It was quite a busy week in the small-cap oil and gas sector.
Echo Energy Plc (LON:ECHO) managing director Martin Hull has told investors that the South America focused explorer sees the remainder of 2019 as “very exciting” as it aims to advance the Tapi Aike project.
In its financial results statement, for the year to 31 December 2018, the company highlighted the acquisition and initial advancement of the asset, located in Argentina.
It more recently kicked off a 3D seismic data acquisition programme at Tapi Aike, meanwhile, it has also worked to enhance the separate Fracción C, D and Laguna de Los Capones licences with well drilling and work-overs.
The shares rose on Wednesday after it told investors that talks are continuing over the gas sales agreement for the Tendrara project, and, an offer has now been received from the Moroccan government.
The non-binding offer envisages Tendrara’s gas being purchased by the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE), Morocco’s state power firm.
It anticipates gas pricing from 2022 based on a structure that includes a variable element linked to the Brent oil price along with a fixed element to fully cover transportation costs (capped at US$12.2mln per year).
Sound provided an example, based on current Brent pricing at US$70-75 per barrel, which would see it receive between US$8.50 and US$9 per million British thermal units. It also assumed the pipeline fee to be US$1 per mln BTU.
It told investors that the environmental management plan for the Kyalla 117 N2 exploration well has been accepted. It is proposed that the well will be drilled, stimulated and tested. A 28 consultation period will now start from today, before the Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources makes a decision.
“Today’s announcement of acceptance for assessment of the Kyalla 117 N2 Exploration Well EMP targeting the Kyalla shale is an exciting development for Falcon shareholders as the JV prepares to re-commence drilling in the highly prospective Beetaloo Sub-basin in 2019,” said Philip O’Quigley, Falcon chief executive.
TLOU Energy Ltd (LON:TLOU)
Tlou revealed that Botswana’s Department of Environmental Affairs has approved the company’s environmental impact statement (EIS) for its planned coal bed methane project.
The EIS was for a 20 megawatt coal bed methane fuelled power generation plant, plus a 66kV Transmission Line to Serowe and a solar farm with a capacity of up to 20 megawatts.
The approval was described as a “major achievement” as it represents the final environmental authorisation needed to advance the Lesedi project through to commercialisation. The approval remains valid for 30 years. The company said the approval would allow it the flexibility to rapidly expand to 20MW of CBM generation, with the added renewable capacity from the solar farm.
Shares were higher on Tuesday as the explorer told investors that the Blazh-10 well has continued to improve during clean-up.
Production has now increased to around 385 barrels of oil per day, up from 150 bpd earlier this month, the group said. It will now be followed by an exhaustive well test programme and after that the company expects to have a better sense of the well’s sustainable rate of production.
It told investors that it has received a letter formally offering a new licence to the company’s subsidiary, Petro Kouiliou.
The new licence will cover the producing Tilapia oil field, located in the Republic of the Congo. The group confirmed that it will have a new 25-year term and Petro Kouiliou will retain its current 56% interest in the field.
In a statement, the company noted that it will now work with the government to finalise the terms of a new production sharing contract.
Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC)
The firm is to carry out a share buyback programme over the next 12 months. The US-focused oil and gas group said the programme will allow it to buy a maximum of about 54.3mln shares while also maintaining its current dividend policy.
It was only in March, DGO raised US$225mln through a share placing at 117p to fund the acquisition of 107 gas producing wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E)
Its 2019 drilling programme remains on track to commence mid-summer as its debt financing plans for the programme continue to progress.
The AIM-listed independent oil and gas company, with assets and operations in the UK focused on the North Sea, said the junior debt facility with warrants, announced on 1 March, which will be used to partially finance the programme continues to progress to legally binding loan documentation.
Concurrently, i3 said, the group and its lenders are working towards agreement of a senior loan which would, upon a successful 2019 drilling campaign, provide adequate funding for the expected delivery of first oil from the Liberator field in 2020. i3 added that it will provide updates to the market at such time as the final junior and senior loan agreements are executed.
Europa Oil & Gas Holdings plc (LON:EOG)
The company told investors that a public inquiry will take place in November to hear an appeal against last year’s denial of planning permission to the Wressle field. The new hearing is expected to start on 5 November and will last around 5 days.
Chief executive Hugh Mackay highlighted that the Wressle application had been recommended for approval by the North Lincolnshire Council’s planning officer and it was supported by an expert third party review undertaken on behalf of the council.
It continues to seek the completion of its farm-out deal in Tanzania which will unlock new funds and see operations advance to the drilling of the Chikumbi-1 well.
The company, in its results statement for 2018, also highlighted that its cost reduction programme is underway following a recent review of corporate overhead costs, and, it ended the period with US$1.86mln.
In February, the company raised a further US$2.4mln in a share placing. Aminex noted that it is actively seeking investment opportunities to diversify its portfolio.
Author Jamie Ashcroft
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