Squeaky-bum time for 88 Energy investors as Icewine-2 hiatus draws to a close Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:13:00 +0100 Tlou Energy shares advance as Lesedi coalbed methane project reaches major milestone Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:23:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:50:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced an equity subscription to raise £900k at a price of 0.146p/sh. The investment by Riverfort Global Capital will be structured so that an initial £400k is received by SULA with subsequent investment made in monthly instalments. Accordingly, 616m new shares will be issued taking the share capital to 3.1bn implying dilution of 24.6% with Riverfort holding 19.77% of the enlarged share capital. A formula has been determined to account for future fluctuations in the share price which will mean that share dilution from this investment will not increase. SULA has also announced that the Board will take a 50% reduction in salaries until December 2017. This along with the new investment should provide sufficient capital to advance exploration into 2018.

Operationally, SULA has announced that the remaining samples collected in the Phase 3 drilling have left Sierra Leone for analysis. The results are expected to be received in mid to late September for the remaining eight holes. Depending on the results it may be possible to complete a maiden JORC resource at Sanama Hill.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation although adjust our target price to 1.2p/sh. to reflect the dilution.

]]> Total’s US$7.4bn tilt for Maersk expected to deliver significant North Sea synergies Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:43:00 +0100 Verditek subsidiary wins trial contract for solar PV technology to power digital advertising billboards at outdoor bus shelters in Italy Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:40:00 +0100 PowerHouse Energy Group hails extended trial of breakthrough waste-to-power unit Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:25:00 +0100 Wood Group awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar contract by US oil giant Phillips 66 Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:05:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy highlights “encouraging” early results from ongoing Demsey well programme Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:04:00 +0100 Tlou Energy lands licence for Botswana coalbed methane project Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:18:00 +0100 A busy Q1 sees TAG Oil set up operationally for the year ahead Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:20:00 +0100 Toby Pierce, chief executive of the New Zealand and Australia-focused TAG Oil Ltd (TSE:TAO) talks Proactive through their Q1 update ending June 2017.

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

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

]]> Highlands Natural Resources completes drilling at first two wells at East Denver project Fri, 18 Aug 2017 06:24:00 +0100 Empire Oil & Gas looks to restart gas production in Perth Basin well Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:43:00 +0100 IOT Group has an acquisition on the table Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:27:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum's Adrian Cook brings North West Shelf discoveries to Proactive's CEO Sessions Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:19:00 +0100 88 Energy to restart testing of key Alaska well next week Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:31:00 +0100 Victoria Oil & Gas expecting La-107 to be a 'substantial' producer Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:50:00 +0100 Kevin Foo, executive chairman of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) discusses with Proactive the firm's Logbaba drilling update.

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

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas jumps 20% after bullish Cameroon well update Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:14:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Kaz Minerals Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:36:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (GDP LN) has announced that it will hold a shareholder conference call whereby shareholders and interested investors are invited to email questions to the Board which will be address in a Q&A session.

The call will be held at 12pm UK time on Wednesday 23 August 2017.

Questions should be sent in advance of the call to:

To participate in the call please dial 0808 109 0701 or if outside the UK using +44 (0)20 3003 2701

KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ)

KAZ Mineral (KAZ LN) has reported strong results for H1 2017 with strong increases in revenue and earnings on the back of increased output and higher prices. Copper production of 118kt of copper was up 109% YoY as the primary sulphide concentrator at Bozshakol reached 93% of capacity. While at Aktogay where the ramp up was faster the plant is running at full capacity.

EBITDA of US$429m was up 273% YoY driven primarily by higher prices and output although unit costs were also down 18% YoY to USc64/lb after by-product credits. As a result of the strong H1 performance, Akotgay unit cost guidance has been reduced to USc110-130/lb and at Bozshakol to USc115-135/lb on a before by product credit basis. Net income of US$195m was up 157%.

Copper fundamentals have not been as supportive in recent months with Chinese imports disappointing. That said, copper prices have been more moving higher in dollar terms owing largely to recent US political events. There is further downside potential in our view for the dollar with the Fed likely to face difficulty winding down its balance sheet and continuing its implied rate of rate hikes. This is likely to benefit commodity prices across the board. KAZ has traditionally been a highly operationally leveraged producer, however, the current transition to low cost mining is likely to change this and reduce future share price volatility on the back of more stable earnings and stronger free cash flow.

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:32:00 +0100 Victoria Oil & Gas (LON:VOG)

A flash blog this morning as I have back to back meetings with a great set of industry leaders, more of that in due course. I couldnt let the VOG announcement go without a mention as it is of profound importance though.

Today’s news from the company says that the La-107 well has found another 23m of wet gas sand in the lower Logbaba formation making a total of 58m. This is excellent news on a number of fronts, the well will be a producer by the end of September and the additional reserves mean that GDC can conclude long term contracts with high usage customers. The demand for gas in Douala way exceeds what GDC can supply so this extra production is enormously profitable and adds significant value to VOG.

I remain convinced that the company is hugely undervalued and that the next few months will show why they are such a rare beast, a virtual monopoly producer with a market that is growing and remains immensely important, the outlook for VOG is now truly mind boggling and investors should appreciate how much this adds to the value of the business.

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

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

]]> Greka Drilling’s latest deals mark apparent improvement in Chinese services sector Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:48:00 +0100 Oil price, Hunting, Empyrean Energy, And finally... Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:03:00 +0100 Oil price

After a shaky start yesterday the oil price settled near the highs of the day, as an example Brent had traded down to around 50 bucks but was nearly a dollar off the bottom at the close. The continued strong dollar hasn’t been helping and the market is still concerned about those Chinese refining numbers, to be honest I would rule that out as a potential major league threat. The more interesting thing comes with the inventory stats, the API numbers came out after the close and were again a bit mixed. The headline crude draw at 9.2m barrels was way above analysts guesstimates of 3.1m so should have signalled further joy but behind that number the products were less easy to analyse. Gasoline built by 301/- barrels which gave credence to those pundits who think that the US is at a short term gasoline peak (not difficult as Labor Day which signals the end of the US driving season is on 4th September this year!) but distillates, like last week showed a decent draw of 2.2m barrels way more than forecast. Lets see what the EIA say later today before looking too stupid!


It seems odd to say it but the era of Dennis Proctor as CEO of Hunting is nearly over. Announced back in April, his departure isn’t a surprise and today the company announces his successor effective September 1st. Again no surprise that they have gone for an insider, they did look across the board, but with a company as specialist but as wide ranging as Hunting, choosing Jim Johnson was a natural in the circumstances. I look forward to wishing DP well in retirement and welcoming Jim to the frenzy of results meetings, he will be more than ably assisted by CFO Peter Rose who is top notch.

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

Final results from EME are even more irrelevant than usual, the business has changed, Sugarloaf has gone and shareholders received their pieces of silver. But Tom Kelly, never one to sit idly by, has been on the move again as reported here recently. So, EME has bought into acreage in China, Indonesia and the USA two of which have already seen successful drilling. In Indonesia Mako-South-1 has delivered better than expected and in the USA, although Dempsey is still drilling, the early prognosis is very promising. Having returned the Sugarloaf money, the company almost immediately asked for it back again, shareholders who did well before have stumped up £1.2m in April and £1m this month at 3.5p and 8.5p respectively.  At today’s price of 9.25p the outlook is good and given that with two likely developments they will be asked to put their hands in their pockets again but for good reasons.

And finally…

The HubCap Stealers won 2-1 away at Hoffenheim last night with a good goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold, a fine name indeed. Tonight Celtic host FC Astana, league leaders in Kazakhstan, in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying play off.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd, Hochschild Mining Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Obtala Limited (LON:OBT): 2016 - A Year of Strategic Change

On Friday 30 June 2017, African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# released its results for the year ended 31 December 2016. Since then, OBT has made a number of additional announcements, which we cover in this note. 2016 was a year of strategic review and change for OBT, with a new chairman arriving in the middle of the year with a mandate to effect change and transform the company into a leading agriculture and forestry company in Africa. Shareholders have shown considerable support since then, providing the group with cUS$27m in various funding rounds.

WoodBois Acquisition Complete

OBT now has to execute its plan successfully, with the first stage being the successfully integration of its US$14.6m acquisition WoodBois International into the group, the completion of which was announced on 3 July. As a reminder, WoodBois operates a significant wood trading business headquartered in Copenhagen with a trading hub in Côte d'Ivoire, a forestry concession in Gabon with a sawmill, as well as a veneer factory under construction, which is scheduled for completion in H2. This acquisition should provide the business with an opportunity to significantly expand its sub-Saharan African forestry business.

Agriculture Profit Share Increases

On 4 July, OBT made a complex announcement concerning ownership of the land, processing assets and economic benefit on its two farms in Tanzania – Magole and Wami. The end result is that OBT’s economic ownership of Magole has increased to 71.2% from 60% and has increased to 67.5% from 52.5% for Wami. In addition, OBT’s effective economic stake of the processing assets at Magole is now 75%, up from 60% previously.

Recommendation and Target Price

We have made a number of changes to our forecasts, including converting them to US dollar from British pound, reflecting the company’s decision to switch its presentational currency to the former. We maintain our BUY recommendation and DCF-derived target price of 36p.


Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC) has reported weak results despite rising production. H1 2017 production of 17.9mnoz on an attributable equivalent ounces basis was up 5% YoY with a 9% YoY increase in silver production to 8.9mnoz and 3% increase in gold production to 121koz.  Revenue of US$341m was flat YoY.

Adjusted EBITDA was, however, down 20% YoY to US$136m while profit before exceptionals was down 49% YoY to US$18.2m. The earnings weakness was largely due to unplanned stoppages in Q1 2017 and unit costs were up 35% YoY to US$6.6/oz at Inmaculada where the stoppage took place. Full year cost guidance at Inmaculada is for AISC of US$9.5-10/oz (US$8.8/oz in H1 2017) indicating further cost inflation. The revised mine plan at Arcata following a number of reduced stopes and narrower veins also impacted costs negatively and AISC were up 35% YoY to US$17.6/oz with full year guidance now increased to US$17/oz.

The interim results demonstrate cost inflation across the group’s key assets which has negatively impacted performance during the recent period. HOC does remain on track for 37mnoz while AISC guidance of US$12-12.7/oz remains unchanged. The cost inflation at Inmaculada, Arcata and San Jose has been partially offset by stronger performance at Pallancata where guidance was reduced enabling HOC to maintain its full year target.

]]> Greka Drilling lands new contracts with PetroChina Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:42:00 +0100 Rose Petroleum gold milling deal is advancing Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:23:00 +0100 Buru Energy nears first sale of oil from the new Wyndham tank Wed, 16 Aug 2017 01:25:00 +0100 Transocean shares slide as it says it's buying Norwegian competitor Songa Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:49:00 +0100 Deveron UAS's drones helping agricultural efficiency to reach new heights Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:03:00 +0100 Oil price, Rockhopper, Lamprell, Wood Gp/AMFW, Thalassa, And finally... Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:34:00 +0100 Oil price

The bulls turned tail in a hurry yesterday afternoon, maybe it was the report from China of the refinery output falling, indicating lower crude demand, or perhaps Shell lifting its force majeure on Bonny Light, who knows. Certainly traders report some hefty bulls closing out positions and took to the shelters with hard hats on. The only other piece of news was from the EIA who stated US shale production in September to be up 120/- b/d, in line with previous expectations.

Rockhopper Exploration (LON:RKH)

RKH has announced an update from the Abu Sennan drilling campaign where production ‘remains stable’ at 3,300 b/d in the last six months. The Al Jahraa-9 well penetrated 5m of pay in the AR-C reservoir but the sand was water wet, however the reservoir pressure was in line with the Al Jahraa and Al Jahraa SE fields. They also encountered the deepest known oil shows in the AR-C reservoirs giving hope for further potential elsewhere. The Al Jahraa SE-2X sidetrack had oil pay confirmed in the AR-C and AR-E reservoirs with the latter now producing 250 boe/d. Finally, the company confirmed that its outstanding receivables balance for Egypt continues to reduce with further payments received in July.

The rationale behind the Greater Mediterranean strategy for RKH has been to buy producing assets with some upside and to get paid for the production and they are certainly ticking all the boxes in that respect. I get the impression that this drilling campaign may have been quite testing and obviously a touch disappointing but there is some potential upside if the operator can be persuaded to start a waterflood programme which should significantly increase recovery. Also as previously mentioned the deeper horizons could easily yield more potential and further increase production. These wells are relatively cheap and with 22% RKH has limited expenditure and can recoup swiftly when production comes onstream. Overall it is  a minor negative but of a modest nature, the GM strategy remains on course and the major league prize is still within their grasp…

Lamprell (LON:LAM)

On the basis that it is rarely wise to upset your customers, Lamps has today announced an ‘amicable’ settlement with Cameron after the famous ENSCO disaster of 2016 which led to LAM taking a $25m hit. The settlement, whilst not made public, appears to wash the cash element through the accounts (which have already been closed off ) and Lamps gets a couple of land rig orders to ameliorate the pain. In the end no one has been hurt and Lamps have not lost an important relationship with Cameron which we mustn’t forget is a subsidiary of Schlumberger

Wood Group/AMFW

A bit more box-ticking today as the WG takeover of AMFW continues apace. No one expected the Spanish inquisition and the CMA has rolled over and agreed to the sale of AMFW’s upstream oil and gas business as expected. There are several dates in the announcement but clearly neither Wood nor the CMA are worried about this deal being completed and one gets the impression that the deal will go through irrespective of the asset sale. With the SFO already looking into matters at both companies the WG compliance/legal departments will be busy but given how easily AMFW rolled over, the deal should complete in the final quarter of this year.

Thalassa Holdings (LON:THAL)

There are fewer people in the industry that I would like to play cards with than Duncan Soukup, Chairman of Thalassa Holdings who have announced today a preliminary agreement on the sale of WGP and an investment in ARL. If I remember correctly the earlier offer was deemed unsatisfactory and Mr Soukup walked away, today he announces a $30m deal for WGP ($20m down and $10m earn out) and the ‘interested third party will pay $2m for 20% of ARL with an option to buy another 20% at the same price valid for two years.

I’m not sure how many of you out there have any interest in THAL but it’s worth it just for the Chairman’s statements which generally read like something from the Federal Reserve. When you can make comments about a deal like this then you are halfway to lexicon heaven. ‘The interested party brings substantial node manufacturing and deployment and recovery experience to the table, which are core components of ARL’s flying node system project’. Thalassa may be niche but is technically top level and never forgets that the shareholder comes first…


Yesterday was Voxmarkets podcast day and it was easy to choose Jersey Oil and Gas, Trinity Exploration and Range Resources who all have much to say just now. Here is the link which is also on the website, along with all other interviews.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Jersey Oil & Gas, Trinity Exploration & Production and Range Resources

And finally…

Tonight sees the HubCap Stealers return to the Champions League fray with the away leg of the tie which if they win will put them into the Group stages of the Cup. They travel to the WIRSOL Rhein-Necker stadium to play 1899 Hoffenheim which sound like a bear that sells lager. Without Mr Coutinho who Klopp still thinks he can keep they should win easily enough.

]]> Petro Matad shares rise as funding amendment eases equity dilution Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Sound Energy investors can start looking forward to new exploration catalysts Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:10:00 +0100 Rockhopper Exploration updates on production and new wells in Egypt Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:48:00 +0100 Melbana Energy raising up to $6.6 million for oil drilling program in Cuba Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:47:00 +0100 TAG Oil completes second Cheal well as it eyes further production growth Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:42:00 +0100 Catalysts on the way for Jersey Oil & Gas as Verbier drilling gets underway Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:53:00 +0100 UK set for ‘significant’ shale gas activity – Egdon Resources Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0100 Oil price, Jersey Oil & Gas, Empyrean, Premier Oil, Sundry-Chevron-Sirius Pet- Gulf Keystone-Egdon- And finally... Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:25:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price ended down on the week but not by much, WTI lost 76c and Brent 32c as various influences waxed and waned, today prices are off a little. Both the main influences seemed to be about stocks, the inventories were down in crude and mixed in products as we draw nearer to the end of the driving season. The EIA STEO was slightly more bullish on supply and demand, no real change in the first half of this year but a bigger draw in H2. The IEA had a slightly different perspective (but then usually does) by revising demand down and thus suggesting that stocks would take longer to draw down. Opec in its report owned up to oversupply but by then we knew something wasnt right when the KSA cut back production and forward sales so sharply. With the overall rig count falling by 5 units to 949, the oil number was up 3 at 768, no great inference can be taken but the heat is certainly out of the rig rises.

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

Much excitement round at JOG I imagine as the news is confirmed that Statoil has spudded the Verbier prospect over the weekend, a well that would totally transform the company. The well is expected to take between 30-70 days and may include a sidetrack, Statoil,  (70%) are funding the first $25m and JOG (18%) gets a further cash carry of 10% of the well costs from CIECO. The well is targeting mean prospective resources of 162m barrels of oil equivalent and is given a 29% COS by ERC in their CPR. Higher than the normal wildcat in the area this is probably due to the significance of the 20/5a-10Y well drilled by Talisman back in 2006. At the analyst’s presentation some months ago much was made of this deviated well, it wasn’t targeting these J64 sands but passed through them and tested oil and gas on the intersection. JOG clearly feel that that intersection to be within the south eastern flank of the Verbier prospect and thus the reasons for being so optimistic.

JOG is not purely a play on this well but it is fair to say that a good result here would be a game changer for the company. The highly experienced team at JOG have spent time building a portfolio and intend to continue with acquisitions of exploration and production assets. Accordingly it is worth noting that Azinor Catalyst are apparently about to spud on the Partridge prospect where JOG have an interest. As a result of the farm-out, should a discovery be made then JOG would receive a $2m payout with another $2m should a formal FDP be approved. Furthermore, success on Verbier would likely be good news for the Cortina prospect on the same licence which is targeting the same Upper Jurassic J64 sandstone. JOG went into the bucket list in February and has performed very well having started at 114p and traded as high as 317p and now settling at around 250p. Investors will be aware that there is potential downside if this well doesnt come in but JOG has plenty more to offer, if however it should be successful then the shares will justify a significantly higher price, well above 500p in my estimation.

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

It looks like Mr Kelly has done it again, early news from the Dempsey well in California looks very promising indeed. The company say that the well has ‘intersected multiple intervals of interpreted significant gas shows in sandstones at the producing gas field levels’. Now this is by no means a done deal as testing is yet to take place but to me it ticks a lot of boxes and if it comes in the way it looks like it might it should be the 1 TCF prospect they were after. Remember that Dempsey is only yards away from infrastructure with a gas metering station almost ‘adjacent’ which makes this potential find deliverable very quickly indeed.

Premier Oil (LON:PMO)

It was interesting to read the article about PMO in yesterday’s press for a number of reasons. Firstly, as I suggested in this blog on Thursday the appointment of Roy Franklin as Chairman is exceptionally good news and the board changes will do Premier very well. The article suggests that there could be a conflict of interest however, as Mr Franklin is also on the board of Amec FW and designated deputy Chairman of Wood Group on closure of the deal. Normally this wouldn’t be noteworthy but in this day and age of E&P companies raising money from sources that include oilfield services companies, (note Schlumberger recent activities) it could indeed be a conflict. The other interesting point is similar, the market is expecting news from PMO soon about the financing of the Tolmount gas field in the SNS which is widely believed to be being funded by an infrastructure partner in return for a tariff payment. The article suggests that PMO expects the same to happen to the Sea Lion project, now that really would sort things out once and for all…


An interesting article in the FT who report that Chevron is looking again at developing the Rosebank field north west of the Shetlands. With costs already reduced by 30% or more that takes over $3bn off the bill and that apparently is making Chevron put it back on the front burner. The article also points out that the area is pretty hot at the moment with several majors, not to mention Hurricane progressing decent finds in the region.

The worst kept secret in the oil industry was the offtake deal done by Sirius Petroleum (LON:SRSP) with BP, today the details of a $10m revolving prepayment facility and offtake are confirmed.

Gulf Keystone announce that payment of $15m from the KRG has been authorised, that should mean a net $12m over to GKP before long. They also say that the Shaikan reservoir is still producing strongly, recently averaging 36,671 b/d.

And Egdon (LON:EDR)  have an operational update almost all of which I seem to have seen before. The next date for Wressle appears to be November of this year but I’m not standing on one foot waiting for a result. Some sensible portfolio rationalisation is under way with production from Fiskerton Airfield and further carry from Total on PEDL 209. With the Holmwood well due to be drilled but with no date excitement from Egdon, should it come is likely to be in the 4th quarter of this year.

And finally…

The Premiership returned with indecent haste but did provide some excitement in the process with plenty of goals and a number of red cards to liven proceeds. Champions Chelski contributed two of the red cards and two goals but conceded three to Burnley, the Noisy Neighbours saw off any threat from the Seagulls 0-2. Also conceding three were the HubCap Stealers who were held 3-3 by the Hornets, the Gooners who beat the Foxes 4-3, the Eagles conceded three to lose to the Terriers on Prem debut 0-3. Spurs won 0-2 at the Magpies, Rooney scored the winner for the Toffees and the Red Devils beat the Hammers 4-0 at the Theatre of Dreams. The Baggies scraped the usual 1-0 er and the Saints and the Swans drew 0-0. I won’t do every result every week I promise…

The Austrian MotoGP produced the closest race of the season so far when Andrea Dovizioso held off the Championship leader, Marc Marquez to secure his, 3rd victory this season. Marquez tried a desperate move at the last bend nearly taking them both out but Dovizioso held on to win, saying he was “more angry than happy” after the Marquez move, whereas Marquez said “If I hadn’t tried it, I wouldn’t have slept well!”. Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was 3rd and Lorenzo 4th, his best race this year. The British contingent had a difficult weekend although Scott Redding and Cal Crutchlow both managed to get into the points. In Moto3 Joan Mir ran away with the race putting him into a 64 pt lead in the Championship. Scotsman John McPhee, running in the front group, was rammed from behind by an overeager Bendsneyder taking them both out of the race. Hopefully, at the next race at Silverstone, the crowd support will boost the home riders.

Justin Thomas won the US PGA at Quail Hollow which looks very nice and Rory is considering taking the rest of the year off, how pleasing…

The athletics ended yesterday and for the two departures it didnt quite go as planned. However huge shout outs to the mens and womens 100m relay teams as they brought home gold and silver respectively. Even having the two time drug cheat couldn’t make them win….

]]> SSE's dividend looks sustainable to Credit Suisse Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:51:00 +0100 Echo Energy to follow a strong Latin American beat after Bolivian intro Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:59:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum to raise funds to acquire more assets in Permian basin Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:47:00 +0100 Sirius shares rise on BP deal Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:41:00 +0100 Gulf Keystone on course to meet full-year production guidance Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:02:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:55:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR) has this morning provided the market with an extensive review of its operations after making significant progress across its entire portfolio since the start of the year and ahead of a potentially key period for the company to year end.

Unconventional Resources

We view the UK shale gas industry as one of the key value drivers to EDR’s share price and it has built up an impressive portfolio across its core area in the north of England of c201,000 net acres.

H2 2017 will see a number of catalysts for both the industry and EDR, of particular interest to investors will be the news that IGas (IGAS) intends to drill the potentially play opening Gainsborough Trough exploration well Springs Road-1 (PEDL140, Egdon 14.5% carried) later in 2017. This is a key well for EDR, which will see it drilling a thick Lower Carboniferous tight sand and shale sequence. This will be extensively logged and cored to provide a full suite of modern data with which to evaluate the play properly. Other shale catalysts are summarised below;

• Cuadrilla plans to drill and hydraulically fracture two horizontal wells at Preston New Road

• Hydraulic fracturing and testing operations by Third Energy at Kirby Misperton-8 (“KM-8”), this onshore well will have potential read through to the neighbouring Cloughton gas discovery (EDR 17.5%) and Resolution Prospect (EDR 100%).

• 3D seismic acquisition by INEOS in the East Midlands including over parts of EDR’s PEDL001 and PEDL130 licences

• We also note IGAS has applied for planning permission to test gas shows in the Pentre Chert in the 2014 Ellesmere Port-1 exploration well, located very close to PEDL 191 (EDR 100%), and is a newly identified potential gas play

Conventional Resources Exploration and Appraisal

EDR’s next drilling activity is likely to be the Holmwood-1 conventional exploration well in Weald Basin licence PEDL143 (EDR 18.4%) where the operator, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG), has advised that they expect to commence operations later in 2017 once approvals are in place. This well will test the Portland sandstone, Kimmeridge Clay and Corallian targets, in an analogous trap configuration to the Horse Hill-1 oil discovery and tested 323bopd from the Portland Sandstone and 1,365bopd in total from two intervals in the Kimmeridge Limestone. Further catalysts on the conventional portfolio are summarised below;

• Licence extensions for both Biscathorpe (7.4mmbbls net-prospective resource) and North Kelsey (5.2mmbbls net-prospective resources) to 30 June 2018, drilling operations at Biscathorpe-2 are expected to commence in early 2018 whilst EDR hopes to drill North Kelsey in mid-2018

• EDR continues to make progress on the Resolution Prospect (160BCF, 100% WI) and plans to acquire a new 3D seismic survey during 2018 to confirm the potential resource volumes and enable optimisation of the planning for an offshore appraisal well. EDR continues to seek an industry partner and/or investors to share the forward costs

• EDR completed its withdrawal from its French licences and is now solely focussed on the UK

Producing Assets

Full year guidance remains in-line with previous expectations of 100-110boepd this is despite the timing of the maintenance shut-downs changing from 2016 to 2017 meaning only 9 months of production from Ceres contributed to production in the 2016/17 financial year. The Keddington and Avington oil fields also continue to produce in-line with expectations.

On 10 July 2017 EDR announced that it will acquire a 100% WI and take on operatorship of the Fiskerton Airfield Oil Field from Cirque Energy for a cash consideration of US$750k (c£590k). This will be paid for out of existing cash resources and will have an effective date of 1 January 2017. EDR estimate that 100,000bbls of high quality 32.5°API oil remain recoverable from the existing wells.

Finally EDR has experienced difficulty with the Wressle Oil Field and was refused planning for the second time by North Lincolnshire County Council 2 July 2017. This decision was taken despite the project receiving a positive recommendation from planning officers on both occasions. EDR will now submit an appeal against the second refusal and seek to co-join it with the appeal it has already made against the original refusal which is due to be heard in November 2017, the outcome of which we now expect early next year. We have updated our forecasts accordingly and now do not expect production from Wressle until H2 2018. In the case of a successful outcome this would add 125bopd to EDR’s production.

VSA Comment

We remain impressed by the progress EDR continues to make. Although we believe EDR’s investment case is turning increasingly towards the UK shale gas industry, we note the company continues to make good progress on its conventional fields by adding immediate production at Fiskerton Airport, for a relatively modest fee, and it has now provided updated timing on Biscathorpe. Holmwood has the potential to provide significant upside with little downside risk to EDR as it is mostly carried by UKOG on this well where the CPR estimates mean un-risked prospective resources of 5.6mmbbls, which would make it one of the largest onshore oil fields in the UK, if successful. We maintain our BUY recommendation and 35.5p TP, which we recently updated.

]]> Empyrean Energy’s Dempsey well sees multiple significant gas shows Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:51:00 +0100 Jersey Oil & Gas: Statoil kicks off Verbier exploration well in North Sea Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:30:00 +0100 ‘Major milestone’ for Highlands Natural Resources as it kicks off drilling at East Denver Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:28:00 +0100 Oil price, Trinity, Range Resources, And finally... Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:52:00 +0100 Oil price

Rather than reacting on the upside to the geopolitical concerns over North Korea the oil price followed world markets down yesterday and again this morning by about another 50c. Things were not helped by a spokesman at Gazprom saying that he considers that it would be ‘economically feasible’ to resume production from mature fields when the Opec/Non-Opec deal expires. The naivety  of such economic interpretation requires some questioning but I suspect working in a vacuum answers most of it.

Trinity Exploration and Production (LON:TRIN)

Trinity has announced the sale of its West Coast, Trinidad portfolio to Range Resources for $4.55m in cash. (See below for RRL comment)The assets in question are, Brighton Marine (100%) and Point Ligoure-Guapo Bay- Brighton Marine (70%) and makeup all of TRIN’s West Coast assets and all of the related fixed assets. This makes sense for both companies who can extract value in different ways. The assets are  non-core to Trinity who are concentrating on the onshore and East Coast assets in their portfolio where the bulk of their current reserves and production reside, in addition, the West Coast economics were higher on a cost per barrel basis than on the East Coast.

The deal crystallises significant value to the company and the realisation is higher than it has in the non-core asset sales budget, to the tune of around $1m. It also strengthens the balance sheet and the working capital position and enhances the portfolio economics going forward. Without the West Coast the company will be able to focus financial and human resources on the core growth opportunities it has selected onshore and on the East Coast with management and technical teams aligned. Trinity has always made it clear that the West Coast has been non-core so this is no surprise given that they were not prioritised,  they are a bunch of high quality assets that the buyer will be able to benefit from with its ability to invest in the projects. This is a further step forward for TRIN who as I said earlier in the week are firing on all cylinders and are back in the game big time.

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

Range Resources has announced that it is buying the West Coast of Trinidad assets of Trinity for $4.55m in cash. The 200 b/d increases their production by around 33% to 800 b/d and along with the Indonesian acquisition announced on Tuesday starts to put Range firmly back on the map. The $1.75/b 2P looks very attractive and they acquire net 2P reserves of 2.6m bbls and 2C of 0.5m bbls and is a more than useful diversification of the portfolio. This is profitable at current oil prices and has operational synergies with other RRL operations run by the team to be joined from Trinity. Range have the necessary resources to invest in these assets, and assuming the RRDSL deal goes through will have the added benefit to carry out the appropriate workovers and upgrades. This therefore provides significant potential to increase production through low risk workovers achieving uplift swiftly and economically in the short term. This deal seems to me to be genuinely good for both sides who can gain advantage in different ways, Range and Trinity are both proving that the recent excitement in the area is no flash in the pan.

And finally…

Tomorrow is the Glorious 12th of August which is only significant if you are a grouse…

The MotoGP moves on to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on Sunday. It’s probably the best chance for Jorge Lorenzo to justify his Number One position in the Ducati Team although he would still be out of the running for the Championship as only 22 points separates front runners Marquez, Vinales, Dovizioso and Rossi and a podium could catapult Pedrosa back into the mix.

Flat racing sees the annual Shergar Cup held at Ascot and provides fun rather than compelling racing but no less enjoyable…

And of course the Premiership is back, only seems five minutes since those overpaid toerags were running and diving last season but here goes. The Gooners start the season off tonight against the Foxes while the Champions host Burnley tomorrow at the Bridge. The HubCap Stealers are at the Hornets whilst newboys the Terriers are at the Eagles and other promotees the Seagulls host the Noisy Neighbours. The free spending Toffees entertain the Potters whilst the Baggies take on the Cherries and the Saints host the Swans. Sunday sees the return of the Magpies who have Spurs at St James’ and the happy Hammers go to the Theatre of dreams along with the Little Pea, who will enjoy his return.

]]> Frontera Resources confident it now has answer to Georgia puzzle Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:15:00 +0100 Talks over Nigeria exploration funding advancing well says COPL Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Trinity Exploration sells west coast Trinidad assets to Range Resources Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:40:00 +0100 Trinity Exploration sells west coast Trinidad assets to Range Resources Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:35:00 +0100 Oil Basins, Thred and Covata top the ASX % Gainers intra-day Fri, 11 Aug 2017 01:45:00 +0100 Melbana Energy to boost cash for multi-billion barrel oil hunt in Cuba Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:57:00 +0100 Central Petroleum bags A$27.2 million to drill, says no to fraccing Thu, 10 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0100 Prairie Provident's production hits new high as cash flow tops forecasts Thu, 10 Aug 2017 18:00:00 +0100 UKOG shares trade positively on Broadford Bridge side-track news Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:15:00 +0100 Oil price, IGas Energy, Wentworth Resources, Sundry-Premier-Quadrise-Phoenix- And finally... Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:15:00 +0100 Oil price

You can’t keep a good thing down and crude bounced again yesterday and is up again in early trading today. Interestingly Brent is the poster boy, now three bucks above WTI and in backwardation for the first time for a while, someone believes that the Saudis mean what they say…

The EIA inventory figures helped, a crude draw of 6.5m barrels validated the API stats and were more than twice the 2.4m guess from the teenage scribblers on Wall Street. Refinery utilisation was up yet again, now at over 96% with throughputs of over 17.5m b/d, the highest since September 2005. Offsetting that was an unsurprising  build in gasoline stocks of 3.5m which was disappointing although we are slowly inching towards the end of the driving season. Distillates however got everyone out of jail, a draw of 1.73m was better than expected and showed that product demand in this area is very strong still.

The IEA also produced their STEO, always a good read and is now more bullish about oil for the first time in a while. They have supply and demand neutral in 1H 2017 but expect a call on Opec of 32.88m b/d in the 2H, up 720/- half on half and should adherence be high then there is a modest opportunity for optimism.

IGas Energy (LON:IGAS)

I had a long awaited meeting with Steve Bowler, CEO of IGas a few days ago and things are most definitely looking up for them and I would wager the UK hydrocarbon industry in general. IGas completed their refinancing and fundraising in April and are now a much more well balanced and tidy beast. They are cashflow generative at current prices after a rigorous attack on the cost base and have a carried potential programme of up to $230m which is not to be sneezed at. With a solid conventional portfolio delivering at present and with potential upside, they also have the more public face, a  substantial non-conventional asset base where activity is very much ongoing.

I am expecting activity from them at Springs Road and Tinker Lane towards the end of the year and they are not alone. Cuadrilla have a rig on site at  Preston New Road whilst Third Energy and Ineos are becoming more  active, the latter having already taken out an injunction to prevent trespass and harassment and much more at their sites. So it is fair to say that after a number of false starts the UK shale industry has momentum, concerns about importing gas from Russia and Qatar are valid and need to be addressed. The world is appropriately excited about electric cars and the good they will do, remembering that when they are plugged in the power they use doesnt come from thin air may be worthwhile bearing in mind…

IGas is now in a good position, it has applied to test the Pentre Chert formation at its historical Ellesmere Port well, here there are possible deeper CLS shales in the south with South/North up-dip migration. Previous well information suggests that geometry allows for an accumulation of conventionally trapped hydrocarbons within the Pentre Chert. This should lead to a better understanding of the potential volume of gas and its viability. With new shareholders and the finances on a sound footing (and a huge carry)  IGas are now in a strong position to take advantage of the potential for conventional and unconventional gas resources in the UK.

Wentworth Resources (LON:WRL)

Q2 results from WRL this morning which are as usual not that helpful being historic, the excitement at this company is going forward. Gas sales and revenues are down on comparables whilst losses are up, capex is down but cash is better at $3.83m after the fund raise in May. After the rainy season in Q2 gas sales are rising and with guidance remaining at 40-60 MMscf/d that should be on target as I understand they did 70 scuffs at Mnazi Bay yesterday.

The struggle remains getting paid, TPCD and TANESCO are poor payers and the company is reliant on cash flow for managing working capital which is not ideal. The farm-out discussions continue but they are positive on that and an appraisal well will be drilled regardless there. Despite the difficulties I remain positive on WRL although the ever present problem of getting paid by Government agencies must put off investors, will these countries never learn?


Premier Oil (LON:PMO) has announced that Roy Franklin is to succeed Mike Welton as its next Chairman, this is excellent news on many fronts. There are also two new non-Execs in Dave Blackwood and Mike Wheeler who replace Joe Darby and David Lindsell, also good news.

Quadrise Fuels (LON:QFI) has announced some cost reduction measures and a directorate change. I met with Chairman Mike Kirk a little while ago and was very impressed but market changes must be making things very difficult at the moment especially after the Maersk decision. I am not a big fan of not having the CFO on the board but needs must here and the man moving out stays on as a non-exec which is helpful. Technology businesses like this are hard going, with the cost cutting across the board I hope that QF stays in the game.

And Phoenix Global Resources (LON:PGR) has its first day of dealings today following the Andes Energia back-in, ticker is PGR and it will be interesting to see how trading goes with such minimal free float.

And finally…

The HubCap Stealers fans must be biting their nails to the core, Barca came back with 100m Euros yesterday for Coutinho which was turned down but should the player start making noises that he would like a move it will be game over…

Yesterday at the tummy bug games Makwala won his rearranged heat easily enough and got through his semi final too, now grumbling that he couldnt do the 400…. Sir Mo Farah got through his heat and will be in the final on Saturday night, will that be the next or only other medal for team GB?

And today sees the start of the US PGA, the fourth major at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, after next year the tournament moves earlier in the season leaving ‘the’ Open as the final major of the year.

]]> Verditek takes three pronged approach to green technology Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:11:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Glencore International Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Glencore (LON:GLEN)

Glencore (LON:GLEN) has announced strong interim earnings reversing a loss of US$369m in H1 2016 to a net profit of US$2.45bn. Full year net profit for 2016 was US$1.38bn. Revenue of US$100bn was up 44% YoY whilst EBITDA of US$6.7bn was 68% YoY. The stronger earnings were primarily driven by the recovery in commodity prices, particularly base metals. Although commodity prices in dollar terms benefitted from the recent depreciation the positive earnings impact was partially offset by the consequent strength of EM currencies where GLEN’s operations are based.

Capital expenditure of US$1.7bn was up 7% YoY in H1 while net debt fell a further 11% YoY to US$13.9bn.

With the strong rally in cobalt prices, 115% YoY, GLEN has highlighted its positioning for the growing focus on electric vehicles and battery storage. Although production of 12.7kt in H1 2017 makes GLEN one of the largest global producers of the metal, production was flat YoY. Ramping up production in this small market is challenging and quality assets are scarce. The impact of soaring prices which impact the cost of batteries is likely to show that the fight for preferred battery chemistries remains wide open.

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

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

]]> Premier Oil names Roy Franklin as new chairman Thu, 10 Aug 2017 06:49:00 +0100 Northern Minerals sees opportunity in China dysprosium supply disruption Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:45:00 +0100 LWP Technologies' shares halted Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:51:00 +0100 Central Petroleum in discussions with institutions Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:01:00 +0100 Sun Resources readies to pounce on new oil project Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:43:00 +0100 Point Loma Resources' Paddle River acquisition could double output in near term Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:01:00 +0100 Echo Energy 'in the right postcode' with Bolivian assets - CEO Fiona MacAulay Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0100 Fiona MacAulay, chief executive of Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through her first five weeks in the job as chief executive.

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

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

]]> Oil price, Amerisur, Trinity, Pantheon, Genel, Sundry-Parkmead-Hague & London- And finally... Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:35:00 +0100 Oil price

A bit of drift for crude markets yesterday, news was a bit thin on the ground and mixed in content, on the positive front various other producers joined the KSA in cutting back September liftings and OECD inventories fell by the biggest y/y amount since April 2014. After hours the API stats were better than expected for crude oil drawing by 7.8m barrels against forecasts of 2.7m but gasoline stocks built by 1.5m barrels as analysts had expected a draw of about the same number. Other less positive news came from Shell who announced that the Pernis refinery was restarting, albeit at a reduced rate. Tonight’s EIA stats will as usual be interesting, yesterday it increased US production expectations modestly for this year with no changes for 2018.

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

An update this morning from AMER on the CPO-5 block and  Mariposa-1 where ONGC have officially filed as a discovery. The well flowed a controlled 4,601 b/d of 40.8° API crude with a restricted choke indicating ‘strong further production potential’. A LTT will lead to production probably towards the end of this year, ONGC have a reputation for being slow but once a decision has been taken to produce will back it with significant funds. AMER’s 30% will therefore give them a substantial boost which is why they have remained confident of their short and medium term production guidance.

Although I have no worries about the Putumayo region it is comforting to see that this success up north can significantly add to their reserve base, increase production and therefore value. With the market currently showing little interest in E&P companies, I would suggest that this is an incredible store of value that will be unlocked, possibly with little notice, accordingly  investors should keep a close eye on the recent uptick in activity in South America.

Trinity Exploration & Production (LON:TRIN)

In today’s H1 operational update the company uses the phrase ‘step-change’ a number of times, this is most accurate as the company increases its financial performance with each step of the transition following the return to the capital markets. Operationally, production is solid, increasing short and medium term despite a one-off fall in the second quarter for specific, unavoidable reasons. It is now back over 2,500 b/d, indeed during August it is expected to be between 2,550 and 2,650 b/d, full year guidance remains at 2,600-2,800 and 3,000 b/d is expected within 12 months time.

Financially things are also improving, the consolidated netback was ‘very robust’ at $13.50bin the period ($3.30 for the same period last year) and the balance sheet remains strong with cash of $11.5m from revenues and the raise. Both OPEX and the G&A charge are below budget as the management ruthlessly ensure that margins are preserved. Trinity continue to maintain that it is important to strengthen foundations in three areas, firstly by maturing the pipeline of value-creating producing growth opportunities, secondly by ‘enhancing asset integrity’ and finally by delivering on their growth strategy. This will be helped significantly as they have managed to justify contracting a new rig to execute and enlarged RCP programme.

It can be seen that Trinity management is rigorously managing costs thus increasing margins as production rises, along with maintaining cash levels. The company are particularly aware of the need to grow reserves and production in order to maximise cash flow ‘from our core assets while achieving a market value that is more reflective of our underlying assets’. With its ‘diverse and deep portfolio’ of low cost production and development assets that it can bring into play in due course Trinity is back in the game, big time.

Pantheon Resources (LON:PANR)

Giving investors dates by which things may happen has its drawbacks as PANR have found, today they partially update the market on VOBM#2H where the frac job has been completed successfully flowing gas and oil to surface. It is too early to make an accurate assessment, that will be done after a workover rig has installed more kit and done flow tests but there appears to be optimism in the camp, expect news in -about- three weeks…VOBM#4 is running a bit late but only due to the previous user running a bit late, expect it to be on site in -about- the second week in September…All being well the 1, 2 and three VOBM wells should hook up to the gas facility together by the end of September although we know that there might be a delay as the pipeline operator has a maintenance programme that might delay until -about- mid-November.

Genel Energy (LON:GENL)

Continuing good news for Genel as it announces what it has been paid for May oil sales. $39.59m was paid to the Tawke partners of which $9.9m was net to Genel and contained $6.39 towards receivables which is good. For Taq Taq the numbers are $12.24m of which Genel’s share is $6.93m and of which $1.18m was paying back receivables. All in all a respectable set of numbers and more food for thought when I meet the company later this month.


Parkmead have confirmed the acquisition of 50% of P2209 in the UK SNS, no value to the deal is given which makes life as ever more complicated in terms of value. I took PMG out of the bucket list for this main reason, it is difficult at best to be able to recommend a share about which such key information is missing as is IR.

Hague and London Oil has announced that Stifel has resigned as broker and Nomad which means that a new one has to be found, sharpish. This is a very disconcerting move and should be sounding alarm bells very loudly. The company is suspended as it attempts to buy Tullow Netherlands but something may be rotten in the state of Denmark as the Bard might have said…

And finally…

Real Madrid beat the Red Devils in last night’s friendly where both teams played pretty much their best sides.

No medals since Sir Mo in London at the tummy bug games continue, any bets on whether only he will provide the whole of the Team GB haul….?

]]> Positive performance Trinity Exploration & Production suggests turnaround plan is working Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:01:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy updates on Dempsey exploration as programme continues Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:19:00 +0100 Haydale Graphene opens Taiwanese operations to meet demand for conductive inks and pastes Wed, 09 Aug 2017 07:01:00 +0100 Riverstone Energy says oil market volatility is likely to remain elevated Wed, 09 Aug 2017 06:54:00 +0100 Trinity Exploration & Production boasts of financial step-change in first half Wed, 09 Aug 2017 06:35:00 +0100 PowerHouse Energy to start demonstrations of waste-to-hydrogen tech at Thornton Wed, 09 Aug 2017 06:21:00 +0100 Boss Resources bags $3mln for uranium project Wed, 09 Aug 2017 03:33:00 +0100 Point Loma Resources to lift output with Paddle River well acquisition Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:33:00 +0100 Anfield Resources' uranium mining ambitions bolstered with latest resource estimate Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:45:00 +0100 Oil price, Range Resources, Tower Resources, Link, And finally... Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:01:00 +0100 Oil price

Sometimes the market wants to go in a certain direction, a few weeks ago no amount of good news could trigger a rally, at the moment it is the other way around. Yesterday, news that the uprising in the control room at the Sharara field in Libya had been put down and production was back up, pushed crude down sharply but the subsequent rally left oil well off the lows.

There were three pieces of good news in the market, firstly the Saudis acted on their recent words regarding non-adherence and announced that they were cutting supplies to Asian customers in September by 10%, agencies reported that next month over 500/- b/d would be coming off the market. Further good news was supplied by the CFTC as last week’s data showed a significant increase in money managers long exposure to WTI and Brent crude, indeed NSL was over 100m barrels and to the tune of $32.8bn, twice what it was in June. Finally, further unrest in Venezuela including first reports of military unease, has increased geopolitical risk and the likelihood of further sanctions on their oil, particularly to the USA.

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

Range has announced the acquisition of oil and gas assets in Indonesia with the signing of an SPA with Hengtai to buy 23%, rising to 42%, on completion of a minimum work programme in the Perlak field. The cost is $3.2m which will be paid from cash resources and brings RRL 500m bbls of total reserves and resources left in place. The low risk, low cost work programme is not dissimilar to the Caribbean or South America, with workovers and re-initiating existing wells to increase production.

The programme will consist of four workovers which should up production by 120 b/d and the minimal commitment to drill one well within three years should be easily achieved. Indeed the company are looking to expedite it and go beyond these minimum targets. The company have a put option in place to ensure milestones are passed which include include, achieving minimum production of 800 bopd from the Perlak field over a continuous 90-day period, as well as proving up independently audited 1P reserves of at least 10 mmbbl within a three-year period.

This seems like an eminently sensible deal to me, RRL get a reserves addition, low cost production and diversifies them from their existing asset base. They have kept their commitment to make further acquisitions in and outside Trinidad so this is not a change of strategy in any way. Unfortunately the shares are still suspended but should return to the market next month when the RTO document is published, patient investors will be pleased to see that management continue to deliver with smart deals like this one.

Tower Resources (LON:TRP)

I rarely get in more trouble than when I write about Tower Resources and over so many years, indeed that they are still here, albeit still suspended, is something I would never have anticipated. Today they announce that the open offer has been wildly successful or in their words ‘substantially oversubscribed’ and that they have raised £187,900 to put towards running the business. This huge amount will allow them to ‘refocus our attention on our work programme in Cameroon’ and of course its financing to which this raise will not add much in the way of heavy lifting. They say that this is time of ‘principal uncertainties’ but also ‘great potential opportunities’, I have to say that someone else’s name should be above the door in the Thali block to whom it may be a ‘great opportunity’ as this will take some getting out of…

And finally…

England won the 4th test against the Proteas and the series 3-1, star of the show was Moeen Ali with ball and bat, the team played well but positions 2,3 and 5 are still up for grabs. The selectors minds must be in a weird place, Jennings continues to bat badly, Westley isnt yet showing positive signs and why pick Malam from the one day game when you could choose Hales? Dawid even turned up with one of those Mickey Mouse bats until he got yorked where the missing bit should have been.

Tonight is the Super Cup between Real Madrid and the Red Devils, still only a practice match although worth watching Bale, assuming he gets a game…

]]> Andalas Energy and Power shares soar on new Indonesia venture Tue, 08 Aug 2017 08:08:00 +0100 Range Resources acquires stake in Indonesia oil field project Tue, 08 Aug 2017 06:22:00 +0100 Northern Minerals secures $4.8M for aboriginal training program Mon, 07 Aug 2017 22:53:00 +0100 Gran Tierra Energy gets the thumbs up from broker Eight Capital after second quarter results Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:35:00 +0100 Good dividends equal good business for oil firms such as Shell and BP - analyst Mon, 07 Aug 2017 12:40:00 +0100 Oil price, Petrofac, Cairn/FAR, Amerisur, And finally... Mon, 07 Aug 2017 12:27:00 +0100 Oil price

The week ended more or less all square, Friday gave it a small boost with demand again picking up as the non-farm payroll numbers beat the whisper at 209/- and the rig count showed a fall of 4 units overall and 1 in oil to 765. Supply took a not unexpected knock as in Libya the Sharara field was knocked out by a terrorist attack.

Today and tomorrow sees the ‘informal meeting’ of Opec and Non-Opec members in Abu Dhabi at which there will be some inevitably embarrassing debate about adhesion to quotas, not for the Russians as they are playing ball at the moment.

Petrofac (LON:PFC)

Petrofac are sticking to what they do best as on Friday they announced that they had won a $2bn contract with Samsung for the EPC work at the Duqm refinery in Oman. A four year contract will make life a lot easier during this difficult period of investigation in which they seem to have taken more stick than other companies under the spotlight. The shares have rallied a little off the 349p low but at 472.8p this morning are still a long way away from the 952p high.


Cairn, as operator has announced the results of the SNE North-1 exploration well this morning and it looks like  incredibly good news all round. They have discovered oil and gas in the primary objective and oil in the deeper secondary objective which is a separate accumulation to the SNE field and thus very important. The company say that this is positive for the hydrocarbon potential north of the structural trend and ‘broadens exploration potential’. A 24m gross hydrocarbon column is indicated over three intervals with 11m of net condensate and gas in the primary objective and 4m of oil in the secondary objective, importantly below the SNE oil water contact.

Finally the crude oil quality at 35° API is slightly lighter than from the SNE field. Overall this well could provide enough new data to significantly upgrade the prospects and this should enable the partners to progress the SNE field development. This well marks the end of this campaign with the drill bit, it has been better than could have been expected and will without doubt lead to an increase in contingent resources in the area.

Amerisur (LON:AMER)

Following the announcement last week about the social unrest in the Putumayo region, whereby AMER suspended their production in the area from the 10th-28th of July, I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with John Wardle on Friday. The reason for the unrest is primarily down to the rural reforms contained in the peace agreement that has now been reached and has to be put into effect. The Putumayo region is the principal coca growing region in the country and historically has been picked every four months, the peace agreement with which the FARC are in compliance will ensure that this ceases through a number of solutions. This agreement has effectively put an end to the trade,  markets are closing and prices are falling sharply whilst encouragement to grow other crops is eased by subsidies and capital from Government for ‘legal’ crops.

With this trade now hopefully extinguished AMER no longer has the problem of not being welcome in the region and can step up activity and indeed be seen to be helping the local communities. Following production coming back onstream the company are already up to levels of around 6/- b/d of which 5/- b/d is going through the OBA pipeline. It has been known for some time that there can be an increase of the throughput and negotiations with Petroamazonas are continuing and are thought to be nearing a conclusion, the necessary kit is ordered and the tariff complexities close to agreement. At present the company are staying with guidance of an exit production rate of 7/- b/d and I can imagine that with an agreement on the OBA that could increase in due course.

The other area not discussed in this process was the situation at CPO-5 which looks increasingly promising although, unsurprisingly fearfully slow. ONGC as operator do not have the clear lines through to command and I get the impression that things would happen more swiftly if AMER were the operator. A good double act is working between JW and GC who himself has excellent relationships at the top of ONGC and it achieves good results. It is possible that up to 3/- b/d might come from here in due course making the longer term forecasts look thoroughly achievable.

Overall I think that the sorting out of the social issues in the Putumayo will prove to have been a wise move all round and AMER will remain a trusted partner of the Government and steadily increase production through the OBA pipeline. Coupled with the CPO-5 success I see no reason why the company cannot hit its production targets over the short and longer term, accordingly the recent price weakness has been overdone.

And finally…

The 4th and final test between England and the Proteas continues at Old Trafford today, chasing an unlikely 380 in two days the Proteas have their work cut out.

In the MotoGP in Czechoslovakia Marc Marquez proved to be the master technician when, after a wet start, he came in at the end of the 2nd lap for slicks on a rapidly drying track whilst the rest of the field struggled on wets. By the time they all changed to slicks, Marquez had built up an unassailable lead eventually winning by 12 seconds ahead of his Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa with Maverick Vinales 3rd Rossi was 4th and conceded his mistake in not changing tyres earlier, saying after the race – “To understand the moment is not my strong point,” . He just pipped Cal Crutchlow for fourth – the Brit riding with a “nondisplaced fracture” of his T6 vertebra, to the fury of the circuit doctors ..No-one can doubt Crutchlow’s determination which has been rewarded with a 2 year contract from the LCR Honda MotoGP Team. In Moto3 John McPhee fought his way through the field to finish sixth ..which shows that if only he could improve his qualifying times we’d have a World Championship contender !

The London World Athletics Championships have provided us with excitement as Sir Mo Farah won an acutely difficult 10,000 metres against concerted opposition. The furore has been caused by some people booing at two time drug cheat Justin Gatlin who should have been banned for life. Unfortunately WADA chief Sir Craig Reedie thinks it would be difficult to do, IAAF President Coe does nothing and worse Michael Johnson defends him when he could still be extracting benefits from the drug taking…

And with the Premier League starting next weekend the Charity Shield or Community thing was won by the Gooners yesterday against 10 man Chelski.

]]> Mosman Oil & Gas updates on US assets Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:18:00 +0100 British Gas parent Centrica shares fall as watchdog lowers energy bills for prepayment customers Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:32:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Carr's Group Plc Mon, 07 Aug 2017 07:16:00 +0100 Carr’s Acquires US Nuclear Engineering Firm

Carr’s Group (LON:CARR) the agricultural, food and engineering group, has announced the acquisition of ESI Holding Company, the holding company of US-based nuclear engineering firm NuVision Engineering.

• NuVision supplies engineering services and products to the commercial nuclear and power plant industries, government waste remediation facilities and waste clean-up sector

• Initial cash consideration of US$11.5m (£8.8m), with a total cash consideration of up to US$20m (£15.4m) payable, dependent on future financial performance

• Initial consideration financed through £6.0m of new and £2.8m of existing undrawn debt facilities with the balance paid through NuVision's future retained earnings

• NuVision had revenues of US$8.8m and an adjusted EBITDA of US$2.3m for the year to 31 March 2017. For comparison purposes, CARR’s group EBITDA in FY 2016 was cUS$22m with its engineering division contributing cUS$4.7m of this.

VSA Comment

CARR has long harboured ambitions to expand into the US nuclear engineering services market, a sector dominated by domestic businesses. This acquisition provides the company with the platform to do that. Current clients of NuVision include the US Department of Energy, major nuclear suppliers and public utilities in the country.

We see synergies with CARR’s German engineering business Wälischmiller, which will be able to supply its remote handling products into upcoming projects and an area that is currently trading ahead of expectations.

There are also opportunities for collaboration with CARR’s UK engineering business Bendalls, which has worked in the past with NuVision and is due to do so again on a recently signed major nuclear contract.

We would anticipate an initial year of consolidation, before significant collaborative benefits begin to be realised from year two onwards.  

This is a highly complementary acquisition of a high-tech engineering firm, providing the group with a platform to develop into the extremely important US nuclear sector, bringing specialised IP and innovative technology into the group to complement CARR’s existing remote handling and engineering operations.

At 8.7x EBITDA/2.3x Sales (assuming total consideration conditions are reached), the acquisition is more expensive than a traditional CARR’s acquisition. However, we believe the strategic rationale for the acquisition more than makes up for this. We would also note that more than 40% of the total consideration is based on future financial performance, which means the existing management team has considerable motivation to continue to deliver over the next few years.

]]> Cairn Energy extends success offshore Senegal as five-well programme completes Mon, 07 Aug 2017 06:29:00 +0100 88 Energy release half year results, investors wait for more Icewine-2 news Fri, 04 Aug 2017 14:32:00 +0100 Oil price, Providence Resources, Echo Energy, Ascent, And finally... Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:10:00 +0100 Oil price

Crude oil will likely end the week around a dollar down with the various influences I have recently outlined giving a small victory for the bears. They are concentrating on production which is still above desired levels, worse it is the Opec side of the deal that is not delivering, should they wish to have a run off of stocks they need to pull their fingers out. US production is 9.43m b/d and at the moment Nigeria and Libya are both being unhelpful but that may not last.

The bulls are very much focusing on the demand numbers, the product markets are strong and gasoline demand last week in the US was a record of 9.842 m b/d, at least as far back as 1991 when records were first taken by the EIA. With a shortage of product in the European basin stocks are being drawn mainly from eastern refiners but in the US they are going like the clappers already.

Providence Resources (LON:PVR)

PVR has announced this morning that the Druid well, 53/6-1 has been unsuccessful, it is a porous water-bearing reservoir. The action is not all over yet as the well now drills on to the deeper Lower Cretaceous Drombeg exploration target 1,000 feet below, this should take ‘a few weeks’ to get to and assess. Clearly this is a major disappointment to the company but it is too early to write any obituaries for this area or indeed offshore Ireland, Rome wasnt built in a day…

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

Results today from Echo which in themselves tell us nothing except that they are in a very strong financial position with a balance sheet primed and ready for new deals. With two under way in Bolivia expect this highly experienced management to have more to come by the end of the year. The company also announced that a ‘new investor syndicate’ has bought 21.9m shares from Brandon Hill which is  good news on two fronts, a new supportive investor is good news and it also clears up the BH situation and brings clarity for investors. It is worth reading the statements from both Chairman and CEO that give a very good idea of the path that Echo is going to be taking.

Ascent Resources (LON:AST)

AST has announced this morning more progress, testing is to be completed today, the gas is still to be sold locally until INA gets its recertification which is expected shortly. CEO Colin Hutchinson has a good podcast on Voxmarkets this morning.

And finally…

I’m afraid that the curse of the Dutch (Do I not like orange) again hit English football last night as the team went down 3-0 in the Euro 17 semi-finals. Elsewhere not a good night for Aberdeen who went out of the Boropa Cup in Cyprus but the Toffees went through to the next qualifying round. In English football tonight sees the Championship and lower leagues kicking off the new season, sorry to say it to the Black Cats, you are opening up against the Rams on the telly…

After the Summer break the MotoGP circus moves to Brno in Czechoslovakia. Halfway through the season there is still all to play for with only 10 points separating the top 4. Brit Scott Redding will be looking to keep his seat in the Pramac Team after a disappointing first half and Cal Crutchlow still has a chance of a podium position. As a footnote 13 times World Champion Angel Nieto has died after a quad bike accident, a great loss to all his fans and all who knew him.

Glorious Goodwood continues today and the weather seems much more like sunny Sussex with a good card to watch. Yesterday was not a day to come back and find that the recording machine had failed to do its job…

The 4th Test against the Proteas starts today in Manchester and the forecast is actually looking good at least for a couple of days. Winning the toss appears to be the biggest key in this series oh and batting well…

And of course the London Stadium welcomes the World Athletics Championships and of course Usain Bolt on his valedictory and hopefully successful return to the capital.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Vedanta Resources Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:36:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

The latest drill hole completed at Pastos Grandes salar has proved the best to date. Reported late yesterday, hole PGMW17-05/5c, drilled in the southern part of the surface salar has been completed to a depth of 601m with a continuous brine bearing interval from 382m to 593m grading 545 mg/L Li. A 33m interval uphole starting at 27.5m also carried brine at 523mg/L Li.

The host sediments in both intervals is poorly consolidated sands and constitutes the deepest confirmation and thickest interval of brine yet encountered in the basin. The magnesium to lithium ratio is improved at 6.0. Potassium values range from 4680 mg/L to 6186 mg/L and average 5847 mg/L. The hole was stopped due to reaching depth capacity of the drill rig.

We view these results as very exciting. The grade of lithium is increasing with depth in the basin, brine bearing thickness is increasing without degradation of apparent porosity and permeability, and the chemistry of the brine is improving for the economics of lithium extraction. With three rigs now working the basin for ML, we expect more good drilling news to come as the company works toward a first compliant resource declaration later this quarter or in October. The size of that lithium resource gets bigger with every drill hole completed.

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.


Vedanta (LON:VED)

Vedanta (LON:VED) is offering US$1.0b in bonds with maturity in 2024 with a 6.125% coupon in order to re-purchase two different existing bond series that have a shorter duration and a higher coupon rate. The total value of the existing bonds eligible for redemption is US$1.67b with the majority of it being at a coupon rate over 8%.

As separately announced today, after cancelation of those bonds already tendered under the offer, US$252,259,000 of the 2019 bonds and US$670,157,000 of the 2021 bonds will remain outstanding.

]]> Providence Resources looks to Drombeg target after Druid disappoints Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Echo Energy boss MacAuley highlights “very busy start” since relaunch Fri, 04 Aug 2017 06:53:00 +0100 Anfield Resources launches early warrant exercise program Thu, 03 Aug 2017 19:39:00 +0100 Range Energy Resources receives sixth advance under Gulf LNG America loan Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:46:00 +0100 North Sea experience key to i3 Energy Thu, 03 Aug 2017 12:01:00 +0100 Frontera Resources to unlock 'huge' crude potential in Georgia Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:12:00 +0100 Formed back in 1996, Frontera Resources Corporation (LON:FRR) is an oil and gas exploration and production company focused predominately in Georgia.

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

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

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

]]> National Grid operations unit to become separate unit Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:48:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Centamin PLC Randgold Resources, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:35:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has announced positive initial results from the Phase 2 drilling programme. The first three results, all from Sanama Hill, extend the continuity of gold mineralisation down dip and along strike. Highlights include 1.6m at 6.9g/t Au from 257.4m including 1m at 10.2g/t Au as well as 1.2m at 2.5g/t Au from surface and 3m at 2.8g/t Au from 294m which includes 5.7g/t Au over 1.1m. The results are broadly in line with previous findings at Sanama Hill and the mineralisation remains open at depth.

The drill programme consisted of 14 holes and the remaining samples are due to be shipped from Sierra Leone within the next week while a significant soil sampling programme has also been carried out with analysis also due to be carried out shortly. The additional drilling along with the soil sampling programme will further enhance SULA’s understanding of the structural geology which will benefit future drill targeting.

In addition Equity Drilling have elected to receive 50% of their payment in equity; consequently SULA will issue 67.3mn shares at 0.225p/sh.

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

Centamin (LON:CEY)

Centamin (CEY LN) has announced results for Q2 2017, largely in line with expectations as the short transition period continues. Whilst gold production in Q2 was up 14% QoQ, it was down 11% YoY to 124.6koz. Revenue of US$151m was up 7.5% QoQ and down 16% YoY largely due to production differences.

EBITDA of US$66m was up 24% QoQ although down 31% YoY. Changes in the grade profile have been the key to recent results and the higher production in Q2 2017 was due to a recovery in grades as well as an increase in throughput. The recovery in grades also benefitted costs in part, however, cash costs of US$609/oz (down 17% QoQ and up 32% YoY) remain above the full year target of US$580/oz. AISC of US$829/oz, up 24% YoY and down 7% QoQ, were also above the full year target of US$780/oz.

CEY announced an interim dividend of 2.5 US cents per share, up 25% YoY. H2 is guided to be stronger with production weighted towards this period driven by access to higher grade areas. This should benefit cash costs also.

Randgold (LON:RRS)

Randgold (LON:RRS) has announced strong results for Q2 2017 with revenue up and costs down. Production of 341koz was up 6% QoQ and 21% YoY while revenue of US$422m was up 3% QoQ and 19% YoY.

Total cash costs of US$572/oz were down 8% QoQ and 21% YoY due primarily to an increase in throughput at Loulo-Gounkoto and Tongon. This offset some weakness at Kibali where total cash costs were up 2% QoQ and 4% YoY to US$859/oz owing to stoppages and a higher strip ratio. Overall profit from mining was up 14% QoQ and 53% YoY. Net income of US$84m was up 20% QoQ and 71% YoY. RRS is now guiding towards the top end of its production range for 2017 at less than US$600/oz.

]]> Flash blog- Amerisur, Sound Energy... Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

A full hand of meetings today make the blog short, if I have further comments on the below or others I will add later. AMER has announced a production update this morning which probably makes a bit of sense about the production concerns that have been doing the rounds. It appears that due to ‘social issues’ ie the Government implementing the crop changes post the peace process it was appropriate to suspend production at the Platanillo field from 10th-28th of July. No oil has been lost and production is already back over 6/- b/d and the company even made some important technical changes during the process. Production through the OBA is back to 5/0/- b/d and AMER are in talks with Petroamazonas to increase export capacity. The company’s target of 7/- + b/d by the end of the year still stands but clearly there will be a modest change to the average in the second half. At 17.5p these shares are excellent value although I seem to be saying that a lot lately, investor interest in the E&P sector is missing but for those hunting long term value this is probably the place to be.

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)

Sound has announced that it has received final approval for the Matarka licence in Eastern Morocco. This approval fulfils one of the conditions required to complete the Company’s acquisition of the interests of Oil & Gas Investment Fund S.A.S (“OGIF”) in Eastern Morocco. Progress is still being made and once the acquisition is complete I expect shareholders will be given a substantial update in early autumn.

]]> “Exciting time” for Empyrean Energy as Dempsey drilling advances Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:02:00 +0100 Sound Energy gets licence rubber stamp for new Morocco exploration area Thu, 03 Aug 2017 06:23:00 +0100 Permex Petroleum brings in $400,000 from oversubscribed pre- IPO placing Wed, 02 Aug 2017 19:29:00 +0100 Wood to sell Amec's UK offshore oil business to satisfy competition concerns Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:52:00 +0100 i3 Energy could be worth 'north of $150mln' after cash injection Wed, 02 Aug 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Neill Carson and Graham Heath of i3 Energy (LON:I3E) chat through with Proactive's Andrew Scott their asset in the North Sea - the Liberator field.

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

i3 Energy listed on AIM in July.

]]> Oil price, President, Hurricane, Cabot, Sundry-Kosmos-Genel-Aminex- And finally... Wed, 02 Aug 2017 12:07:00 +0100 WTI $49.16 -$1.01, Brent $51.78 -97c, Diff -$2.62 +14c, NG $2.82 +3c

Oil price
The oil market was fast and furious yesterday and in heavy trading both WTI and the new front month of Brent crude for October struggled under a welter of mainly disappointing news. The first was the Bloomberg report that July output from Opec was again above quotas with an increase of 210/- b/d, to 33m b/d, no wonder St Petersburg was necessary. Traders tell me that there was a lot of technical closing in what had been an overbought market, the WTI $50 level was clearly a step too far and it retreated back off it.
The other piece of poor news was that the API inventory number showed a stock build in crude oil of 1.8m barrels against forecasts of a 1.2m draw, as this was after hours the effect was overnight and the oil price has only fallen a few cents since then. That will be for two reasons, firstly the market doesnt wholly trust the API stats as much as the EIA numbers, this afternoon will see if they validate last night’s number. Secondly, yet again the numbers in products showed a different sign, gasoline drew 4.8m barrels and distillate fell by 1.2m, both more than expected. With Shell announcing that the Pernis refinery in Rotterdam will be off for a fortnight, international product markets will be tight, particularly at this time of the year.
Finally for no particular reason it is worth looking at the statement from Pioneer Natural Resources one of the leading players in the Permian Basin play. They had very good figures, eps of 21c way beat the 1c whisper but although production was up 11% they played down guidance, this year’s increase will be at the lower end of the 15-18% range. Capex and costs are being ‘trimmed’ and Wall St did not like the sound of that and petulantly marked the stock down 5%.

President Energy - LON:PPC

A general update from PPC today including the news from PG-19 which has been doing a workover on a well that had been shut-in for 19 years having already produced 450/- barrels of oil. After cleaning, perforating and doing an acid stimulation liquids flowed and the oil cut appears to be about 10% having been only 25% way back in the past. PPC should therefore get 50-75 b/d once a downhole pump is installed and it will be connected to the Puesto Guardian battery. After that the rig will move to PG-20 onto a well that has been shut-in for 15 years and produced 650/- barrels so far. Whilst this is occurring there are ‘significant’ ongoing infrastructure works at PG, including installing five new surface pumps, lifting and cleaning of existing downhole pumps and laying of production lines for new producing wells and commissioning new water disposal wells. Finally in Louisiana, having had a shut down due to heavy rains production is back and the newly acquired Triche well is performing in-line with expectations.
As a result of all this production is currently constrained to 600 b/d but during September PPC will bring on an additional four producing wells, three more will be added that are being raised from sub-optimal to full volume and in addition a three well stimulation campaign will start. Clearly there is much going on in Argentina and Peter Levine makes the point that much is being learned in country which will enable the it, along with its contractors to “move on to actively consider acquisitions of producing assets in the core heartlands of hydrocarbon production in Argentina”. It is clear that with this solid base being provided by successful workover activity PL is now seriously considering the next stage of development for the company, already well undervalued the market will soon I suspect also come to realise it as PPC moves forward.

Hurricane Energy - LON:HUR

HUR has announced that it is no longer going ahead with the pre-emptive offer to shareholders to raise another $5m at 32p per share, provided the share price remains below that price for the next five days. It was not practical to do this offer at the time of the fund raise as it would have required a UKLA prospectus which couldnt be done in the timeframe for the Lancaster FID and now shareholders can buy shares more cheaply in the market. This makes common sense as it saves the company money, and management time that is being used for the build-up to the EPS for Lancaster for which it is fully funded. I am expecting a fair bit of important news from HUR in the coming months not least the FID for Lancaster and a new CPR on the assets. I am regularly asked whether I still feel that the company is good value after the recent fall and I can confidently say that I have rarely seen such significant upside potential and on any medium to long term view the stock is extraordinarily cheap.

Cabot Energy - LON:CAB

Cabot has announced the start of the summer 2017 work programme in Canada. None of this is new news as far as I am aware but it is good to remind ourselves of what will be happening. The target is another 300 b/d of extra gross production with sidetracks and workovers at Rainbow and two recompletions at Virgo. This is three months work with a drilling rig and a workover rig and will cost $2.6m net. The work should lead to total gross production being between 800-1,000 b/d and will mean further significant progress for CAB. management at the company appears to be doing all the right things, particularly in Canada and is worth keeping on the radar screen.


Kosmos has announced this morning that it is to list on the LSE in the 3rd quarter of this year with no new money being raised. Kosmos has an outstanding position in West Africa having discovered the Jubilee field in Ghana and now with huge discoveries in Senegal and Mauritania of 40 TCF and into which BP farmed in recently. The area is extremely prolific and with activity further south and with Cairn and FAR having a world class oil discovery in Senegal investors can expect much more from the area.

I have to say that the extensive feedback from my piece on Genel (LON:GENL)  yesterday indicated to me that although I thought I had been fairly positive I may have not given the company enough credit! I have been more positive lately as I genuinely feel that with the gas coming into the picture and the oil in for virtually nothing it is cheap once again despite some market concerns. So I will point out that the fcf of $78m was very good and which led to net debt reducing by a third was in addition to my positive points about Peshkabir, Miran and Bina Bawi. Whilst I am still concerned about Taq Taq it is worth noting that it still generated $32m. The good news is that it has led to me making not one but two meetings with the company so that I can get up to date!

Finally, Aminex (LON:AEX) has announced that it has appointed Aaron LeBlanc as its COO, I met him briefly recently when visiting Jay and it bodes well for the company to be beefing up the management team.
And finally…

Glorious Goodwood continues on the Sussex Downs today although the weather isnt looking quite so splendid as it did yesterday.
I read that Neymar is leaving Barca for PSG who are paying £198m and £650/- a week wages, tax free for his services, never thought Barca would end up being a selling club….

]]> Kosmos Energy to join partners Tullow and BP with London listing Wed, 02 Aug 2017 09:51:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Rio Tinto Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:07:00 +0100 Rio Tinto (LON:RIO)

Rio Tinto has released strong results largely driven by higher commodity prices. Group revenue of US$19.9bn was up 22% YoY with iron ore revenue up 38% to US$8.8bn and aluminium revenue up 18% YoY to US$5.4bn. Indeed, it has been RIO’s higher exposure to the strong performance of aluminium prices which has driven the relative outperformance of the shares versus peers in the past few months.

Group EBITDA of US$9bn up 68% YoY was primarily driven by the stronger top line with a 63% YoY increase in iron ore EBITDA to US$5.6bn and a 55% YoY increase in aluminium EBITDA to US$1.7bn. Copper and diamonds posted a modest increase in EBITDA of 16% YoY to US$771bn as stronger copper pricing was offset by weak operational performance. The energy and minerals division also performed strongly, again largely due to the stronger top line which was up 30% to US$3.9bn directly translating to a strong EBITDA increase of 170% YoY to US$1.4bn.

Capex was up by a third YoY to US$1.8bn as spending on capital projects ramped up, we also not a 10% increase in exploration expenditure to US$85mn. Net debt was down US$2bn to US$7.6bn owing to the strong earnings performance which drove free cash flow generation. The shares were also supported in the recent period by the US$252mn share repurchase programme. Furthermore, RIO announced a dividend of US$1.1/sh. up from US$0.45/sh.

]]> Cabot Energy set for production growth as it kicks off Canada work programme Wed, 02 Aug 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Aminex hires new chief operating officer and head of legal Wed, 02 Aug 2017 06:58:00 +0100 Hurricane Energy sidelines plans for US$5mln shareholder funding Wed, 02 Aug 2017 06:35:00 +0100 Powerhouse Energy celebrating milestone week after first gas from G3 unit Tue, 01 Aug 2017 15:06:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) updates Proactive on what's been a massive week for the green energy provider - culminating in first gas from their G3-UHt gasification reactor.

]]> Sound Energy is making progress towards early production Tue, 01 Aug 2017 14:42:00 +0100 Rose Petroleum close to drawing a line under Mexico gold asset sale Tue, 01 Aug 2017 14:25:00 +0100 Matthew Idiens, chief executive of Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) tells Proactive they've given Magellan Gold Corporation just over two weeks to complete the proposed acquisition of its San Dieguito de Arriba gold mill operation in Mexico.

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

]]> Archer Daniels Midland sees quarterly adjusted earnings beat forecasts, although revenues light Tue, 01 Aug 2017 12:56:00 +0100 Centrica shares gain as it hikes electricity prices and makes progress in restructuring Tue, 01 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0100 BP’s ‘solid’ first half welcomed by City investors Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:57:00 +0100 Oil price, Sound Energy, Genel, Sundry-Empyrean-Thalassa-UKOG- And finally... Tue, 01 Aug 2017 08:45:00 +0100 Oil price

Onwards and upwards as a number of things added to yesterday’s tick list. The data is coming out re long/short positions built in July and they, unsurprisingly show a substantial build in NSL with a lot of short closing. Elsewhere it was announced that there will be a meeting on 7/8 August in Abu Dhabi of the Opec/Non-Opec ‘technical’ committee to assess how the cuts are going. The important thing now is that we have left the tricky 1H behind us and they can assess the 12 months to June 18 now.

The US sanctions against Venezuela have been announced, I suspect not in their entirety so far, as a blanket ban on Venezuelan crude has not been proposed…yet. Finally the product market is getting tighter, with demand increasing dramatically and inventories falling the inevitable is happening, gasoline prices are starting to rise. Country wide the price is $2.35 which is only up 4c on the week but 19c y/y and if nothing changes this might increase, dont forget that this is happening at a time of record refinery utilisation.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that it has received preliminary approval for the route of the gas export pipeline which will connect to the main GME pipeline. Initially for the TE-5 Horst discovery at Tendrara this should lead to early monetisation of this gas asset. This is good news and to an extent shows the value of having good relationships with the important people locally, developed through extensive local social policies.

Genel Energy

No surprise that Genel have poor figures this morning, the dramatic loss of production at Taq Taq is clearly hitting them hard. Having said that, elsewhere there are signs for some optimism at Peshkabir where the 2 well tested well and the 3 well is drilling now. The main potential driver is now very much the gas projects at Miran and Bina Bawi where the company appear to be moving reasonably fast to get the developments underway. I look forward with interest as Genel progresses with a new board and a new direction, for the first time in a while, Genel is back on the radar screen.


Empyrean has announced that Sacgasco intends to spud the Dempsey 1-15 well tomorrow, this is important for the company as it is potentially very large and quick and easy to monetise being close to surface gas infrastructure, just needs to come in….

Thalassa has released interim results in a typically brief manner. Revenue, profits and margins are all up and despite there being no comment from the normally ebullient Chairman things seem to be going ok over there.

UKOG has said that it has achieved regulatory approval for the extended well test at Broadford Bridge in the Weald Basin. This is testing multiple zones in the Kimmeridge which appears to be oil bearing across a substantial section and if for any reason it is a success this will be a very substantial field. I dont cover the company formally as I have yet to meet the management and the IR seems sporadic but should be one to watch albeit not without risk.


Yesterday as usual I did my Voxmarkets Podcast, the companies were VOG, AEN, FPM, and PANR and you can watch it on this link.

VOX Markets podcast: Victoria Oil & Gas, Andes Energia, Faroe Petroleum and Pantheon Resources

And finally…

The test match against the Proteas ended in a hurry yesterday afternoon with a hat trick from Moeen Ali, ironically the third time a bowler was on one in the match at a venue where such a feat has never occurred in a test. The fourth and final match starts on Friday at Old Trafford where anything could happen…

And today sees the start of Glorious Goodwood, arguably the finest race meeting of the summer on the Sussex Downs. Today the crowd will gather to watch Big Orange try to win the Goodwood Cup for the third time but the first as a Group One race.

]]> UKOG shares rise as investors look forward to Broadford Bridge production test Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:58:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy set to kick off Dempsey exploration drilling Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:28:00 +0100 VSA Morning Agri Comment - NWF Group plc Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:27:00 +0100 NWF Group: FY 2017 Results

UK-focused specialist agricultural and distribution business NWF Group (LON:NWF) has released results for the year ended 31 May 2017 (FY 2017).

• Group results: Revenues £555.8m, +19.3% YoY (FY 2016: £465.9m) and an adjusted operating profit £9.0m, +3.4% YoY (FY 2016: £8.7m)

• FY 2017 FactSet consensus was for revenues of £539.4m and an adjusted operating profit of £9.0m

• Feeds Division: Operating profit £1.5m, -28.6% YoY (FY 2016: £2.1m)

• Fuels Division: Operating profit £4.5m, +15.4% YoY (FY 2016: £3.9m)

• Food Division: Operating profit £3.0m, +11.1% YoY (FY 2016: £2.7m)

• Net debt at 31 May 2017: £13.0m (31 May 2016: £9.9m)

• Final dividend of 5.0p delivers a full year dividend of 6.0p, +5.3% YoY (FY 2016: 5.7p).

VSA Comment

NWF delivered a strong recovery in the second half, which saw its operating profit improve from being more than 20% behind YoY in H1 (mainly due to a very poor Q1) to posting an increase of 3.4% YoY over the FY, supporting the Board’s assertions at the half year stage that its full-year result would indeed still be in-line with expectations.

This was particularly impressive in its feeds division, which swung from a small H1 loss to an operating profit for the FY, and its fuels division, which posted a 20% YoY operating profit decrease in H1 but a 15% YoY increase over the FY. The turnaround in fuels was due to a revised sales & marketing strategy and new outlets exceeding expectations (FY volumes were 513 million litres, +8.2% YoY).

In feeds, the group achieved the improvement despite having significant margin pressure, as commodity costs increased in H2 (feed wheat ended the FY at c£140/t from c£100/t at the start of the FY in June 2016) with increased prices difficult to pass through to farmers in the key winter period. NWF’s total feed volumes for FY 2017 were 589,000t, +1.6% YoY, in-line with the wider UK market, +1.5% YoY, which also showed a significant recovery in NWF’s second half (-0.9% in H1, +3.4% in H2).

Despite the group having £9.4m of capital expenditure during the year, including £5.2m spent on a significant mill development programme in the Cheshire and Northern mills, net debt was kept at 1x EBITDA.

We believe the outlook for the group looks quite positive with solid performance expected to continue in its food division (having showed considerable resilience in FY 2017 following the previously announced lower contracted volumes with a major customer), an improving dairy market likely to spur compound feed volumes, and the operational improvements in its fuels division made in H2 likely to be sustained.

As usual, the main risk for the coming year is the potential for a warm winter and/or a rapid decrease in input commodity prices after NWF’s key commodity buying period for the winter in August and September. Of course, the first is impossible to predict but the second feels unlikely this year given the continued weakness of the GBP.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Fresnillo Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) has announced strong results on the back of production increases. Silver production of 28mnoz was up 11.2% YoY in H1 and revenue of US$1,070m was up 11.5% YoY. Gold production of 446koz was broadly unchanged. The incremental production came primarily from the San Julian phase 1 ramp up.

EBITDA of US$523m was up 10% YoY due largely to the stronger top line as production costs were up at all assets bar Cienega. The key driver which resulted in a 14% increase in production costs to US$343m was the additional cost of the ramp up at San Julian. We also note a 23% increase in exploration costs to US$64m. Net income of US$310m was up 87% YoY owing to the stronger earnings and reduced non-cash charges. FRES increased the interim dividend by 23% YoY to 10.6c/sh. FRES maintained guidance for 58-61mnoz silver in 2017.

]]> Rose Petroleum gives another two weeks for Mexico gold asset sale to complete Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:51:00 +0100 Sound Energy makes pipeline progress for Morocco gas discoveries Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:32:00 +0100 BP reports ‘solid’ first half, albeit dented by write-downs and oil spill pay-outs Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:21:00 +0100 Buru Energy targets funding to accelerate Ungani development Tue, 01 Aug 2017 02:30:00 +0100 Sundance Energy Australia signs major revenue advance deal with Vitol Tue, 01 Aug 2017 02:16:00 +0100 Devon Energy making quick progress on asset sales Mon, 31 Jul 2017 19:28:00 +0100 PowerHouse Energy powering ahead as it enters commercial phase Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:30:00 +0100 Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas, Premier Oil, And finally... Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:14:00 +0100 Oil price

A very strong week for oil, WTI was up 8.6% and Brent rose 9.3% and 25% off the June lows. A roll call of potential influences on the oil price continue to favour the upside although much can change, these include; Tick-Nigeria volumes still down, tick- Venezuela nearer basket case status, tick- KSA, UAE, Kuwait cutting, tick-inventories still falling, tick-$ remains weak,tick- Shell’s Pernis refinery in Rotterdam, at 404/- b/d Europe’s biggest, caught fire on Sunday morning and remains down, half tick- rig count on Friday showed a gain of only 2 in oil so month slowed noticeably. Finally the Vampire Squids, having gone uber-bearish right at the bottom, started squealing and said that they saw ‘an onset of rebalancing’ which shows just why their commodity department is such a joke. G Sucks turning more positive is the only bearish thing for the oil price right now. Barring this, one might have expected WTI to make an assault on 50 bucks soon.

Victoria Oil & Gas

Quarterly update time from VOG and things continue to go well across the board, Logbaba gas production had a good quarter, up 11.9% to 14.59 mmscf/d. At La-107 net pay of 35m of high permeability, high porosity gas bearing sands in the Upper Logbaba Formation was slightly better than expected whilst a further 15m of net gas sand has been encountered in the Lower Logbaba Formation. After drilling has been completed here they are going to do the sidetrack on La-108 to access the 100m of gas sands in the original 108 wellbore.

Finances are good despite the cost overrun talked about last time, $7.8m net revenue, $7.6m of cash and $20.7m of net debt as predicted after the recent delay. After La 107 has been flow tested, VOG plans to enter into a number of long-term GSA’s with large offtake customers whilst continuing to supply ENEO under the take or pay agreement. Longer term it is envisaged that an agreement can be reached ‘increasing the current contractual power supply of 50MW to beyond 100MW’. On my recent visit to Cameroon and GDC, I was particularly impressed  not just by the ENEO potential but the way that significant customers in Douala are coming to rely on gas from VOG. Finally the company report that the onshore field development work at Matanda is progressing well, saying that there is an “exciting opportunity to develop gas supply for sale from sources with low capex exposure.” I remain convinced that VOG is not yet properly judged by the market and should be back to the 80p high and then some.

Premier Oil

An exploration and development drilling update from Premier this morning which has confirmed that Zama-1 has completed with no further hydrocarbons in the deeper target. I suppose that it was a case of ‘while we are here we might as well go a bit deeper’ but the company say that they werent expecting any more oil than the 1 bn+ barrels already announced. The Anoa well in Indonesia has completed and will be brought onstream in early August at a higher rate than previously estimated, the reserves on this well alone are expected to be 75-100 bcf.

The Catcher injection well B12 is being completed and is the last of the twelve pre 1st oil,  Catcher is ahead of time, under budget and delivering better than expected reservoir performance for start up later this year. With the refinancing finally completed on Friday and good news expected from Tolmount the shares should hold the recent gain and start heading back to the previous highs, that is if the sector starts to take in that Brent is now $52.50….

And finally…

In the test match, England are on top but still have three wickets to take, South Africa go into lunch at 205-7 chasing 490 odd.

Enable under Frankie Dettori won the King George at Ascot on Saturday in soft going which didnt seem to do much for his turn of speed.

Back to footy, England beat France last night so go into the Euro ’17 semi finals where they play the Netherlands on Thursday.

And Lewis Hamilton made a heart over head decision yesterday as, having not managed to take the Ferraris he gave back 3rd place to Bottas. Ferrari had no such qualms as they held up Raikkonen behind Vettel…….

]]> Powerhouse Energy shares burn rubber after successful test Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:01:00 +0100 Green Dragon Gas expects expedited project development after regulatory decision Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Victoria Oil & Gas highlights growing production, sales and progress with new wells Mon, 31 Jul 2017 06:57:00 +0100 Premier Oil confirms large 1bn barrel plus discovery offshore Mexico Mon, 31 Jul 2017 06:32:00 +0100 An incredibly busy 2018 for Eco Atlantic with drill campaigns in Namibia and Guyana Fri, 28 Jul 2017 10:39:00 +0100 Gil Holzman, chief executive of Eco Atlantic Oil and Gas Ltd (LON:ECO, CVE:EOG) tells Proactive they're gearing up for a ‘high impact’ 2018 as the company’s recent progress sets the explorer up for drill campaigns in both Namibia and Guyana.

]]> Oil price, Faroe Petroleum, Pantheon Resources, And finally... Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:29:00 +0100 Oil price

With oil slightly up this morning it looks like the week will end in positive territory, 7% or so is a good result post the St Petersburg meeting. Kuwait has joined the UAE and KSA in announcing further cuts which have cheered the market, the inventory figures have also been better than expected for the time of year, refinery utilisation up again.

Faroe Petroleum

Faroe has bought another 14% of the Blane field from Nippon for $5.25m or $5 per barrel, cheap by any measure. This is an absolute no-brainer as it is synergistic, enormously good value and adds production at a price unavailable elsewhere.

Pantheon Resources

Pantheon has returned to the market again, raising $12.5m at 43p for 22m shares. The proceeds are to be used to acquire 25% more of the VOBM#4 well and an option to buy 7,820 acres nearby for about $2m in total. The other $10m is to pay for general costs and there is talk of  a modest dispute with third parties on the VOBM#1 and 2 wells.

This issue was ‘heavily oversubscribed’ and at 43p if you still believe the Pantheon story ( as I do) then i’m not surprised, one should continue to back this management as it reaches the crucial stage of its operations in East Texas. Having said that the random and regular return the the well which is the London market must not be taken for granted as it is never a certainty that the cheque books will remain open forever, delivery now is key.


I get many emails and recently the number has increased dramatically, I try to reply if possible but am unable to give personal financial advice so if I can reply I will but it sometimes take time so please bear with me!

And finally…

The England women’s football team are now into the QF’s of Euro 17 but unfortunately Scotland are not, one goal short in their game last night.

In the Boropa Cup both the Toffees and the Dons won their first legs last night.

The test match was a grim old workout yesterday, superb bowling from SA kept England very much on the back foot in murky conditions. Hopefully those imbeciles that call themselves selectors would have winced as much as the crowd when Jennings surrendered but Westlake looks interesting and Malam whilst getting ‘jaffa’ might have kept it out with a proper size bat…

A great card at Ascot tomorrow as the mix up with the 3 and 4 year olds and fillies meet up in the King George.

And F1 is back with the Hungarian GP, after Silverstone all is most definitely to play for…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:28:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

Goldplat (GDP LN) has announced full year production results which demonstrate production increases across the board at GDP's operations; up 14% YoY to 42,857oz overall. Ounces sold or transferred were marginally lower YoY (-1%), which is largely due to a delay in shipping material produced in Ghana. This will now be reflected in Q1 FY 2018.

In South Africa, production of 29,418oz exceeded the strong FY 2016 result and our estimate of 28koz. This was largely due to the successful processing of a major batch of carbon from a new Africa based-client and demonstrates GDP's progress in securing new sources of by-product material. Metallurgical test-work is ongoing for the South African tailings dam and whilst we do not currently include the processing potential in our forecasts we recognise the positive potential. GDP has indicated that approval from the relevant authorities is taking longer than planned, however, in the current climate in South Africa that is to be expected.

FY 2017 gold production at Ghana of 10,031oz was up 46% YoY despite the ongoing depletion of local sources of by-product material, however, was modestly lower than our full year estimate of 11koz. Having altered the plans for installing new elution capacity at the plant, GDP has bought forward its target for adding this new capacity to the end of December 2017. The increase in annual production at Ghana has yet to include the benefits of the South American initiative with the first batches of material due to be processed in Q1 FY 2018 following successful trial processing as well as delivery of material from the first large, long term contract from Uruguay. We also note that GDP is working with the Ghanaian Government to assess the viability of processing artisanal tailings. This could provide a stable source of material whilst helping the regeneration of former mine sites. Early sampling programmes are now underway and we await the results which could provide significant benefits to GDP and the Government.

At Kilimapesa, although GDP did not hit maximum planned capacity for the Stage 3 ramp up, as initially hoped, the successful completion of Stage 2 has meant that GDP returned to a profitable run-rate in the final two months of FY 2017 whilst production of 3,408oz was up 70% YoY. This is a significant achievement for GDP and we expect the strong positive benefits of this turnaround to be felt in FY 2018. We had initially expected 4.5koz of production in FY 2017, however, this was not achieved and is key reason for our full year target of 45koz group production not being met. Final commissioning of the crusher section is now expected in Q1 FY 2018 and should enable higher tonnage, grade and recoveries in FY 2018 which will likely have a positive impact on the operation's earnings.
Aside from GDP's key operations, the company's JV partner on the Anumso project in Ghana continued to make positive progress with early stage exploration. Meanwhile at the Nyieme project in Burkina Faso, GDP has decided to allow its rights to the project to expire given the capital required to further develop the project. Consequently, a write down of £980k will impact FY 2017. However, as a one off write down of historic sunk costs this has little bearing on our outlook for GDP.

Overall, despite the modest delay in the ramp up at Kilimapesa the group has performed strongly. Indeed, GDP's main objective for the year was to return Kilimapesa to profitability in which it has succeeded. GDP has demonstrated in FY 2017 its ability to source material from new clients in new regions which underpins our confidence in the company's longer term outlook.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Thu, 27 Jul 2017 07:42:00 +0100 Eco (Atlantc) Oil & Gas (LON:ECO) #

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas# (ECO) has announced its results for the 12 months ended 31 March 2017. ECO reported a net operating loss of C$4.05m. Sale of its interest in Ghana reduced the net loss to C$3.56m. The listing on AIM and oversubscribed placing of £5.09m in February 2017 has left ECO’s balance sheet in a healthy position with C$6.09m of cash. On top of this ECO has brought down its costs in a number of areas.

• General and administrative expenses down 22% YoY to C$386k (2016: C$497k)

• Compensation down 25%  YoY to C$483k (2016: C$642k)

• Professional fees down 12% YoY to C$287k (2016: C$325k)

• Occupancy and office expenses down 72% to C$82k (2016: 295k)

Operationally ECO had a very good year and in a joint venture with its partner, Tullow Oil (TLW), it has commenced its 3D seismic survey on the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana, almost two years ahead of schedule, thereby seeking to de-risk the existing defined targets. ECO and TLW is gathering 2,550km2 of seismic data over the 1,800km2 block amid the ongoing success in the region, indeed the Orinduik block is up-dip and in close proximity to ExxonMobil’s (XOM) recent Liza, Snoek, and Payara discoveries on the Stabroek block estimated to contain oil recoverable resources of between 2.25 and 2.75Bboe. The seismic programme is now over double the size of what ECO and TLW originally planned with TLW covering the costs for c1,000km2 up to a maximum of US$1.25m with the remaining costs being covered by ECO’s cash reserves. TLW also has further interests in Guyana in the Kanuku licence which it is also collecting seismic over and plans to drill prospects in 2018/19 which should drive further news flow from the basin in the meantime.

Further to this ECO has also made progress in Namibia by extending the Cooper, Sharon and Guy licences into the first renewal period until March 2018. Whilst it has also advanced the 3D interpretation on Cooper and Guy blocks, applied for drilling permits and pre and post drilling EIA surveys are underway.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and 25p TP


redT energy (LON:RED) : Positive Market Changes

There has been a flurry of announcements in the last few days from a number of parties regarding the future shape of the UK’s energy sector. Although many of these provide a generally supportive backdrop for the future of the UK renewable energy sector, we believe the most important of these specifically with regards to flow machine energy storage developer, redT energy (RED LN)# are:

• A joint publication from Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, which outlined a raft of new measures to support the development of the UK energy storage sector, including the removal of double-charging (network payments made when both charging and discharging a battery) and the addition of an explicit definition of storage as a sub-set of generation within UK policy terms

• The launch of a consultation from BEIS into the Capacity Market, which included a proposal to reduce the de-rated capacity for those energy storage projects that cannot provide their stated energy output for the maximum four hours specified under the scheme

VSA Comment

Although the removal of double-charging and regulatory recognition of energy storage is positive, this was largely expected. However, to us the second point came as more of a surprise.

If agreed after the consultation period, which ends on 8 September, this proposed de-rating of high power/low energy assets into various technology classes, depending on their minimum discharge time, could significantly reduce the IRR for large-scale lithium-ion battery parks, increasing their dependence on the two frequency response schemes by reducing the payments they can generate from the Capacity Mechanism. For high energy storage solutions, such as RED’s flow machines, they will likely still be able to access the current level of Capacity Mechanism payments, as these can provide power for the full four hour period (and will likely stay at 96% de-rated capacity).

It appears that there is now a clear understanding in government regarding the difference between power and energy and, although subject to a consultation period, there is now a clear direction of travel regarding the deployment of large-scale grid storage.

It appears to us to be similar to Ofgem’s decision to slash embedded benefits for small generators from April 2018, which, although impacting other technologies, looks set to hit the economics of existing, and limit the expansion of, small diesel farm generation facilities.

We see these changes as sensible to correct certain market distortions and would highlight the ability of RED’s flow machines to cover all of the grid-related revenue streams available to it. Other storage projects that cover just a segment of these (such as the two frequency response revenue streams) will likely gain significant competition in the market from flow machines as they are deployed, which can address these extra revenue streams at little extra cost.

RED has been surprised by the pace at which the UK market has developed this year and we expect the measures announced this week will only contribute to this increasingly economic market for its machines.

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

]]> Oil price, Faroe Petroleum, Echo Energy, Tullow Oil, Range Resources, Petrofac, And finally... Wed, 26 Jul 2017 11:20:00 +0100 Oil price

New best friends Russia and Saudi Arabia are underpinning the market, to a degree although longevity is always uncertain. The KSA after having surprisingly ‘unadhered’ to its own quota in May has now accepted its punishment and will cut back more in August and September. The Russians are at their -300,000 b/d cut although longer term that may drift if temptation gets in the way or others don’t adhere. The UAE have announced a further cut by reducing September customer allocations by 10% and others are having their collars felt. The market liked this a lot and moved up sharply and that was before the API stats came out after the close.

These figures showed a 10.2m barrel draw which was way bigger than the analyst’s guesses of around -2.6m and showed yet higher refinery utilisation which in turn led to a build in gasoline stocks of 2.6m, again not forecast. Tonight’s EIA numbers will give us a clearer view on the situation but anything like this draw will be good for sentiment and keep prices firm, with WTI edging towards $50 and Brent having held above it last night today’s rise of about 30 cents as I write is helpful.

Faroe Petroleum

Faroe continue to display exploration success which is the envy of the market place, over a long period of time they have regularly delivered and have done so again with this sidetrack well on Brasse. The result of the 31/7-2S well has been announced and as expected it has franked the form of the original discovery and volumes have been increased. Resource range has increased from 43-80 mmboe to 56-92 mmboe in high quality reservoir sands of high grade crude similar to that of the Brage field, with 18m of oil and 4m of gas.

The result provides excellent field economics at low hydrocarbon prices and the development has fast track potential with both Brage and Oseberg fields only 13km away for tieback purposes. With this infrastructure advantage the company can realistically think of first oil in 2020/21 and at a higher rate of over 30/- boe/d the capex should come in at around the $550m currently anticipated. At a share price of 85p and a market cap of £303m this stock is ludicrously undervalued on any conceivable basis, the sector may be out of favour but be warned, it could go the way of Ithaca which at these prices would be a travesty.

Echo Energy

Echo has just announced that it has signed, with Pluspetrol and YPFB the state company a Technical Evaluation Agreement (TEA) for the Rio Salado block, onshore Bolivia. Echo are out in Bolivia at the prestigious YPFB Gas & Oil congress in Santa Cruz where a number of agreements have been signed notably between Bolivia and Paraguay to collaborate on gas sales and pipelines. This TEA will enable the companies to progress a technical evaluation of the block over the next 12 months. When that is completed and if all is looking good, the parties will be able to propose  a commercial agreement to YPFB to define a work programme and ‘is likely to include the drilling of an exploration well’.

The Rio Salado block surrounds the Huayco block where Echo has identified a structure and contains an extension of it, accordingly their seismic reprocessing programme will be extended for ‘ a minimal incremental cost’ over the Greater Huayco area. It should be remembered that at present Echo has not confirmed commercial terms in Rio Salado and so doesnt have a firm right during the evaluation period. Having said that the company is clearly delighted with the signing of such an agreement in the area and is pleased to have got underway with the second of ‘many pre-identified strategic transactions in Bolivia’ and indicates that there is much more to come.

Tullow Oil

Interims from Tullow this morning which are pretty much as predicted with revenues and production in line with guidance. The loss was worse than I expected due to an impairment charge of $642m mainly on TEN I hear which is a disappointment as production there seems to be going well. As expected following the $750m rights issue and trumpeted free cash flow, net debt is down and cost savings are now expected to be $650m rather than the earlier $500m in the market and further cash is being saved by the Ugandan farm-down. The excitement quotient will be delivered by the Suriname well, Araku-1 which is expected 4Q 2017 and aiming for in excess of 500m barrels of oil. With strong performance operationally, the weakness in the share price since the rights issue has probably been overdone but doubts remain over the early write-off at TEN, apart from that TLW is in good enough nick.

Range Resources

Still suspended, the quarterly update from Range is still important to ensure that operationally all is still going according to plan. Production was 531 b/d with revenue of $2.3m and the company has cash resources of $17.5m. With the RTO still underway holders will be pleased to know that the documentation should be out in this quarter and after that the suspension should be lifted. With so much going on it will be good to hear from the company about the operations and how the corporate activities will change the shape of Range which is looking most interesting.


Another couple of contract wins for PFC this time in Iraq where they have picked up $100m worth of business in one extended and one new one for construction management services. With a number of pieces of business won recently PFC are seemingly carrying on as normal and it is probably, if slightly with some schadenfreude, that they see other service companies being called in by the SFO.

And finally…

This isn’t really sport but I had to laugh when I saw that Matt Canavan has had to resign as the Australian Resources Minister after finding out that he is part-Italian. This is forbidden in OZ, not being part Italian, but to be holding office you have to be 100% Aussie, although there must be one or two other Ministers taking a quick look at the family tree as he is the third Senator to resign in as many weeks.  Mr Canavan has nobly blamed his mother for the mix-up saying that she never told him of his roots, real or imaginary, so that’s a nice thing to do! No wonder the Australian gas market is in such a state, it’s rather like the Italian situation…

And Adam Peaty just can’t stop breaking his own world records, twice in the end yesterday…

And football is back and tonight Celtic entertain Rosenborg in the Champions League…

]]> VSA Morning Flow Test - Tullow Oil plc Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:45:00 +0100 Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

Tullow Oil (TLW) has reported its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2017 broadly in line with consensus, with its key financials highlighted below.

• Revenue of US$0.8bn. Gross profit of US$0.3bn. Free cash flow of US$0.21bn. Loss before tax of US$0.5bn after impairments.

• Net debt reduced by just short of US$1 billion YoY to US$3.8bn  following the generation of free cash flow and US$750m Rights Issue in April 2017. Facility headroom and free cash is now US$1.2bn.

• 2017 Capex guidance reduced from US$0.5bn to US$0.4bn and this is anticipated to reduce to US$0.3bn on completion of the Uganda farm-down.

Operationally TLW performed in line with expectations with West Africa net working interest oil production, including production-equivalent insurance payments, averaged 81.4kbopd in H2 2017. Full year guidance of 78-85kbopd remains unchanged. The Kenya exploration and appraisal programme continues with a further three wells planned in H2 2017 whilst working towards FID.

Further to this, TLW has made progress across its exploration portfolio, which in our opinion will be the key driver for the stock going forward. It remains on track to drill the high impact Araku-1 well in Suriname in Q4 2017 and has also completed or commenced seven seismic campaigns so far this year. This includes a seismic programme in Guyana which commenced in May and will be used to define prospects for drilling on the Kanuku licence in 2018/19.

We are particularly excited by TLW’s exploration acreage in South America, particularly in Guyana which is directly updip of the giant Liza and Payara discoveries made by ExxonMobil (XOM). The progress made by TLW in these basins will also be positive for TLW’s partners across its licences, including Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas (ECO)#, which has a 40% working interest in the TLW operated Orinduik Block in Guyana. TLW estimates this block contains prospective resources of 900mmboe. We have a BUY recommendation and 25p TP on ECO.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, Fresnillo Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO )

Net cash costs fell more than 5% to US$1.20/lb in the latest quarter reported by Antofagasta (ANTO LN). Copper production was 174,400t or 1.4% higher QoQ while gold production rose 10.5% QoQ to 58,900ozs due to improved grades at Centinella mine. Molybdenum grades improved at Los Pelambres mine which drove a 36% increase in output YoY and was reflected by 2,400t produced this quarter.

For the six month period, net cash costs were 1.6% lower at US$1.24/lb YoY due to improved productivity at mines and commodity price increases.

Forward guidance remains unchanged at 685kt to 720kt copper produced for the year, expecting higher output in the remaining half. Cash costs pre-by-product credits should come in at US$1.55/lb and net cash costs a bit higher at around US$1.30/lb.

Not much note of it, but foul weather did cause some disruption to shipments both at mines and away from ports which delayed an even better sales result. Hopefully, this won’t be repeated and will drive a better comparative sales result in H2.

Fresnillo (LON:FRES)

Fresnillo (LON:FRES) quarterly silver production of 14.5moz (including Silverstream) led improved production numbers which were up 11.7% YoY and up 7.3% QoQ. First half silver production of 28.0moz (including Silverstream) was up 11.2% YoY, primarily due to the start of operations at San Julián Phase I, higher ore processed at Fresnillo and higher ore grade at Ciénega. Cost comparative data was not disclosed in the release.

FRES is on track to achieve 2017 production guidance of 58moz to 61moz silver (including Silverstream) and 870koz to 900koz gold. San Julian Phase II should be operational in the coming quarter.

FRES has been delivering significant production growth according to plan and management expectation for several quarters now, demonstrating its premier global primary silver producer status.

]]> Oil price, Andes Energia/Phoenix Global Resources, links, And finally... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:10:00 +0100 Oil price

Coming out of the St Petersburg meeting with oil up 50 odd cents a barrel can be considered quite a result really. Although June adherence was allegedly 98% there are strong warnings from the Saudi/Russian alliance at the top that there will be ‘no more free rides’, ie we know who you are. The KSA have backed that up by announcing that August liftings for export will not exceed 6.6m b/d although I refer to my usual point about domestic summer demand, that still means production of around 10m b/d. Both de facto leaders suggested that the agreement could and would likely need to be extended beyond 1Q 2018 but the thorny problems of Libya and Nigeria were avoided, could this be that left alone they will self-destruct anyway?

Dave Lesar at Halliburton sees high US domestic production but that fear is lessening, it won’t go away but we might be nearing the interim peak. Finally inventory stats tonight and tomorrow will now return to centre stage for the oil price direction.

Andes Energia- A Phoenix from the ashes?

I have watched AEN for many years and liked it a lot, partly as I think that its position in the Vaca Muerta is huge compared to its market cap and more recently as I feel that Argentina is proving a good place for energy companies. (Viz President, still grossly undervalued) Yesterday it was confirmed that the company would back into the Argentinian E&P business of the Mercuria Energy Group, the combined entity having a very strong position in conventional and unconventional assets in Argentina and be renamed Phoenix Global Resources. The new company will be headquartered in London where 6 of the 118 employees work but most importantly I imagine new Chairman Sir Michael Rake, best known recently for Chairing BT and Worldpay and with history at Barclays Bank, Easyjet and KPMG as well as being an advisor to Teneo alongside Brian O’Driscoll. Anuj Sharma will remain CEO and Philip Wolfe should be a strong pair of hands at CFO, so the new board is certainly powerful and seemingly independent and of course Mercuria is expected to be a ‘significant long term shareholder’ in the company. The statement says 25% AEN and 78% Mercuria so free flat will be somewhat of an issue.

With the company’s new scale and upside comprising a significant work programme in development, as well as exploration in both existing conventional reserves and unconventional prospects such as the Vaca Muerta there is no doubt that this is a fairly compelling merger. Phoenix will have its work programme for the next two years funded by assorted debt of around $160m provided by Mercuria, but with existing debt paid down and the decks cleared will leave it open to further corporate activity. South America is certainly hotting up right now with high quality investment opportunities in a number of areas such as Rockhopper, President, Amerisur and Echo on the mainland, not to mention the Trinidad players who are all raising their games on offer to investors.


Yesterday I did my usual Voxmarkets Podcast, the link is here for comments on Providence, Premier, Pantheon, Savannah and Falcon Oil & Gas.

VOX Markets podcast: Malcy on Providence Resources, Premier Oil, Pantheon Resources, Savannah Petroleum and Falcon Oil & Gas

And finally…

In the swimming Ben Proud wins a gold in the butterfly and Adam Peaty breaks his own record in the heats.

Lots of transfer news, Mendy signs for the Noisy Neighbours and the Hammers sign the ‘little pea’ which could be the deal of the season…

]]> RockRose Energy hot on the acquisition trail in the North Sea Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:55:00 +0100 Andrew Austin, chairman of RockRose Energy (LON:RRE) talks Proactive through the firm's strategy and recent acquisitions as well as plans to raise production from 1400 barrels to 10-15,000 barrels a day within the next 18 months to two years.

''We think there's a lot of opportunities left in the North Sea where assets over time have sometimes ended up in the wrong hands, with people with possibly the wrong cost base, for the environment we find ourselves in'', Austin says.

''Our objective at RockRose is to be acquisition-driven and to acquire a number of assets - sometimes for negative consideration - such that we can build an oil company that makes sense in the current oil price environment''.

]]> Oil price, Pantheon Resources, And finally... Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:30:00 +0100 Oil price

Brent was never going to hold over 50 bucks, not this time anyway as predicted last week, a run up during the week had the air taken out of it on Friday when it became clear late on that deeper production cuts were not on the agenda for today’s meeting in St Petersburg. Indeed it seemed that the hosts were concentrating on two things, adherence to the quotas and bringing Libya and Nigeria into the agreement, neither of which I would bet the farm on, yet…

As I said, Friday had started well and with Baker Hughes announcing that the rig count was down 2 overall at 950 and down 1 in oil at 764, the tone was set but negative news came from Petro-Logistics who claimed that Opec production was rising which also punctured the balloon. WTI ended down 77 cents on the week and Brent was off 85 cents and whilst crude was up today in early trading it has lost all that and is down around 20 cents as I write.

Pantheon Resources

An operational update this morning as the company gets back into investors good books with some helpful information from East Texas. At VOBM#2H a frac date has been announced for ‘around the 4th August’ as a contract has been signed in order to remediate the damage after the fateful experiment to horizontally drill and deviate the well. The company say that this process will take 2-3 weeks on a trouble free basis, I would have thought that is plenty of time, and so we can expect results by the end of the month. At VOBM#4 PANR has signed an agreement with Energy Drilling Co for the side-track at Tyler County and mobilisation is expected to commence in the last week in August. The guidance time-wise for this process is +/- 30 -40 days so we can expect a prognosis by early October.

Response from the market place was unsurprisingly muted this morning, investors have long memories and there are still a number of non-believers in this story after its many IR disasters. However, the news coming from East Texas is getting better and the next three months should sort out these two well malfunctions and get the gas processing facility up and running on the 1 and 3 wells. This will produce much needed revenue and alleviate worries about short term funding. I remain, just about, a believer in the Pantheon story, after all that has gone on this is no time to jump ship.

And finally…

With my two favourite writers at the FT having now gone, I mean of course Jonathan Guthrie and Lucy Kellaway, (whom I first met with the late Roland Shaw for those old enough to remember) one wonders whether to maintain a subscription any more. Andrew Ward is doing a great job so I will carry on and enjoy reading his work which is regrettably  not often enough.

Yesterday at Lords, the England women’s cricket team pulled off an unlikely victory, it had looked like they had not scored enough runs and India were slowly getting to their target until Anya Shrubsole came back on. Five wickets later, making 6-46, the cup was England’s…

The England women were playing footy last night and won 2-0 against Spain after a match full of excitement and funny decisions by the ref. England, denied a second, good goal early on then had a pen awarded against them  which was then rescinded after words from above…I also forgot to mention England’s first game when they beat Scotland 6-0 last week.

The Open Championship was won by Jordan Spieth who got out of jail after a poor front nine yesterday nearly let in Matt Kuchar. In the end he blistered the back nine and won by three shots.

And Chris Froome, who we know isn’t quite Sir Bradley in the eyes of the British public won his fourth Tour de France and could easily go again.

The pre-season friendlies continue, in Beijing Chelski beat the Gooners 3-0 and in the US the Red Devils beat Real Madrid on pens, they play Barca on wednesday night.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Petra Diamonds, Randgold Resources Mon, 24 Jul 2017 07:34:00 +0100 Petra Diamonds  (LON:PDL)

Production results for the year released by Petra Diamonds (PDL LN) today show total carats produced up 8% YoY to 4mcts and revenue up 11% to US$477m. Diamond prices in the rough market were largely stable with a change upward of just 2% YoY. Cash at bank rose over 3x to US$205m as capital is allowed to accrue against the increased debt level which now stands at US$554m. Capital expenditure will now be declining from here.

The production pipeline is looking good with guidance supporting a forecast of 23% more carats produced to circa 5mcts for 2018. Tailings derived stones will be diminishing from here on out which should improve the product mix on sales. Net debt should stay relatively level in H1 this coming year and fall thereafter PDL predicts. Preliminary financial results will be released on 19 September.

If we can see an increase in stone size distribution from mined ore in the product sales over the coming 12 months as well as an increase in the number of carats as tailings production falls away, this should give the company an added revenue boost above just more carats produced alone.

Randgold Resources (LON:RRS)

In a media briefing on Saturday, Randgold (RRS LN) disclosed a significant discovery of gold in Cote d’Ivoire at Boundiali but also complained of the encroachment of large numbers of illegal miners to the site as a result. CEO Mark Bristow typified unhindered illegal mining as the single biggest challenge to the industry now.

Mark reported that Tongon ramp up is proceeding to plan with a 2017 target of 285kozs but admitted that the investment of US$28m into the government grid infrastructure has not yet been agreed with the local tax office as to when and how it should be repaid in the accounts, despite the government having already earned US$100m in revenue on the power distribution to RRS and regional users.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, Velocys, Sundry-Premier-UKOG- And finally... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:58:00 +0100 Oil price

Brent did actually break through $50 yesterday but it was a short lived experience as ahead of the big pow-wow in St Petersburg on Monday the bears came through, betting that a new, better agreement was unlikely. Price moves next week will be determined by news from the meeting and unless it is positive this recent rally may be tested on the downside.

If the Baker Hughes rig count numbers go up again today it’s worth thinking about the beneficiaries, I notice that Weir Group upgraded earnings guidance the other day which prompted a rise in the Hunting and Wood Group share price although the latter was likely a wrong call. Other areas worth considering are things like frac sands which according to a report out by Credit Suisse is seeing demand ‘breaking all records’ and I imagine making a few suppliers very happy.

As the schools break up in the UK, today is the biggest day of the year for flight activity in our skies whilst motoring organisations report long queues on the way to domestic holiday destinations. In the US driving miles are up again with records being set on Memorial weekend and on the Independence holiday, and the gasoline market is seeing stock draws not seen for a while, we may be going greener but just for the time being fossil fuels do appear to be here to stay, at least for the short term.

Sound Energy

Sound has released an Eastern Morocco update this morning, it confirms that the OGIF acquisition will be completed later this quarter and that subject to various regulatory agreements,will extend the Tendrara licence by a further eight year period in 2018. The company is pursuing a geophysical programme including an FTG survey and 2D seismic which is funded by Schlumberger under their agreement.

The company are ‘progressing well’ with their acquisition of  licence interests, or increases in interests in various prospects in Eastern Morocco. These include Meridja, now renamed Anoual, and Matarka which is a previously relinquished area. Sound expects that this new hydrocarbon province in Eastern Morocco to be ‘transformational’ for both the company and indeed Morocco itself and that it is in a very busy period operationally.


Not much of a fuss has been made but Velocys have a couple of important announcements out this morning. They are ‘actively transitioning’ ( I think that means moving) from its previous focus on technology development to its commercialisation in ‘selected high value markets’. This means the end of R&D and they will close down their UK operation at Milton Park and related activities in Plain City Ohio. The company will retain an office in the UK and grow its operational base in Houston, Texas where it will ‘ build the capabilities required to take forward its new biorefinery delivery business model’.

With the closure of the UK base the CEO, Susan Robertson has decided to part company with Velocys which takes away significant experience from the board but is inevitable as the company severs almost all its roots with the UK. An interim CFO has been appointed which is not a board position at the moment, one would fervently hope that a permanent appointment is made very soon and carries with it a board position, this is not a company that can afford not to have the CFO on the board. If all this is to be believed, those of us who have believed the Velocys story over the years will see this as a most interesting turning point in its history, time will tell.


Premier Oil CEO Tony Durrant has an interview with Upstream Online this morning and whilst this is only something that can be read by those wealthy enough to subscribe to its full service, the headline  is quite interesting. It seems that they are about to announce an innovative deal on Tolmount whereby an Infrastructure Fund will finance Tolmount capex in return for a tariff on the field. It’s not the first time this has been mentioned and until it is made general knowledge still not in the public domain but if true it would open up a number of similar assets…

UKOG, whilst I don’t cover the company, partly as I have never met the management, I have to say that the news from Broadford Bridge looks increasingly positive. The Kimmeridge limestone appears to be pretty substantial and if the flow tests are good then it may be a properly commercial discovery, worth watching and meeting I hope…

And finally…

Not quite such a busy sporting weekend as last but plenty going on nonetheless. The Open golf continues and with Americans dominating the leaderboard it looks good for them at the moment but the weather may just even things out a bit.

I’m often asked why I dont comment on the bike race in France, that is historical from the times when it was an extension of a laboratory experiment. It looks like Froome might win but surprisingly it is still quite open, I hear…

Nearly 70,000 were in the stadium in Houston last night to see the Red Devils see off the Noisy Neighbours 2-0, I hope that at least some of my readers out there went along.

The womens cricket World Cup Final is on Sunday with England taking on India who beat them in the first match of the tournament.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Acacia Mining, Metal Tiger Fri, 21 Jul 2017 08:30:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Interpretation of results of airborne geophysics around the T3 dome complex in Botswana has found 19 targets worth investigating further. Four of the targets have similarities to the airborne and ground geophysics signature of the T3 Dome copper deposit in which MTR has a 30% interest. Three of these four are also directly on stratigraphic strike from the Banana zone copper deposit held by Cupric Canyon Capital.

Field geologists and sampling crews are now following up the results with ground surveys to do some mapping and sampling as appropriate to prioritize drilling targets in coming months. Given the success of finding new deposits in this part of the Kalahari by simply doing proper modern exploration, we believe the potential for more copper is very, very good indeed.

We reiterate our 4.57p price target and BUY recommendation.

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA)

Six month results released today by Acacia Mining (ACA LN) give us an insight into the impact of the Tanzanian ban on export of gold bearing concentrates affecting it. The cost to the cash balance of the company was a decline from US$318m to US$176m at period end 30 June. Revenue fell 22% YoY to US$391.7m. Gold sales amounted to just 312,438ozs though production overall rose 4% to a record 428,203ozs. AISC was US$893/oz, a figure the company suspects would have been over 10% lower if it had been able to sell all its cons.

The company has reduced its full year production guidance to 850,000 to 900,000ozs but will leave AISC guidance unchanged.  The company cannot and will not continue to haemorrhage cash it would appear while unsold concentrates pile up. Job losses will have to come if the tax dispute with Tanzania remains unresolved.

]]> Cabot Energy's Keith Bush 'pleased' with production ahead of summer work programme Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:01:00 +0100 Keith Bush, chief executive of Cabot Energy Plc (LON:CAB) tells Proactive they've been producing some 550 barrels of oil per day, which is in line with guidance, and its summer programme is set to expand on that significantly.

]]> Oil price, Aminex, Cabot Energy, Sundry-Falcon-Columbus- And finally... Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:06:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price rose again reaching levels last seen on 6th of June but Brent also hitting the big figure obstacle which it has struggled to break through in recent  attempts. The EIA inventory stats were mainly full of good news, the crude draw of 4.7m barrels was 1.2m more than forecasts while gasoline drew 4.4m against expectations of only 0.7m, and distillates fell 2.1m against a consensus rise of 1.2m. The products crack spread was at its highest since November 2016 meaning that refining margins are very healthy at the moment.

The only fly in the EIA’s ointment was the US production number which at 9.43m b/d was at a level not seen since July 2015. It is an important few days, Monday sees the Opec/Non-Opec meeting in St Petersburg at which some industry commentators feel that more action might happen although robust comments from Libya overnight indicate bringing them or Nigeria into the fold may be hard work.


A general  update from Aminex this morning but all the information is very welcome. They announce that they have received a payment from the TPDC for Kiliwani gas sales and whilst unspecified in amount is good news, we are also reminded that the company has a strong balance sheet and is debt free. Kiliwani North 1 is continuing to average production of  15 MMcf/d this year. Elsewhere in the Ruvuma area the company are ‘fully engaged’ on its updated basin model and its gas development plan is being prepared by the io consultancy. Both this and the submission of the Ntorya FDP are expected to be submitted in ‘early September’.

Cabot Energy

A production and operations update from Cabot this morning which shows that significant progress continues to be made, primarily in Canada. Production is in line with guidance at 550 b/d (75% WI) and with two wells recently acquired requiring routine maintenance should add another 80 b/d gross to the company. The summer workover programme is targeting 300 b/d at a net cost of $2.6m and should mean that Canadian production gets to 800-1,000 b/d on a gross basis. With the 130 boe/d of gas from Civita  CAB is building ‘ increasingly material cashflow, even at current oil prices’, according to CEO Keith Bush. There is much other work going on at the company such as the Virgo well programme and I expect more good news from Cabot in the coming months.


I mentioned Falcon the other day and a quick erratum, the first part of the comments I made are being used by Justice Pepper but are from the Hawke report. The points I would like to make today are two fold, firstly that Origin conducted a press briefing yesterday that has led to a number of significant press articles, from what I can see are unanimously positive about the outlook both for the companies involved but also for domestic gas supply in Australia. Secondly I understand that it has been quite difficult to pick up news about this report and its ramifications, I hope that now that there is so much in the Aussie press people can get a better idea of what the report has indicated. I remain of the view that whilst some political risk remains, the upside for FOG should be very substantial indeed.

I met with Leo Koot, CEO of Columbus Energy Resources yesterday for a general round up as it is a little while since he started and clearly he and his management team are making significant progress in upgrading the portfolio and assessing best opportunities. CERP is definitely one for the watch list as I am very impressed by Mr Koot and of course his new team here and on the ground in Trinidad.

And finally…

The Open Championship has started this morning at Royal Birkdale, unsurprisingly in the pouring rain. With not all the players yet to even go out the leader as I write is Ian Poulter but with a very long way to go.

With the pre-season friendlies under way it is not long until the proper action gets going, for those of you in Houston you could go along and watch the Red Devils play the Noisy Neighbours tonight.

With the T20 blast well underway it was interesting to see Surrey v Essex last night where you know who, none other than KP turned out, with a lightning 52 including five 6’s, four of which came in one over and got Surrey home.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Anglo American Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:25:00 +0100 Anglo American (LON:AAL)

Anglo American (LON:AAL) has released a positive trading update for Q2 2017 demonstrating strong performance in the iron ore, diamond and platinum divisions whilst copper production was modestly lower. Met and thermal coal production was, however, negatively impacted in the quarter.

Iron ore production at Kumba was up 28% QoQ and 23% YoY to 11.4mnt with the reworked mining plan delivering operational efficiencies. Full year guidance has been upgraded from 40-42mnt to 41-43mnt. At Minas Rio the ramp up slowed, however, with QoQ production flat at 4.3mnt.

At De Beers, rough diamond production increased 36% YoY and 18% QoQ to 8.7mncts. The increase was driven by the ramp up at Gaucho Kue in Canada and means the company is on track to meet guidance of 31-33mncts for the full year. However, the product mix appears to have weakened with a 12% YoY decline in prices despite a modest improvement in diamond prices in the wider market.

Copper production of 141kt was down 2% YoY and 1% QoQ. Unplanned disruptions at El Soldado offset strong performance at Los Bronces while poor weather affected Chile’s ports and therefore AAL’s shipments. Guidance remains unchanged for the full year at 570-600kt.

Platinum production of 617koz was up 5% YoY and 8% QoQ as declines from the sale of Rustenburg were offset by strong increases at the JV mines at Mogalakwena, Amandebult and Unki.

Met coal production of 4.9mnt was own 19% YoY an 24% QoQ largely due to the impact of Cyclone Debbie. Thermal coal production was also negatively impacted by unexpected stoppages which resulted in a 4% decline YoY to 6.5mnt. Guidance for both remains unchanged for the full year.


Carr’s Group#: FY 2017 Trading Update

Carr’s Group (LON:CARR)#, the agricultural, food and engineering group, has provided a trading update for the 19 week period ended 16 July 2017.

• Trading remains in-line with expectations

• UK agriculture operations continue to recover with feed & like-for-like retail sales ahead YoY and machinery sales significantly ahead YoY; Feed block sales remain in-line with expectations, with the US business still underperforming but recovering

• UK engineering business continues to be impacted by previously reported issues. However, the delayed contract has now been signed and will be delivered through 2018/19; CARR’s remote handling business is performing ahead of expectations with a pipeline at its highest level for years, and is transacting a significant level of Chinese business

• Last month CARR made a small acquisition, Mortimer Feeds, a feed merchant business principally operating in Cheshire

• Second interim dividend of 0.95p to be paid on 6 October (2016: 0.95p)

• FY 2017 results for year-ending 2 September due 13 November

VSA Comment

An in-line trading update from CARR, following its warning on FY 2017 performance at the end of March, which saw consensus forecasts for PBT fall to £11.6m, -17.7% YoY, from £14.4m, +2.1% YoY, previously.

Although expected, it is nonetheless positive to see the delayed significant engineering contract signed and due to be delivered through FY 2018 and FY 2019. An increased pipeline for both its UK manufacturing and remote handling business also provides confidence that the engineering division may move to recovery in FY 2018.

In agriculture, US cattle prices have continued to show strength with benchmark prices having increased more than 20% since the start of CARR’s FY 2017 period. US operations will also benefit from the opening of CARR’s new feedblock facility in Shelbyville, Tennessee, which remains on track to open in October 2017.

In the UK, for the first nine months of CARR’s FY 2017, compound feed volumes in the overall market have increased 3.2% YoY, compared with decreases of 3.9% in FY 2016, 1.1% in FY 2015 and 5.9% in FY 2014. It is therefore likely we will see the first YoY growth in the market for four years.

Given the extensive media coverage concerning the increasing price of some dairy products and a forecasted milk shortage, we would expect the average milk price to increase in the last few months of FY 2017, having decreased slightly to 26.78ppl in May (last available data). Having been higher than 27ppl earlier in the year, this level should again be surpassed in the coming months.

Both of these factors should continue to support CARR’s UK agriculture business for the rest of the year and into FY 2018.

]]> Haydale Graphene's Ray Gibbs hails 'massive' order book after company restructure Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:57:00 +0100 Ray Gibbs, chief executive of Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) tells Proactive the order book is at a record level.

Orders in hand, comprising product sales orders and consulting contracts to be fulfilled over the next three-and-a-half years, stood at close to £5.4mln, providing good visibility on the group's future income.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, Hurricane Energy, Wentworth Resources, IOG, And finally... Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:05:00 +0100 Oil price

A fairly quiet day on the oil Bourses yesterday, the same old supply stories but crude edged up when the KSA export figure for May came out at 6.92m b/d, this was down m/m and to be expected as during the summer a good deal of production is drawn into domestic power generation. June and July are slightly more difficult to call, early in the period Aramco kept its prices high to all customers but word is that at the moment prices have eased which would indicate a slightly higher output, we shall see, at present signs are that the KSA are going to deal with the overproduction problem. After the close the API inventory stats showed a modest build of 1.6m barrels in crude which was the wrong sign for the scribblers but products drew strongly, tonight’s EIA data should give us a  better clue.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced the progress on the TE-7 EWT which demonstrates very strong pressure recovery which is still ongoing. Pressure stabilisation is expected to take another 6-8 months and estimated gas volumes in place, once the reservoir has reached full pressure stabilisation of 40 Bscf as per the company’s preliminary expectations. This will enable the Company to confirm a field development concept with regular spacing of sub horizontal stimulated wells ‘similar in design to TE-7.

Hurricane Energy

The company has confirmed that option over another $10m of the convertible bond issue recently completed has been exercised as expected and the total is now $230m. With the money raised in the equity market this makes a strong contribution to the EPS for Lancaster which is motoring along well. The link to the interview with Dr Robert Trice is below for anyone who missed it the first time.

Core Finance interview: Dr Robert Trice, CEO of Hurricane Energy

Wentworth Resources

An operational update for WRL this morning which announces further payments from the TPDC of $1.2m making $7.9m so far this year. This is pretty positive stuff and with receivables now at four months is on the right track. Also on the right track is production, post the rainy season demand has increased to 45 MMscf/d in June and has picked up more with local maintenance work increasing demand on Mnazi Bay. With FY guidance of 40-50 MMscf/d now maybe looking conservative things are slowly looking up for this company that should do well given time.

Independent Oil & Gas

IOG has announced the FDP for the Blythe Hub which contains the Blythe and Elgood fields both owned 100% by the company. A new CPR for the Blythe Hub is expected soon which should provide up-to-date independently verified reserves and resources. The company talk about it’s great ‘strategic value’ to IOG along with the Vulcan Hub but this can only be translated into moular with ‘deferrals of a substantial proportion of contractor costs and prepayments from potential gas offtakers to help meet funding requirements’. In this market more developments are indeed being funded like this, but it is way less certain than raising money or getting a partner in which if I was a shareholder I would feel more comfortable with, despite that the project still has legs. I am meeting new management soon which might help but Messrs Routh and Young seemed to be doing ok to me…

And finally…

England’s women won their semi-final against South Africa yesterday which takes them to a final against India or Australia on Sunday. In the meantime greater powers than the atrocious England selectors have ruled Gary Ballance out of the next test which should make room for a better player, where is James Taylor when you need him most…?

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:24:00 +0100 Obtala Limited#: Q2 2017 Business Update

African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# has provided an update on its operations for Q2 2017.

The announcement is largely a reiteration of previously announced information, including the completion of the significant US$14.6m acquisition of African forestry business WoodBois International.

The most relevant new information:
• Six forestry management plans have now been approved over 153,500ha of its concessions in Mozambique
• The cutting season has begun, after a delay, but with better productivity due to new equipment, processes and procedures (250 logs per day vs. 90-180 logs per day last year). This is expected to increase even further as the season progresses
• The land has been purchased for OBT’s larger sawmill at Nampula and construction has now started
• The company has continued to make a number of important hires, including an experienced sawmill manager, Henning Visser, who will oversee production at Uape and the new development at Nampula.
• In Tanzania, the group has planted melons and its market garden. The packhouse renovation is now complete, which has increased its capacity and improved the cold room technology
• OBT has decided to plant mangoes for its first orchard crop
VSA Comment
A positive operational update from OBT and we continue to be impressed by the speed at which the company is progressing a number of separate, but related, operations, given the challenging countries in which it operates.

We see the Mozambique government’s continued efforts to restrict illegal logging, evidenced by the delay in issuing logging licences for this season and the recently announced first project under the Mozambique Forest Investment Project (MozFIP) framework agreement with the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as positive for OBT, given OBT’s core focus on sustainability and its ability to produce and export added-value forestry products, not just unprocessed timber, from the country.
This first project will see the FAO providing technical support to develop a 20-year national strategy for the forestry sector, a revision of institutional frameworks for forest concessions to ensure greater transparency, accountability, equity and sustainability of forest production, and the establishment of 'model' concessions that implement best practices.

For FY 2017, our forecasts should be supported by the consolidation of WoodBois’ H2 results, an operation which recorded total revenues of US$9.15m in H1.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - BHP Billiton plc, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:22:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG)# has submitted the Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Blythe Hub, which comprises the Blythe and Elgood fields.

The Blythe and Elgood gas fields are 100% owned and operated by IOG and located in the UK Southern North Sea (SNS) close to existing infrastructure and other IOG-owned licences.  Blythe contains independently verified 2P reserves of 34.3BCF and Elgood 22 BCF of 2C resources.  A new CPR currently being completed for the Blythe Hub will soon provide up-to-date independently verified estimates of the reserves and resources. Neither Blythe nor Elgood requires further appraisal and on FDP approval the Elgood resources would be upgraded to 2P.

The Blythe Hub is expected to provide the first gas for IOG via the recommissioned Thames Pipeline and therefore the first revenues to the Company from its current portfolio of assets. IOG is in the process of completing the 100% acquisition of the pipeline which is intended to be tested and recommissioned. There are significant synergies with the 100%-owned Vulcan Satellites Hub, containing independently verified 2C resources of 321 BCF, which is also intended to be exported via the Thames Pipeline. IOG is also 100% owner of the Harvey discovery, which lies between the Blythe and Vulcan Satellites Hubs. Harvey needs further appraisal and is currently estimated to have P50 recoverable resources of 113 BCF.

The submission of this FDP brings IOG a step closer to developing its SNS gas assets and generating revenues but it must now find a way to finance its development, we await an update on this in due course.

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (BLT LN) has announced production results for FY 2017. Despite robust performance in the iron ore and thermal coal divisions where production met guidance, with a 4% and 7% YoY increase to 231mnt and 29mnt respectively, production declined in other key divisions. Iron ore production is guided to another modest increase in FY 2018 to 239-243mnt while thermal coal guidance is for flat production in FY 2018.

Copper production of 1.3mnt was 16% lower YoY largely due to the strikes at Escondida as well as unplanned maintenance at Olympic Dam. Consequently, BLT now believes that unit cost guidance for FY 2017 in the copper division may now not be achievable. However, FY 2018 production guidance is for a 7% increase YoY as production is normalised.

Petroleum production of 208mmboe was down 13% YoY as onshore US development activity was deferred owing to the current pricing environment. FY 2018 guidance is for further cuts to between 180-190mmboe as natural field decline as well as planned maintenance at Mad Dog is expected to more than offset new production.

Met coal production declined 6% YoY to 40mnt although is expected to be between 44-46mnt in FY 2018. Unplanned disruption caused by Cyclone Debbie was the main driver of the FY 2017 decline and the higher production in FY 2018 represents a normalisation.

]]> Oil price, Falcon Oil & Gas, Ascent Resources, And finally... Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:32:00 +0100 Oil price

A bit of slippage from oil yesterday but it has rallied again this morning on the weak dollar and various pieces of news. Clearly the Chinese refinery demand number is the main positive but there are negatives as well. Whilst bad news from Venezuela seems to be a constant it seems that Ecuador is on the sick list too, they are claiming hardship and only cutting 60% of their quota. Elsewhere Syrian forces are taking back their oil and gas fields, one of each yesterday to add to the six at the weekend, is this Gulfsands’ time?

Falcon Oil & Gas

I have been waiting for some months for the interim report by the scientific enquiry into hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory in Australia chaired by Justice Rachel Pepper and at the end of last week it was released. Having spent a while on the 175 page report and having been sent a number of press reports and ‘initial’ company reports I managed to have a long conversation this morning with Falcon Chief, Philip O’Quigley. For background, the incoming Labour Government, led by PM Michael Gunner had put a moratorium on fraccing until the report had made its findings public. Whilst this is an interim report with the final not due until the end of the year the report in my eyes could not have been better for Falcon or Origin, the Operator.

These are the two comments that give the most weight to the view that the final report may be a qualified positive for Falcon and Origin.

“The major recommendations, consistent with other Australian and International reviews, is that the environment risks associated with hydraulic fracturing can be managed effectively subject to the creation of a robust regulatory regime.”

“Having regard to the substantive weight of agreed expert opinion, the Inquiry finds that there is no justification whatsoever for the imposition of a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the NT.”

The primary and most raised issue is that of water,particularly between fracced shale formations and aquifers, this has been considered to be ‘low risk’ due to the distance between the two and low permeability of the intervening strata. Indeed on this primary and most important point “The Panel’s preliminary assessment is that the impact of onshore shale gas operations on surface water supply in semi-arid (such as the Beetaloo Sub-Basin) and arid areas of the NT is relatively low.” Indeed the enquiry actually said that there was a risk that groundwater and/or surface water could be contaminated by chemicals but that this could be contained by ‘existing management strategies. In addition to this, the enquiry said that reinjection of wastewater into groundwater should be prohibited but Origin have already said that this would never happen.

With two economic studies due shortly that may be published by Justice Pepper, and an analysis of the social impact of any drilling in the Beetaloo Basin which shouldn’t be an issue as that is a no-brainer, yet to come nothing can be taken for granted but the outlook looks positive. Mr Gunner has said that when the decision is made it will be taken only by the cabinet and the Government and ‘solely on the recommendations of the Pepper enquiry’. The two choices appear to be, as might have been expected, either a ban on fraccing or to allow it in a highly-regulated manner in tightly prescribed areas. With the economic argument backing up an approval, it would seem to me that a 10% override with social and scientific backing  is enough to sanction the process. By starting in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin the big winners, apart from the Government are Origin and Falcon who have up to 61 TCF of gas to prove up. Finally it should be noted that Australia is in somewhat of a pickle with regard to its domestic gas supply. Despite having some of the biggest gas discoveries offshore and huge LNG plants selling product all the way up the Pacific Rim it has a severe shortage at home, this might go a little way to addressing that.

Falcon shares were very poor performers after the moratorium was announced which is no surprise as anything could have happened. Since then though some investors have seen the size of the prize and taken the risk which has moved the shares up sharply  reaching a peak of 27.375p earlier in the year. Interestingly with word of this report seeping out yesterday they fell by 10% to 19.5p and they have drifted again today. Whilst it cannot be assumed that the ban will be lifted it is right to balance the risks and with the potential upside being so huge I would be of the view that this fall should be reversed and then some, a multiple winner by almost any means is on the cards here.

Ascent Resources

An update from Petišovci this morning where delays have been the order of the day up until now but things seem to be on the move. Regarding gas delivery to INA, the line from the CPP is now ready, refurbishment of the separation equipment at the CPP is progressing as planned, it is installed and being connected. Now all it needs is recertifying and that should be by the end of this month, meanwhile, at the Pg-11A well the workover should be complete in two weeks. Modest bullish comment from CH but I suspect he is waiting until it flows before breaking out the Travarica.

And finally…

The World Para-athletics Championships are on in London and yesterday another three gold medals were added by Great Britain.

England dutifully lost the cricket but in pitiful circumstances as batsmen through a combination of incompetence and stupidity threw away their wickets. I mentioned the selectors yesterday and  they must get a grip and stop picking serial losers, old mates and has-beens. I’m sure they won’t but Jennings and Ballance have to go, Dawson is no better with bat or ball than Rashid whom they seem to hate and even Mark Wood, who I love to bits appears to be carrying a knock. Oh and btw, do something about the review system on field or Broad and Stokes will use them up in their first overs…Rant over.

Pre-season is underway and the Red Devils are in the US where they had a fiery fixture last night against Real Salt Lake (are you sure?) in which Lukaku scored and Valencia was sent off. I know I have a few readers in Houston where United play the Noisy Neighbours on Thursday night, get down and watch it!!

]]> EQTEC acquisition 'the logical next step' - CEO Gerry Madden Mon, 17 Jul 2017 11:52:00 +0100 Gerry Madden, chief executive of EQTEC Plc (LON:EQT) talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through their agreement to acquire assets from the company’s majority shareholder.

The acquisition will be supported by a new fundraising, via a placing of new shares, and is expected to create ‘a leading company in waste gasification to energy”.

As a result of the deal, the enlarged EQTEC business will have a pipeline of projects in the UK (plus interests in Croatia) including the Reliable Melton Hull and Reliable Seal Sands projects, as well as a Zebec Energy project in Usk, Wales.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Providence Resources, Touchstone Exploration, And finally... Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:16:00 +0100 Oil price

Over two dollars up on the week and another 25 odd cents up this morning after a week in which demand buoyancy overtook supply concerns in people’s minds. With Chinese requirements apparently increasing, (how quickly people forget how that market is growing) and North Dakota falling, albeit by only 10,000 b/d, the market tightened aided by stock draws across the board. friday saw the rig count which showed no increase overall and a modest rise of two in oil to 765 units. Falling production, albeit temporarily from Nigeria and the Republic of the Congo also helped slightly.

President Energy

An operating update from PPC this morning which again shows good progress in the workovers taking place at Puerto Guardian in Argentina. The workovers at PG 21 and Dos Puntitas 15 have brought on new production and the water disposal well at DP 8 is now complete. A genuine success story has been at CGr-20 on the Canada Grande field which has not seen production since 2011 and is now flowing at 50-80 b/d under natural pressure from a previously untouched and ignored section of the reservoir. This means that the company can now consider other old wells in the field as undrilled prospectivity there.

The rig now moves on to the next workover which is PG-19 whilst facility upgrades continue to facilitate the extra production in the area. All this is increasingly good news for PPC as it brings on more production especially at a ‘new’ field on its PG licence. With its protection from the possibility of any fall in the oil price, increasing production and 34 years remaining on its production licence,  almost 20MMBOE of independently audited 2P Reserves are looking increasingly valuable, something not yet appreciated by the market. President remains a hidden gem at the moment but with growing excitement in South America it will surely not remain in the dark for long…

Providence Resources

A technical update from PVR on the Avalon prospect is out today and shows a working petroleum system with ‘significant hydrocarbon potential’ could exist. Although a long way off this shows that there is a lot of potentially exciting upside in PVR’s portfolio although all eyes for the time being will be on the Druid and Drombeg well currently under way.

Touchstone Exploration

A 2Q update from Touchstone who say that production was 1,335 b/d at a price of $45.51 per barrel, the company suffered minimally from TS Bret. This has now increased to 1,455 b/d in July and shows that production continues to increase in this new to the market Trinidad play.

And finally…

Roger Federer went on to a facile win against injured opposition adding another string to his Wimbledon bow but few would have been easier…Jamie Muzza and Martina Hingis won the mixed doubles and there was further success in the wheelchair events.

The British GP couldnt have gone better for Mercedes with a 1-2 and a late flurry of punctures or tyre degradation at Ferrari. With only a point between Sebastian and Lewis we can expect  fireworks now the second half of the season is underway.

English cricket returned to the sick list at the weekend after a pathetic display with both bat and ball. Selectors should shoulder much of the blame and if the top order don’t display some courage this morning then the axe must surely fall on those who are clearly not international standard….

]]> Egdon Resources - Now Boarding at Fiskerton Airfield Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:10:00 +0100 On 10 July 2017 EDR announced that it will acquire a 100% WI and take on operatorship of the Fiskerton Airfield Oil Field from Cirque Energy for a cash consideration of US$750k (c£0.59m). This will be paid for out of existing cash resources and will have an effective date of 1 January 2017. EDR estimate that 100,000bbls of high quality 32.5°API oil remain recoverable from the existing wells.

The field is currently producing at 19bopd but has suffered from a lack of investment in recent years. However, EDR plans to commit capital, which should bring production up to 30-40bopd, increasing both the profitability and cash flows from the field.

Further Appeals to be Made at Wressle

On 2 July 2017 North Lincolnshire County Council refused planning for the Wressle Oil Field for the second time. This decision was taken despite the project receiving a positive recommendation from planning officers on both occasions. EDR will now submit an appeal against the second refusal and seek to co-join it with the appeal it has already made against the original refusal which is due to be heard in November 2017, the outcome of which we now expect early next year. We have updated our forecasts accordingly and now do not expect production from Wressle until H2 2018.

Biscathorpe Permits Issued

The Environmental Agency awarded the environmental permits on 13 July 2017 to enable the drilling and possible subsequent testing operations of the Biscathorpe-2 exploration well, which is targeting 14mmbbls gross prospective resources. We anticipate EDR to commence operations including site construction later in 2017.

Recommendation and Target Price

EDR remain debt free with a strong balance sheet and we re-iterate our BUY recommendation with an updated target price of 35.5p, following the acquisition of the Fiskerton Airport Oil Field.

]]> AIM Journal's Andrew Hore on Good Energy's spat .... Fri, 14 Jul 2017 14:54:00 +0100 AIM Journal editor Andrew Hore discusses with Proactive the spark that's erupted between Good Energy Group (LON:GOOD) and rival Ecotricity.

Hore also updates on Begbies Traynor (LON:BEG), Gordon Dadds and 'Over The Top' broadcast tech specialist Amino Technologies (LON:AMO)

]]> How does Iofina output go up…with one plant down? Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:28:00 +0100 Tom Becker, President and CEO of Iofina plc (LON:IOF) tells Proactive Investors that streamlining production and reducing costs have all contributed to leaner margins and good figures this half.

]]> Oil price, Savannah Petroleum, Pantheon Resources, Independent Oil and Gas, VOG, And finally... Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:19:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price is up another 25 cents or so this morning so one can confidently expect that it will be an up week to the extent of the best part of three dollars. The market has, for the time being, dismissed talk of increased production from the US, Libya and Nigeria and concentrated on much better news on the demand front, yesterday notably increased demand from China. I know I bang on about it, but that US demand is relentless, it may be the second biggest importer nowadays but there is no sign of any change in consumption any time soon.

Savannah Petroleum

SAVP announced yesterday that the mystery company that they have been looking to acquire is Seven Energy the Nigerian E&P company. As yet we have no details on the structure of the deal but it would be a transformational one for the company, quite likely value accretive and one which the SAVP team are clearly very excited about. I think that the deal, once announced and investors are able to get their heads around the assets, will prove to be a master stroke by Andrew Knott. Obviously as it is such a big deal it will be a RTO and take some time to put together so the shares will remain suspended for a little while yet. In the meantime the work in Niger goes on and the significant upside from this campaign remains and a potential farm-out is not changed by this potential deal. Exciting times for SAVP and proving that Andrew and his team seem to work flat out on adding value for shareholders.

Pantheon Resources

Good news at long last for long suffering holders of PANR who are a few months from being investors in an exploration and production company. The company has signed a gas processing facility agreement with Kinder Morgan with operating and transport costs to be around $5 per boe, a number slightly different to previously advertised as it is now using real time prices. VOBM #1 and VOBM#3 will go straight into the facility and should the frac work ok then VOBM#2 will follow and this should fill the it.

The company say that VOBM#1 on its one would generate $635/- of fcf per month, enough to drill a Polk County vertical well within four months, fully loaded that number rises to $1,500,000. The company are still having problems finding quality equipment, the frac crew etc are all booked for VOBM#2 but the rig booked for VOBM#4 was not good enough so they are starting again and the well is delayed, again. With the nearby Permian Basin drawing a lot of the already decimated oilfield services people and kit away from East Texas this is not getting any easier. Nevertheless, having fallen a long way after a succession of missed promises, the shares have had a long overdue recovery this morning, if you believe the PANR story, and I happen to do so then in the longer term there is still plenty of upside.

Independent Oil and Gas

IOG has been awarded block 48/25a in the 2016 supplementary round which contains part of the company’s Vulcan NW gas discovery and an assortment of other possibilities. The licence adds 24 BCF  of 2C resources and will be in the FDP and the CPR being drafted at the moment. IOG is building a very creditable portfolio of assets which one day should become very valuable, at present, as has been the case for some time, it is the financing of the company that leaves something to be desired.

Victoria Oil & Gas

Another share purchase by a director at VOG as CEO Ahmet Dik has bought 19,220 shares at around the 56p level. A number of directors have bought shares in recent days, a good sign as they clearly share my view that the stock is seriously undervalued at these levels.

And finally…

Historically this is one of the showpiece weekends of British sport with plenty of choice available wherever you look.

At Silverstone the British GP is on Sunday and after recent goings on nobody can guess who might come away with the points, always a good sign. In first practice Bottas is ahead of Lewis…

The second test match between England and South Africa started this morning at Trent Bridge, winning the toss the Proteas are batting and as I write are 37-1.

Good racing too at Ascot, Newmarket, Chester and the Irish Oaks at The Curragh.

Oh and after Muzza and JoKo lost in the last couple of days there is still tennis at Wimbledon, good doubles and of course the wheelchair events.

]]> Zak Mir: Independent Oil & Gas has potential to hit 20p Fri, 14 Jul 2017 10:35:00 +0100 Zak Mir suggests Independent Oil & Gas PLC's (LON:IOG) new licence in the North Sea can help its share rally to 20p, though the cautious might wait until it breaks the 50-day moving average of 16p.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC Fri, 14 Jul 2017 08:01:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (IOG)# has been awarded a new licence (Block 48/25a) by the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in the 2016 supplementary Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round. The licence includes the western part of the Vulcan North West discovery that extends into 48/25a and also includes the Hogsback, Hobson and Goacher prospects.

Vulcan North West

Vulcan North West is a key part of the Company's Vulcan Satellites hub development.  It is a discovery with independently estimated P50 gas initially in place of 215 BCF and 2C recoverable resources of 131 BCF.  18% of the discovery is estimated to be in the new licence 48/25a, so the award of this licence secures 24 BCF of 2C resources for the Company.

The Vulcan Satellites field development planning is progressing very well with all three fields expected to be tied back to the Thames Pipeline which is in the process of being acquired and recommissioned by the Company.

The new licence will be included in the Field Development Plan ("FDP") that is currently being drafted and will also be included in the new Competent Person Report ("CPR") that is being prepared by ERC Equipoise.  The CPR for the Blythe hub, consisting of the Blythe and Elgood fields, should be received within the coming weeks.  The CPR for the Vulcan Satellites is targeted by the end of the third quarter.

Hogsback, Hobson and Goacher

The Hogsback Leman gas prospect is a tilted fault block to the west of Vulcan North West.  It is on-trend and up-dip from the 48/24b-2 gas discovery drilled by Hess in 1990.  It is estimated by the Company to have a technical chance of success of 44% with a most likely gas in place of 30 BCF and most likely resources of 18 BCF of which 96% is on block.

Hobson is an oil discovery but currently there is significant uncertainty regarding its size with minimum, most likely and maximum oil in place estimates of 1 MMBbls, 2 MMBbls, 18 MMBbls respectively.  59% of the Hobson discovery is on the newly awarded block.  Should any decision be taken to drill, Hogsback and Hobson could be appraised with a single well.

Goacher is a Leman gas prospect which is a relatively low relief faulted anticline with a most likely gas in place of 71 BCF.  The Company currently estimates that the technical chance of success is 29% with 36% on the newly awarded block.

]]> Oil price, Premier Oil, Thalassa, Ophir, Providence Resources, Sundry-Shell-SDX-Egdon etc-Range Resources-AMFW- And finally... Thu, 13 Jul 2017 10:12:00 +0100 Oil price

The EIA inventory stats followed the API numbers and reported a healthy draw of 7.6m barrels as predicted here but not by the goons on the Street who had crayoned in 2.3m barrels. Mixed news though with production still high, Libya up again and the KSA slightly exceeding quotas, (but only as predictable summer demand for power kicked in) and the Opec report trimming next year’s demand figure by 60/- b/d.

Premier Oil

I would have liked to have been in Pimlico yesterday as Tony Durrant and team celebrated the coming in of the Zuma-1 well offshore Mexico yesterday, reasons to be cheerful, part one and maybe more. Even Woodmac have confirmed that it may even be world class, although the last thing PMO want just now is another discovery with associated costs although it is a nice problem to have. It may just kick them into selling or farming-out something, maybe Tolmount could go, it was after all an unexpected gift to receive.

Today’s trading update therefore has rather a spring in it’s step with production of 82,100 boe/d ahead of guidance of 75/- which itself surely must be revised up after the summer maintenance programme. So, operationally, as has been the case for the last 18 months, things are in pretty good nick, even Catcher looks to still be on time for first oil this year although it is refreshing to see that Solan is still a basket case. The refinancing is just waiting final technicals and will complete by the end of this month which should give the team the chance to get on with the job in hand at last. That should mean FEED on Tolmount and may be farm-out, ditto Sea Lion, Mexico looks genuinely exciting all that remains is to get a bit of cash in on one or two of these projects to keep the bank manager off their backs. A bucket list stock that is at long last repaying a bit of faith put in it…


You get it straight from Duncan Soukup and today’s release is no different, the offer from a third party for WGP was just ‘not of sufficient value’ and so they have terminated discussions. In what seems to have been a bit of a waste of time, the bidder clearly showed more petticoat and no knickers in coming back with a less than tantalising offer and was swiftly despatched by DS. Saying that the current share price, with its lack of liquidity has a gap between it and the board’s assessment of its intrinsic value he has doubled the share buy back to £4m.

Ophir Energy

I was also out for the OPHR operational and trading update yesterday which made poor reading. Missing the production guidance shouldnt happen but they came in at 11.3kboe/d well below expectations of 12.5 and have now reduced future guidance from 13.5 to 12/-. Cash is now $130m and at year end will be $85m also at the bottom of forecast range and the Fortuna FID seems to have slipped to 2H of this year. The cost cutting recently announced will save a net $10-12m although market cap has fallen substantially since Bill Higgs was fired leaving only two executive directors on the board. On the plus side after a poor first half they have new finance with a $250m RBL and $100m accordian and 2H should look better especially as they have significantly lowered expectations.

Providence Resources

PVR announced yesterday that it had spudded 53/6 in the South Porcupine basin and at long last the drilling of Druid and Drombeg is under way. A recent deal has meant that Total are closely watching this well as they have paid $27m for an option to 35% after the well is drilled. PVR have done very well to keep proper skin in the game whilst taking in a decent slug of cash yet for them, upside should it be successful will still be huge and will be an exciting summer for all concerned.

The company announced today that they have been granted a two year extension on Barryroe with various work going on, this is getting pretty tedious, excuse me if I am not more excited by it but it’s been a long wait with many promises…


Shell has finally bitten the Corrib bullet and is selling up and going home, this is of particular interest to the many former Enterprise Oil readers who all claim to have discovered it back in 1996. Quite how this has got this far I dont know but most will probably wish the Canadian pensioners who have bought it the very best of luck…

Over at SDX Energy it is good to see Paul Welch, CEO and a non-exec buying 85/- and 12,500 shares respectively in the market, another good reason to trust that things are going well for this company…

Egdon and partners have announced with no great surprise that they are appealing against the recent planning turn down at Wressle, all this huge cost all round is totally unnecessary but the process has to be gone through and it seems that the Councillors in Lincolnshire have money to burn…

Range Resources has announced that it is terminating its ADR programme which given the small amount of trade is probably a very sensible way of saving quite a lot of money…

And has the Wood Group/AMFW deal been dealt a blow? Yesterday AMFW announced that the SFO were opening an investigation into the company as per Petrofac but that it didn’t think that it would affect the deal. WG are already looking into things at their end and this may at best hold the deal up a while.

Core Finance TV interview with Dr Robert Trice, CEO of Hurricane Energy.

After all the recent goings on at Hurricane, yesterday I took some time out to interview CEO Robert Trice, you can watch it on this link…

Core Finance interview: Dr Robert Trice, CEO of Hurricane Energy

And finally…

Well the almost inevitable happened yesterday as Muzza’s hips decided that enough was enough, just after that it was Djoko’s elbow putting two of the top four seeds out of the competition. Today it is the turn of JoKo to fly the flag which is now almost British as she takes on Venus in the semi finals.

The T2o season is back on and Hampshire beat Sussex last night in a high scoring game where pints of beer were hit by sixes left right and centre. I’m off to Lords tonight to see Surrey play Middlesex where anything might happen…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - REDT Energy, Egdon Resources Plc, Millennial Lithium, Sunrise Resources Plc Thu, 13 Jul 2017 07:46:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)#

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML) has announced that the Phase 1 drill programme at the Cruz lithium property in the Pocitos Salar in Argentina. ML are operating the programme on behalf of Southern Lithium (SNL CN) who may earn up to 80% in the project. This programme consists of two holes to a minimum depth of 250m based on drilling conditions and brine content. The programme is seeking to confirm the findings of the prior Transient Electromagnetic Survey (TEM) which indicated a continuous N-S conducive unit over more than 6km length. Indications are that brine may be as shallow as 30m and to depths of at least 250m.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES)

Sunrise Resources (SRES LN) has announced that drilling is due to commence imminently at its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project with the trenching programme now complete. 11 trenches in an area of 1,300m x 700m were dug to gain samples from the bedrock, of which ten were successful. The bedrock sampling has been used to better identify suitable drill targets and an extra hole has been added as a result.

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has announced it will appeal against the decision of North Lincolnshire Council’s Planning Committee to refuse a second planning application to develop the Wressle oil field.

EDR will also request the planning inspectorate to co-join this new appeal with EDR’s initial appeal against the refusal of planning permission on 11 January 2017, which is currently scheduled for early November 2017.

Separate to this EDR will appeal against the decision to refuse a 12 month extension to the existing planning consent for the site. We retain our BUY recommendation whilst our TP remains under review.

redT energy# Operations Update

redT energy (LON:RED)#, a developer of vanadium redox flow machines for large-scale energy storage applications, has announced an operations update ahead of its AGM later today.

• Significantly lower than expected orders of its low to break-even margin Gen2 product. RED has sold six tank unit modules in H1 2017 (five machines), compared to our FY 2017 estimate of 185 units (50 machines)

• However, the expected EBITDA loss for FY 2017 remains in-line with our expectations due to strong performance from its legacy carbon business

VSA Comment

RED has attributed its slower sales to a fundamental lack of understanding among potential customers of the benefits of flow machines versus alternative large-scale storage products, such as lithium-ion battery systems, a delay in recruiting specific employees, and the expedited closure of Jabil’s Livingstone facility (to August 2017 from December 2017) and relocation of RED’s stack manufacturing operations to a Jabil site in Southern Italy. Although delivering short-term disruption, this relocation will in fact mean lower cost manufacturing for its stack component and, longer-term, lower cost volume manufacturing of Gen3 and subsequent machines.

Despite slower sales, RED has revealed that it now has 265 tank unit modules (€15.9m) in the final stage of customer selection (up from 101 units and €6.5m when it released its FY 2016 results in April) and an active customer pipeline of €314m (vs. €246m in April).

RED has also highlighted the UK and Australia as two markets where the economic payback for energy storage solutions has improved ahead of its initial expectations. RED is now looking to enter the Australian market in H2. In the UK, RED expects to have its 1.08MWh Olde House energy storage project in Cornwall operational within the next few months. This will allow significant marketing opportunities for the company to target potential UK-based customers and should help accelerate its pipeline conversion efforts.

RED has undergone considerable change since the fundraise in December, rapidly scaling up its workforce by some 70%, managing the impact from the closure of Jabil’s Livingston plant by adding a low volume manufacturing partner in Yorkshire, all the while continuing development of its important Gen3 product. Although it is disappointing that Gen2 sales are occurring slower than originally anticipated, in our view, this operational progress is impressive and the focus has to be on the margin-providing Gen3 product, due to be launched in 2018.

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

]]> Premier Oil's offshore Mexico discovery 'a world class success' - CEO Tony Durrant Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:10:00 +0100 Tony Durrant, chief executive of Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO) discusses with Proactive's Andrew Scott their new “world class” oil discovery offshore Mexico, with the Zama-1 exploration well unearthing an estimated 1bn barrel find.

The well hit a gross oil bearing interval spanning 335 metres, with up to 200 metres of net oil bearing reservoir.

Light oil has so far been recovered to surface.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Hochschild Mining Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC)

Hochschild Mining (LON:HOC) has reported robust production figures which indicate that it is on track for full year guidance of 37mnoz silver equivalent. H1 2017 production of 17.9mnoz on an attributable basis was up 5% YoY with a 9% increase in silver production to 8.9mnoz and a 3% increase in gold production to 121koz.

At Inmaculada ore throughput returned to the full run rate in Q2 after a weak Q1 while production benefitted further from higher silver grades. Production at Pallancata of 1.9mnoz was up 52% YoY in Q2 while in H1 production of 3.2mnoz silver equivalent was up 81% YoY. This strong performance was offset by a reduction in throughput at Arcata where production was down 22% YoY to 2.9mnoz silver equivalent. This was due to a change to the mining plan.

HOC has strengthened its already robust balance sheet, reducing net debt by 14% through the period to US$160mn. In addition to production guidance, cash cost guidance was also maintained at US$12-12.7/oz.

]]> Oil price, Cairn/FAR, And finally... Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:42:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price was up admittedly but without much trade, a low grade investment bank picked up on last week’s gasoline data but not much else happened. As I said yesterday demand is without doubt good but not the headline story, retail gasoline picked up by 3.7 cents a gallon last week to $2.30 but fairly meaningless.


Cairn as operator has announced the result of the FAN South-1 well in the offshore Senegal North exploration prospect this morning having reached TD and completed wireline logging. The well was another discovery and brought oil of 31° API to the surface from the lower Cretaceous reservoir one of two targets, the other being the upper Cretaceous. The operator says that further work will be needed to integrate this discovery with FAN-1 to ‘establish potential commerciality of the deep water, basinal resources found in these wells’.

This looks to me to be a success but with quite a lot of work needed to add to the existing data, it is highly complex and with a target of only 134m barrels and an 18% cos, a smaller prospect than the upcoming well, SNE North-1. This next well is to drill the Sirius prospect which is larger a 294 barrel prospect on a best estimate gross basis and the most northerly yet drilled. Today’s news  adds to the knowledge and is a ‘significant result’ which again verifies the quality of the oil and gas generating system offshore Senegal.


Yesterday’s Voxmarkets Podcast included comments on Cape -1m 18s-Empyrean -5m 30s- RockRose -8m 56s- SDX -10m 38s and the link is below.

VOX Markets podcast: Cape, Empyrean, Rockrose Energy and SDX Energy

And finally…

Almost all the action yesterday was in SW19 where Muzza and JoJo won and got through to the QF’s. The late game was the thriller with Rafa going out to Muller 15-13 in the fifth set. The biggest loser, yet again was the order of play committee who continue to act against the interest of both the players and the public, after Kerbergate they had Djokogate yesterday when they refused to put his match on an empty centre court forcing him to wait until today to play.

The other piece of action but on saturday night was that Kyle Sinckler, one of the stars on the Lions tour, was arrested for a ‘minor disorder’ but then driven back to his hotel by Auckland police, bless them.

]]> Start of Ntorya gas commercialisation study 'a big milestone' for Aminex - CEO Jay Bhattacherjee Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:19:00 +0100 Jay Bhattacherjee, chief executive of Aminex plc (LON:AEX) tells Proactive's Andrew Scott they're working alongside io to put together a gas commercialisation study for the Ntorya project.

It is anticipated that the study will identify the gas monetisation options available to the company, including an early production system which would allow Aminex to deliver gas to nearby customers.

]]> Oil price, Aminex, Ophir Energy, Empyrean Energy, Columbus Energy, Sundry-VOG-EOG- And finally... Mon, 10 Jul 2017 11:35:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price ran up until Independence Day and then gave up the ghost as comments from Russia, Libyan and Nigerian production and a return to rising rig counts put paid to the rally. Having said that there are enough straws in the wind to suggest that the bears aren’t having it all their own way. The inventory figures looked good pretty much any way you looked at them and another week or two like this and word will get around, particularly in product prices. This is mainly because US weekly oil demand is breaking all records, last week’s number of over 22m b/d is the highest since these records began in 1990. If this continues through the driving season and the economy there and elsewhere in the world picks up as per recent forecasts it at least won’t be the demand side of the equation that causes further oil price weakness.


AEX has announced that it has appointed io, an oil and gas consulting company, to carry out a gas commerciality study to give the company options as to what to do with what is a significant discovery. The Ntorya-2 well announced earlier in the year produced 17 million cubic feet per day and the Ntorya appraisal area has Pmean GIIP of 466 billion cubic feet. Clearly it is in the best interests of the company to move towards early cash generation and appropriate monetisation of this discovery, and being bigger than expected brings with it greater requirements as to distribution. It is likely that longer term gas will be sold into the Natural Gas Pipeline and all options for sale are being considered. The company is in the process of preparing to apply for a 25 year development licence which, in negotiation with the Tanzanian Government should lead to serious benefit both to the national and local economies and shareholders of AEX.

Ophir Energy

OPHR announced on Friday that it is further reducing costs and accordingly has unceremoniously despatched the excellent and ‘top performing executive’ Bill Higgs from his position as COO. Whilst I know that oil companies are nowadays constantly monitoring their cost bases which is to be admired, I have previously been concerned about the need for OPHR to return to the pot and I fail to see how this can be a wise move. It leaves OPHR with only two executive directors to cover exploration, production and the Fortuna development in Equatorial Guinea  as well as activities in West Africa, Tanzania, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Mexico, something has to give if you can do all this without an experienced COO as Higgs is not being replaced.

Empyrean Energy

It’s a pretty good thing that I put that call in to Tom Kelly as things at EME are hotting up with considerable speed and whilst I thought that I may have missed the boat stock price wise I have a feeling that this is just the start of another adventure. Today they announce that Sacgasco as operator has contracted a rig to drill Dempsey 1-15 which is onshore California and has a target of 1 TCF + in seven stacked target reservoirs. The well is close the the gas metering infrastructure owned by the JV so any success could pay back in very short order, one to keep an eye on.

Columbus Energy

An operational update from the new management team at CERP whom I have met and am extremely impressed by. Current production is only 327 bopd which has been hit by Tropical Storm Bret but will by now be back up to 380-420 bopd. The new team, CEO Leo Koot and CFO Gordon Stein, with an experienced Trinidad MD are identifying best ways to increase production and raise cash flow from existing resources. Initiatives announced today should raise production by implementing a multi-interval approach to the Goudron Field water-injection starting this quarter. The short term goal is to become cashflow positive by the 4th quarter of this year and to grow strongly in future, the team is assembled, watch this space.


VOG has announced that five directors have purchased shares in the company following the recent closed period ending.

EOG has announced that it has started a 3D seismic operation offshore Ireland and whilst this is a long term positive only it does show that there is considerable interest in this post code from many international companies.

And finally…

After last week I thought I should mention the Lions first after they drew on Saturday, squaring the series 1-1. For many there should have been extra time but I think that before the series that we might just have taken the draw…

England didn’t bat very well in their second innings but South Africa melted under the super spin of Moeen Ali who took 10 wickets in the match, not bad for a part timer even on a friendly pitch.

At Sandown Park the Coral Eclipse stakes was won by Ulysses who just held off Barney Roy in a very close finish.

The Grand Prix was won by Valterri Bottas who is now catching up with Lewis who was punished five places on the grid for a new gearbox, considering you only get a 10 second penalty for deliberately driving into someone are their priorities right?

Today is ‘Mad Monday’ at Wimbledon when all 32 of the singles players left will play. Both mens and womens are wide open, today will reveal a lot.

And what a surprise, no not that Wayne is heading back to Scouse land but that he has owned up to 13 years of sleeping in Toffee’s pyjamas, I rest my case…

]]> Empyrean Energy’s recent share price rise tipped to continue Mon, 10 Jul 2017 09:05:00 +0100 Empyrean Energy Plc.’s (LON:EME) share price has surged over the past month or so, and technical analyst Zak Mir is expecting that run to continue for a little while yet; possibly up to 14p.

 “There’s been a very strong recovery for the stock over the last month [as] we’ve broken through former October resistance at 9p,” says Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“While we remain above that 9p zone we could head as high as 14p which is the top of a 2015 price channel, even though shares have already risen quite substantially over the near term.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC, Egdon Resources Plc Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:29:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)#

This morning Cloumbus Energy Resources (CERP)# has released its first awaited operations update since Leo Koot and his new management team took over in May. The management team have now completed its review of the Trinidad operations with the key aim being to develop a work programme over its assets using its existing cash resources with the objective of generating free cash flow in Q4 2017. In completing its review management has identified a number of key changes to the strategy held by previous management.

Operations Update

Primarily, CERP intends to increase its short term revenues through increased production of its current wells. This means that CERP has decided to place the Mayoro well infill programme on hold as analysis of the reservoir has shown that without artificially increasing the pressure in the reservoir any new wells drilled will decline rapidly and not deliver as previous management expected. The plans CERP intends to employ on its current wells to increase revenues over the short term are outlined below.

Water Injection Pilot Programme

Firstly CERP plans to increase production rate and recovery in the reservoir by increasing the reservoir pressure from current reduced levels by injecting water into the reservoir and sweeping oil towards the production wells. CERP plans to implement a multi-pilot approach on the Goudron Field through testing a number of reservoir intervals and field areas prior to deciding on whether to expand water injection over the entire field in 2018 and beyond.               


CERP has already applied for approval of this programme from the Enironmental Management Authority of Trinidad to begin a planned water injection pilot “A” programme for the Gross Morne 665 Area in the hope it is approved this quarter. This pilot “A” programme will be financed from existing funds and forecast revenues from current oil sales and will replace the previously announced single pilot waterflood strategy which targeted just one area of the Gros Morne reservoir.

Pilot “A” will consist of injecting c500 barrels of water per day (BWPD) of currently produced water from the Goudron Field via three injection wells. CERP are forecasting an increase in production from the Pilot “A” reservoir interval from the current level of 30bopd to a peak of over 150bopd. Further to this three additional water injection pilot programmes (B, C and D) are being planned to target two areas of the shallow Goudron Mayaro reservoir and as potential pressure support for the GY-670 well, which initially peaked at 1,150bopd in December 2014.

Goudron Field Well stimulation campaign

In parallel, CERP has started planning a well stimulation campaign targeting wells close to mapped faults that have historically responded well to this technique by previous operators. This will be carried out in the coming month and is expected to provide a sustained incremental rate of 30-100bopd.

Smart pumping systems using downhole sensors

Smart pumping systems using downhole sensors will be installed firstly on well GY-644 in the coming weeks allowing automatic pump optimisation and will simultaneously acquire continuous downhole reservoir pressure data which can be used to monitor the pilot “A” water injection programme.

Quarterly Production Update

Average production from the Goudron Field in Q2 2017 was 327bopd, however, production was lower at the end of the quarter due to Tropical Storm Bret hitting the island on 19 June and damaging external power supply. Permanent repairs have now been made to overhead power lines and operations in the field have returned to pre-storm levels of 380-420bopd.

South West Peninsula

CERP is also awaiting approval from the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries for the renewal of the petroleum licence at the Bonasse Field as part of the BOLT licence. Whilst CERP awaits this renewal it has completed several tests on the field to determine potential for sustained production. During this testing the oil quality from the individual wells was measured and was proved to be of higher quality than the heavy oil that was first expected (25°API).

CERP remains focussed on gaining approval for the licence applications in the South West Peninsula, which will allow it to develop material exploration prospects in the area.

VSA Comment

We view this operations update as particularly important as it has now outlined the new management’s plans and expectations going forward. We view the decision to place the Mayaro well infill programme on hold and instead focus capital investment on increasing the reservoir pressure as a positive one.

We still view the South West Peninsula as potentially the most exciting asset in CERP’s portfolio which will drive the long term value in the company. CERP intends to work up 3-4 large prospects (c200mmboe) in this area which, if successful, will be materially game changing to a company the size of CERP. Clearly CERP is not the sort of company that would then go on to develop projects of this size and we would expect a major or large cap E&P to step in and operate projects of this scale. We would expect CERP to profit in this situation either from a direct sale of the asset or it could farm-out the licence for a free-carry on the full capex costs whilst retaining a material working interest. Furthermore, we still expect CERP to announce M&A activity in South America in due course.

We maintain our BUY recommendation and our TP remains under review whilst we update our model with this new information.

Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

Egdon Resources (EDR)# has announced it will acquire a 100% WI and operatorship of the Fiskerton Airfield oil field from Cirque Energy for cash consideration of US$750k payable from its existing cash resources upon completion of the deal.

The Fiskerton Airfield oil field is located approximately 7 kilometres to the East of the City of Lincoln. The field was discovered in 1997 and cumulative production has totalled around 440,000bbls from the most likely mapped Oil in Place estimate of 2.2mmbbls. The oil is of good quality (35.2°API) and is exported by road tanker to Immingham, North East Lincolnshire. EDR estimate that in excess of 100,000bbls remain recoverable from the existing wells on the field.

Currently the field is producing c19bopd from one of two producing wells, whilst the second producing well is currently shut-in and awaiting a workover. Whilst this field has suffered from a lack of investment over recent years EDR now plans to enhance cash flows and profitability by increasing production to initially to 30-40bopd via low cost well interventions. EDR plans to carry out this work over both wells in 2017.

Following the disappointment of Wressle this will come as very welcome news and add immediate production and near term cash flow to EDR. We reiterate our BUY recommendation and our TP remains under review, whilst we add the Fiskerton Airfield oil field into our core NAV.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Mon, 10 Jul 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced positive results from its extended pumping tests at Pastos Grandes in Argentina. Tests were conducted over a 60 hour period with an average pumping rate of 27.7 litres per second. Lithium content over the course of the test was consistent; fluctuating between 438.7-430.5mg/l, indicating the aquifer is robust. Furthermore, drawdown over 24 hours was around 9m while the brine level recovered after pumping to within 0.5m of the original level.

The strong flow rates and lithium content are encouraging and underpin our confidence in the project. Indeed, ML is now using brine from the pump test to feed a number of trial evaporation ponds. In addition, a second pumping well is being constructed to test the area where recent drilling intersected lithium-bearing brine.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Oil price, Cape, UKOG, And finally... Fri, 07 Jul 2017 09:49:00 +0100 Oil price

The oil price resumed its upward trajectory yesterday in a weak and feeble way, API stats out after the bell on Wednesday had been better than expected and so did the EIA numbers which showed a 6.3m draw, more than three times expectations. Continued high refinery activity and fewer imports helped matters but gossip about Russia not committing to deeper cuts and Saudi Arabia ‘trimming’ prices to Asian customers left crude well off its highs and it has fallen back again this morning.

Cape PLC

So farewell then Cape, as it takes the money and runs after a 265p bid from Altrad who have made a cash and grab raid on what is a fine company, very well run by Joe Oatley and Michael Speakman. Whatever the company says about a 46% premium these shares were at 248.5p on June the first, only five weeks ago, if that is not short-termism I dont know what is. I am aware that the price weakness since then is a result of a cautious trading statement which I probably didnt read bearishly enough.  I notice that Artemis, Schroders and Henderson are at the front of the queue for their cheques and as they represent 18.2% of the company I suspect the other 30 odd percent owned by institutions holding over 3% will push them over the line, having said that people with long memories will remember what some of these shareholders have gone through to get here… I note that the total board holding is 0.24% of the company, not exactly skin in the game eh?

I have no problem in this deal going through, in this market shareholders must assess a serious cash offer like this and with the oil sector, particularly services, hardly fizzing, the board may well know more than the rest of us how the next 18 months looks. However, having said that Altrad may just have found a diamond in the rough where the current owners are more interested in a cash offer only 6.5p higher than five weeks ago. I am probably bitter and twisted, after all it’s not my money I am talking about but I have such huge respect for Joe and Mike that I would have liked to have seen them finish the job they were brought in to do. Make no mistake if these two pitch up at a company you are invested in things just got a lot better and I wish them well for the future.


I dont cover UKOG as I havent met them and dont tend to pontificate until I’ve had a chance to catch up but today’s update from Broadford Bridge looks quite interesting. Having said that the shares are down, either the huge rise in recent weeks is enough or expectations are incredibly high. Suffice it to say that BB-1 appears to be similar to the HH-1 well to the North East so it looks like they may have unlocked the Kimmeridge Limestone play in quite a decisive manner.

And finally

A busy weekend of sport and g.o.k’s what I will forget today…

Obviously above all stands the Lions against the All Blacks at 0835 tomorrow morning, bacon butties at the ready and hearts in mouths…

Later on the first test at Lords resumes, after a poor start as selectors failed again, Captain Marvel with help from old guard Stokes and Ali rescued things somewhat by the close. Thank goodness for no-balls and dropped catches is all I can say.

The F1 caravan rolls on to Austria and to the surprise of many but not to F1 insiders who know that the management can’t annoy the Tifosi or Mr Vettel.

At Sandown Park a huge crowd will enjoy another Coral Eclipse Stakes with a fantastic field assembled…

Wimbledon continues in the hot sunshine and today there are still four brits involved for the first time for many years…

]]> 'We have a future that's rather exciting' - PowerHouse Energy boss Keith Allaun Thu, 06 Jul 2017 12:28:00 +0100 Keith Allaun, chairman of PowerHouse Energy PLC (LON:PHE) sits down with Proactive's Andrew Scott for an extended one-to-one on the company's strategy and outlook as they fast approach commercialisation of their G3 waste-to-energy unit.

]]> 'It's hard not to be encouraged' by upcoming production at Sidi Moktar for Sound Energy Wed, 05 Jul 2017 11:35:00 +0100 Proactive Investors Oil & Gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft talks through the news from Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) that gas production is on the horizon at the Sidi Moktar project in Morocco.

In a statement, Sound told investors that the re-entry into Sidi Moktar’s Koba-1 well has been successful – the well was re-entered, perforated and gas has been flared at surface.

It comes just a few days after the company told investors that the gas discovered in the Badile exploration well is likely to be “sub-commercial”.

]]> 'We think 2017 could be a watershed year for SDX Energy' - CEO Paul Welch Wed, 05 Jul 2017 11:15:00 +0100 In a wide-ranging chat with Proactive's Andrew Scott, Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX), discusses  the size of the new South Disouq gas discovery as well as their work-over programs for the other Egypt assets in the firm's portfolio.

Welch also talks through the countdown to new drilling in Morocco in September.

It is planned that seven new wells will be drilled, comprising two exploration wells and five development wells.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, Echo Energy, President Energy, Amerisur Resources, SDX Energy, Empyrean Energy,And finally... Wed, 05 Jul 2017 09:29:00 +0100 WTI $47.08 -4c, Brent $49.64 +3c, Diff -$2.61 n/c, NG $2.99 +4c

Oil price

With the US market shut for Independence Day the oil market was extremely quiet, nothing to report.

Sound Energy

It’s never a dull moment at SOU as today they report excellent news from Sidi Moktar where the Koba-1 well has come in as a ‘producible gas accumulation’ that can move rapidly to production. The local market is very strong with additional demand from a large phosphate plant who crave gas to significantly add value to their product which otherwise would be exported untreated. The company also believes that there is potential for the pre-salt so will reprocess existing 2D seismic and acquire new to complete the picture. With poor quality cement bonding at Koba-1 it has been decided that there is little point in drilling Kmar-1 so the rig will now be demobilised and returns to Tendrara. This is  good news for Sound and proves that it is now a meaningful player in Eastern Morocco with a growing asset base.

Echo Energy

Starting as they mean to go on, Echo are reporting quarterly on operations although clearly there is not much to say at this stage. Technical work has commenced at Huayco after which the decision to go ahead with the operation. The company report that they are looking for more opportunities in Bolivia and a number of projects are being assessed.

President Energy

Very good news from PPC this morning as they update the market on record sales in June. Invoice revenue at the Puesto Guardian concession alone was in excess of $1.2m and if you add the Louisiana expanded production, which contributes $200/- of highly added value free cash flow  even at current oil prices, you have a significant set-up.

I think that the market has yet to understand quite how potentially valuable PPC might be, continually increasing production in Argentina with a highly favourable oil price regime gives potential for growth of free cash flow releasing value. With over 20m boe the reserves are not taken into account by the market, investors should take another look at my recent interview with Chairman Peter Levine to see how determined he is to prove up this incredible opportunity.

Amerisur Resources

Another monthly update from AMER who announce average daily production of 4,576 b/d with a peak of 5,109 b/d and now at 6,075 b/d due to successful well treatments. The OBA had a peak of 4,180 b/d with a peak of 4,518 b/d which is below par due to equipment maintenance in Ecuador which will be completed shortly, meantime excess production is being stored in the field.

SDX Energy

SDX is rapidly becoming the gift that keeps on giving as every report to the market gives more potential for value add in its African portfolio. Today it releases an operational update which starts with a resource update, its CPR on South Disouq gives it 47-180 Bscf of gas and 2.29-8.73 mmbbls of condensate. With the company moving to an early production system that is scheduled to bring it on in early 2018 (and may be sooner), value is coming from this source amazingly swiftly. Put another way this is  50m boe on a single discovery and their 55% WI gives them 29.6mmboe which is 3x their current reserves, seriously boosting the bottom line.

In Morocco things are hotting up as the rig is being mobilised and on schedule to spud in September whilst at Meseda the kit to facilitate the long awaited production increase is being tested. SDX is showing signs of aggressively progressing its portfolio and new opportunities are being assessed all the time, the recent oil price dip has delivered one or two possible gems I am led to believe. Today’s share price move is just completely wrong, SDX is increasing in value all the time as today’s report shows, On every measurement possible, with reserves increasing, valuable production not far away and a top quality management team busting a gut to deliver added value investors in SDX should cont their blessings, commodity risk apart their company is cheap as chips and should be bought.

Empyrean Energy

Very briefly on EME as I have only just started to look at the company again and yesterday had a long call with Tom Kelly whom I rate very highly. Today he announces that Mako South-1 has exceeded the operators expectations and delivered exceptional performance with 23 ft of net pay in ‘excellent rocks’. The gas is 100% methane so expect further action from here before long. The Dempsey well in California shouldnt be long so I will comment more when time permits, but after the Sugar Loaf sale it seems that the boy is back with avengence…

And finally…
Very briefly today, lack of time but Rangers supporters had a tough start to the new season and although we are only in July appear to have already been knocked out of Europe by a team of part-timers from Luxembourg…
Muzza, Bedene and Konta have hard matches at Wimbledon today, after yesterday’s debacle of players turning up and leaving shortly after ‘injured’ but still claiming their 40,000 euros things can only get better…

]]> Echo Energy shares can more than double in next two months, says Zak Mir Wed, 05 Jul 2017 08:40:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir thinks the Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) share price has the potential to more than double over the coming couple of months.

“We’ve got the shares towards the bottom of this rising trend channel from March, [with the] floor of the channel normally around the 14p to 15p area,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“A break back above the 50-day moving average at 15.4p could take the shares back up to 30p as a best case target over the next three to six months.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold Wed, 05 Jul 2017 07:57:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)
Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) has announced that the first six holes in the Phase 3 drilling programme have been completed at Sanama Hill whilst samples from the first three of those have been sent for assay. These six holes cover over 2,000m. One of the two rigs has been moved to TZ4, the newly discovered area of mineralisation identified during Phase 2 drilling.

The company anticipates that the early results from the initial assays will likely be received towards the end of July.

Sula has issued 7.92m shares at 0.25p in settlement of advisers’ fees over the past six months. The enlarged share capital is now 2.44bn shares.

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

]]> Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas, Hunting, RockRose Energy, Egdon/Europa/Union Jack, And finally... Tue, 04 Jul 2017 11:00:00 +0100 Oil price

Nearly 15% up from the June lows and the oil price continues its bull run although I suspect that with some closing pre the Independence Day holiday today and technical resistance for Brent at $50 we may have seen the short term highs. With the market shut today expect a quiet ride in other bourses and later in the week inventory stats and the rig count will play their parts.

Victoria Oil & Gas

VOG has announced that the participation agreement has been agreed between itself, partner RSM and the state company SNH who are entitled to exercise its right to a stake in the project. Following this GDC will have 57%, RSM 38% and SNH 5% and there will be an audit for the SNH share of costs. This is good news and further proof that Logbaba and VOG through GDC will be part of the furniture for a very long time. Elsewhere the termination date for the Bowleven farm-out of Bomono has been extended to 28th September 2017 as both sides wish to pursue the deal and are working with the oil ministry to complete the deal. If this does complete then VOG will have a pincer movement of gas supply at both ends of Douala where GDC has a strong, if not dominant position in the gas distribution market.


A pre-close trading statement from Hunting today that shows that of the UK quoted service companies they are taking best advantage of the US onshore drilling frenzy. The first half has benefited from the US onshore drilling pickup particularly in the Permian in West Texas. The perforating systems business has been the winner here, not only ahead of expectations, to the extent that shifts have been increased but even a plant has been recommissioned.Elsewhere as can be imagined it’s a pretty mixed bag, OCTG has done well with orders from the US shale and the Middle East but well construction is ‘difficult’ and well intervention ‘subdued due to a slow deepwater market, we were warned…There will be a positive EBITDA but pre-tax will be in the red, debt is up for good reasons as the order book is rising. A long way to go on most fronts but at least HTG is protected by the exposure to the US shale market.

RockRose Energy

Patience and faith has rewarded backers of RockRose and Andrew Austin as the shares, suspended at 44.625p will reappear from suspension on Thursday at 150p or thereabouts. Whilst being a bit drawn out, primarily I understand for regulatory and approval reasons which should now be swifter, RRE have a number of deals to report, some previously known, some not. From Maersk the Scott and Telfer assets are performing well with decommissioning pushed out and the operator still spending on the project. Elsewhere the Egerton deal already announced appears to be proceeding and the ‘mystery’ deal is now confirmed as being with Sojitz which brings 15% of Tors, 7.5% of Grove and 10% of Seven Seas in the SNS. All in all RRE will have around 1,400 boe/d after these deals with the intention of building this to 12/- to 15/- b/d in around two years.

The placing is for £8m of which £4m is coming from Arunvill and most of the rest from existing holders, a reward for their ‘leap of trust’ in AA and his small team when they effectively bought into a blind trust at the off. With plenty of cash already, this raise adds to that so the company is backed by cash and with potential asset purchases up their sleeve looks well set for substantial growth.

Egdon/Europa/Union Jack

You couldnt make it up, only in an English County Council could a planning committee go against the recommendation of its own planning department and refuse an application that had addressed all the concerns previously raised. This means that the Wressle field and its important revenue will be delayed yet again whilst the Councillors raise a toast to their own importance…

Voxmarkets Podcast

Yesterday was Voxmarkets Podcast day and I chatted about recent developments at HUR, SOU, VOG and FPM, the link is right here.

VOX Markets podcast: Hurricane Energy, Sound Energy, Victoria Oil & Gas and Faroe Petroleum

And finally…

In one of the biggest goofs since I started putting sports news in the blog I had a torrent of emails yesterday about the omission of the wonderful victory by the British and Irish Lions (better put in full title as I get stick otherwise…) against the All Blacks on Saturday morning. It was not as if I didnt know, a highlight of the sporting summer I watched every moment of it and like most jubilant about the result.

As if I didnt need reminding I also forgot, probably deliberately to mention that Notts beat Surrey in the One Day final that we used to call the Gillette cup, well done to Stoneman who wasnt backed up well enough but particularly to Alex Hales who produced a masterpiece.

At Wimbledon good news to Team GB with Muzza, Konta and Bedene getting through, today Kyle Edmund will play fellow Brit Alex Ward.

]]> Tlou Energy's Lesedi application 'a significant de-risker' for their CBM project - Tony Gilby Tue, 04 Jul 2017 09:32:00 +0100 Tony Gilby, managing director of Tlou Energy Ltd (LON:TLOU) talks Proactive through the lodging of their application to the Botswana authorities for the company’s Lesedi coal bed methane development project.

]]> Obtala's Miles Pelham on 'very welcome surprises' to come from Woodbois acquisition Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:04:00 +0100 Miles Pelham, chairman of Obtala Limited (LON:OBT) tells Proactive that on numerous occasions, the WoodBois team had been very conservative in its estimates and projections.

Pelham also discusses their increases in profit share at Magole Farms and Wami Farms in Tanzania.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Tue, 04 Jul 2017 07:43:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

Egdon Resources (EDR)# announced yesterday afternoon that North Lincolnshire County Council has refused planning consent for the Wressle Oil Field for the second time since January 2017. We were surprised at the initial refusal by the County Councillors in January and this decision has come as a further surprise after the project received positive recommendation from the planning officers on both occasions.

Seven of the 10 person committee voted against the development, near Scunthorpe, with the Councillors citing the reasoning behind the rejection being there was not enough information in the officers’ report to convince them that the application would not have a negative impact on people and the environment in the local area.

EDR will now proceed with the appeal it has already submitted against the original refusal which is due to be heard in November 2017, the outcome of which we now expect early next year. This is clearly disappointing for EDR as it pushes the development of the project back even further from the first delay. However, the Wressle development made up only 1p/sh in our core NAV for EDR, therefore, we maintain our BUY recommendation but place our TP under review whilst we await a further update from the company.

]]> Sound Energy drop 'undue' after 'sub-commercial' Badile revelations - analyst Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:40:00 +0100 Sound Energy PLC’s (LON:SOU) revealed that despite the ‘encouraging’ gas shows, reported recently, the apparent discovery in the Badile well would most likely be ‘sub-commercial’.

In London, Sound Energy’s AIM-quoted shares fell around 20p, 26.6%, to trade at 56.5p each by midday.

Cantor Fitzgerald's Sam Wahab tells Proactive's Andrew Scott: ''The sell-off post result this morning was over-done''.

'A lot are aware the company's value had been created over the last 18 months or so predominantly down to its operations in Morocco which have been hugely successful ... so to take a hit at the open of 30% was undue for them''.

]]> Jersey Oil & Gas' Andrew Benitz 'delighted' with rig mobilisation for Verbier drilling Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:34:00 +0100 Andrew Benitz, chief executive of Jersey Oil and Gas PLC (LON:JOG) tells Proactive he's delighted the countdown is now on for their high impact summer exploration programme in the North Sea.

Benitz says the Transocean Spitsbergen rig has been mobilised for a three well programme under contract with Statoil.

]]> Cantor Fitzgerald's Sam Wahab on Hurricane Energy's 'very significant' $520mln fundraise Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:26:00 +0100 Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Sam Wahab discusses with Proactive Hurricane Energy Plc's (LON:HUR) US$520mln fundraise - which comprises a US$300mln share placing and US$220mln convertible bond.

Wahab says the new capital will help them move closer to producing from the large, undeveloped Lancaster oil field, in the West of Shetland region.

]]> Oil price, Sound Energy, Jersey Oil and Gas, Faroe Petroleum, Premier Oil, And finally... Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:13:00 +0100 Oil price

Last week saw a rise in the oil price, just over 3% but important nevertheless, although I have to say that it may have been a bit more technical than fundamental as period end window dressing probably accounted for a fair bit. What wasnt was unusually US inspired, as a combination of a weak dollar, falling US production, albeit mainly for Alaskan maintenance and a falling rig count albeit by only two units were straws worthy of clutching at.

Sound Energy

After what seemed like ages since the Badile dream was first planned SOU has announced that the well is probably sub commercial. Despite further ‘significant gas shows’ in the reservoir, unfortunately water influx and mud losses into what are believed to be fractures in the formation appear to have put paid to the commerciality. Although I have carried a potential value of 50p in case of success for over three years now, I dont think that any of that was really in the price and so today’s fall is probably overdone, this result back then would have been little short of disastrous.

In fact Sound shareholders have Morocco to turn to and this is much more serious in many respects. Eastern Morocco is showing signs of great prospectivity, strongly financed with good partners, backed by local funds and with exciting prospects that are quick, relatively easy and cheap to develop, certainly by Italian standards. Today’s 20% odd fall in the shares probably reflects sky high ambitions, but with Sidi Moktar still drilling may represent a buying opportunity for the wise.

Jersey Oil and Gas

Statoil has announced that they have mobilised the semi-submersible ‘Transocean Spitsbergen’ rig to drill its three well programme in the UKCS this summer. The rig, which has had extensive success West of Shetlands is one of the best around and pound for pound is way more economically friendly than it might have been some time ago. JOG announce that it will drill the Verbier prospect (18% JOG) in August and should take around 30-70 days depending on results and a possible sidetrack. Statoil are funding costs up to $25m and JOG are carried for 10% by partners CIECO. JOG shares had a good run early in the year, drifted until recently and have since the low of 199.5p on 23rd of June rallied another 30 odd percent. I will update more after a meeting with CEO Andrew Benitz later in the week.

Faroe Petroleum

Faroe has announced the results of the Brasse appraisal well DST which are extremely positive. A constrained flow rate of 6,178 bopd from a highly prolific reservoir in excellent quality sands (with multi-Darcy permeability) is excellent and the 36.2° API crude is very similar to Brage. Next comes a sidetrack after which we should get an update of recoverable resources which at present are 43-80 mmboe and if all goes well I could expect something that starts with an 80…This find ‘significantly re-risks the reservoir and the licence as a whole’ and with possible tie-backs to Brage or Oseberg which are both 15km away looks like being a great success. I’m not sure if the market fully respects FPM for its sector leading exploration hit rate, made possible by a first rate exploration and drilling team which has been proved up time and again, as CEO Graham Stewart says ‘offering significant value upside to shareholders’, I agree.

Premier Oil

Fairly old news in the industry I think but PMO has announced that they and Perenco have exercised their pre-emption rights and Premier has taken up another 3.71% of Wytch Farm. The deal which came about after RockRose Energy had agreed to buy the stake from Maersk, adds cheap, value added reserves making the £11.7m price tag a no-brainer, a shame for RockRose though….

And finally…

Wimbledon fortnight starts today with Muzza defending his title although his run up to the tournament has been far from perfect. The top four seeds have rarely looked so mixed and yet despite all having sound claims to the title must all be layable…

In front of a home crowd at Sachsenring, Rookie Jonas Folger on a Tech3 Yamaha very nearly became the first German rider to win a MotoGP. He pushed The eventual winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) until the final couple of laps when his deteriorating tyres slowed his challenge but he was delighted with his well deserved 2nd place ahead of the other Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa. British riders Scott Redding and Cal Crutchlow also suffered with tyres, with Crutchlow managing 10th but Redding must now be worried about a ride for next year with his Pramac seat rumoured to have been offered to Tito Rabat.

There is now a summer break until August 6th. Going back to the previous race at Barcelona in Moto2 Pasini was this weekend disqualified from 2nd place for “wrong oil” …A problem not exclusive to Exploration Companies then !

Aussie teacher Jeff Horn beat Manny Pacquiao in what was reportedly a ‘hometown’ unanimous points decision, one judge had an impossible margin according to the pros watching.

And this Confederation Cup, what exactly is its purpose…?

Finally the best sporting occasion today is likely to be at Westminster Magistrates Court where according to the FT messrs Varley, Jenkins, Boath, Kalaris and Lucas  appear in what is becoming called the Qatargate fraud trial…

]]> Zak Mir: Premier Oil can recover to 66p over next 1-2 months Mon, 03 Jul 2017 10:51:00 +0100 Deal with Maersk to buy more assets at Wytch Farm looks a good one for Premier (LON:PMO) says technical analyst Zak Mir.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Obtala Ltd Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:40:00 +0100 Obtala Limited#: FY 2016 Results

On Friday afternoon, African forestry and agriculture business Obtala Limited (LON:OBT)# released its results for the year ended 31 December 2016.

This morning, OBT has also announced the completion of the recently announced acquisition of WoodBois International (with upside on many of its initial assumptions) as well as the immediate retirement of Frank Scolaro and Philippe Cohen (CFO search now underway) from its Board of Directors.

• Revenue: US$0.6m (FY 2015: US$0.9m); VSA forecast US$0.9m

• Pre-tax loss from continuing operations: US$5.3m (FY 2015: US$14.8m); VSA forecast US$5.9m

• Total assets: US$181.1m (FY 2015: US$179.7m)

• Cash and cash equivalents as of 31 December 2016: US$3.4m (31 December 2015: US$1.0m)

• During 2016, OBT secured US$18.25m through the issuance of preference shares into its forestry subsidiary Argento, with a further US$3.0m secured in March 2017. In addition, OBT announced a US$5m equity subscription in May 2017.

• Given the strong involvement of Asian investors in recent fundraises, OBT is now investigating the potential of a dual-listing in Asia.

• Presentational currency switched to US$ from GBP

VSA Comment

2016 was a transformative year for OBT, with its new Chairman carrying out a comprehensive review of the business that resulted in disposal of certain non-core operations and a renewed focus on the twin sectors of forestry and agriculture in Africa.

To support this new strategy, OBT carried out a number of fundraises, largely involving the issuance of preference shares in its forestry subsidiary, raising more than US$25m in 2016 and H1 2017. We view this as an extremely significant achievement, considering the financing difficulties that many other companies operating in similar sectors and countries have experienced.

OBT continues to advance its new strategy, with key staff now in place across its businesses. Deploying the recently raised funds into its existing operations, as well as through acquisitions, such as the US$14.6m WoodBois International acquisition, should help the new management team quickly build OBT into an African agriculture and forestry business with the required scale to successfully operate on the continent.

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

]]> Oil price, Hurricane Energy, Sundry-Velocys-Andes Energia- And finally... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 09:26:00 +0100 Oil price

As the half year ends the oil price has had a bad period, around 15% off for both WTI and Brent and forward months are not expecting much movement. With the extra crude from the USA, Libya and Nigeria likely to continue (although Mr Hamm thinks that sub $50 is uncommercial) there will not be a huge dent in the supply/demand situation. Having said that, global demand is certainly enough to take up most if not all of the Non-Opec production increases and provided the agreement holds then stability should remain.

Hurricane Energy

Thank goodness, what has been done cannot be undone as somebody once said and the long awaited raise from Hurricane has been done and done very well. To complete a $300m equity raise and a $220m+ convertible raise in this market is nothing short of incredible and should cover everything including the FPSO upgrade and the sub sea installations. No point in crying over spilt warrants as the market has clearly endorsed the strategy, overwhelming value in the company and Dr Trice’s dream, there may be short term weakness owing to the dilution but the portfolio has much to return.

There is no farm-out here but none was needed although some avaricious analysts on the conference call were clearly expecting some big guns to be wheeled out. HUR can run this process very much on their own, if necessary all the way through to first oil which is not far away in 1H 2019 and keep their 100% and operatorship until nearer then. Having said that we know that the data room has been ‘very active’ so with a strong hand the buyer should be forced to pay up. Next up, after shareholder approval is the FID which is now a formality and then comes the CPR on Lincoln and Halifax, probably by the end of this year. I am expecting that this will be positive in terms of the whole portfolio and the data that is being collected from 265 days of drilling and four back to back wells is assessed.  The company are keen to de-risk the Lincoln and Halifax resources and that is taking time but eventually the Greater Warwick area and Greater Lancaster area will be the backbone of Hurricane.

Whilst I accept that this dilution will inevitably create some how you say, price indigestion, as we head towards the FID, CPR and eventually EPS the value in the company will out. I have no hesitation in suggesting that Hurricane will be a major player in the UKCS for a very long time and that 32p will one day look extremely cheap. More later…


Velocys has at long last achieved the milestone of its first finished products at the ENVIA GTL plant, this is a key milestone in its journey and now that premium Waxes, Diesel and Naphtha  have been produced there is much upside.

Andes Energia has confirmed that it is in discussions with Mercuria Energy Group that would be a RTO under Aim rules.

And finally…

In haste…ie I may have forgotten something!

Tomorrow is make or break day for the Lions and I commented yesterday on the selections of the coach ahead of his next game of Gatball, we shall see.

Tomorrow is the final of the One Day cricket at Lords and Surrey take on Notts in what we hope is a better final than last time…

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Metal Tiger, Sula Iron and Gold PLC Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:46:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger (MTR LN) has announced full year results for 2016. Following the strong performance in mining equities in the period, MTR experienced a significant increase in the valuation of its equity investments with a net gain of £2.2m in 2017 versus £287k in 2016. Administrative expenses which include much of the project related work were up from £887k to £3.2m owing to the significant progression of MTR’s flagship projects in Botswana and Thailand. The overall net loss was £720k in 2017 versus £599k in 2016.

MTR’s balance sheet at December 2016 was in a strong position with £6.2m in cash, which has subsequently been strengthened by a £4.85m investment primarily by Sprott Wealth.

Our target price and recommendation remain under review.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML CN) has announced an option agreement to significantly expand its interest in the Cauchari East Project. The additional 8,742 hectares is contiguous to ML’s existing interest which would bring the total acreage at Cauchari East to 11,742 hectares. The tenements lie to the East of the Lithium Americas/SQM joint venture which is currently being developed. In order to exercise the option ML will be required to pay US$250k via staged payments.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA LN) has released financial results for the 6 months ended March 2017. The loss for the period of £698k was somewhat lower than £924k in the prior period owing to lower administrative expenses. SULA’s cash position at the end of the period was £923k supported by a raise in July 2017 for £0.4k to fully fund the Phase 3, 5,000m, drilling programme which is currently underway.

Phase 3 follows a successful Phase 2 which underlined the potential of Sanama Hill with a 21m intercept at 3.65g/t Au. In addition, scout drilling at TZ4 which also yielded positive gold results demonstrated the potential for further mineralisation outside of the Sanama Hill Exploration Target.

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Fri, 30 Jun 2017 07:21:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)

We note that North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Committee will meet this Monday 3 July to decide on the new planning application for the Wressle Development, for which Egdon Resources (EDR)# is operator and owns a 25% working interest.

This new application was submitted by EDR to address the specific concerns raised by North Lincolnshire County Council following its original decision to refuse the application on 11 January 2017. This new application was also submitted in addition to an appeal made by EDR over the original ruling as EDR believe this double approach will produce the desired outcome with the shortest delay.

This new application has already received recommendation for approval from North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Department and we assume the outcome is successful in our model. We have a BUY recommendation and 34p TP on EDR.

]]> Oil price, Wood Group, Sirius Petroleum, And finally... Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:49:00 +0100 Oil price

Another up day yesterday and this time for choice the fundamentals were poor, the EIA stats showed a build of 118/- barrels against a forecast of a draw of 2.2m. Products were better particularly in gasoline which drew 900/- barrels when the API had a 1.4m build. This was partly due to the start of the hurricane season with Cindy and Dora shutting in some production, also domestic US production was down 100/- b/d (45/- b/d from Alaska maintenance) which was better, but temporary news. The vampire squids confirmed their bearish stance by predicting $45 oil through next year or until the market balances. Finally, as I mentioned yesterday with so much of a bear position having been built up, the advent of the end of month, quarter and half and of course Brent expiry must make the chance of short covering more likely.

Wood Group

A pretty grim trading statement from WG this morning which is in effect a profit warning after a half in which a reasonable performance from the west was offset by a poor one from the east, particularly the North Sea. Expected margin pressure (sp NS) and in places like the GoM where prices were being ‘nibbled at’ and clients continued to not pay on time…This half was ‘weaker than expected’ and the company is now ‘more cautious’ than before although the the second half is expected to be better.

Better news also as the CFO on the conference call (which was a shambles as operator hadnt asked any of us who we were before the call!) said that there had been a meaningful pick up in tendering for offshore projects and that this was a WG thing, not an industry thing. The company did announce a contract win for Husky this morning offshore Eastern Canada but it seems that industry conditions remain hard going. With regard to the AMEC deal, subject to regulatory approvals it is still on for 4Q 2017 although I wouldnt be surprised to see that delayed somewhat. Caution is clearly the watchword at Wood Group and although the AMEC deal should be a steal for the company times remain particularly hard and watch that debt figure.

Sirius Petroleum

Results today from SRSP which are meaningless but showed a loss, the period and since have been busy as the company carry on with their offshore development strategy. The company have in that respect signed a number of contracts with companies such as Add Energy, COSL, Schlumberger, Polaris and Tidewater Marine so progress is being made. They also commissioned a CPR which has resulted in a NPV10 of $49.2m and during and after the period end raised £3.85m of equity although a much bigger raise will be needed if the Ororo field is going to be drilled. They have done remarkably well so far but this will be the biggest hurdle, the market has a scepticism about Nigeria and the climate is tough but Sirius has done well to get this far.

And finally…

The Lions team for Saturday has been announced and Gatland has clearly panicked, dropping Teo to bring back an out of form Sexton seems odd but worse the worst lock on the tour, Alun Wyn Jones gets a nod over Kruis, Lawes and Henderson, the All Black camp will be celebrating already…

]]> Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas, Providence, Tullow, President, Sundry-Petrofac-Echo-Ascent-Northern/Cabot-InfraStrata- And finally... Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:16:00 +0100 Oil price

Another up day for crude, whatever next? Well actually a down day probably as the API stats which came out after the closing bell were rather disappointing showing a build of 851/- barrels when the scribblers had forecast a draw of 2.6m barrels. Gasoline built too, by 1.4m barrels so today’s EIA numbers will have to go some to keep the buyers back in town. Having said that the CFTC numbers I mentioned the other day show that there is a big short position built up and with the month, the quarter and the half ending on Friday who says that they might close out a few of those positions…? Also it seems that the data from Russia is quite encouraging, recent stats show that production is more than 300/- b/d down since Q4 2016.

Victoria Oil & Gas

A welcome drilling update from Logbaba which is very encouraging, drilling here is by its very nature slow and expensive but in more ways than one, groundbreaking. So far VOG has discovered net sands of 100m in La-108 and 35m in La-107 which has already ‘exceeded expectations’ with more drilling to come that should increase net pay. For La-107 a 300m high pressure flowline has been built (which was under way on my recent visit to site) and will deliver to the gas processing plant. After various consultations, La-108 is ready to side-track and after work is completed at La-107 the rig will be skidded back there and both wells are expected to complete 3Q 2017. The key now is in getting all the gas ‘behind the pipe’ and ready for production in the next quarter.

I know that I have been banging on about VOG and its potential market but this must not be underestimated, with demand in Douala alone of 150 mmscf/d the company is in a very strong position indeed. This drilling programme has indeed been long and expensive but it is incredibly rewarding. Assuming a new long term deal with ENEO, and the signing up with the plethora of industrial clients, some of which we met on the visit, the gas that will now be delivered from Logbaba will be truly value added. Combine that with potential future supplies from Bomono, which will also service the ever growing Douala and you have a true utility with a massive opportunity in Cameroon and beyond. The stock is way too cheap in my view.

Providence Resources

News this morning that Providence have finally got the Stena IceMax on the move and is mobilising and will be at Druid/Drombeg on July 3rd will send shudders up the spine of all concerned. This well means so much, not just to PVR and all concerned there but as a frontier well of international significance. Everything now is pretty much in place and the knock-on effects will be felt across the industry should this be a success…

Tullow Oil

A trading statement and operational update from Tullow this morning which is a bit mixed. The good news is in the financials where debt is reduced post the rights issue and capex is down and the refinancing of the RBL expected later this year. Operationally, work at Jubilee continues and will do so for some time although TLW are insured for that…TEN production has been 50/- b/d and could be 80/- b/d but it too will have a short shutdown in the process. Work in Kenya continues with TLW and partners drilling four exploration wells and getting underway with the FEED work for the field development. With the exit from Uganda TLW is a smaller and cleaner beast although still suffering from operational difficulties, overall it is in good nick though and should start to reverse the recent bad performance albeit modestly.


Petrofac released a trading update yesterday that was upbeat, $13bn of backlog is good and as usual the engineering businesses were very good and IES poor. PFC is attempting to carry on as normal although the SFO enquiry must be a weight on their shoulders, others in the spotlight seem to be avoiding the glare…

Echo Energy announced yesterday that Will Holland joins as CFO. With international experience he will be a safe pair of hands and is another joiner from Sound Energy.

Ascent Resources announce that Pg-10 is going fine but that Pg-11A has been delayed whilst waiting on a coiled tubing unit, you can never find a coiled tubing unit when you want one. The delivery to INA has also been delayed this time due to the late delivery of a non specified part. All ok but just running late, Manana as they say in Slovenia.

Northern Petroleum or as they say in all the best Italian bars, Cabot Energy. Changing one’s name is usually the last refuge of a scoundrel but in this case I think that Keith and his team are right to put recent history behind them, hang the expense, get new branding!

The long running changes at InfraStrata came to a head yesterday and the board was removed with Adrian Pocock and Peter Wale taking over as CEO and Chairman respectively. I met these guys a little while ago and they do have big plans for the company which may be cheaper than those currently available…

President Energy

Yesterday I managed to persuade Peter Levine, Chairman and CEO of President Energy into the hot seat at TipTV for an interview, here is the link…

TipTV CEO interview: Peter Levine, CEO & Chairman of President Energy

Bucket list

Also I went into IGTV and had a chat with Jeremy Naylor about the 2017 bucket list which as you know includes IAE-SOU-BLVN-VOG-FPM-AMER-HUR-PMO-JOG-SDX-PANR-RKH-FAR-AEX and we went through all of them, performance pretty mixed as you might expect. The link to this one is below…

EnergyIG interview: The Oil Bucket List beats the market

And finally…

Hard times for the England Under 21’s last night in Poland as they lost their semi final with Germany, yes on penalties…

The Lions drew 31-31 with the Hurricanes and those who watched said that the only two outstanding players were in the second row with Laws and Henderson both making a case. What a shame that we seem to have about 5 brilliant locks all who could grace the side.

And the Muzzmeister is top seed at Wimbledon although recent form may not see him in the final against Djoko but then he’s not actually on fire either…

]]> 'Exciting times' as Northern Petroleum becomes Cabot Energy Wed, 28 Jun 2017 10:56:00 +0100 Keith Bush, chief executive of Cabot Energy, talks Proactive through the name change from Northern Petroleum and discusses the new focus on their Italian and Canadian assets.

]]> Empyrean Energy shares are already up by 20% today, but how high can they go? Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:45:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir is tipping the Empyrean Energy PLC (LON:EME) to head towards 12p over the summer months.

“There was the big breakout earlier this month through the 200-day moving average at 3.85p,” says Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“At least while we’re above that the target here over the next two to three months could be as high as 12p which is the top of a 2016 rising price channel.”

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium, Petra Diamonds Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Drilling results for hole PGMW17-04b at Pastos Grandes have shown yet further depth of lithium brine. The hole bottomed in brine at a depth of 564m, over 150m deeper than the deepest prior drilling so far. Grades were significantly better than prior drill holes with a continuous interval from 93.5m to 475m grading an average 535mg/l. Potassium values range from 4,906 mg/L to 6,148 mg/L and average 5,610 mg/L over the 381.5m intersection.  Similar to magnesium, the sulphate/lithium ratio is also lower in this region, averaging 17.4 compared to an average of approximately 22.1 in holes PGMW16-01 and 02. The sediments continue to be highly permeable gravels and sands to the bottom of the hole.

Two rigs are operating and a third will be added in coming days. Two more holes currently underway are expected to TD this week. An upgraded resource estimate will be deferred until later in calendar Q3 or early Q4 2017 given the far better than expected depths and grades of brine being encountered. We suspect management wants to get a better idea of just how much bigger this resource might be.

The smaller surface area of the Pastos Grandes basin is proving to be highly deceptive as to the actual lithium volumes and grades within it. Looking to the longer term this would increase the scale of annual LCE output and significantly increase the potential mine life.

We re-iterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

Petra Diamonds (LON:PDL)

Petra Diamonds (PDL LN) has announced that it is likely to significantly miss its production targets by 8-9% owing to slow progress at its expanding projects. Prior full year guidance had been 4.4mncts. Revenue is therefore expected to be lower, also by 8-9%, and there will consequently be a negative effect on earnings for FY 2017.

This announcement follows a series of soft trading updates by PDL, however, given the company is at the target run rate of 5mnctpa FY 2018 production guidance remains unchanged. The announcement also indicates that PDL may technically break its debt covenants relating to financial ratios but believes that this can be resolved with its lenders.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Metal Tiger Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Metal Tiger (LON:MTR)

Metal Tiger has announced the results of recent exploration work on its Spanish gold and tungsten JV. A significant soil sampling programme as well as limited shallow RAB drilling has been carried out resulting in the identification of significant gold and tungsten anomalies. At Logrosan South two parallel structures of 6km by 950m have been identified as a gold anomaly. At Logrosan East an anomaly of 5km in length and up to 80m in width has been identified that combines two previously known gold anomalies into one larger block. Additionally at Logrosan East a new tungsten anomaly has been identified following positive soil sampling results which measures 2.3km by 900m. At Logrosan East a gold anomaly of 2.5km long has been identified.

MTR in conjunction with its JV partners is now identifying possible drill sites to follow up on the recent work.

]]> TAG Oil's Toby Pierce on their upcoming 'fairly aggressive' NZ strategy Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:49:00 +0100 Toby Pierce, chief executive of TAG Oil, talks Proactive's Andrew Scott through their main assets in New Zealand and Australia as well as the firm's strategy and possible future acquisitions.

]]> Echo Energy making some noise today, but how high can it go this summer? Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:40:00 +0100 Shares in Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) are up 2% or so today (Tuesday), and technical analyst Zak Mir expects them to carry on rising over the next couple of months, potentially to as high as 25p.

“There’s been a consolidation recently, a bit of a pullback from the peak last month just above 20p,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“We’ve got the floor of a rising trend channel from March and the 50-day moving average just below and while above that target here over the next one to two, the target here is still as high as 25p.”

]]> Strawn 'will be a nice cash flow project for us' - Mosman Oil & Gas' John W Barr Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:04:00 +0100 John W Barr, chairman of Mosman Oil & Gas Limited (LON:MSMN) tells Proactive that work-over operations are now underway at the 50% owned Strawn project in Texas.

Barr also gave an update on the operations at the Arkoma stacked-pay project, in Oklahoma, where they recently acquired a 10% interest - with an option to pick up a further 45% - and the operator has recently completed a number of activities including new fracking.

]]> Oil price, Victoria Oil & Gas, Trinity, Sundry-Thalassa-EnQuest/Cairn-Touchstone-UKOG- And finally... Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:35:00 +0100 Oil price

Those strange bedfellows of the USA, Nigeria and Libya continue to combine and spook the market and their increased production is making investors wobble. The rig count showed another 11 units on last week and the CFTC data showed a huge cut of 55m barrels to 160m barrels by the ‘money managers’ in the period. The FT comments that Hedge Funds are taking on Opec which shows a bit of journalistic flair but echoes a sort of sentiment that the former love the smell of blood provided it is not their own. There are a number of more bullish takes on the market at the moment that are being disguised by the bears, the most interesting of which are the belated dash for the door by various investment banks, Macquarie, Barclays and the vampire squid have all cut price forecasts and ratings in recent days chasing the market downwards.

Victoria Oil & Gas

VOG has announced this morning that it has extended its current gas sales agreement with ENEO until December of this year. This will enable ENEO and GDC the chance to ‘optimise all technical and financial elements of a long-term gas sales arrangement aimed at increasing the current contractual power supply of 50 MW to 100MW+’. The current agreement will remain in place at a price of $7.50 mmbtu.

VOG remains in a very strong position indeed, with demand in Douala from both ENEO and third party IPP licensees well in excess of supply I expect a significant rise in revenues to build over a long period of time. With the two wells drilling at Logbaba and in due course the likelihood of production from the Bowleven acreage, the ability to service all areas of the rapidly growing City of Douala makes the company compelling. The fall in the oil price has understandably hit the E&P sector badly but makes no sense in the case of VOG which is a highly profitable utility in essence and should be way higher on any sensible valuation.

Trinity Exploration & Production

Friday saw the Trinity AGM statement which to be frank many thought might not happen after all that has gone on in recent years. In fact the company seems to have come back even stronger and whilst continued patience will be required I am sure that it will be rewarded. With the recent investment has come initial essential maintenance and upgrades to infrastructure in order to sustain base production levels. A combination of workovers, swabbing, reactivation, RCP’s and new infill drilling should mean that current production of 2,500 b/d will rise to 3,000 b/d within twelve months.

Trinity are not only rare in being profitable (on AIM) but has arguably the best acreage amongst peers (as evidenced by production levels despite lack of investment) as well as additional significant upside from profitable offshore operations where in time new drilling will target bigger barrel wells with significantly higher IP’s than you get from onshore wells. My target price remains way above current levels and the patient will be rewarded, for those who require swifter information I understand that Executive Chairman Bruce Dingwall will be speaking at the Oil Capital Conference tomorrow.


Thalassa has announced this morning that it has received an indication of interest for WGP Group and that the potential buyer may take an option to invest in Autonomous Robotics ‘subject to reaching mutually agreeable terms’.

EnQuest/Cairn have announced that first oil has been achieved at Kraken which is good for both parties bring revenue and for EnQuest an opportunity to reduce debt.

First day of dealing for Touchstone Exploration (TXP) after their recent raise of £1.45m at 7.25p and announcing Peter Nicol as a Non-Exec for the second time, he must be good…..!

And although I dont cover UKOG one has to be impressed by what one is hearing from Broadford Bridge-1 in the Weald Basin with most interesting potential oil shows…

I have done a couple of interviews with Interactive Investor lately, the links are below.

Interactive Investor interview: How dangerous is Qatar row for oil investors?

Interactive Investor interview: Five oil share bargains

And finally…

A really great week at Royal Ascot which showed that both the ‘Blue Boys’ and the ‘Green Machine’ are very much dominating some of the bigger races but also good to see plenty of local victories across the board.

Saturday morning saw the first Test between The Lions and the All Blacks where the home team showed why they are rarely beaten. The Lions try was however one of the best and maybe with some better selections next saturday may be better but dont hold your breath…

England beat South Africa in the T20 series with some good performances from the newcomers, watching Dawid Malan and Tom Curran was most enjoyable yesterday.

In the Dutch MotoGP at Assen the young pretenders were out in force with Danilo Petrucci and Johann Zarco challenging for the lead in a partly wet race. After Zarco made a poor decision to change to wet tyres it was eventually won by ‘The Doctor’, 38 year old Valentino Rossi, who held off Petrucci by .063 of a second and Marc Marquez 3rd, closely followed by Brit Cal Crutchlow whose bravery in the wet gave him a well deserved 4th. Another British success was Scotsman John McPhee in Moto3, who fought his way from 19th on the grid to a brilliant 3rd place on the rostrum. McPhee rides for British Talent Team which aims to cultivate young talent to the World stage and has upped its efforts this year to find the next Barry Sheene …It’s been a long wait !

In Azerbaijan the F1 race was broken up by the safety car a number of times and after a red flag the race eventually finished with Daniel Ricciardo coming from last to first to win after Lewis’ neck support loosened. But the big news was the behaviour of Sebastian Vettel who must have thought he was playing bumper cars with a 200 mph vehicle, dangerous driving indeed and only a 10 second drive through penalty….?

]]> Victoria Oil & Gas extends gas supply deal with ENEO Cameroon Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:39:00 +0100 Ahmet Dik, chief executive of Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) tells Proactive they've extended their gas supply deal with ENEO Cameroon to allow them to optimise the terms of a long-term agreement.

]]> Zak Mir targeting 27p for Obtala shares Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:40:00 +0100 Technical analyst Zak Mir reckons the Obtala Ltd (LON:OBT) share price can add another 10p or so over the coming months.

“There’s been a solid move to the upside over the last year, breaking the 200-day moving average in April last year and rising within a trend channel from that time,” explains Mir in the latest Proactive Investors Bulletin Board.

“The floor of the channel is at roughly the 17-18p level and it looks as though we’re bouncing off the floor of that now.

“At least while we hold above 15p, the target here is as high as 27p at the top of last year’s trend channel.”

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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

]]> ''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.”

]]> 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.

]]> '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''.

]]> '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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> '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''.

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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''.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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”.

]]> 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'.

]]> 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).


]]> 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.

]]> '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.

]]> 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.