Final audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020,
Shareholder call and Notice of AGM
United Oil & Gas PLC (AIM: “UOG”), the growing oil and gas company with a portfolio of production, development, exploration and appraisal assets, is pleased to announce its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020.
A shareholder call hosted by management will take place at 12.00pm BST today. Should investors wish to participate in the event, please click this link to register https://bit.ly/2S9mfow . A confirmation email with details of the dialling in process will be sent to your email address. A presentation and the 2020 Annual Report will be made available today on www.uogplc.com
Brian Larkin, Chief Executive Officer commented:
“2020 was a landmark year for United Oil and Gas, building on strong foundations to position ourselves as a full-cycle oil and gas company with strong production, diverse assets, an exceptional board and clearly defined avenues to deliver further material growth. These were significant achievements despite one of the toughest years for our sector and wider markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Building on this success is key for all at United Oil and Gas and we look forward to driving further activity and material growth in 2021 and beyond.”
Strategic – Completion of transformational acquisition, strengthening the Board and shareholder base
· Rockhopper Egypt acquisition completed following Egyptian Government approval including successful equity placing and re-admission of the enlarged Group to AIM
· Significant strengthening of the Board with the appointment of Ms Iman Hill and Tom Hickey as non-executive directors
· Establishment of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Board Committee in September 2020 to drive forward the Group’s commitment to operating responsibly
· Welcomed new institutional investors as a result of the successful placing of Rockhopper Exploration plc’s 18.3% shareholding
Operational – Sustained low-cost production and reserves growth across portfolio
· Strong operational performance of Egyptian assets
o Group working interest production averaged 2,195 boepd *
o Success at the ASH-2 and ES-5 Development Wells increased working interest production from 1,709 boepd on 1st March 2020 to 2,389 boepd on 31st December 2020
o Independent reserves report by Gaffney, Cline & Associates from the end of 2020 indicates a 24 % increase in Abu Sennan Gross 2P Reserves to 16.8 Mmboe, representing a 198 % reserves replacement ratio.
o Completion of ASH and Al Jahraa gas pipelines increasing environmental efficiency of the Abu Sennan licence and contributing an additional 312 boepd to United
· High impact Jamaican exploration assets secured and progressed during the period
o 100% equity stake and operatorship of the Walton Morant Licence in Jamaica along with 18- month extension secured.
o Prospective resources report on Jamaica by Gaffney Cline & Associates showing unrisked mean prospective resource potential of over 2.4 billion barrels assigned across 11 prospects and leads1
· New licence awards in the UK North Sea with of Blocks 15/18e and 15/19c containing the Maria, Brochel and Maol Discoveries in the UK’s 32nd offshore licensing round.
Financial -Revenues delivering positive operating cashflow and profits
· Group Revenues of $9.1m*2
· Profit for the year of $0.85m
· Average realised oil price of $37.76/bbl and average realised gas price of $2.63/mmbtu*2
· Cash operating cost $5.77/boe2
· Cash capital expenditure $2.5m
· Cash generated from operation activities $4.8m
· Cash balance at 31 December 2020 $2.2m
* From completion of the Rockhopper Egypt acquisition to period end, 28th February 2020 to 31 st December 2020
1 Summation made by UOG management based on the GaffneyCline analysis
2 22% interest net of government take
· Significant success at the ASH-3 Development Well which encountered 27.5m of net pay and tested at 7,720 boepd on 64/64 choke and 4,140 boepd on 30/64 choke
· Discovery at the ASD-1X Exploration well, which encountered a total of at least 22m net pay interpreted across a number of reservoirs
· Group working interest production year to date ahead of expectations; full year guidance raised to 2,500 to 2,700 boepd.
· Success of the ASH-3 and ASD-1X wells in early 2021 is likely to lead to a reserves uplift
· Group Capital Expenditure is forecast to be $6.0m, fully funded from existing assets
o c. $5.4m to be invested in Egypt with three firm wells following the addition of the AJ-8 well to the programme offset by savings on ASH-3 and AD1-X, five workovers, and facilities upgrades
o c. $0.6m to be invested in our Jamaican, Italian and UK assets
· Cash generation is expected to continue strongly throughout 2021 in line with increased production and pricing, particularly in the second half of the year as the capital expenditure associated with the drilling campaign is phased almost entirely in the first half
· The formal farm-out campaign for the Walton Morant licence in Jamaica commenced earlier this month and, following on from the Prospective resources report on Jamaica by Gaffney Cline & Associates, management look forward to discussing this opportunity with prospective partners.
· The Crown disposal milestone payment of $2.85m from Hibiscus, payable on approval of the Marigold development plan by the by the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority, is currently expected to be received in the second quarter of 2021.
· Our portfolio provides a platform for organic growth but also a base from which we can consider further growth opportunities in 2021 and beyond.
Annual General Meeting
In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the UK Government’s measures to restrict travel and public gatherings of more than two people who do not live together, it will not be possible to hold the AGM in its usual format. The meeting will be held at 128 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 02 A430, Ireland at 12:00 a.m. on 28 May 2021. This year’s AGM will be organised as a closed meeting. Shareholders must not attend the AGM in person and anyone seeking to attend in person will be refused entry. The AGM Notice and Form or Proxy will be posted to Shareholders and will be available from today on www.uogplc.com . The Company will make arrangements for a quorum to be present to transact the formal business of the meeting as set out in the notice of the AGM.
Extracts from the Annual Report are set out below. The financial information set out below does not constitute the Company’s statutory accounts for the periods ended 31 December 2020 or 31 December 2019 but it is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for 31 December 2019 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and those for 31 December 2020 will be delivered following the Company’s Annual General Meeting. The auditors have reported on those accounts, their reports were unqualified and did not contain statements under section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.
The Company encourages shareholders to vote on the resolutions or to appoint the Chairman of the AGM as a proxy to vote on their behalf. Shareholders can vote on the resolutions using an online portal, following the procedure below.
· Visiting www.shareregistrars.uk.com and following the online instructions. Through the website shareholders will be able to access the Registrars’ Portal, on which they will be able to register to be able to vote. For security reasons, registration is a two-stage authentication process. Once registered, shareholders will be able to vote online via the platform.
· Shareholders can submit their completed Form of Proxy electronically by emailing the same to email@example.com
· Completing and returning the Form of Proxy to the Company’s Registrars, Share Registrars Limited, The Courtyard, 17 West Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7DR no later than 48 hours before the Annual General Meeting
In the event that further disruption to the AGM becomes unavoidable or there are any changes to the current AGM arrangements, the Company will announce any changes to the meeting (such as timing or venue) as soon as reasonably practicably through a Regulatory Information Service and the Company’s website.
Pursuant to Rule 20 of the AIM Rules for Companies, copies of both the Annual Report and the Notice will shortly be available for inspection at www.uogplc.com.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014 as it forms part of UK Domestic Law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“UK MAR”).
FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2020
I am very pleased to report that 2020 was one of the most important and transformational years for the Group. United is now a full cycle oil and gas company with a portfolio of production, development, exploration and appraisal assets that underpin our growth ambitions.
Our performance during an extremely challenging year has been exemplary and gives the Board and I great confidence about the capability of our team, our assets and our planned strategy for future growth.
Key activities in 2020
The year began with completion of the Rockhopper Egypt acquisition, including a successful equity placing, and the re-admission of the enlarged group to AIM. The drilling success that was achieved at ASH-2 at the end of 2019, was followed by further success at ES-5, increasing our production and reserves, validating our original assessment of the significant upside potential of the assets. Our technical team continue to play a very important role in working closely with the operator in maximising the returns from these assets and their potential.
As part of the transaction, the seller Rockhopper Exploration plc acquired an 18.3% interest in the Group which was then very successfully placed later in the year with new institutional investors.
In August, as a result of determined efforts on the part of our executives, the Group was awarded operatorship and 100% ownership of the high impact Walton Morant exploration licence in Jamaica and secured an extension to the exploration phase, allowing more time to evaluate the prospectivity of the licence and to seek potential joint venture partners.
The Group was also awarded further blocks containing discoveries in the UK’s latest offshore licensing round.
Business development opportunities across the full cycle continued to be offered to and assessed by the team in the course of 2020, and a number of such opportunities are still under consideration. However, only the most attractive ones consistent with our strategy will be taken forward.
Strengthening of our Board and governance
As the Company has grown, we have recognised the need for an increased range of skills, experience and diversity among the non-executive directors to support and challenge management in the execution of United’s strategy. We believe we have more than achieved this as a result of the appointments during the period of Iman Hill and Tom Hickey, both bring considerable additional technical, operational, financial and commercial experience to the Board.
Further, to drive forward our commitment to operating sustainably, the Board established an Environmental, Social and Governance Committee, chaired by Iman, and also appointed Tom to chair the Audit Committee whilst I remain chair of the Remuneration Committee and the AIM Rules Compliance Committee.
In addition to these changes, we approved a Remuneration Policy for executive remuneration (which is summarised later in this Report) and made other changes to Board committee composition to improve Board governance and oversight.
Finally, Alberto Cattaruzza, who had been a director of United since our re-listing in 2017 and Stewart MacDonald, who joined the board following completion of the Rockhopper Egypt acquisition, stepped down from their roles in the Company. I would like to thank them both again for their valuable service as directors.
Our strategy remains clear; continue to grow our full cycle portfolio of low-risk production, development and exploration assets (as we have in Egypt, Italy and the UK) complemented by a few higher risk, low-cost and high impact exploration opportunities.
In addition, we see opportunity to deliver value to shareholders through timely portfolio management as well as through our technical expertise and our drilling operations.
Financial Results for 2020
2020 was the first year in which we received revenues, leading I am very pleased to report to a profit after tax of $0.85m. With our production and revenues continuing strongly, and with cash operating costs in 2020 of $5.77 per boe, we entered 2021 with an asset base resilient to low oil prices and with a strong balance sheet.
Post Year End
There has been further drilling success since the year end with the ASH-3 wellbeing successfully drilled, tested and brought into production and the announcement of an exploration discovery on the ASD-1X exploration well. The ASH Field continues to outperform our estimates, further demonstrating the significant growth potential of our Egyptian assets.
Impact to the Company of COVID-19
The human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be very significant. The priority of the Group remains the health and wellbeing of our employees and wider stakeholders and we are glad to report that all of our employees are safe and well.
In common with every company in the oil and gas industry, and indeed in all other areas of business, the Company’s activities have been affected by COVID-19 uncertainty. However, there has been no impact on our operations in Egypt and the production and transport of oil and gas has continued uninterrupted.
Dialogue with shareholders
Shareholders views on the Company, its strategy, remuneration policy and indeed all aspects of our business and operations are very important to the Board and we welcome every opportunity to engage. However, appreciating that physical meetings are not possible at the moment we would be very happy to hear from you in whatever manner suits you best. I can be reached via the Company Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 was another very successful year for the company in the development and pursuit of our strategy and I would like to record my thanks to our executives and staff for their continued commitment and energy throughout the year, which was an especially challenging period, given the COVID -19 pandemic and commodity price fluctuations.
We look forward very positively to the year ahead. We have a balanced full cycle portfolio, the cash flow to fund our business and exciting new opportunities under review.
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