Nerve-wracking news for 88 Energy (88E) who announced on Friday that they are currently seeking clarification on a recently announced 60 day suspension of authority for department bureaus and offices in relation to the issuance of new drilling permits on Federal land. The authority for approvals has not been completely withdrawn, but has been delegated to various higher positions within the government, and the Bureau of Land Management has indicated that it will continue to process the permit to drill in anticipation of receiving a signature on or before 12 February. 88E does have some cause for optimism due to the advanced nature of the existing operations, which is one of the carve outs for the suspension. The shares are in a trading halt on the ASX pending clarification, but continue to trade in London, where their price fell by around 25% following the news. More on 88E in the private blog.
Staying with this subject for a moment, though, it is important to understand that while the Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas drilling permits on Federal land could be the first step towards banning all leases and permits to drill on those lands, it is only in relation to Federal lands, not the whole of the US. Most minerals are privately owned or, particularly in Alaska, owned by the State. It’s obviously an important point to look out for now. At least one other recent AIM high flyer, with a large project on Federal lands in the Lower 48, is going to be very seriously impacted.
Pantheon Resources (PANR) should be OK. The Talitha unit, where it currently is drilling, comprises State, not Federal leases. There was a further announcement regarding that unit last week: PANR has acquired the remaining 10.8% interest from Otto Energy Ltd. and now owns 100%. Purchase consideration was 14,272,592 ordinary fully paid shares and Otto keeps a 0.5% overriding royalty interest in any future production.
Predator Resources (PRD) issued a strong announcement. In Trinidad, encouraging pilot CO2 EOR results now support their pre-injection desktop production plateau forecasts of 243 to 547 bopd from the Herrera #2 Sand. CO2 sequestration potential is confirmed and CO2 EOR services business are strengthened and de-risked as a marketable asset. In Morocco, Guercif exploration well planning is targeting a Q2 spud and core area gross prospective gas resources are estimated at 819 to 1,823 BCF. Further on PRD in the private blog.
Other news was broadly positive. Falcon Oil & Gas (FOG) announced it has submitted a notification of discovery on the Kyalla 117 N2-1H ST2 well in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, Australia. Unassisted gas flow rates ranging between 0.4 and 0.6 MMCF per day were recorded over seventeen hours. Reabold Resources (RBD) and Union Jack Oil (UJO) announced a West Newton A Site planning update. Nothing really material in it unfortunately. Pharos Energy (PHAR) announced the results of its placing. £8.6 million was raised at 19.25p and the funds will allow them to restart their investment in the water flood programme in the El Fayum oil fields in Egypt. Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) announced signature of a term sheet for a $65 million senior credit facility. It’s not yet legally binding and is subject to “typical closing conditions” so let’s see.
Trinity Exploration (TRIN) announced a Q4 2020 operational update. Production levels during the fourth quarter averaged 3,206 bopd, yielding a full year 2020 average of 3,226 bopd, up around 7% over the prior year. Serica Energy (SQZ) announced the US Office of Foreign Assets Control licence renewal relating to the North Sea Rhum field, plus a corporate update. Cash flow is set to increase materially since on 1 January 2022, Serica's share of BKR Net Cash Flow will increase from 60% to 100%. UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) announced completion of the Resan licence agreement with Aladdin Middle East. Both will now work towards finalising the design and delivery of a first appraisal well, Basur-3, aimed at establishing the commerciality of the undeveloped Basur-Resan oil discovery.
Upland Resources (UPL) announced a one year extension to the Saouaf prospecting permit and new prospectivity. Detailed interpretation of all vintage data has been completed, revealing a “rich array" of new plays. PetroTal (PTAL) announced completion of its arrangement with Petroperu, a two year extension of its oil sales contract and an update on the third-party sale of shares. Gran Tierra Resources has terminated its private purchase and sale agreement with Remus Horizons. Finally, Red Emperor Resources (RMP) announced the suspension of trading on AIM and ASX. The shares are suspended pending the release of an announcement in relation to a potential acquisition. Could be interesting.
More in the private blog, including my actual trading ideas. Further on that at https://www.oilnewslondon.com/oilman-jim
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The author may hold one or more investments in one or more of the companies mentioned so this post cannot be viewed as independent research. This post does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell and may be incorrect or outdated.