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Zephyr Energy Plc (LON:ZPHR) is ready to drill the State 16-2LN-CC well in the Paradox basin in Utah after receiving the final regulatory approvals required. The company is preparing to drill an appraisal well to collect key data and establish initial production from the Paradox project.

The company expects the well to be drilled in July, which is in line with previous expectations. The company is currently working on the main contracts for the project.

Challenger Energy Group PLC (LON:CEG) has announced the discovery of hydrocarbons in the recently completed Saffron-2 well in Trinidad. An initial interpretation of logs at 3,530 ft identified a further 42 ft of net acreage in the lower Middle Cruse, bringing the total amount of oil sands encountered in the Upper and Middle Cruse to more than 200 ft, Challenger said in a statement. The well reached a depth of 4,126 feet with a target depth of 4,557 feet.

Trading in the shares of San Leon Energy PLC (LON:SLE)has been temporarily suspended after the company confirmed it is preparing a reverse takeover. The company is in preliminary talks with Midwestern Oil and Gas to acquire Midwestern’s indirect interest in the OML 18 onshore oil and gas block in Nigeria.

The terms of such transaction have not yet been agreed, San Leon told the market. In the transaction, San Leon would acquire from Midwestern Leon Petroleum Limited (MLPL) the outstanding shares it does not already own and pay for them by issuing MLPL shares, which would make MLPL the majority shareholder of San Leon; this is considered a reverse takeover under AIM rules.

Also this week, San Leon announced plans to increase its stake in Energy Link Infrastructure (ELI), owner of the Alternative Crude Oil Evacuation System (ACOES) project being built to connect the OML 18 facility to the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The company is conditionally investing $2 million for 1.323% of ELI, with an option to invest a further $6.5 million for an additional 4.302% interest. San Leon currently owns a 10% stake in ELI, which would increase to 15.625% if the option is exercised in full.

Mosman Oil and Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN) has increased its stake in the Stanley project by acquiring Nadsoilco LLC in a deal worth £1.1 million. The purchase will increase its stake in Stanley by 20% from 15-19% to 35-39%. Net production will increase to 60 barrels of oil per day, up from 27 barrels per day in the previous quarter.

The company will also earn a 20% interest in the Livingston producing properties and a 23.3% interest in the Winters producing property, where a well is planned.

Touchstone Exploration Inc. (LON:TXP, TSE:TXP) has signed a 10-year operating lease management agreement to commence drilling to maintain production in Trinidad. The 10-year extension covers blocks CO-1, CO-2, WD-4 and WD-8, where the group’s oldest oil production facilities are located. It has been negotiated with national oil company Heritage Petroleum and comes into effect on January 1, 2021. The contract runs until the end of 2030 and has been extended on similar terms to previous agreements.

Touchstone now intends to drill a new well in each of the blocks in the second half of this year.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:ASX:88E) has advised investors that recent analysis of samples from the Merlin-1 well, drilled earlier this year on Alaska’s North Slope, “definitively demonstrate the presence of hydrocarbons.” The latest laboratory tests were performed on fluid extracts from selected core samples.

In particular, the company noted that the analysis was obtained from 5 of the 18 deviated core samples taken from the Merlin-1 prospective zones that could not be analyzed with the downhole fluid production tool. They also match the depths at which a good oil play was observed during drilling, the company added.

On Monday, 88 Energy reached an agreement to sell its accumulated tax credits for $18.7 million (£13.5 million) and will use the proceeds to pay down its debt. The Alaska-based exploration company said it would pay down its $16.1 million debt and use the remaining $2.6 million to replenish cash. The company noted that this is a transaction with a major U.S. oil and gas company with numerous exploration and production assets.

Scirocco Energy PLC (LON:SCIR) on Friday updated the terms of its investment program with Prolific Basins LLC to allow it to invest an additional $1 million in the company through the end of 2021. This extends the agreement reached a year ago. Prolific Basins can invest up to an additional $3 million under the facility.

Providence Resources PLC (LON:PVR), the Irish oil and gas exploration company, has announced that non-executive chairman Pat Plunkett will step down as chairman following the annual general meeting on July 22. James Menton, currently independent non-executive director, will assume the role of chairman.

Diversified Energy Company PLC (LON:DEC) has appointed Theresa Odom as vice president of environment, social and corporate governance and sustainability (ESG). The position has been created to accelerate and communicate the company’s progress in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving area. The company added that it is investing significant time and resources in its ESG initiatives.

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