that FAR could if they wanted make life a lot more difficult, for example by enacting international arbitration and thereby bringing the issue under the spotlight of the international community, which the Government of Senegal certainly does not want for their first, large oil development offshore. With the Government also wanting the project on-stream as soon as possible (at present by 2021/22), and elections looming before that, FAR are in a strong moral and legal position.

In my view FAR might be better served, and keep its excellent relationship with the Minister, by stepping back and accepting Woodside as their new partner thus ensuring a more stable future. Senegal, as indeed is a good deal of the West African coastline, is fast becoming one of the most highly prospective and desirable areas in world oil, something that has been recently proved by BP farming in with Kosmos to the North and this special relationship with the country is to be valued. Indeed, if by maintaining such a favourable relationship with the Ministry led to a possible, nay favourable chance in upcoming offshore licence awards, then it would all have been worth the while. With Cairn holding 40%, and I am not at all convinced that they are keepers of this stake, and of course at some stage may have to pass on the operatorship of the licence to Woodside, then all is up for grabs, at which point FAR’s 15% comes into play. Who is to say that these two stakes might suddenly become a much more tempting stake, valuable to the marauding major to whom 50% or more is needed, less is not….

By accepting that, with the passing of time, the pre-empt is lost and Woodside may be a healthy bed partner, I take it that FAR will not lose their right to take COP into arbitration and go for damages. Reading the Chairman’s comments in the annual report today, it certainly seems as though all options are in front of the board.

Did anyone notice by the way that COP indemnified Woodside against any losses incurred as a result of this deal going pear-shaped? Woodside have a money back guarantee – did COP have to offer this to get the deal across the line? One ponders whether this constitutes one of the terms of the deal that COP were not sharing with FAR.

As I see it FAR’s options are as follows:

They could keep fighting for the COP stake as is their partner pre-emptive right but this would ultimately lose the goodwill that has been built up with the oil Minister and of course ahead of the Presidential elections.

They could accept Woodside as a partner, things could be worse and I understand that relationships between the two companies are good which would be a bonus as development gets under way. With the blessing of the Ministry, which would be likely under this scenario, I can see FAR getting a decent shout in bidding for upcoming blocks, not to be sneezed at.

The final option, the ‘Kingmaker’ option so to speak, as indicated above would be to offer the 50+% stake held by Far and Cairn to a major if such a substantial offer was potentially on the cards. If such a deal was available, and it would have to be significantly above what is reflected in FAR’s current share price, this end may justify the means. With a new Senegal exploration process to look forward to, with fresh acreage and new, more trustworthy partners and a healthy bank balance to boot maybe this is the best way out for FAR.

The operatorship card is also interesting, as I understand it Woodside are expecting, as per the original –rather ill defined  agreement between Cairn and COP, to take over after the exploration phase and before FID. However, if Cairn is planning to sell to a major and maybe with FAR to offer a bigger stake then it would be well advised not to hand over the operatorship lightly…Woodside could hardly complain about this given the way they got into the licence to begin with.

My valuation of FAR is still 25c, I strongly believe that one way or another the current share price has not taken into account the appropriate value of what the company has in Senegal and will do so before long.

RockRose Energy

We now have the next stage of the RRE journey as they announce details of various deals done in recent months. They are continuing to progress on the acquisition of Scott (5.16%) and Telford (2.36%) although the Wytch farm part of the deal was pre-empted by existing partners.They have signed an SPA with Egerton Energy Ventures to acquire the non-operated interests in the Galahad (27.8%) and Mordred (8.33%) gas fields. In addition they have signed up with ‘a major trading company’ to acquire a number of small, non-operated interests in the SNS. In total the production is about 1,400 boepd to RRE.

This will all result in a net cash inflow to RRE from Maersk which although not announced is, as I understand it, extremely positive even after decommissioning is taken into account. It’s a bit early to say that this is transformational but it maybe just that, as I understand it they are considering a raise at a substantial premium to the suspended price as existing shareholders and some of the vendors above are keen to get this show on the road. No idea when they shares will come back but probably before Easter so watch this space…

IGas Energy

Things are starting to look up for IGas as following the completion of their refinancing they announce today that their planning application at Tinker Lane in Nottinghamshire has been approved. Very good news for the company as they can now test the gas shales but also for the industry and the country as the potential of finding our own gas for power moves closer to reality.

Solo Oil

Solo has bought a 10% stake in Helium 1 which sounds a bit funny to me (ok it’s a poor joke I know) for £2.55m of which £1.2m comes by raising money at 0.54p and the rest in shares. With an option to buy another 10% at £4m half and half in shares and cash the company has the put and the call but whether it’s a good deal or not better men than I can judge, never valued helium!

Follow up from yesterday…

I was out and about yesterday but spotted the following…

Faroe had a very good set of figures even though we knew how they would be good, the presentation later was very confident and there will much to see from the company this year and next. Faroe will likely take over as best in class after the Judas’ that is Ithaca leaves the scene after capitulating to Delek….

EnQuest released a surprisingly good set of figures pleasingly in the black. Improvement is coming quicker than most, including me, where expecting and I salute them.

And Bahamas Petroleum announced that the Government has extended their requirement to drill a well from April 2017 (clearly a non-starter) for another year. Patient shareholders are told that a farm-out or similar,  ‘remains in advanced discussions’ for funding or operational partners. This sounds a tad more optimistic but as usual one shouldn’t stand on one leg waiting for it to happen…


And finally…

As it is International week it is incredibly short of news anywhere, England are in Germany playing their B team, as are we and I for one wont be viewing it.

]]> 'There's so many potential applications' says TMS boss of their industrial drying technology Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:34:00 +0000 Dr Jim Young, CEO of Targeted Microwave Solutions Inc (CSE:TMS) speaks to Proactive's Andrew Scott about their Wavedry microwave reactors.

''We've developed what we think is a very disruptive technology that replaces the old technology of using rotary kilns to dry materials ... with new modern clean technology using microwaves'', Dr Young says.

''We can remove water four times more efficiently than using rotary kilns in an environmentally-friendly way''.

]]> It’s on a tear today, but more to come from Frontera Resources Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:40:00 +0000 Frontera Resources Corporation (LON:FRR) is on a run this morning, but technical analyst reckons there is still a long way to go for the oil and gas explorer’s share price.

“It looks as though we’re now ready to retest the best levels of the year within a rising trend channel from the beginning of February,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board segment.

“While we’re above the 0.2p level the stock could head as high as the top of last month’s trend channel at 0.5p on a two to three month timeframe.”

]]> Solo Oil makes 'attractive strategic investment' with Helium acquisition Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:52:00 +0000 Tanzania-focused gas investment firm Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) has announced its move into helium with a deal worth up to £6.55mln.

Solo's chairman Neil Ritson tells Proactive they're spending £2.55mln for a 10% stake in Helium One in a cash and shares transaction and has the option to double its holding for an extra £4mln.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Ferrexpo Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:41:00 +0000 Ferrexpo (LON:FXPO)

FXPO has delivered strong results in a turnaround year recovering from its local banks issues which resulted in the loss of a significant amount of cash of around US$592m. FXPO’s robust operational performance was, however, unaffected. Production of 11.2mnt was down 4% YoY, however, sales volumes were up 3% YoY to 11.7mnt and prices averaged 5% higher YoY at US$58.3/t. Revenue was therefore up 3% YoY to US$986m.

Cash costs were down 13% YoY to US$28/t and EBITDA increased 20% YoY to US$375m as a result of the improved cost base. Net profit of US$189m was up close to fivefold YoY while with minimal capital investment owing to the completion of ramp up activities net cash flow was also up strongly. Consequently net debt was reduced from US$868m to US$589m YoY and FXPO opted to pay a final dividend of US$0.066/sh., double last years.

]]> Another 50% upside in Falcon Oil & Gas, says Zak Mir Tue, 21 Mar 2017 09:55:00 +0000 Technical analyst Zak Mir reckons the Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) share price has room to add another 50% over the coming weeks.

“The shares now are very overbought with the RSI [Relative Strength Index] at 89 out of 100 so a cooling off would be expected back towards the low 20s,” explains Mir in the latest segment of the Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“At least while we hold above the 20p zone, the best case scenario target here over the next three to six months is as high as 45p.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:49:00 +0000 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG) have made the following board changes.

• Andrew Hockey joins the board as Deputy Chief Executive. He has 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry most recently with Fairfield Energy and Sound Energy. He also led the early development of Clipper South, a successful SNS producing gas field which is analogous to IOG’s Vulcan satellites development.

• Hywel John joins the board as Chief Financial Officer. He was previously CEO of Bayfield Energy, CFO of Candax Energy and senior executive at Burren Energy.

• The Right Honourable Charles Hendry appointed Non-Executive Director as a nominee of the Company’s major stakeholder, London Oil & Gas Limited, a major investor in IOG. Minister of State for Energy between May 2010 and September 2012.

• David Peattie resigns from the Board, with immediate effect, as a consequence of his appointment as Chief Executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

• Mark Routh, IOG’s Chief Executive Officer, is appointed Chairman on an interim basis.

• Peter Young leaves the board and takes up a new role as Head of Business Origination. He has a strong track record in business origination, M&A and Finance.

• Graham Cox joins as SNS Project Manager. Previously he was project manager on the Clipper South Development.

]]> Buru Energy lays down foundations for long-term success Tue, 21 Mar 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Eric Streitberg, executive chairman for Buru Energy, speaks with Proactive Investors.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Bowleven, And finally... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:28:00 +0000 Oil price

Last week oil prices started off in the weak manner of previous form but ended rallying a little and both WTI and Brent were marginally up by the close on Friday. It’s not an easy call at the moment, the dollar is under a bit of pressure, inventory numbers look a little more helpful, except at Cushing, and overall the Opec quotas are being adhered to.  On the other hand the rig count rises inexorably and US production follows, money managers are closing down their long positions and the chart still looks dodgy. you pays your money…

SDX Energy

SDX has announced this morning that the SD-1X well at South Disouq in the Nile Delta has spudded looking for gas in the Upper Abu Madi section and oil in the Lower AEB and Abu Roash sections. The well will take 30-45 days depending on what they find, expectations are high and if either gas or oil, or both, are discovered then it will be transformational to the company. It looks pretty optimistic on both fronts, the 3D seismic showed an AVO response which significantly de-risks the gas play and the oil play is ‘pervasive’ in the block, indeed the company already have another oil target drill ready. SD Deep-1X has significantly higher potential in the oil bearing sections and I imagine that they will drill that next.

The numbers are also appealing to SDX, the well cost is $3.7m of which $3m is carried, following the recent raise they have $18.3m of cash and no debt and of course expect $30m of free cash flow this year and $42m next. Infrastructure nearby means that any discovery at South Disouq would be extremely convenient, three major trunk lines run through the concession giving transport options for gas, oil or condensate only 5km from SD Deep-1X or 11km from SD-1X.

Even if the South Disouq well doesnt come in there is plenty to like about SDX at the moment, the Circle deal is bedding in well, the company has a break even price of $21 Brent and a strong balance sheet in preparation for maybe more accretive acquisitions which the management are confident about. I think that the shares are extraordinarily cheap at the moment, I know that they carry the risk of an exploration well drilling at the moment but there is a good deal more upside than down, compare the £85m market cap with those cash flow numbers and you can see why.


Much has happened in the last week for BLVN, COC won all their votes with the exception of removing Chairman Billy Allan which has put a spanner in the works, now they need another meeting and another vote as he has the casting vote on the new, smaller board. Weekend press reports suggest that the Chairman has ‘put up the for sale sign’ over BLVN and is keeping on Kevin Hart and Kerry Crawford despite them no longer being directors of the company which wasnt in COC’s plans I imagine. My spies tell me that COC have a buyer lined up for Etinde and of course the Bomono deal with VOG is still on the table doing both of those deals would effectively finish the sad tale.

And finally…

It was fairly inevitable that England would find the banana skin in Dublin but a shame that it was a catalogue of mistakes and schoolboy errors that handed the game to the deserving Irish. It was more fun watching the antics of France and Wales in 20 minutes of overtime, admirably refereed by Wayne Barnes, waiting for something to blow. Add the comedic attempts at franglais when checking the subs, ‘numero trois, rouge’ louder and louder and then asking ‘are you injured?’ to a frenchman who didnt understand the question was hilarious. Quite how a penalty try was awarded during the process was probably as tactical as it was good for the entente cordiale.

It ended 1-1 at the Etihad between the Noisy Neighbours and the HubCap Stealers whilst Spurs had won against the Saints and the Red Devils had beaten Boro, the Gooners slipped over at the Baggies pushing them down to 6th. Word is that Arsene has signed a year’s extension to his contract which will irritate the fans who have just started to get restless, it will be worse if there is no Champions League next year, next weekend they host the Noisy Neighbours which might just be tough.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:09:00 +0000 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

GDP announced on Friday that it has secured a US$2m loan facility from Scipion Capital. The facility is available for 360 days from first draw down and is repayable monthly while annual interest is set at LIBOR plus 9.5%. We expect the expansion at Kilimapesa and consequent profits to be the primary source of loan repayments.

Since GDP funded the expansion at Kilimapesa through internally generated cash the loan will improve the working capital position of the operating subsidiaries in Ghana and South Africa strengthening the company’s negotiating position as it procures new by product material. This will also be beneficial for GDP’s push into South America since upfront cash typically improves the contracts’ terms. Secondly, we believe that the addition of a modest level of debt positively enhances GDP’s capital structure and have reduced our WACC from 8% to 7.6%.

To read our flashnote on the announcement please click here.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and increased our target price by 9% to 12.2p/sh.

]]> 'It's a very exciting time for Savannah', says CEO Andrew Knott after signing up drill contractor Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:18:00 +0000 Savannah Petroleum PLC (LON:SAVP) chief executive Andrew Knott speaks to Proactive following the announcement they've signed up a drill contractor and are expecting to start new wells in the first half of this year.

The ‘letter of award’, appointing contractor Great Wall Drilling Company Niger, sets out a programme of at least three new wells, with the option to expand drilling for a further six wells.

]]> Haydale Graphene picks up 'significant' US cutting tool contract Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:06:00 +0000 Ray Gibbs, chief executive of Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) talks to Proactive about their US subsidiary Advanced Composite Materials (ACM) signing a four year deal to supply silicon carbide micro-fibre to a global industrial tool manufacturer.

]]> Active Energy's Richard Spinks 'pleased' with investor support for £11.57mln raise Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:34:00 +0000 Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) chief executive Richard Spinks speaks to Proactive after announcing they're to raise £11.57mln via the issue of five-year convertible loan notes to existing and new investors.

The cash is set to be used to accelerate the development of the company’s CoalSwitch technology.

]]> Bottom-fishing opportunity at Premier Oil, says Zak Mir Wed, 15 Mar 2017 09:20:00 +0000 Technical analyst Zak Mir reckons there could be a bottom-fishing opportunity for investors to pick up Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) shares, which he is tipping add another 20% in coming months.

“It looks as though there’s an uptrend line from February last year running through around the 55p area,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board segment.

“While we hold above that there could be a bottom-fishing opportunity at least to take the shares back towards the 200-day moving day average at 70p.

“Stop loss on the whole idea really back below the 50p level,” Mir adds.