Halliburton shares point lower despite better than expected quarter Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:48:00 +0100 Tlou Energy shares trade positively after quarterly update Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:18:00 +0100 Numis talks up Cairn Energy but the price target moves lower Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:43:00 +0100 Eland Oil & Gas delivers for investors as it hits milestone Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:11:00 +0100 Caspian Sunrise soars after delivering long awaited deep well success Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:51:00 +0100 Columbus Energy starts recovery journey with waterflood permit Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:03:00 +0100 Powerhouse Energy gets confirmation of hydrogen quality Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:30:00 +0100 Angus Energy approved to start production from Kimmeridge at Brockham field Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:03:00 +0100 Premier Oil says Catcher field is on schedule for first oil as FPSO is installed Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:38:00 +0100 Eland confirms Opuama-7 well success, now accelerating new drill plans Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:27:00 +0100 Altech Chemicals to lift cash balance as it eyes lithium battery sector Sun, 22 Oct 2017 23:35:00 +0100 Otto Energy's positive re-rating provides opportunity for capital raising Sun, 22 Oct 2017 22:15:00 +0100 Jersey Oil and Gas confirmed it has raised £20mln in share placing Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Oil price, Jersey Oil and Gas, President Energy, Wentworth Resources, BP And finally... Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:03:00 +0100 Oil price

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

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

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

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

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

President Energy (LON:PPC)

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

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

Wentworth Resources (LON:WRL)

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

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


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

Africa Oil Week

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

]]> President Energy confirms US$8.75mln share placing Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:42:00 +0100 Jersey Oil & Gas and President Energy placings are ‘no brainers’ - expert Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:56:00 +0100 Acacia deal with Tanzania would be boon to Solo Oil and other oil and mining firms in country, says analyst Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:01:00 +0100 GKP says Shaikan field continues safely as it seeks to allay concerns over operations in Iraq Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:05:00 +0100 Jersey Oil & Gas to raise £24mln in anticipation of new Verbier drilling Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:37:00 +0100 Powerhouse Energy runs demonstration of waste-to-gas tech for 36 hours Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:27:00 +0100 Altech Chemicals upgrades alumina plant design, targets lithium battery sector Fri, 20 Oct 2017 01:40:00 +0100 BP says Carl-Henric Svanberg to retire as its chairman; search starts for successor Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:13:00 +0100 Contracts have been flowing for Plexus Holdings even though energy companies are still cautious about new drilling Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:51:00 +0100 Royal Dutch Shell shares tipped to grind higher Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:37:00 +0100 Broadford Bridge and Horse Hill going back-to-back is good news Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:42:00 +0100 Oil price, Amerisur, Genel, Plexus, Links And finally... Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:45:00 +0100 Oil price

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

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

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

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

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

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

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

Genel Energy (LON:GENL)

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

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

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

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


And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Plexus flows higher as it offloads Jack-up business for up to £42.5mln Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:12:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Egdon Resources Plc Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:09:00 +0100 Egdon Resources (LON:EDR)#

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

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

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 35.5p target price.

]]> Europa Oil & Gas now expects Holmwood drilling in 2018 as Surrey defers decision Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:22:00 +0100 UKOG boss Stephen Sanderson looking forward to going back to Horse Hill Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:57:00 +0100 UKOG shares rise as Surrey County Council green lights new Horse Hill programme Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:47:00 +0100 Shell to open charging points at UK fuel station as it looks to take advantage of surge in demand for electric cars Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:54:00 +0100 RockRose Energy unveils transformational North Sea deal Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:14:00 +0100 Oil price, RockRose Energy, Independent Oil & Gas And finally... Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:40:00 +0100 Oil price

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

RockRose Energy (LON:RRE)

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

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

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

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


And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.


Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)#

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

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

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


Goldplat (LON:GDP)#

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

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

]]> Providence Resources confirms Total farm-in to Avalon project Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:36:00 +0100 Oil price, Genel Energy, President Energy, Zenith Energy And finally... Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:36:00 +0100 Oil price

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

Genel Energy (LON:GENL)

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

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

President Energy (LON:PPC)

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

Core Finance CEO interview: Peter Levine of President Energy

Zenith Energy (LON:ZEN)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

From Sunday…

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

]]> Saffron Energy secures production concession for Sant' Alberto gas field Tue, 17 Oct 2017 08:24:00 +0100 President Energy banks first oil payment for Puesto Flores crude Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:00:00 +0100 Greenland Minerals and Energy appoints Xiaolei Guo to the board Tue, 17 Oct 2017 03:18:00 +0100 Altech Chemicals gets ready to start construction at Meckering kaolin mine Tue, 17 Oct 2017 01:21:00 +0100 Pulse Oil shares up as it consolidates position at exciting Bigoray assets Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:35:00 +0100 Mytrah chairman repays unauthorised loan Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:36:00 +0100 Royal Dutch Shell upgraded by Barclays Capital on confidence over cashflow growth possibilities Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:58:00 +0100 Itaconix gets vote of confidence in its stubborn stains removal technology Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:49:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC, Polymetal International Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:14:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)#

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

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

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


Polymetal (LON:POLY)#

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

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


]]> Gulf Keystone and Genel Energy shares slump as Iraq tensions ratchet higher Mon, 16 Oct 2017 08:03:00 +0100 Highlands Natural Resources advancing East Denver project after fracking two wells Mon, 16 Oct 2017 06:39:00 +0100 Genel Energy higher as it welcomes new COO; Deutsche Bank upgrades Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:40:00 +0100 Angus Energy completes Lidsey-X2 drill programme near Bognor Regis Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Angus Energy wraps up drill program at Lidsey while UKOG hits stumbling block at Broadford Bridge Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:54:00 +0100 Proactive Investors oil & gas correspondent Jamie Ashcroft reports on Angus Energy Plc (LON:ANGS) completing their drill program at the Lidsey field, in the southern edge of the Weald basin, near Bognor Regis.

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

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

]]> Horse Hill follow ups Lidsey and Broadford Bridge have shown promise but there’s still a lot more to do Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:53:00 +0100 SDX Energy's Paul Welch confident of strong flow rates from latest Morocco discovery Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:41:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX) tells Proactive it's been an incredibly busy start to October with two new discoveries.

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

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

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

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

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

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

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

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

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

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We retain our BUY rating and 17p price target.

Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)#

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

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

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

We retain our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> HRL Holdings follows acquisition strategy Thu, 12 Oct 2017 22:47:00 +0100 Elixir Petroleum to reveal raising, proposed transaction Thu, 12 Oct 2017 21:54:00 +0100 City broker sees a lot of upside to London market newbie Curzon Energy Thu, 12 Oct 2017 14:06:00 +0100 GKP's latest Kurdistan oil payment will come as a relief - broker Thu, 12 Oct 2017 12:27:00 +0100 JP Morgan turns bullish on Wood Group as it praises Amec Foster Wheeler acquisition Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:19:00 +0100 Touchstone Exploration shares rise as house broker highlights Trinidad switch trades Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:47:00 +0100 Centrica and other 'Big Six' energy suppliers set to be hit by government's energy price cap Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:38:00 +0100 Curzon Energy's starter for ten in Oregon Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:33:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - NuLegacy Gold Corp, Independent Oil & Gas PLC Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:34:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

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

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

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

We reiterate our Buy recommendation

Multi-Million Ounce Potential

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

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

Support From the Region’s Experts

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


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

We initiate coverage with a Speculative Buy recommendation.

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

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

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

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

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

Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

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

Link- President Energy (LON:PPC

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

Core Finance CEO interview: Peter Levine of President Energy

And finally…

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

]]> IOG reveals big upgrade to gas reserves for North Sea gas hubs Thu, 12 Oct 2017 06:59:00 +0100 Active Energy aims for timber licence in Newfoundland Thu, 12 Oct 2017 06:39:00 +0100 Tullow Oil expands Côte d'Ivoire exploration footprint Thu, 12 Oct 2017 06:19:00 +0100 Point Loma Resources boosted by plans to lift output in fourth quarter Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:31:00 +0100 SDX Energy has seen quick fire success but there’s plenty more to come Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:49:00 +0100 SDX Energy strikes another new discovery Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:35:00 +0100 UKOG shares hit after Broadford Bridge testing hit snag Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:25:00 +0100 SDX Energy, Gulfsands Petroleum Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:16:00 +0100 SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

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

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

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

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


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

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

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

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

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

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

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

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

]]> Obtala to appoint new nomad after stock exchange ruling Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:07:00 +0100 Genel Energy details US$50mn gross oil payments from Kurdistan Wed, 11 Oct 2017 07:03:00 +0100 Gulfsands Petroleum hits reset button in Colombia Wed, 11 Oct 2017 06:57:00 +0100 Wood Group lands new contract for work on UK oil refinery Wed, 11 Oct 2017 06:43:00 +0100 Greenland Minerals and Energy gets approval for major study Wed, 11 Oct 2017 03:58:00 +0100 Iofina plc on track to beat second half production guidance Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:34:00 +0100 Tom Becker, chief executive of Iofina plc (LON:IOF), tells Proactive they're on track to beat their production guidance of between 225-240 metric tonnes in the second half of 2017.

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

]]> Haydale Graphene to tap market to capitalise on its burgeoning sales opportunities Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:48:00 +0100 88 Energy investors need to stay patient as Alaska operations go into hibernation Tue, 10 Oct 2017 09:26:00 +0100 Tower Resources ready to advance exploration of Thali block Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:33:00 +0100 Mytrah Energy launches review after unauthorised loan to chairman Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:59:00 +0100 88 Energy highlights “significant pressure build-up” in Icewine well Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:31:00 +0100 Iofina on course to exceed production forecast after 'landmark quarter' Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:27:00 +0100 Carnarvon Petroleum to utilise cash war chest to advance North West Shelf assets Mon, 09 Oct 2017 22:42:00 +0100 Jersey Oil and Gas soars after Statoil discovery, but WH Ireland still sees the share going much higher Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:33:00 +0100 AES counting the cost of hurricanes Irma and Harvey Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:31:00 +0100 Anfield Resources brings in C$737,500 via private placing to develop uranium assets Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:40:00 +0100 Oil price, JOG, President, Columbus, Petrofac, Wood Group And finally... Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:33:00 +0100 Oil price

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

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

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

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

President Energy (LON:PPC)

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

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

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

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

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

Petrofac (LON:PFC)

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

Wood Group

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


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

IG interview: Oil bucket list set for a rebound?

And finally…

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

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

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

]]> Jersey Oil and Gas proposition transformed as Verbier side-track pays off Mon, 09 Oct 2017 12:20:00 +0100 City broker thinks Obtala shares are worth double their current market value Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:11:00 +0100 Tlou Energy kicks off new seismic exploration at Lesedi and Mamba projects Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:02:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Sula Iron and Gold PLC, Columbus Energy Resources PLC Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:49:00 +0100 Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA)

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

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


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

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

Our estimates our Under Review following this announcement.

]]> Jersey Oil and Gas Verbier side-track hits new North Sea oil discovery Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:06:00 +0100 Union Jack Oil doubles stake in Keddington in deal to acquire Cairn’s onshore UK assets Mon, 09 Oct 2017 06:56:00 +0100 Columbus Energy launches £4mln equity funding to accelerate growth strategy Mon, 09 Oct 2017 06:43:00 +0100 New discovery further underlines Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas potential offshore Guyana Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:32:00 +0100 Oil price, Sound Energy/Coro Energy, Echo Energy, Zenith Energy, Frontera Resources, And finally... Fri, 06 Oct 2017 11:24:00 +0100 An interesting week in the oil markets, Brent should end it virtually unchanged with WTI off by a dollar or so. Interestingly WTI is now seeing buyers from far and wide, partly as the discount now makes it cheap enough to take to India, China and the Pacific rim. The EIA announced that last week the USA achieved its record ever week of exports with over 2m b/d sold, including its first ever shipment to India which docked this week.

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

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)/Coro

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

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

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

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

Zenith Energy (LON:ZEN)

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

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR)

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


And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Altech's Iggy Tan discussed high purity alumina demand at Proactive's CEO Sessions Fri, 06 Oct 2017 01:54:00 +0100 Magnis Resources secures New York state funding for lithium-ion gigafactory Thu, 05 Oct 2017 21:47:00 +0100 SDX Energy unearths new oil discovery with Egypt well Thu, 05 Oct 2017 16:15:00 +0100 Sound Energy’s focus is now entirely on Morocco Thu, 05 Oct 2017 11:58:00 +0100 SDX Energy announces new oil discovery in Egypt Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:22:00 +0100 Paul Welch, chief executive of SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX, CVE:SDX), talks Proactive through their new oil discovery in Egypt, with the Rabul-2 well unearthing heavy crude in the West Gharib concession.

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

]]> HSBC trims price targets for British Gas-owner Centrica and SSE on energy price caps move Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:53:00 +0100 Sound Energy, Saffron,Po Valley, SDX Energy Thu, 05 Oct 2017 07:56:00 +0100 Still traveling so a flash blog today….

Sound Energy, Saffron, Po Valley

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

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

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

SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

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

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

]]> Sound Energy to spin Italian assets into Saffron Energy reboot Thu, 05 Oct 2017 06:55:00 +0100 Highlands Natural Resources gets more time to develop East Denver project Thu, 05 Oct 2017 06:36:00 +0100 Rose Petroleum advances 3D seismic in Paradox basin, expected to complete ahead of schedule Thu, 05 Oct 2017 06:27:00 +0100 Curzon Energy 'to become a multi asset international oil and gas company' Thu, 05 Oct 2017 04:55:00 +0100 Thomas Wagenhofer, director at Curzon Energy Plc (LON:CZN) caught up with Proactive on the day the firm began trading in London.

Curzon currently has one asset in Coos Bay, Oregon.

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

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

]]> Echo Energy highlights ‘very active’ period of company development Wed, 04 Oct 2017 13:20:00 +0100 Monsanto shares gain as it reports surprise growth in fourth-quarter profit and sales Wed, 04 Oct 2017 12:44:00 +0100 Curzon Energy shares start trading in London at a premium Wed, 04 Oct 2017 10:14:00 +0100 Tullow Oil’s Guyana basin exploration well is a potential catalyst - broker Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:43:00 +0100 Sound Energy, Echo Energy Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:17:00 +0100 I’m travelling today so a quick note on the above.

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)

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

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

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

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Petro Matad shares rise as it moves forward with seismic plans Wed, 04 Oct 2017 08:41:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Wed, 04 Oct 2017 07:24:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

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

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

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

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.

]]> Green Dragon Gas inks deal with CNOOC unit to take forward fresh exploration campaigns Wed, 04 Oct 2017 06:57:00 +0100 Sound Energy unveils plans for new three-well exploration campaign in Morocco Wed, 04 Oct 2017 06:38:00 +0100 Trinity Exploration & Production welcomes “good news” Trinidad tax plans Tue, 03 Oct 2017 14:41:00 +0100 BP looks to Blockchain for oil trading advantages Tue, 03 Oct 2017 10:58:00 +0100 Mosman Oil And Gas extends option deal for Arkoma project Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:33:00 +0100 VSA Capital Market Movers - Independent Oil & Gas PLC, REDT Energy Tue, 03 Oct 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

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

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

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.


redT Announces 1MWh Order in Australia

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> IOG signs-up Heerema Fabrication for new ‘normally unmanned’ North Sea platforms Tue, 03 Oct 2017 06:37:00 +0100 Oil price, Amerisur, Hurricane, Ophir And finally... Mon, 02 Oct 2017 11:14:00 +0100 Oil price

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

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

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

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

Core Finance CEO interview: John Wardle, Amerisur Resources

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR)

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

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

Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Energy (LON:PPC)

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

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

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

Pantheon Resources (LON:PANR)

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

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

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

Rockrose Energy (LON:RRE)

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

And Finally… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

Obtala Limited#: Q3 Update

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria Oil & Gas (LON:VOG)

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

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

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

Aminex (LON:AEX)

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

Cabot Energy (LON:CAB)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

Zambeef: Crop Damage Not as Bad as Feared

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

NWF Group: In-Line AGM Statement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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


Novo Lítio (ASX:NLI)#

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victoria Oil & Gas (LON:VOG)

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

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

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

Faroe Petroleum (LON:FPM)

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

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

Amerisur Resources (LON:AMER)

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

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

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

Core Finance CEO interview: John Wardle, Amerisur Resources

Trinity Exploration & Production (LON:TRIN)

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

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

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

Tullow Oil (LON:TLW)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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


Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)#

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

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plexus Holdings (LON:POS)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Energy (LON:PPC)

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

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

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

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR)

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

Providence Resources (LON:PVR)

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

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Savannah Petroleum (LON:SAVP)

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

IGas Energy (LON:IGAS)

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

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

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LON:GKP)

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

Cairn Energy (LON:CNE)

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


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

Reabold Resources (LON:RBD)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

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

SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

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

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

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

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

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VSA Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

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

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR)

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

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

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

Wood Group/AMFW

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

Saudi Aramco

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR)

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

Echo Energy (LON:ECHO)

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

Sound Energy (LON:SOU)

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

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

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

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

Pantheon Resources (LON:PANR)

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

Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR)

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

Touchstone Exploration (TSE:TXP)

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

And finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Range Resources (LON:RRL)

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

Chariot Oil & Gas (LON:CHAR)

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


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

Bahamas Petroleum (LON:BPC)

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

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

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


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

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

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

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

And finally…

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

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Independent Oil & Gas PLC Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:06:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced interim results for H1 2017 which with operational changes enacted in late H1 2017 are likely to mark a turning point in the company’s development. CERP has set out the strategy to restore profitability at the core operations which will provide stable cash flow for unlocking CERP’s exploration potential.

Group oil sales of 108k barrels of oil were down 32% YoY as production in Spain ended in January 2017. While in Trinidad production was disrupted by Tropical Storm Bret alongside declines in well pressure in the Goudron field. However, higher average oil prices and favourable timing of sales more than offset the decline in production and revenue of £2.5m was up 28% YoY. The operating loss of £1.88m was in line YoY, as although CERP has made significant progress and reduced SGA by 16% YoY to £1.4m, cost of sales were higher as a result of one offs relating to Spain while a positive non cash gain in H1 2016 benefitted earnings in the prior period. We note, however, a 33% YoY reduction in operating costs at Trinidad to £700k. The net loss of £1.96m was therefore broadly in line YoY.

However, we believe that H1 2017 is likely to mark a turning point for CERP. With the new management team in place from May 2017, CERP has indicated the early success of its low cost initiatives to restore profitability and positive cash flow at its core operations. In line with previous experience the performance of the first two wells drilled as part of the Mayaro infill programme (GY-682, GY-683) resulted in strong initial production of 55bopd and 65bopd, however, this declined to 8bopd and 18bopd respectively within a few months as pressure declined. Consequently and with 160 historic wells of which around 90 are shut in, management has decided to utilise the existing wells and address the issue of declining pressure via well stimulation rather than continue with the Mayaro sand infill programme.

Yesterday, CERP announced that it had received a CEC enabling the first programme of the waterflood pilot injection to commence. This is planned to increase production from 30bopd to over 150bopd on a stable and consistent basis at a cost of just US$300k compared to US$500k for each Mayaro well. On a larger scale the potential is therefore likely to be significant and by utilising water injection and other well stimulation techniques such as smart pumping systems CERP is targeting over 550bopd by year end. Early injectivity tests have resulted in tenfold increases in production rates so far.

CERP’s cash position at the end of H1 2017 was £1.7m and on Monday CERP announced an additional US$750k in Lind funding due in Q4 2017. CERP have guided that the turnaround strategy based on well stimulation and the waterflood injection programme will be achievable using existing cash resources and are targeting positive cash flow generation by Q4 2017.

While restoring profitability at the core Goudron operations in the near term is in itself highly positive we highlight the announcement that based on the existing cash resources and the projected cash flow from Goudron, CERP intend to bring forward development of the significant exploration potential at the South West Peninsula (SWP). CERP intend to drill SWP in mid-2018 using existing cash resources. This is subject to completion of permit approval and completion of commercial negotiations which have begun following the acquisition of the BOLT license and production of 200 barrels of oil sold to Petrotrin in May 2017. SWP represents CERP’s transformational growth opportunity and the ability to develop the asset internally is a significant positive step, in our view.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 25p/sh.

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG)

Independent Oil & Gas (LON:IOG) has announced changes to management as James Chance, previously IOG’s Commercial Director, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect. James has not been appointed to IOG’s Board of Directors. Hywel John, has stepped down from CFO and resigned as a Director with immediate effect to pursue other interests. The IOG project team has been strengthened by the addition of Ian Pollard as HS&E Manager and Jonathan Walker as Engineering Manager.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation.

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

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

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Tue, 12 Sep 2017 07:28:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced that it has received a Certificate of Environmental Compliance (CEC) for the Goudron field Waterflood programme from the Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad. The approval will enable CERP to commence work on the Goudron Field Water Injection Pilot Programme which is intended to increase reservoir pressure consequently sweeping oil towards production wells resulting in an increase in production rates. The forecast increase is from the current 30BOPD to in excess of 150BOPD which will require an injection of 450 barrels of water per day.

CERP intend to commence the programme immediately and crucially, as the new management team have reviewed the project they have concluded that the first of the four pilot programmes can be completed from internal cash. Costs committed to date for the first programme for pumps, filters, tanks and pipework etc, total just US$300k. These have been tested during well injectivity trials and the system is expected to be running with continuous water injection within the next few weeks. Ongoing operating costs will be minimised by the fact that the source of injection water is already produced water from the Goudron field.

The data on recovery and incremental production rates will be key to determining the extent of the waterflood expansion, with a decision now expected in 18 months’ time. Proposals for the next three programmes will be submitted shortly and will target two areas in the shallow Goudron Mayaro well and the GY-670 well. 

The application was submitted in late June and has been approved far quicker than expected bringing project commissioning forward by around a year. This reflects three key positives for CERP going forward which underpin our positive view on the stock. Firstly, as with the improved Lind facility terms it demonstrates the new management’s proactive approach to restoring profitability at the core CERP operations. Secondly it demonstrates that despite the changes in senior management, strong relationships with the Trinidad authorities have been maintained. Thirdly, it highlights the attractiveness of Trinidad as an operational jurisdiction.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 22p target price.

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

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

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

It presently produces around 34 barrels of oil per day.

]]> Oil price, Jersey Oil & Gas, Providence Resources, Columbus Energy Resources And finally... Mon, 11 Sep 2017 12:19:00 +0100 Oil price

Hurricane Irma is battering Florida as I write and apart from the billions of dollars that will be needed to rebuild, it has clearly significantly hit local product demand which will have a knock on effect on crude requirements. The bigger picture is still being hit by the after effects of Harvey, 20% of US refining capacity is still shut in and the Government has suspended the Jones Act, allowing imports of products from abroad. Helpfully, European refiners have ramped up production to assist the US and South America (who have had their US imports cut) which has relatively strengthened Brent at the expense of WTI, hence the differential being $6.30 today.

The rig count, a bit like the upcoming inventory stats, is probably not worth the paper its written on at the moment but was down again on Friday at least in oil by 3 units to 756. Overall last week WTI ended up 19 cents while Brent was up 103 cents, this will surely unravel somewhat once the hurricane season comes to an end and refiners go back to WTI.

Jersey Oil and Gas (LON:JOG)

JOG has announced this morning that the Statoil operated well on the Verbier prospect in the North Sea reached TD yesterday and encountered water bearing Upper Jurassic sands deeper than anticipated. It is possible that there may be a sidetrack but JOG think that is unlikely. This is clearly a disappointment but it should be remembered that it was drilled at no cost to them and they end the campaign with £2.5m of cash in the bank. The company is still planning to continue with its stated strategy of growth through acquisitions of assets including production with a number of potential deals being currently assessed. JOG has a good team and is without a doubt in this for the long haul, it has good sources of funding for its longer term strategy.

Providence Resources (LON:PVR)

PVR has announced this morning that its Drombeg prospect encountered the Lower Cretaceous reservoir as expected but that it too was water bearing. With the possible presence of  bitumen  in the drill cuttings indicating a possible oil charge that was not retained, further interpretation will be needed. This was only the second well in the Porcupine Basin and so this is early days for such a frontier exploration play. PVR were carried for this well and therefore remain well financed and able to continue with other work on their portfolio the next of which is an appraisal well on the now infamous Barryroe discovery.

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

CERP has announced that it has successfully renegotiated certain terms of the $8.9m convertible with Lind Partners. They have increased the conversion price from 3p to 4.5p and increased the funding agreement by $750,000. With the possibility of taking the repayments in cash or shares (next month will be shares) CERP now have more flexibility and hopefully a floor under the share price. In recent months much has changed at CERP, existing already implemented initiatives have reduced the cost base and increased production, from existing cash resources and the company expect to be cash flow positive by Q4 2017. I met with new Chairman Leo Koot again last week and he and his impressive team are working hard to enhance production and pursue an interesting exploration portfolio. I expect continued news flow and of course the company are actively looking to expand south into Latin America in due course.

And finally…

England duly won the test series against the Windies but not without putting a few obstacles in their own way, next up is The Ashes in November and they will have to be better by then. Perhaps the selectors might at long last trust Alex Hales with a spot in the middle order…?

In a rain soaked Italian MotoGP, home hero Danilo Petrucci put in a great ride but succumbed on the last lap to the sheer class of Marc Marquez who won with rival Andrea Dovizioso in third resulting in them going to the next race on level Championship points and Maverick Vinales’ 4th place means he’s still in the hunt. ..The rain caused many riders to slide off including Jorge Lorenzo who was looking strong until then and Cal Crutchlow who remounted to finish 13th with fellow Brit Scott Redding an excellent 7th. The day’s worst weather in Moto3 saw more than half of the field fail to stay on board including John McPhee. Joan Mir’s 2nd behind Fenati means he must be able to smell the Championship now with a 61 point lead.

In the Prem at the weekend the Noisy Neighbours beat the 10 man HubCap Stealers 5-0 wins also for Chelski, the Gooners, Spurs, the Seagulls, Hornets and Magpies. The Eagles lost again and don’t have a point or a goal so far this season, as of this morning they don’t have a manager after sacking Frank de Boer after 77 days in the job… Hammers v the Terriers tonight.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc Mon, 11 Sep 2017 09:13:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) has announced an update to the ongoing dispute over a contract with Rand Refinery. With no resolution having yet been achieved GDP has now decided to issue an application to the High Court of South Africa for recovery of the fees owed by Rand Refinery.

It is not clear at this point how long resolution might take, however, the impact on our outlook for GDP remains unchanged. From an operational perspective we highlight GDP’s efforts to reduce its exposure to Rand Refinery by increasing internal elution capacity and using alternative refiners. Consequently our earnings estimates are unchanged and reflect the strong operational performance achieved in FY 2017.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 12.2p target price.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Columbus Energy Resources PLC Mon, 11 Sep 2017 07:26:00 +0100 Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP)

Columbus Energy Resources (LON:CERP) has announced a favourable revision to the terms on its lending facility with Lind Partners. Following the agreement announced in December 2016 for a US$8.9m convertible loan facility of which US$1.825m (T1) has been drawn down, CERP has negotiated an increase in the conversion price, an increase in the facility and an improvement in payment terms.

• T1 conversion price increased by 50% to 4.5p/sh.

• Issue of 17.9mn shares to Lind, held in escrow for at least six months from 23rd September.

• The next monthly repayment of T1 will be paid in shares (2.3m) at a price of 3p/sh.

• Lind intends to exercise its right to increase the size of the facility by US$750k (T2) with funds available to CERP in Q4 2017. T2 will be repaid at a monthly rate of US$38.7k in cash or shares as determined by CERP.

• Lind will be eligible for 7.6mn share options on provision of T2 exercisable at a price of 50% above the preceding 20 day average to the award date for up to 40 months.

The additional funds will aid in furthering the new management’s turnaround strategy. This includes field optimisation, well stimulation and the water injection pilot programme for which an application has been submitted. CERP expect to be cash flow positive during Q4 2017 as a result of these initiatives and we believe this can be achieved from the expanded cash resources given their low cost nature.

Furthermore, we believe that Lind’s decision to improve the terms of the facility, which has weighed upon the shares in recent months, reflects positively on the new management and their strategy, underpinning our positive outlook.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 22p target price.

CERP will announce interim results on 13 September and hold an AGM and investor presentation on 14 September at the company's solicitors, Kerman and Co LLP, who are located at 200 Strand, London WC2R 1DJ

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

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

]]> Oil price, Rockhopper, EnQuest, Empyrean, Cape And finally... Fri, 08 Sep 2017 11:05:00 +0100 WTI $49.09 -7c, Brent $54.49 +29c, Diff -$5.40 +36c, NG $2.98 -2c

Oil price
Vacillating was what the oil price was doing yesterday as news sources contained mixed signals which oil traders viewed from differing angles. It was mainly meteorological though, cleaning up after Harvey is still going on, some refineries are still out, as with some production. Accordingly inventory stats are going to be all over the place for a while but the EIA reported a big draw in crude of 5.4m barrels which foxed the analysts (yeah) and of 3.2m in gasoline. Hurricane Irma is now sweeping through the Caribbean which including Puerto Rico contains a surprisingly large amount of refining capacity particularly when it meets Florida whose Governor has ordered a takeaway of extra gasoline by tanker.  And after that it’s not stopping, Jose is on the way…

Being out yesterday meant that today’s blog is mainly catching up, in this case with results from RKH which one can gloss over in search of the real message. That real message is primarily about the progress of Sea Lion, recently seemingly back-burnered with PMO concentrating on its debt renegotiations but now back in the picture. In various announcements from both companies recently and including the speech made by Sam Moody on Tuesday as reported here on Wednesday, the mood appears more buoyant than hitherto. The financing of Sea Lion, which is to be developed in at least two phases, is now looking less opaque and with costs coming down and the up-front cheque getting smaller there is starting to be some optimism around the partners. In discussions with UK Export Finance in the hope of around $800m  of senior debt financing, and also receiving encouraging signals from potential contractors, albeit in non-binding proposals, that might lead to circa $400m things are looking up. Phase 1 capex has fallen from $1.8bn to $1.5bn and life of field costs are now down to $35/b which helps.
I have recently talked about the Greater Med where production is material and operational cash flows are covering 1H G&A costs, with ‘multiple’ material new ventures being progressed. Rockhopper has always been a bit of a slow burner in terms of recommendation as repeatedly mentioned in justifying bucket list inclusion, but now I do think that things are on the move and if the current discussions on financing prove successful then maybe we are closer to pressing the go button. After all, the last couple of years have not been wasted and much work in terms of FEED and other development economics are well under way if not completed. Rockhopper appears to be in a much better place and 2018 may well be a year of significant progress.

Rule number 1 in the book of share price movements is to manage expectations and ENQ are learning fast but not entirely fluently. Yesterday they saw the share price rise when telling the market that the consortium of banks were likely to waive the September covenant test, offering limited and short term relief. The rise in the share price was because all the bad news about Kraken and a huge cut in production guidance that went with it was issued last month. Someone said to me yesterday that they thought that ENQ was rather more ‘issue prone’ than others but is surviving with ‘unwavering support’, shareholders must hope that this support continues until the can see the sunlit uplands as WC would have said. In the meantime one waiver doesnt a summer make and the debt will have to be paid, hopefully with higher production next year.

Empyrean Energy
I am glad that I caught up with Tom Kelly a few weeks ago when I had the chance otherwise I might have missed the excitement of the last few days as success in both China and California is pushing the share price justifiably upwards. Yesterday they announced that in China they have identified 591 MMbbls over three prospects called Jade, Topaz and Pearl and while these are early days it is already looking most interesting.
What seems to be an almost daily update from Dempsey this morning suggest that yesterday the operator intersected a potential sandstone reservoir with ‘high gas shows’ in what is believed to be the primary target zone in the well. Plenty of time to go yet and much to prove but this seems to me to be a significant discovery and reinforces my view that Mr Kelly has another hit on his hands with EME mark 2.

The Altrad offer for Cape has now gone unconditional so that’s game over and a bit of a shame. Interestingly in a long list of board level resignations I didnt see the names Oatley or Speakman appear, have the new owners seen sense? Anyway I look forward to the party invitation…

And finally…
The cricket is interesting at Lords in the final and deciding test vs the Windies. Yesterday 14 wickets fell as they were bowled out for 123 but England were 46-4 odd at the close. In awful conditions again today England have already lost another wicket!

Sunday sees the MotoGP at Misano in Italy. Although it’s in Valentino Rossi’s ‘back yard’ he won’t be present as a broken leg in an off road crash has put him out for at least the next 2 GPs ruining his hopes for a 10th Championship. However the Italian flag and firework salesmen must have already ordered their new Ferraris as it is the first time since Agostini in the 1970’s that an Italian rider on an Italian bike has been leading the World Championship at the Italian Grand Prix …that rider is Ducati No. 2, Andrea Dovizioso. He won’t have it all his own way however, as the precociously quick Marc Marquez will be looking to make up points after his DNF at Silverstone whilst Vinales cannot be discounted and Dovi’s team mate Lorenzo looks to be finally mastering the Ducati Britain’s Cal Crutchlow has consistently led the satellite riders and could upset the Factory riders …again.
The American football season kicked off last night and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Patriots 42-27, in Boston…
Premiership football is back tomorrow with the big game being the Noisy Neighbours entertaining the HubCap Stealers at lunchtime, Klopp hasn’t lost to Pep’s boys since he joined….Elsewhere the Toffees host Spurs, Chelski go to the Foxes, the Gooners host the Cherries the Seagulls entertain the Baggies and the Red Devils go to the Potters. Sunday sees the Eagles at Burnley and the Swans host the Magpies. The Hammers have their first game at the London Stadium on Monday against the Terriers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Wed, 06 Sep 2017 07:41:00 +0100 Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO)

Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO) has announced that along with its operating partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN) it has completed a 2,500km2 3D seismic survey on the Orinduik block in Guyana. The block is owned 60% by TLW and 40% by ECO and the test was completed by Schlumberger on schedule with stable seas and no weather disruptions. Orinduik is a few kilometres up dip from ExxonMobil’s (XOM US) Liza and Payara discoveries which XOM estimates contain between 2.25-2.75bnboe.

The 3D survey had originally been conceived as a 1,000km2 study, however, owing to the positive results of 2D survey data and down dip discoveries ECO and TLW opted to increase the scope of the study. On the enlarged study TLW agreed to carry ECO’s cost of the share to 1,000km2 (capped at US$1.25m) with the balance of the programme funded pro-rata. ECO and TLW will now begin interpreting the data with results to be released in due course.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and target price of 25p

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Oil price, Savannah Petroleum And finally... Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:58:00 +0100 Oil price

It is Labor Day in the US on Monday which is the traditional last day of the driving season gives a last boost to product demand and signals the time for refineries to start thinking less about gasoline and more about heating oil. This year things are different, around 25% of all refining capacity is off the market and gasoline futures have risen by 28% week on week which as mentioned yesterday will swiftly appear in the retail price. Indeed, yesterday saw the first release of crude oil from the US strategic reserve with 1m barrels headed to a  fully operational refinery in Louisiana, first release in five years but not the last. November Brent had a particularly good day as traders were extremely reluctant to have any short positions.

Opec and Non-Opec have a chance to make the system work, although US refining demand for crude is down, and by more than the production shut in, with problems in Libya all week slightly as predicted they can keep the international market tight.

Savannah Petroleum (LON:SAVP)

SAVP has announced a corporate and Niger update this morning, the Seven Energy exclusivity agreement announced back in June to potentially acquire the bulk of its Nigerian assets is still in place and discussions continue. Expect updates ‘in due course’ and the shares will remain suspended until the Admission document is published or should discussions be terminated. My expectation is that period will be a matter of weeks rather than months as I understand that discussions are progressing well.

With regard to Niger, operations are continuing to progress and equipment and the security team has been mobilised in the company’s new Jaouro base camp. The company has decided not to commence drilling until the shares are readmitted to trading in order to ensure an orderly and efficient market. In my view this is an eminently sensible move as it would send out the wrong signals if shareholders were unable to trade in the shares during the drilling process. The 3D seismic dataset is of ‘excellent quality’ and has met the company’s key objectives of enhancing the seismic imaging of the Eocene Upper Sokor and Alternances plays and provides better definition of the deeper prospective Cretaceous structures.  Accordingly all this information will be included in an updated CPR which will be published at the same time as the admission document.

Whilst one cannot say until the deal is done, the acquisition of the Seven assets would clearly be transformational to SAVP and fit alongside the exploration activity in Niger very well indeed. In fact the Niger drilling campaign was always looking very exciting and in itself a likely company changer. Given that, come the autumn with a fair wind on both fronts, patient shareholders should be rewarded by an opportunity significantly in excess of first expectations. SAVP was due to go into the bucket list at the summer break and on readmission should be able to take its place as it is clear that Andrew Knott is building an African E&P company with serious ambitions.

And finally…

Another great spectacle of the British sporting summer is now the T20 finals day at Edgbaston where fans come from far and wide, often in amazing fancy dress to watch cricket but also the mascot Derby…I’m watching out for a bunch of lads in lederhosen from down here…

It’s the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, to many, especially the Tifosi, one of the homes of F1, certainly Ferrari. After this the circus heads to Singapore in a fortnight where things change a bit.

The deadline day was a bit flat, some business was done but I wonder what happens to those who wanted to leave but were left stranded at the altar, Nobby no mates one suspects…Now it’s the dreaded international break which we all hate, this weekend England are in Malta, Northern Ireland play San Marino, Scotland are in Lithuania, Wales entertain Austria and the Republic of Ireland are in Georgia.

]]> Oil price, President Energy, Petrofac, Empyrean, Pantheon And finally... Thu, 31 Aug 2017 10:35:00 +0100 Oil price

Where to start that’s the big question… There is no doubt that Harvey will cause havoc in oil markets well after it has faded away, gone but not forgotten you might say. The October Brent crude contract expires tonight and no surprise that it weakens before it goes off the board to discourage those naughty traders who want to roll over their positions. With WTI falling less the differential has at last come back a touch, at nearly $6 recently it was pricing in too much on both sides of the equation although WTI will be unsettled for some time.

So, back to Harvey and its effects on the marketplace where the continued rise in product prices and weakness in crude makes one believe that the effect of losing a quarter of all the US refining capacity (4.5m b/d) and the knock-on of crude oil demand outweighs the loss of 1.5m b/d shut in production. With Total and Valero shutting their Port Arthur refineries gasoline prices rose, indeed the effect on retail prices is already being felt with a 6-12c per gallon rise coming through, pushing average prices towards $2.50 a gallon.

Accordingly the EIA inventory stats were pretty meaningless and likely to be for a few weeks. Last night stocks were down by 5.4m barrels, way more than the 1.9m forecast and then the refineries were at 96.6% capacity which is about to change. This comes as refineries were headed for the end of season change of mix, away from gasoline and more towards heating fuel ahead of the winter months, we shall see.

President Energy (LON:PPC)

The FT has run an article today on the Argentine banking market which is rapidly expanding now that ‘normality is returning’ in this substantial emerging market. Lending activity is taking off and banks are helping to fund underleveraged local businesses in a big way. Argentine debt markets have started to build up after the removal of credit controls and the huge but oversubscribed recent long term Government issue.

What this also means is that there is a positive read across for companies like President who have been investing in the local market for many years. The energy sector remains very important in Argentina and market leading oil and gas companies are investing in conventional and unconventional assets across the board. The recent emergence of Phoenix Global Resources is another sign of the positive attitude towards the sector and PPC is well prepared to take similar advantage. Seriously undervalued, I expect to see action from the company on its workover programme and of course can’t rule out corporate activity or asset acquisitions either.

Petrofac (LON:PFC)

A brief note on PFC who issued a pretty good set of results yesterday although I suspect that the market concentrated more on the dividend cut than the numbers themselves. Although the year will be 2H weighted I thought that the underlying numbers were quite impressive in the circumstances and the dividend decision ‘rebased to protect the balance sheet’ was a pretty sensible decision. Target cover of 2-3x gives the opportunity to smooth market ups and downs which are inevitable in this area. I liked the $2.7bn worth of new orders giving a backlog of $12.5bn and tendering activity remains high if sometimes erratic. The company has some problems hanging over its head but is committed to a focused strategy in its core areas of expertise and is looking to add to territories where opportunities arise. With a good operational and financial performance in the first half Petrofac is concentrating on what it know best which at this stage is pretty much what it should be doing.

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

It is very much a drip feed approach from EME’s Dempsey well but at least the news remains good. Since the last update mud logs have indicated ‘additional zones of significant gas shows’ despite upping the drilling mud weight for the purposes of a safe well. Again it should be cautioned about getting too excited but the shares are creeping up and will go a lot higher if these deeper zones confirm early promise.

Pantheon Resources (LON:PANR)

It was always going to be inevitable that PANR would be caught up in the horrors of Harvey and yesterday they updated the market on the situation. All operations have been suspended which means delays on the VOBM#2 frac job and the VOBM#4 sidetrack well. Nothing the company can do except sit and wait, there may be work to be done on local infrastructure such as roads but so far all is safe.

And finally…

Fairly quiet at the moment, the transfer deadline day is upon us and the cheque books are out lining the agents pockets. Alex Oxblood-Chambermaid has turned down £180/- a week at the Gooners and he is joining the HubCap Stealers of only £120/-, what a gent…

The US Open tennis may be won by someone we havent heard of as pre tournament dropouts and carnage yesterday leaves the field decimated. Britain’s Kyle Edmund   won yesterday and makes the 3rd round.

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

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

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Wed, 30 Aug 2017 07:23:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has announced a placement of up to C$5m at a price of C$1.25/sh per unit. Each unit will consist of one common share and one warrant. Each warrant will be exercisable into one common share at C$1.50 for a period of 24 months post the offering. The offering is expected to close on September 26 2017.

Following the recent announcement of strong drill results and the acquisition of additional ground adjacent to the flagship project the funding will be used to advance the ongoing work programme.

We reiterate our SPEC BUY recommendation.

]]> Oil price, Faroe Petroleum, Premier Oil, Chariot, Empyrean Energy And finally... Tue, 29 Aug 2017 09:25:00 +0100 Oil price

Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc in Texas over the weekend, production was halted both offshore and at onshore shale operations but the flooding has probably impacted the refineries more. On Friday the crude price rallied as production fears were highest and the rig count showed a drop with the likelihood of more cuts to come. However yesterday crude fell and product markets rose significantly as Shell, Exxon and Motiva amongst others closed refining capacity, with Harvey still around and headed back into the GoM and then possibly back onshore, it may get worse before it gets better. With refining capacity down by as much as 3m b/d and exports halted it may be an ironic side effect that local crude builds (depending on how long onshore shale production is shut in for)  and gasoline and distillates will get shorter. Whatever the makeup, inventories will be harder to read in the next few weeks. Finally a number of pipelines have been closed in for both crude and product so distribution problems will add to the mix.

Faroe Petroleum (LON:FPM)

Faroe has announced that the Goanna well has commenced operations, 39/9-22 S is an exploration well in the North Norwegian North Sea targeting a structural and stratigraphic prospect of Upper Jurassic Munin formation sandstones. FPM are fully carried on this well which is a huge bonus as is the cluster of huge fields in the nearby Tampen area.

Premier Oil (LON:PMO)

Premier has announced that the BW Catcher FPSO has sailed away from Singapore and should be in the North Sea in around 45 days. Assuming that Prems can avoid the problems others have encountered whilst commissioning similar operations first oil and significant ramp up is expected by the end of the year.

Chariot Oil & Gas (LON:CHAR)

Chariot has announced this morning that, having had no luck in securing a farm-in partner for its Namibian Southern blocks it is walking away from this project. It remains interested in that the remaining partners have left them with an option over 10% of ground floor equity but that is a poor return after so much hard work. This is a difficult one to call, CHAR followers of old will be going mad about relinquishing what used to be a jewel in the company’s portfolio but management has of late been pragmatic given the change in industry attitudes to technical risk. Clearly they havent got the wherewithal to continue to operate on so many fronts and will concentrate firepower on the Central blocks as well as in Morocco and Brazil. I continue to believe that the run up in the spring was too early and whilst Larry and the team are doing a great job there is still quite a wait before positive news is tangible.

Empyrean Energy (LON:EME)

We are being drip fed information from Dempsey, today’s news is that there are significant gas shows across multiple zones in the well which adds to last week’s positive announcements. Whilst one cannot judge it until the deeper prospects have been tested I remain extremely positive as I am sure that this well is already a decent commercial discovery with a proper amount of upside. It looks like Tom Kelly has done it again, if so the shares are way too cheap.

And finally…

Well what a weekend of sport that was….Difficult to know where to start but here goes.

F1 was back and a really exciting race, after the safety car it looked very much like Vettel was going to pass Lewis but he held on, Monza next week, a ‘home race’ for the Tifosi…

The British MotoGP produced a cracking race when Andrea Dovizioso defied the odds to win his 4th Grand Prix this year. Rossi led for most of the race before being picked off by Dovisioso and Vinales to finish third. Pole position Marc Marquez had also been challenging when he suffered a rare engine failure, his first since joining Honda in 2013, costing him and Honda the Championship lead. Consistent Cal Crutchlow was again the first Honda home in 4th and Scott Redding rode well to 8th position. In Moto3 John McPhee could only manage 13th, pushing him down to 6th in the World Championship.

The test match is full of twists and turns, after a lousy start England came good in their second innings after the Windies had dominated with the bat but failed to catch catches..Rarely today’s final day could still produce all three results…

In the Prem all sorts of fun happened, for those fans who like to pay to go and watch Mike Dean he repaid their faith by totally dominating proceedings and showing what a ‘poor’ ref he really is, its not about you mate. He played Dean time so the Cherries lost to the Noisy Neighbours and then got the red card out for good measure, what a joke. Elsewhere the Red Devils stay at the top after beating the Foxes and Chelski beat the Toffees at the Bridge. At Anfield the HubCap Stealers beat the abject Gooners 4-0, it might have been 8, remember what I said last season about keeping Wenger being great for the rest of us…..Finally Spurs were again held at fortress Wembley, by Burnley.

And of course for all of us who stayed up or got up to watch the action in Vegas the result was totally predictable, McGregor hardly got close despite offering false hope by winning the early rounds, as expected Mayweather won exactly when he chose to and even ‘allegedly’ had $400,000 or more on himself to win at the correct time.

Finally for long term readers they will know that today is an anniversary of sorts, 38 years ago today I started life in the oil sector by joining the legendary WoodMack up in Edinburgh, it was a fine place to start and is still market leader in its field.

]]> VSA Morning Agri Comment Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:47:00 +0100 MPE Acquires New 10,000ha Block

Indonesian palm oil producer MP Evans (LON:MPE) has acquired a privately-held Singapore-based company whose local subsidiary holds 95% of a 10,000ha oil palm project in East Kalimantan.

• Of the 10,000ha land block, 8,240ha are company-owned estates with 1,300ha contained in a smallholder scheme and the balance being infrastructure and conservation areas

• Of the 8,240ha owned by the company, 7,400ha are planted with young oil palms (non-producing), 440ha are mature oil palms (producing) with a further 400ha in the process of being planted

• Total consideration is US$108m, with US$88m cash consideration and US$20m of assumed debt

• Significant growth is expected in the coming years as the trees mature along the yield curve. MPE expects the project to produce 270,000t+ of FFB per annum within ten years

• MPE plans to build a mill in due course as well as register the land with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), in line with its existing estates and mills

VSA Comment

Following the sale of the group’s 36.84% stake in Agro Muko in January, investors have been eagerly awaiting the deployment of the received funds into another palm oil project. Although it has taken longer than many expected, the transaction appears to be a good one, more than replacing the share of planted land lost through the Agro Muko disposal (7,200ha) for a price in-line with other recent transactions in the sector (cUS$13,100 per planted hectare).

However, it will take much longer for this project to replace the financial contribution lost as a result of the disposal of Agro Muko, given the early stage nature of the estate. The new project has just c5% of its palms currently producing, compared with Agro Muko that had c90% of mature oil palms. The new project made an operating loss of US$0.4m in 2016 compared to Agro Muko which contributed a share of profits to MPE of US$7.1m and gross dividends of US$3.7m in 2016.

With its ongoing share buy-back coming to an end (now 96% complete), the pressure was on for MPE to deploy its excess cash into an attractive transaction with strong growth prospects to support its share price. It appears to us that this deal fits the criteria. However, the end of the hands-off period for Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK LN) is now only four months away. We still expect it to return for a second try at acquiring MPE once this restricted period expires.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Polymetal International Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:13:00 +0100 Polymetal (LON:POLY)

Polymetal (LON:POLY) has announced weak results despite increased revenues. The reversal of the USD, despite its positive impact in the dollar gold price was more than offset by the impact of the stronger RUB on costs. Revenue was up 15% YoY to US$683m, as gold sold increased 19% YoY to 380koz offset in part by a 5% YoY decline in silver sales to 12.4moz.

EBITDA of US$257m was down 12% YoY as cash costs increased 28% YoY to US$656/oz. Meanwhile, AISC increased 20% YoY to US$906/oz. This is expected to moderate somewhat in H2 with POLY maintaining its guidance for a full year average of US$600-650/oz and US$775-825/oz for total cash costs and AISC respectively. However, we do not expect the dollar to weakness to reverse in H2 indicating that the RUB is likely to remain strong.

Net earnings of US$120m were down 27% YoY as a result of higher cost pressures. Despite this, POLY announced a dividend of US$0.14/sh. equivalent to 50% of net earnings and a 56% increase YoY.

]]> Oil price, SDX Energy, Genel Energy, Premier Oil, Hunting and finally... Fri, 25 Aug 2017 12:13:00 +0100 Oil price

With hurricane Harvey moving swiftly towards Texas and landfall expected overnight tonight much of the oil industry has shut in production both offshore and onshore. Twelve years ago almost exactly it was Katrina that came through and whilst Harvey isn’t as powerful at that was it is believed to be the biggest for some years. Interestingly the oil price hasn’t reacted much, it is up about 40 cents today but with only 10% of offshore production out it is the refinery closures that have hit hardest and gasoline prices have ticked up more.

SDX Energy (CVE:SDX)

Another cracking set of figures from SDX who produced revenue of $18m and net profits of $26.5m strongly supported by the Circle Oil acquisition. Production was a pro-forma 3,812 and netbacks more than doubled to $21.50. Apart from the M&A stuff SDX has had a great time operationally, in Particular at South Disouq where 25.8 Mmcfd was ‘significantly better than expected’  despite limited surface facilities and the company are excited about the deeper potential which they will soon target. Financially SDX is in a very strong position, they have cash of $27.6m and no debt, receivables down and the CPR showed 2C of 47.13 bscf of gas and 2.29 Mmbbls of condensate.

More importantly for shareholders the next few months are going to be very exciting with drilling campaigns in Morocco starting mid-September with 7 wells and in Egypt in Q4 the development activity. However there is more to come as CEO Paul Welsh told me, ‘in working the data in both Morocco and Egypt we have identified more opportunities within our acreage to expand these programs’ there is definitely much more to come. I have called this stock ‘cheap as chips’ in the past, this has not changed, with such a programme starting very soon, new prospects identified, a substantial asset base and strongly financed, SDX looks increasingly attractive.

Genel Energy (LON:GENL)

Genel has made an agreement with the KRG that means that it waives any entitlements to unpaid bills in exchange for 4.5% of Tawke gross revenues for five years wef 1st August 2017 paying no capacity building payments which should be a net saving. Expect a boost to cash generation and although still carries oil price risk should eliminate the historic problems of receivables the market so dislikes. A lot is going right for Genel at the moment, meeting with them earlier in the week the news from Peshkabir is very positive and it seems that there is a persistent buyer of the shares which have been pushed to a year’s high.

Premier Oil (LON:PMO)

Being north of the border for the last couple of days meant missing the Premier results which continue to show serious operational success in a number of areas. Production is up to 82.1/- b/d and accordingly guidance has been teased up from 75/- b/d to 75-80/- which still seems conservative. Catcher is about to sailaway and will be on for first oil by the end of the year and with successful drilling will be better than previously expected. During and after this period the company has finished its long running refinancing with debt of $2.7bn which gives necessary visibility. They also had success at Zama, in which PMO has a 25% WI and so far is showing as 400-800mmboe discovery which could be very valuable to either keep or use as an asset to sell and reduce debt.

Elsewhere M&A wise, they have sold their Wytch Farm asset for $200m and signed HOT  with infrastructure partners for Tolmount as widely predicted. That just leaves Sea Lion where they confirm that they have a net 400m bbls and which ‘has the potential to be transformational for the company’. Good progress has been made on securing  funding and commercial solutions for the project which remains a ‘phased development solution’ and capex to first oil has fallen from $1.8bn to $1.5bn. Clearly PMO want another partner for Sea Lion but whatever they say about it the economics look better and it will be their most important operated project over the next few years and should secure approval.


Life for the UK listed oilfield service companies has been very mixed in recent months but at the moment Hunting is showing a clean set of heels to them all mainly due to their exposure to the US onshore drilling market. With good news in perforating systems, where they sold more in 1H ’17 than in the whole of 2016, leading to upping shift levels and premium connections  also doing well in offshore and onshore markets things are looking up. With most of the other quoteds having various difficulties at the moment it is a pleasant surprise to be extolling Hunting as the poster boy of the sector. With Jim Johnson taking over from Dennis Proctor next month I wish them both well for the future.

And finally…

The second test between England and the West Indies started today at Headingly and winning the toss and batting, England have had another poor start, 48-3 as I write.

Sunday sees the 40th anniversary of the British Motorcycle GP on the mainland after the removal of the TT from the World Championship and the 300th GP start for 38 year old Valentino Rossi. As usual the weather could be a deciding factor which will hopefully play to Brit Cal Crutchlow’s strengths in what is turning out to be one of the closest championships for many years.

In the Premiership the top three all have home fixtures, the Red Devils host the Foxes, the Terriers entertain the Saints whilst the Potters go to the Baggies, how thrilling that might be…For most though the biggest fixtures will be on Sunday with the Gooners going to Anfield to face the HubCap Stealers, Chelski hosting the Toffees and Burnley going to Wembley to face the Spurs.

The F1 roadshow starts again, we are now in Belgium and Raikkonen is fastest in first practice.

York races have been exceptional this week and continue today with the Nunthorpe Stakes being the top of the bill.

Finally there is the small matter of the McGregor Mayweather boxing match in the early hours of Sunday morning in Las Vegas, should it not be a simple conclusion?

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Millennial Lithium Fri, 25 Aug 2017 07:42:00 +0100 Millennial Lithium (CVE:ML)

Millennial Lithium (ML) has reported that it has been awarded 2,492 hectares of claims from The Salta Provincial Energy and Mining Company (REMSA). This acreage is in the Pastos Grandes basin where drilling is currently underway to define a compliant JORC lithium resource. The land position at Pastos Grandes now totals 8,664 hectares.

ML will move on to this acreage to begin drilling in the coming days once an environmental plan is submitted for approval.  ML paid US$3,000 per hectare for this acreage and considers it of strategic and critical importance to the ultimate scale of lithium resources on this project. With approval of the environmental plan, ML begins an intensive Stage 1 program of preparation for pilot lithium production at commercial scale upon which it is obligated to spend at least US$15.54m.

In addition, ML’s partner on its Pocitos basin Cruz property reported on 23 August that fluid density measurements on the first drill hole are consistent with brine and in agreement with prior historic drill hole information elsewhere in the Pocitos basin. Drilling is ongoing.

The two announcements are highly positive and important to the progress and expansion of ML’s lithium activities and total resource in Salta Province of Argentina. The REMSA deal effectively doubles the ground ML controls on Pastos Grandes. We believe this to be the heart of the best lithium brines. With two projects currently drilling, we expect strong newsflow in the coming weeks.

We reiterate our Speculative Buy recommendation.


]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd Fri, 25 Aug 2017 07:17:00 +0100 Eco Atlantic (LON:ECO)

Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas (LON:ECO) has announced FY Q1 2017 results. The net loss increased from C$667k to C$2,122k as a result of increased operating expenses. This was partially offset by a modest increase in interest income. ECO finished the quarter with cash of C$4.9m.

Operationally, ECO is nearing completion of a c.2,550km2 3D seismic survey on the 1,800km2 Orinduik Block offshore Guyana along with its operating partner Tullow Oil (TLW LN). Completion of the survey will be roughly two years ahead of schedule. The targets are a few kilometres up dip of Exxon Mobil’s (XOM US) recent discoveries which are estimated to contain between 2.25-2.75mmboe.

We reiterate our Buy recommendation and 25p target price.


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

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

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

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

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

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

]]> Kosmos,EnQuest, Premier, Cairn,FAR,Cape... Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:14:00 +0100 A flash blog today as I am venturing north of the border, will update from there if appropriate. A quick run through of various bits of news from today and yesterday though. Kosmos (LON:KOS) has announced that the DST on Tortue-1 has been a success at 60 MMcf/d and the development will go ahead successfully with fewer producers at 200 MMcf/d. This is good news from Kosmos and its partners and W Africa in general. EnQuest (LON:ENQ) was going great guns but today has a sort of profit warning as it substantially downgrades production guidance from 45-51/- b/d to 37/- b/d, this is due to delays at Kraken, they might have gone with the news  yesterday and the Cairn could have mentioned it…. Cairn (LON:CNE) couldnt obviously and stuck to ‘commissioning issues’ without talking delayed numbers. Whilst on numbers, they upgraded the Senegal to 563m barrels plus 1 TCF of gas which is a pitifully low figure given what FAR have already talked, on the record. Whilst they said that they would only sell to ‘a substantial bid’, they talk a weak story and given that a sale from strength would be improved if they were the operator, shouldnt be talking about ceding it to Woodside which, it should be reminded, are in  arbitration over the validity of their deal with COP. Premier (LON:PMO) have announced the sale of Wytch Farm for $200m after having recently topped up at the expense of RockRose (LON:RRE). This is a  good move and will help marginally on the debt mountain. Figures tomorrow from Prems which might see the announcement of the Tolmount deal with an infrastructure fund…Surely after that Sea Lion approval beckons… Cape (LON:CIU) had interims yesterday which blew away the forecasts and had wags suggesting that they might have sold out on the cheap. I would normally be in that camp were it not for my admiration of Joe Oatley who clearly sees trouble ahead and should be listened to, check your service company forecast guys….More on the above and more laters.

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Goldplat plc, Vedanta Resources Wed, 23 Aug 2017 07:21:00 +0100 Goldplat (LON:GDP)

Goldplat (LON:GDP) will today hold its shareholder conference call. Shareholders may submit questions in advance of the call via email using or alternatively via the following link:

The link will enable shareholders to access the call and submit questions via a chat function.

Telephone dial in details are as follows: 0808 109 0701 or for international callers +44 (0) 20 3003 2701 with participant pin 9478969#.

The call will begin at 12pm UK time.

Vedanta (LON:VED)

Vedanta (LON:VED) has announced robust results for FY Q1 2018 benefitting from stronger zinc and aluminium prices in particular. Group revenue of US$3.1bn was up 32% YoY while primarily as a results of the stronger top line group EBITDA was up 48% YoY to US$778mn. VED continues to deleverage with a US$1.4bn decline in net debt since March 2017. 

As well as a 35% YoY increase in zinc prices and a 26% increase in lead prices VED increased zinc production in India by 90% YoY to 194kt while lead production was up 42% YoY to 35kt. This was partially offset by a decline in output at the international assets of 25% YoY to 32kt. Total aluminium production of 352kt was up 44% YoY while prices averaged 21% higher YoY. Copper production of 90kt was down 10% YoY in India due to planned maintenance while in Zambia copper production was up 5% YoY to 47kt.

Oil and gas production was weaker, however, down 5% YoY to 17mmboe on a 100% basis. This was due to largely to the natural decline of the fields. Iron ore production was largely unchanged at 3.2mnt, however, realised prices were lower YoY due to a widening in the spread for low quality iron ore.

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

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

]]> VSA Capital Market Movers - Antofagasta Plc, BHP Billiton plc Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:42:00 +0100 Antofagasta (LON:ANTO)

Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) has released strong results on the back of stronger copper prices, output and robust cost control. Revenue of US$2bn was up 42% YoY as copper sold increased 14% to 310kt YoY while copper prices averaged 25% higher. Unit costs of US$1.56/lb were down 2.5% YoY. EBITDA was consequently up strongly by 88% YoY to US$1.1bn. Net income of US$455m was up 187% YoY while the interim dividend of USc10.3/sh. was more than double that of 2016.

Delayed shipments from H2 2016 at Centinela offset the impact of port disruption at Los Pelambres. Production is expected to increase further in H2 with full year guidance of 685-720kt. This is primarily expected to come from the ramp up at Centinela.


BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)

BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) has released strong results for full year FY 2017. Revenue of US$38.3bn was up 24% YoY while underlying EBITDA of US$20.3bn was up 64% YoY. This was primarily driven by stronger earnings in from bulk materials and copper although petroleum earnings were also stronger. Iron ore EBITDA increased by 62% to US$9bn while coal EBITDA was up five-fold to US$3.8bn. The full year dividend of USc83/sh. was up from USc30/sh. in 2016 with an H2 contribution in 2017 of USc43/sh.

FY 2018 production guidance is for increases across the board bar the petroleum division which has been declared non-core and available for sale. Iron ore production is expected to increase on an attributable basis from 231mnt to between 239-243mnt with cash costs down from US$14.6/t to below US$14/t. Copper production is expected to increase from 1.3mnt to between 1.66-1.79mnt as production is normalised at Escondida, however, cash costs are expected to increase to US$1/lb (up 8% YoY). Coal costs are guided as flat YoY although met coal production is expected to increase from 40mnt to 44-46mnt whilst thermal coal production is expected to increase by 7% YoY to 29mnt. Petroleum output is expected to fall from 208mmboe to between 180-190mmboe.

]]> Oil price, Gulfsands Petroleum, Sundry-Kosmos-Total-Wood Group-Empyrean-PGR-Ophir- And finally... Mon, 21 Aug 2017 12:16:00 +0100 Oil price

The most noticeable change at the moment in the oil setup is that Brent is now trading at a $4.21 premium to WTI which is a recent high, with last week’s inventory stats adding to recent draws the US crude may become more attractive to US refiners. Indeed with Baker Hughes announcing a 5 rig fall to 763 rigs last week there was little surprise that crude bounced on Friday. Even then it was Brent that took the plaudits and on the week increased by 62 cents whilst WTI fell by 31 cents. Brent is now in backwardation and that usually makers traders if not delirious, then moderately happy and being able to rollover their bets at little cost.

Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX)

I was fortunate to meet up with John Bell last week as I have been trying to catch up with him for a while and to see how things are progressing at GPX. Readers will know that historically I have had my issues with the company but with some light appearing at the end of the Syrian tunnel and a strong management style for Mr Bell it is worth reappraising. GPX is strongly supported by three major shareholders who have backed him to focus on capital efficiency whilst managing down the remaining non-core assets and protecting and preserving its core asset, block 26 in North East Syria.

Morocco is a non-core asset and the company are looking for a partner on Moulay Bouchta and are in regular contact with ONHYM, should no progress be made expect to see the company exiting the country. Tunisia is already in the exit process, the branch office has closed and all will be done and dusted there in short order. GPX has two licences in Colombia, Llanos 50 and Putumayo 14, the former has been extended by 18 months to May 2018 and work has commenced on the seismic MMA and the exploration drilling EIA environmental work. In the latter, the company has commenced on the Consulta Previa for the social and community engagement in the area. GPX is clearly a MENA centric company and assets in Latin America are not a strategic fit, however the company is prepared to fund early stage operations in preparation for bringing in a partner which it is actively seeking.

Having assessed the non-core assets it is worth looking at the original jewel in the crown, block 26 in North East Syria, at present under force majeure as a result of EU sanctions but where the assets are in good order and materially undamaged. Obviously GPX remains committed to full compliance with the sanctions but is ‘focused and maintains its readiness to resume operational activities once sanctions are lifted’. Production carries on at block 26 without GPX participation and apparently can still do 15- 20,000 b/d which does appear to demonstrate good reservoir quality and operational integrity. I understand that the area is safe and has had few disruptions and without ISIS or other extremists in the area.

Financially, costs at the company have come down significantly and the balance sheet tidied up. Burn fell from $8.7m in 2015 to less than $5m in 2016 and continues to be a key focus for management as it is expected to be shown by further reductions in the next results, interims due in September.

There is little doubt, if ever there was any that Gulfsands should be considered the purest of Syrian plays for investors when the current conflict ends. With sizeable backing and good quality management dedicated to managing down non-core assets the company should be able to return to what is undoubtedly a world class asset as soon as the security situation permits. It is worth remembering that GPX has group working interest of 2C contingent resources of 86.4 MMboe (downgraded from 2P reserves due to it being in force majeure) and once it is back up and running should command a significant premium to its current market cap. Clearly that prospect is not imminent but Gulfsands has made it perfectly clear where its future lies.


Kosmos (LON:KOS) lists today on the London Stock Exchange with a standard listing on the Main Market. Kosmos is very much a favourite of mine, participating as it does on the highly exciting west coast of Africa.

Total has agreed to buy Maersk Oil and Gas in a deal worth $7.45bn comprising of $4.95bn worth of shares and assuming $2.5bn of debt.

Wood Group (LON:WG) has announced a five year maintenance contract for the Phillips 66 refinery worth ‘multi millions’.

Empyrean (LON:EME) has updated the market on the Dempsey well which continues to deliver the goods. It looks like there is enough gas in the shallow zones to pay for the well, now they are ’embarking on the exciting drilling of significantly larger deeper drilling prospects.

Phoenix Global Resources (LON:PGR) say that the operator of the CH and PPC blocks in Argentina have relinquished the latter and are offering a new programme on the former. It is not clear yet how this affects PGR apart from a modest fall in production.

Ophir (LON:OPHR) has announced that the Fortuna FLNG offtake contract has been awarded to Gunvor, just the small matter of completing the financing and debt package…

And finally…

The jury may be out for day/night test matches with a pink ball but there was little sign of the it behaving in a peculiar way or turning round corners as previously advertised. Watching brummies wrapped up in the August air made you think that it might be a game played in warmer climes though… As to the cricket there isnt much to add, a mismatch indeed.

As always one of the promoted clubs has a few weeks in the sunny uplands of the Premiership, few would have had the Terriers of Huddersfield down for that honour but as of this morning they are joint top of the league with a perfect 2/2 of a record. That they share with the Red Devils who have come out of the traps fast, as have the Baggies with two 1-0 demolitions of the Cherries and Burnley…Either the Noisy Neighbours or the Toffees could join those three tonight as they both put their 1 and 1 record to the test.

And finally, those who watched only the first half of the Aussies v the All Blacks on Saturday morning will have realised just how good the British and Irish Lions were to getting anywhere close to them…

]]> 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.

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

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

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

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

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

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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….

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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….?

]]> 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…

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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''.

]]> 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.

]]> 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….

]]> 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.

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

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

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

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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…….

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.”

]]> '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.

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> '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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.

]]> ''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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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''.

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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.”

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.

]]> 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.