It's a fascinating week on a number of fronts. Main uncertainty of course is the outcome of tomorrow's general election; record numbers are still undecided how to vote. It's going to be dramatic viewing tomorrow night and there will be plenty of action in the market on Friday.
Moving on to shares, sentiment generally was hurt on Monday by Tullow Oil's grim announcement, which knocked its price down by over 70% and had a ripple effect across the rest of the small cap oil sector. I3 Energy also saw its price collapse back down on Monday after readers of the blog and listeners to the podcast were alerted to the false statements being made about last week's announcements. I started challenging the misstatements on Friday and a crescendo of abuse built up right through the weekend, only finishing on Monday morning after what I said would happen did. Most of this was from those promoting the false interpretations of I3's announcements, but some was from genuine investors who having been deceived and bought the shares, now wanted to believe the lies. I can understand how upsetting it is for those who believed the misrepresentations on Friday and bought I3E, but all I do is look at the facts and report them. There's nothing personal in this, there's no agenda and all I can say is be very careful in future who you listen to.
Back to this week's company news, Predator Oil & Gas announced that it has entered into a rig option agreement. They have until 31 January 2020 to finalise a legally biding contract. No word yet as to how they will finance this, although they do say that it creates a catalyst to attract drilling partners if required. They already have a convertible loan note outstanding, so my view would be to do nothing here until financing news is released.
I mentioned Reabold Resources at the weekend and its reluctance to disclose production numbers, even though their share price is back down to where it was two years ago and significantly below the price of recent fund raising exercises. They issued another announcement this week stating that drilling operations are commencing for another well in California and blustered on about "significant success with...previous wells," self-funding growth business in California," "uplift in cash generation," etc., but without mentioning one single figure. Despite all the demands from investors, there are still no actual production numbers. There's something wrong here and I'm not the only one who thinks that.
United Oil & Gas returned from suspension on possibly not the best of days with Tullow's simultaneous announcement of its difficulties. Tullow of course is co-venturer in UOG's most significant asset offshore Jamaica. Their Egypt acquisition from Rockhopper Exploration turns out to be being financed at 3p, which is nearly half the price of their last placing. I've never been very keen on this company, because like Reabold it's an arbitrary collection of assets and doesn't really appear to have any direction. The ones that do best in the market generally have one big project and 100% focus on it. Share prices also tend to stagnate once companies reach the production stage and dreams turn into realities. The money usually is in the run up to that point.
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas announced the renewal of its Guyana licence, another one where Tullow is the operator and major interest holder, but everything here comes down to the operating decisions that will be made in January. Will Tullow want or be able to continue is the question.
There's not much good news from the first couple of days of the week unfortunately. SDX Energy and Caspian Sunrise did also issue announcements, but both were fairly uninteresting. The rest of the week should be better.
I'll be back again at the weekend with another blog and podcast and if you'd like to know more about what I think of all the various companies and where I see some good trading opportunities, then subscribe to the private blog at https://www.oilnewslondon.com/oilman-jim This week, it will be published on Friday to cover any exciting opportunities thrown up by the results of the election and I think it's going to be extremely interesting.