Oil, gas roundup _ interactive investor

Range Resources (LON:RRL) was one of the sector’s biggest risers in late trading after it said initial log evaluations on the MD 250 development well in Trinidad are highly encouraging with multiple hydrocarbon bearing zones identified.

These zones would now be tested to determine the well’s producing potential.

The Company will commence a production testing programme by perforating and testing four sand intervals located in the lower zone of the well between 3,350 and 3,900 feet with an estimated net pay of over 40 feet.

The relevant approvals have been submitted to the regulatory bodies in Trinidad.

“Once testing on the lower zone has been completed, the Company plans to test further multiple promising intervals of the well, located in the middle and upper zone of the well between 1,350 and 2,700 feet, with an estimated net pay of over 100 feet, pending approvals from the regulatory bodies in Trinidad,” the company said.

“The MD 250 well was drilled to a total depth of 4,100 feet, significantly ahead of the expected drilling schedule and was completed using a 5 1/2″ casing string and cemented to surface. This is the first well to be drilled using RRDSL’s (a wholly owned subsidiary of LandOcean Energy Services Co., Ltd) new 4,000 m rig.”

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Victoria Oil and Gas (LON:VOG) subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) has agreed a USD26m debt facility to support its production expansion at Logbaba through 2016 and 2017.

The facility has been secured with BGFIBank Cameroon (BGFIBank). VOG aims to avoid recourse to equity markets, whilst ensuring gearing is restricted to appropriate levels as the Company continues to build value.

During 2016 VOG intends to increase gas production from the Logbaba Project by 30%, following the 107% increase in average daily production achieved in calendar year 2015.

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Chariot Oil & Gas (LON:CHAR) posts a pre-tax loss of $14.7m for the year ended 31 December – down from $41.5m in 2014.

Operating losses narrowed to $12.0m from $41.4m a year ago.

Chief executive Larry Bottomley said: “The current downturn that the oil sector is experiencing is more dramatic than expected and we have had to adapt to the changes that the lower for longer oil price has brought.

“The environment has affected the whole E&P industry, however we are pleased with the company’s continued robust positioning. Our portfolio fundamentals remain unchanged by these external influences and our strong cash position with no debt offers us a solid platform to be able to make progress in these tougher times.

“We continue to deliver on our strategy; partnering for drilling, managing risk and progressing the technical understanding of our asset base whilst being opportunistic yet prudent in these market conditions.”

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Volga Gas (LON:VGAS) said that, from May 13, Tony Alves will be standing down as CFO. Thereafter the role would be filled by Vadim Son.

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Rockhopper (LON:RKH) has booked a FY pretax loss of USD44.7m, which is materially wider than the preceding year’s loss of USD7.6m. Revenue improved to USD3.97m, from USD1.91m.

The result included UD22.9m of exploration and evaluation expenses, from USD1.8m.

Chairman Pierre Jungels intends to retire after the company’s AGM. He commented on the performance:

“2015 has been transformational for your Company. Through our merger with Falkland Oil & Gas we have consolidated our leading acreage and resource position in the North Falkland Basin.

“Our exploration campaign has achieved significant success with multiple oil discoveries at Zebedee and Isobel Deep.

“The potential of the Isobel-Elaine complex, in a previously underexplored part of the basin, has been materially de-risked and supports management’s view that the North Falkland Basin could ultimately deliver a billion barrels of recoverable oil.

“The Sea Lion project has entered FEED – another significant milestone on the path towards project sanction.

“Going forward, we anticipate additional cost reduction opportunities being pursued during FEED to further enhance the economics of the Sea Lion project as we move towards a project sanction decision point in mid-2017.

“Premier Oil has confirmed its intention to seek an additional partner ahead of taking project sanction and Rockhopper will support Premier Oil in this initiative.

“Our Greater Mediterranean business has seen a step-change in production having achieved an exit rate for 2015 of over 700 barrels of oil equivalent per day. We will continue to pursue opportunities which add low-cost, value-accretive production to our portfolio whilst preserving our strong balance sheet.”

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Premier Oil (LON:PMO) has confirmed first oil from the Solan field was safely achieved on April 12.

The first producer well (P1) is being naturally flowed at a deliberately restricted initial rate.

It is planned that the well will remain free flowing for a short time after which the ESP (pump) will be turned on.

Following this initial period and, taking advantage of the availability of the Superior Flotel, over which Premier has contractual options until the end of May, Premier intends to carry out a planned production shut down to complete the final commissioning of the water injection plant, the tie in of the second water injection well (W2) and preparation for the tie in of the second producer well (P2).

The Ocean Valiant rig is currently drilling the second producer well (P2y), where 1,500ft of high quality reservoir sands have been intersected and which is expected to be completed and tied-in by mid-year.

Production from the field is expected to build up to an anticipated production rate of 20-25 kbeopd in the second half of 2016 when both pairs of producer-injector wells will be on stream.

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Lansdowne Oil & Gas (LON:LOGP) has announced that, through its 20% interest in the Barryroe Field, it will need to raise capital to meet any liabilities arising from the court ruling in respect of the Providence Resources (PVR)-Transocean litigation and for its on-going working capital requirements.

As a result, the Company has requested the continued suspension of its shares from trading on AIM pending clarification of the Company’s financial position.

In the meantime, the Company said it is in active discussions with its financial advisors and current debt provider with the objective of ensuring that the Company has the appropriate financial resources to satisfy its obligations under the Barryroe Joint Venture Agreement and meet its on-going working capital requirements.

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Providence Resources (LON:PVR) has announced that, in respect of the litigation between the Company and Transocean Drilling, a judgment has been handed down today by the Court of Appeal granting Transocean’s appeal on the set off point.

All other aspects of Mr Justice Popplewell’s judgment remain in force, including the finding that Transocean was in breach of contract.

Providence estimates the financial implications of the Court of Appeal’s judgment will result in the payment of approximately USD7 million (excluding interest and costs) to Transocean.

The parties and their legal advisors are currently in the process of agreeing the final amount payable to Transocean.

The Company provided the following background information:

The case relates to certain costs claimed by Transocean against Providence regarding the use of the semi-submersible drilling unit, the Arctic III, in 2011/12 on Providence’s Barryroe oilfield, offshore Ireland. The total claim, which was made by Transocean in 2012, amounted to approximately USD19 million.

Providence, in defence of its position, counterclaimed against Transocean.

The Hon. Mr Justice Popplewell, in his judgment of 19 December 2014 in the Commercial Court in London, found that Transocean was in breach of contract for failing to maintain various parts of its sub-sea equipment and that Transocean was not, therefore, entitled to certain amounts reflecting Transocean’s own day rate remuneration.

As previously disclosed, Transocean sought and was granted the right to appeal one aspect of Mr Justice Popplewell’s judgment, which specifically related to whether Providence was entitled to set off certain spread costs against Transocean’s claim.

The appeal of this aspect of the judgment turned on the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of the wording of the consequential loss clause in the rig contract (Mr. Justice Popplewell had found that Providence was entitled to set off certain spread costs). The appeal was heard in March 2016.

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Xtract Resources (LON:XTR) is in the final stages of re-negotiating the payments under the existing earn-in option agreement for the Chepica gold and copper mine in Chile.

It has agreed with the option holder to the deferment of the payment, which was due in March 2016, whilst revised terms for the Option Agreement are being negotiated.

On 12 November 2015, the Company announced that it had re-negotiated the terms of the Option Agreement and all payments due in 2015 had been deferred until 2016 with a payment of USD385,000 due in March 2016, followed by a further nine monthly instalments of USD385,000, totalling USD3.85 million, with the last payment to be made in December 2016.

The basis for the revisions to the Option Agreement have been agreed in principle with the option holder and the Company will provide an update once an agreement is formalised.

The terms of the Option Agreement are to be amended in order to provide the Company with additional flexibility from a working capital perspective.

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SeaEnergy (LON:SEA) has noted today’s further announcement by Lansdowne Oil and Gas (LOGP), a company in which SeaEnergy holds an 18.67% interest, regarding the need for LOGP to raise capital to meet any liabilities arising from the court ruling in respect of the Providence Resources (PVR)-Transocean litigation.

Lansdowne Oil and Gas also requested the continued suspension of its shares from trading on AIM pending clarification of the Company’s financial position.

At 3:48pm:

(LON:AUR) Aurum Mining PLC share price was 0p at 0.95p

(LON:BOR) Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was +0.21p at 1.98p

(LON:CHAR) Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.63p at 11.13p

(LON:ENQ) EnQuest Plc share price was +0.25p at 32.25p

(LON:GKP) Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +0.36p at 6.96p

(LON:GPX) Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was -0.38p at 7.88p

(LON:INDI) Indus Gas Ltd share price was +0.13p at 134.63p

(LON:PET) Petrel Resources PLC share price was 0p at 4.25p

(LON:RKH) Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was +0.13p at 30.38p

(LON:RPT) Regal Petroleum PLC share price was +0.05p at 2.45p

(LON:RRL) Range Resources Ltd share price was +0.04p at 0.39p

(LON:VGAS) Volga Gas PLC share price was +0.5p at 34p

(LON:VOG) Victoria Oil Gas PLC share price was +3.25p at 42.5p

(LON:XEL) Xcite Energy Ltd share price was +1.5p at 15.75p

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Iofina’s (LON:IOF) shares soared after it reaffirmed its first half output guidance.

Iofina says it produced a total of 124.6 metric tonnes (MT) of crystalline iodine in Q1 2016 from its five IOsorb plants, compared to 127.9MT of crystalline iodine produced from six plants in Q1 2015 of which over 5.5MT was produced at the now closed IOsorb IO#1 plant.

The company added that the net iodine production in Q1 from its Oklahoma operations increased year on year.

The Board reaffirms its production target of 250-270MT of crystalline iodine in H1 2016.

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Cairn Energy (LON:CNE) reports further exploration and appraisal success in its latest well in the ongoing evaluation programme offshore Senegal.

The BEL-1 well was targeting the Bellatrix exploration prospect and appraising the northern extent of the SNE field discovered in 2014.

Based on the positive campaign results to date, the joint venture has agreed a fourth well location, SNE-4, which will commence operations shortly.

The BEL-1 well targeted a shallower ‘buried hill” exploration play which is one of multiple exploration play types that have been identified across the block.

The BEL-1 well exploration results confirm the presence of shallower regionally extensive reservoirs also encountered in the SNE-3 well more than 9 km away.

These well results, along with the latest 3D seismic acquired in Q4 2015, will be incorporated into block wide remapping to look at possible new plays and down-dip oil potentially associated with the shallower reservoirs. Cairn says that in light of the success of the ongoing appraisal programme, the JV has agreed that the Ocean Rig Athena will now drill SNE-4, located 5km south-east of the SNE-1 discovery well, to appraise the eastern extent of the field and aiming to confirm the nature of the upper reservoirs in the oil zone.

Cairn chief executive Simon Thomson said: “The drilling programme in Senegal continues to provide positive evidence of the scale and extent of the SNE field.

“The BEL-1 appraisal results have provided definitive information confirming the northern extent of the high quality reservoirs seen in the other wells and demonstrated an increased oil column in this area of the field.

“Operations have been safely and successfully completed and significant data gathered to help the joint venture partners establish the ultimate size of the significant resource base. The evaluation programme continues with the SNE-4 well.”

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Roxi Petroleum (LON:RXP) said it remains pleased with the progress at its shallow wells and continues to work to allow the commencement of testing of the two completed deep wells A5 and 801.

“At Deep Well A6 we look forward to the findings from the drilling of the potentially oil bearing section.”

HIGHLIGHTS

Shallow Wells

Recent activity at our shallow wells has been focused on Well 143, which is currently producing at the rate of 623 bopd through a 5mm choke. Later this week a 6mm choke will be tested. Total production from our shallow wells is running at the rate of 865 bopd (510 bopd net to Roxi).

Deep Well A6

Deep Well A6 was spudded in early November 2015 and is to be drilled to a planned total depth of 5,000 meters.

Following a pause to set casing to a depth of 3,727 meters and the installation of high pressure blowout preventers drilling has resumed and has reached a depth of 3,835 meters.

Based on our interpretation of seismic surveys and the experience from the two previous deep wells we expect to reach a potentially oil bearing zone after a further 300 meters.

Deep Well A5

Deep Well A5 was drilled to a depth of 4,442 meters, and for brief periods of up to two hours at a time the well flowed oil at the rate of 2,000 bopd before becoming blocked by the accumulation of unrecovered heavy drilling fluids becoming set in the oil pipe.

The rig initially identified for testing was used on other activities but is now back on site for a new attempt to clear the blocked well using coil tubing equipment.

Deep Well 801

As previously reported Deep Well 801, which was drilled to a depth of 5,050 meters, has suffered from blockages caused by excess drilling fluids.

Following extensive chemical cleaning the pressure in the well has grown to 240 bar. Our intention is to open the well for testing once the pressure reaches 300 bar.

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The sector’s biggest fallers were Oilex (LON:OEX) and Tower Resources (LON:TRP) – down by 15% and more than 8.6% respectively in late trading.

At 3:46pm:

(LON:AUR) Aurum Mining PLC share price was 0p at 0.95p

(LON:BOR) Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was +0.19p at 1.81p

(LON:CHAR) Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.13p at 10.38p

(LON:CNE) Cairn Energy PLC share price was -0.9p at 198.7p

(LON:ENQ) EnQuest Plc share price was +1.88p at 27.38p

(LON:GKP) Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +0.03p at 6.78p

(LON:GPX) Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was +0.38p at 8.63p

(LON:INDI) Indus Gas Ltd share price was +3.13p at 131.13p

(LON:IOF) Iofina PLC share price was +5.18p at 10.05p

(LON:OEX) Oilex Ltd share price was -0.15p at 0.85p

(LON:PET) Petrel Resources PLC share price was +0.01p at 4.13p

(LON:RKH) Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was -0.12p at 28.88p

(LON:RPT) Regal Petroleum PLC share price was -0.01p at 2.32p

(LON:RXP) Roxi Petroleum PLC share price was -0.5p at 9.25p

(LON:TRP) Tower Resources PLC share price was -1.25p at 13.25p

(LON:XEL) Xcite Energy Ltd share price was +1p at 14.75p

Interactive Investor Trading Limited, trading as “Interactive Investor”, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered Office: Standon House, 21 Mansell Street, London E1 8AA, telephone 0345 200 3637. Registered in England with Company Registration number 3699618.

Group VAT registration number 832 6732 26.

We may record and/or monitor telephone calls or intercept other telecommunications between us. This is to protect both of us and for training purposes. Calls to this number cost no more than calls to 01 and 02 numbers.