SmallCap Oil Gas & Miners round-up! 18/March 2011

Smallcapnews Oil and gas round-up! With a sprinkling of miners!

Gulf Keystone Petroleum;

Reported a significant initial oil flow on the Shaikan-2 Appraisal Well in a 44 meter interval (1,792m to 1,836m) in the Jurassic age formation. Substantial smoke and an oil flare  are visible from the Company’s office in Erbil some considerable distance from the Shaikan-2 location, indicating that a significant flow has been encountered and prompting the Company to issue an announcement. The Company is currently conducting a test, which is expected to continue for another 72 hours to obtain further results, i.e. flow rate, oil quality and similar information, which will be reported in the next announcement. Shaikan-2 is the first deep appraisal well to be drilled on the Shaikan structure. The well is drilling approximately nine kilometres to the south-east of the Shaikan-1 discovery well. The Company has a 75 percent working interest in the Shaikan block and is partnered with the MOL subsidiary, Kalegran Ltd., and Texas Keystone Inc. which have the remaining 20 and 5 percent working interests respectively. Todd F. Kozel, Gulf Keystone’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented: “This initial oil flow continues to confirm our belief in the world class nature of the Shaikan discovery. We are eagerly anticipating more detailed results from the Shaikan-2 well test.”

Xcite Energy;

Announced that it had increased its Standby Equity Distribution Agreement (“SEDA”) with YA Global Master SPV Ltd (“Yorkville”) by £40 million to £100 million. This is subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval. In connection with this SEDA increase, the Company will pay Yorkville an aggregate fee of £400,000, of which £100,000 will be payable when any part of the first £20 million of this increased facility is accessed by the Company, £100,000 will be payable when any part of the second £20 million is accessed by the Company and £100,000 will be paid on 27 September 2011 in respect of each £20 million tranche that has been accessed at that time. Prior to this SEDA increase, £27.25 million was available for draw down. Funding under the SEDA will be used as future working capital for the Company and to progress towards the first stage production of the Bentley field.

Egdon Resources;

Announced it had completed the acquisition from Valhalla Oil and Gas of its entire 50% interest in onshore UK Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences 180 and 181. The consideration for the acquisition is the grant to Valhalla of a Net Profit Interest of 10% of the assigned 50% interest in each of the licences.

Solomon Gold;

Announced results from further gold bearing vein sets intersected in the second hole at the Meriguna Prospect on the Fauro Island Project in Solomon Islands. Diamond drill hole FDD002 intersected 44m @ 1.67g/t Au from 18m (incl. 18m @ 3.14g/t Au from 25m, and 9m @ 3.94g/t Au from 25m, and 3m @ 7.16g/t Au from 32m). Further vein mineralisation has been intersected between 283m and 293m and awaits assaying. The most prospective level is expected at 300m depth in the boiling zone area and the central vein set of the prospect is expected to be intersected in the current hole at this level.

Sound Oil;

Released news that its Italian subsidiary Apennine Energy srl has signed a contract with Hydro Drilling International SpA to supply a drilling rig for the Marciano-1ST well completion operation.  The Company has today applied to the Ministry for Economic Development for official approval to conduct the operation.  It is anticipated that this will be given in order to commence operations in April. The Marciano completion is likely to take approximately 10 days and will perforate two intervals with wireline log indications of gas within zones at 1283-1288m and 1325-1331m measured depth in the well bore. Fugro-Robertson Limited have estimated in a Competent Person’s Report that the zones could contain 2.5 Bscf of gas. Apennine Energy holds a 99% working interest in the Fonte San Damiano concession located in Basilicata which contains the Marciano discovery.

San Leon Energy;

Announced they had commenced an 840 square kilometre 3D seismic survey on their Durresi Block, offshore Albania. Petroleum Geo-Physical AS has been contracted to carry out the survey using the M/V Ramform Vanguard seismic vessel. The 3D seismic programme will evaluate a number of highly prospective structures in the Block, including the A4-1X discovery, in preparation for a 2012 appraisal drilling programme. San Leon, through a subsidiary, holds a 75% interest in the block and is the operator. Beach Energy holds the remaining 25% interest. Beach Energy has agreed to pay 50% of the seismic programme costs, rather than their 25% working interest requirement, in exchange for an option which, if exercised, will allow them to hold a 50% working interest in the licence going forward. San Leon has a seismic services agreement with PGS Ventures AS, who is providing a $50m facility for seismic services. San Leon’s Albania seismic acquisition costs will be paid for through this agreement. The Durresi Block contains the undeveloped A4-1X gas condensate field, which was discovered in 1993, 30 km off the southern coast of Albania. The discovery indicated circa 38 mmbbls of circa 51 API condensate and 150 BCF of gas. The Company is also exploring significant potential multiple plays adjacent to A4-1X targeting both oil and gas. This underexplored, highly prospective, area is situated on the proven Apulian Margin, which extends from Italy into Albania. Southern Albania contains a highly prolific petroleum system including one of the largest onshore oil accumulations in Europe, the Patos-Marinza field, which is estimated to contain up to 5.7 billion barrels of OOIP.

Rockhopper Exploration;

Announced that it has entered into an assignment agreement to secure three firm additional well slots on the Ocean Guardian drilling rig. Rockhopper intends to utilise these three well slots after Desire Petroleum plc completes drilling operations on its next well, which follows the appraisal well currently being drilled by Rockhopper. Rockhopper further announced that the acquisition of new 3D seismic data to the south of the Sea Lion discovery well, on licence PL032, has been completed and the Company intends to fast track the processing of this data. It is anticipated that the resulting processed data will become available to the Company during July 2011. The wider seismic acquisition programme, over areas of licences PL024, PL032 and PL033 and adjacent areas, is ongoing. Sam Moody, Chief Executive of Rockhopper, commented, “The additional rig slots will see Rockhopper continuing an exciting and considerable work programme in the North Falkland Basin this year. Our understanding of the basin has advanced following the Sea Lion discovery, and will be further enhanced by our current appraisal operations, together with new seismic data. This information will be valuable in identifying our forward drilling programme.”


Announced the spudding of  the Sapele-2 appraisal well in the Douala Basin, offshore Cameroon. The well is expected to take approx’ 50 to 60 days.

Red Rock Resoures;

Acknowledged the announcement made by its 4.5% owned associate Jupiter Mines Limited , in which JMS announced the delivery of a scoping study on JMS’ 100% owned Mt. Ida Manganese Magnetite Project (“Mt. Ida”). Red Rock maintains a 1.5% gross production royalty in respect of Mt. Ida. The Scoping Study was based on the Mt Ida maiden inferred mineral resource of 530 million tonnes grading 31.9% Fe at the Central Area (which represents only 30% of the magnetite mineralization strike length). An open pit contract mining operation will extract 25mtpa ROM ore to produce 10mtpa of high grade magnetite concentrate, with an iron grade in excess of 68% Fe, a silica content of 4.5%, and very low levels of impurities (sulphur, phosphorous and alumina). An average 43.4% weight recovery was assumed, based on test work already completed. Given the grade and quality of the concentrate JMS anticipates a premium to benchmark iron ore price. Based on these attractive scoping study results a full Feasibility Study will now be launched for completion at the end of 2012 so as to identify the best strategic option to develop the project. JMS also has a Scoping Study underway on the Mt. Mason DSO Hematite Project (“Mt. Mason”) due for completion in late April 2011. Mt. Mason has an Inferred Resource of 5.75 million tonnes at 59.9% Fe and offers an opportunity to generate early cashflows from a 1.5mtpa DSO operation commencing early 2013. Jupiter plans to undertake a Feasibility Study on Mt. Mason concurrently with that for Mt. Ida.

Range Resources;

Announced that the Company and its partners have drilled the Cotton Valley objective section to a depth of around 5,500 ft (1,680m) in its Ross 3H #1 Well at the East Texas
Cotton Valley Project. The partners will now cease drilling in order to log the well before plugging back and initiating horizontal drilling operations. Mud logging results have been encouraging thus far, with oil shows over an interval more than 400 ft. thick, including oil in the mud pits while drilling.The well has a projected total hole length of 8,200ft (2,500m), including a 2,500ft (762m) horizontal section through the Cotton Valley oil reservoir. The Company will continue to provide further updates as information becomes available.

Petroceltic International;

Released an update on its activities in Italy Po Valley. Petroceltic signed an agreement for the transfer of operatorship of the Carisio exploration permit (Petroceltic 47.5%) to ENI S.p.A. (“ENI”), in exchange for 550 km of existing 2D seismic data on the Ronsecco permit plus access to reprocessed 2D seismic data and other technical studies in the Carisio permit. The Carisio and Ronsecco permits are located in the Western Po Valley, Piedmont Region, approximately 30km west of the 250 mmboe ENI operated Villafortuna-Trecate oil field, one of Europe’s largest onshore oil fields which has existing production facilities with spare processing capacity. This acquired data will provide the basis for the planning of the material Rovasenda-1 well and the possible farm-out of part of Petroceltic’s interest in the Carisio permit. It will also enable Petroceltic to assess the prospectivity in the adjacent Ronsecco permit (Petroceltic 100%, awarded 29th November 2010). Petroceltic, along with its co-venturers is now planning to drill the 270 Million barrels Rovasenda exploration prospect in the first half of 2012, subject to approval by the relevant ministries and local authorities. This prospect consists of an Early Jurassic-Triassic reservoir target which is analogous to the producing reservoirs in Villafortuna-Trecate. No further seismic data acquisition is anticipated prior to the commencement of the Rovasenda-1 well. Activity on Petroceltic’s Elsa discovery, located in the Central Adriatic B.R268.RG permit, continues to be delayed due to uncertainties in the legal interpretation of Italian Legislative Decree L.D. 128, passed into law in August 2010, which prohibits drilling in the Italian seas within 5 nautical miles of the coastline and within 12 nautical miles around the perimeter of protected Marine and Coastal Parks. This decree clearly states that it does not apply to “existing titles”; however the impact of the law on existing exploration licences is as yet unclear. In response to this uncertainty, Petroceltic has been seeking approval from the Ministry of Economic Development (“MSE”) to suspend the licence until these interpretation issues have been clarified. On March 1st 2011, the MSE signed the decree suspending the B.R268.RG permit. The decree will be published in the April edition of the Ministry’s monthly bulletin. Petroceltic and its partners have extended existing agreements pertaining to the farm-out of this permit, with the $26M of funding, raised for the drilling of the proposed Elsa-2 appraisal well, remaining available Brian O’Cathain, Chief Executive of Petroceltic, commented: “These developments in the Carisio and Ronsecco permits represent a significant step forward in Petroceltic’s efforts to develop a portfolio of material oil prospects in Italy. ENI’s confirmation as Operator of Carisio will assist in the process of maturing the exciting Rovasenda prospect towards drilling, and may also create additional options with respect to the funding of the forward work program.”

Nautical Petroleum;

Announced that a Rig Contract has been signed with Awilco Drilling Limited for the next drilling activity on the Kraken discovery in UKCS Block 9/2b. The WilHunter semisubmersible rig has been engaged to drill a horizontal appraisal well and carry out a production test during the summer 2011.  The key purpose of the well will be to prove a commercial flow rate and gather further information on reservoir quality and distribution, within the core area of the field.  Assuming success, the well will be suspended such that it can be used as a future development well. Nautical holds a 35% equity share in North Sea Block 9/2b and is the operator.

Mariana Resources Ltd;

Commenced drilling at its 70% owned Sierra Blanca Silver-Gold Project (‘Sierra Blanca’), located in the Deseado Massif gold district in southern Argentina. Primarily targeting the 1.4km Veta Chala silver-gold epithermal vein system to depths of up to 200m below surface. Commenting Chairman John Horsburgh said, “The previous exploration results highlight the exploration potential of Sierra Blanca.  The 1.4km long trending silver-gold vein system is a prime target with intersections such as 11.0m @ 3.4 g/t Au & 386 g/t Ag.  The aim is to quantify the economic potential with this 4,000m campaign. Coupled with our flagship Las Calandrias gold project, this will enhance Mariana’s position as a leading exploration player in
the Santa Cruz region with significant upside.”

Leni Gas & Oil;

Released an operaitons update copys of which can be found on the company web-site;

Neil Ritson, Chief Executive commented: “Although it has taken slightly longer than expected to prepare for this year’s activity, LGO is now set for an active and productive period in Spain.  I look forward to reporting further as our work programme proceeds.  We are confident that the programme we have in place will achieve our target of increasing production to 500 bopd from our Spanish oilfields.  Longer term expectations remain high given the presence of considerable untapped resources in the existing fields and surrounding areas and the Company sees 2011 as a turning point in its efforts to exploit that potential.  Progress in Trinidad is also picking up and we hope to have additional news on this in the next few months.”

Lansdowne Oil & Gas;

Announced it had signed a Letter of Intent with Polarcus Limited (“Polarcus”) for the acquisition of 3D seismic surveys over its Rosscarbery, Amergin and Midleton prospects in the Celtic Sea, offshore Ireland, covering approximately 300 square kilometres. The Lansdowne survey is expected to commence in early July and will follow on from the 3D survey to be acquired over the Barryroe oilfield, operated by Providence Resources, in which Lansdowne has a 20% interest.

Hardy Oil & Gas;

released their 2010 Prelims with an updated CPR which provided an outlook for 2011 The full report has been posted on the Company’s website 2010 was an active year for the Company on many fronts, 2011 promises to be an active year for Hardy. Commenting on the results, Paul Mortimer, Chairman of Hardy said: “During 2010, the Company accomplished a number of key objectives and realised a significant improvement in its financial performance. BP’s announced acquisition from Reliance of an interest in the Krishna Godavari Basin is a welcome development. BP brings considerable additional skills and resources to the joint ventures and we believe that their participation is an endorsement of the quality of our exploration assets.”

GGG Resources;

Announced an intention to make a Takeover Offer for Auzex Resources Limited.
The gold miner announced its intention to make an off-market
scrip offer (Offer) under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 for all of the issued shares in Auzex Resources Limited (Auzex) which it does not own.Auzex, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) (ASX: AZX), participates in an unincorporated joint venture with GGG, with each company owning 50% of the Bullabulling Gold Project in Western Australia.

Europa Oil & Gas;

Released Initial results from WF-9 Zone 2 test production The lower reservoir zone, Zone 2, of new well WF-9 has been tested for 5 days using a beam pump and has produced at an
average pumped rate of 80 bopd with only 5% water and high volumes of
associated gas. This compares extremely favourably with WF-7’s Zone 2
production which initially produced with high water cut and lower gas volumes
indicating the new well has been placed in a part of this reservoir zone with
higher oil saturations. The well will now be reconfigured this week to separately test the productivity of reservoir Zone 1 and a decision then made on pumping strategy for the well. An
optimised jet pump system, better at handling associated gas, is currently the planned permanent production regime. An announcement on the aggregate production rate from both zones and the production strategy for the well will be made in due course. Elsewhere on the site, the WF-3 water injection well is now complete and has performed well under injectivity tests. Paul Barrett, Managing Director of Europa, said `It is especially encouragingto see both dry oil and significant gas from the test production for Zone 2. We look forward to the results of producing Zone 1 and optimising the production going forward. We anticipate that with an optimised WF-9 pumping regime and with WF-7 back on full production soon, we should be very close to meeting our production targets.’

Cove Energy plc

Released a lenghty  upbeat operational update containing Indicative Valuations of initial Mozambique Offshore discoveries (Cove Share)

·     £437 to £728+ million –  89p to £1.50p/sh

(Source Anadarko Investor Conference 24/2/2011 of $3 to $5+ billion proportionally adjusted to Cove’s 8.5% interest – 1.6 $/£ (Anadarko 36.5% interest)) – LNG Project only, excluding £120 milion in Cove’s treasury, but importantly not including the huge exploration upside in the existing 3D seismic area and across Cove’s extensive acreage in Mozambique, in what is proving to part of an exciting new frontier basin  now attracting the attention of many multi-nationals. John Craven, CEO of Cove commented: “2010 was a year of extraordinary exploration success for Cove and all the stakeholders in our offshore Mozambique block. Considering that Cove is part of the first commercial hydrocarbon discovery in deepwater East Africa simply reinforces the magnitude of what has been achieved. I am delighted to be able to confirm that throughout 2011 we will be building on the Mozambique success having already begun the appraisal programme to commercialise the discoveries. At the same time we are now laying down the platform to drive forward an extensive exploration drilling programme, having already commenced the acquisition of a new 3D seismic survey which, with the deployment of a second deepwater rig later this year, ensures continuing exploration of the  gas and oil potential  within this prolific offshore block, which has only been partially explored to date. Our internal economic study of a Mozambique LNG project is broadly in line with Anadarko’s valuation released in their February investor conference.  Our study is based on the resources only from the existing 4 gas discoveries made to date and does not include the considerable exploration potential offshore Mozambique, nor the remainder of our extensive East Africa portfolio in Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. In the Kenya deepwater blocks we are accelerating the work programme with a planned 3D seismic survey this year followed by drilling planned for 2012.  It has been indicated that a rig slot may be available to the Kenyan partnership from the rig capacity of the Mozambique programme during 2012 or 2013. We are also actively pursuing a number of new venture opportunities which is important for continued growth. Finally the successful fundings that were put in place in 2010 mean that we have the financial firepower to capture the value from what is an extensive and exciting exploration, appraisal and testing programme going forward.”

Circle Oil Plc

Announced that following improvements in ground conditions in parts of the Rharb Basin the fifth and final well in the current drilling campaign had been spudded . The well designated KSR-11 is targeting the Hoot formation at an estimated depth of 1,750 metres. The target is similar to those previously proven successful in KSR-8 and KSR-10. It is presently anticipated that the drilling, logging, and if successful, testing of the well will take approximately 5-6 weeks to complete. The Sebou permit lies to the north-east of Rabat in the Rharb Basin in Morocco.  The Rharb Basin is a foredeep basin located in the external zone of the Rif Folded belt. The concession agreement, in which Circle has a 75% share and ONHYM, the Moroccan State oil company, has a 25% share, includes the right of conversion to a production licence of 25 years, plus extensions in the event of commercial discoveries.


It’s been a busy week for Aminex. Hot on the heels of their investor presentation arranged  in London on Wednesday 16 March 2011. Came thus: Following the 1 for 6 Open Offer announced by Aminex on 2 February 2011  which was oversubscribed by approximately 27%, news came that it had signed a rental contract for use of the Caroil-6 drill rig at Nyuni Island, offshore Tanzania.  The Caroil-6 will be used to drill the Nyuni-2 well, targeting a large Neocomian-age gas prospect, and the rig will be mobilised to Nyuni Island within 60 days. Nyuni-2 is an exploration well and will be drilled from the same site as the suspended Nyuni-1 well, but deviated to the south-east at an angle of approximately 30 degrees from vertical.  Planned total vertical depth is approximately 2975 metres and measured depth approximately 3380 metres. The Caroil-6 was successfully used for drilling Aminex’s Kiliwani North-1 discovery well in 2008.  It has since been upgraded with a top-drive and additional mud pump capacity. Aminex chairman Brian Hall commented:  “Finalising a contract for Caroil-6 is the first major step in our 2011 Tanzanian drilling programme, following our recent fund-raising exercise.  Shareholders will be notified as soon as the Nyuni-2 well has been spudded”.

Ascent Resources;

Raised £17 million in a placing of new shares at 5p per share. The funds raised will primarily be used to advance the Petišovci,Lovási,Ujfalu project in Slovenia, through the drilling and completion of the Pg-11 sidetrack, the Pg-10 and Ujfalu-III wells.

Bahamas Petroleum;

Announced that Canaccord Genuity Limited, FirstEnergy Capital LLP and Novus Capital Markets Ltd, placed 110,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.002p each in the capital of the Company (“Shares”) (“First Tranche Placing Shares”) and conditionally placed a further 133,100,000 new Shares (“Second Tranche Placing Shares”, together, with new and existing institutional investors at a placing price of 18.75 pence per Share, to raise  approximately £45.6 million (before expenses). Net funds raised will be used to accelerate the Company’s exploration programme (including the acquisition of new 3D seismic, geochemical seabed sampling and other technical work) and for general working capital purposes.  The proceeds of the Placing will also provide financial flexibility to develop additional leads in awarded licences and to progress on-going licence applications.  The Placing is not being underwritten.The  EGM is to be held at IOMA House, Hope Street, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 1AP on 11 April 2011 at 10.30 a.m.

Salamander Energy plc;

Released an update on operations in Block L15/50, onshore Northeast Thailand, and Block B8/38, Gulf of Thailand.

The Dao Ruang-2 appraisal well has reached a total vertical depth of 1,915 m sub-sea (TVDSS) The well penetrated a number of fracture zones associated with an increase in gas while drilling. The well also experienced a pressure kick at 1,840 m TVDSS caused by an influx of gas from a fracture zone. With strong gas shows at the current TD, the decision has been taken by the L15/50 partners to deepen the well by an additional 525 metres. Drilling will re-commence once the current logging programme has been completed. The deepening of the well will take approximately 8 days, at which point the partnership will decide on the optimal testing programme for the well. Salamander has a 50% interest in, and is operator of, Block L15/50. Due to technical problems with the Ocean Sovereign jack-up rig, the Group has temporarily suspended its B8/38 drilling programme while repairs are carried out on the rig. Drilling is expected to have re-commenced by 7th April and there is no rig cost to the Group during this repair time.

Hardy Oil & Gas;

Released their Preliminary Results for 2010. Hardy began 2010 with cash reserves of $30.5 million. Net cash generated from continuing operating activities (before changes in non cash working capital, tax paid, interest and investment income and finance costs) was $4.0 million. Cash used for investing amounted to $6.1 million in 2010 for the drilling of exploration wells on D3 and D9. An equity issue in December 2010 resulted in a net cash infusion of $9.5 million augmenting working capital. As a result, Hardy’s cash reserves at the end of 2010 were $36.5 million. The Company remains in a strong financial position and has no long-term debt. Hardy Oil &Gas Chairman Paul Mortimer was upbeat “During 2010, the Company accomplished a number of key objectives and realised a significant improvement in its financial performance.

Tullow Oil

Announced that after many months of discussions it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Uganda (GoU). The agreement satisfies the GoU’s taxation concerns and enables Tullow, CNOOC and Total to proceed with the basin-wide development with the full support and commitment of the GoU. The MoU is conditional upon the signing of Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) between Tullow, CNOOC and Total within 10 working days of signature of the MoU. Tullow expects that the SPAs will be signed within the specified period.

Mediterranean Oil & Gas;

Announced that the operator Eni has indicated that the field development plan for the Guendalina gas field continues to progress on schedule and “first gas” is expected to occur in September 2011. Installation of the jacket should be completed by the end of March, and a two well drilling campaign will commence shortly.

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11 Responses

  1. Investor123 says:

    Very informative and useful.
    Many thanks 🙂

  2. Chad13451 says:

    Top post BMD…thanks.

  3. rick says:

    Dan have you give up on mta? loads of rumors flying around about a sealed bit for an asset acquisition. …I think mta have have complained about this chaps blog from the lse forum as he has now been removed (inside information?)When do you expect flow rates?


    • Daniel says:

      Try reading the Matra website-it states they will update investors once they have info to update you with !

  4. Andy says:

    MTA are ready to fly

  5. Dust Ferret says:

    Took some profit from GKP today but keeping core holding.
    EO I believe will under deliver on Burgman, Rock hopper still hold, only medium amount but believe results will be on or over expectation.
    Moved into CAZA today as high risk but with good reward on Arran at these prices.

  6. hopeful says:

    Very informative post Dan. Thank you. With regard to Naurical, I see that the Karken well will be suspended as was the previous one. Do you think this has anything to do with the recent price drop? Were investors hoping for quicker production results? It seems that there was a sell off of major shareholders but I don’t understand why, as the future looks promising still.


  7. Peter Rogerson says:

    Hi Dan,

    Very informative and useful – keep up the good work.

    Any news or thoughts on president Petroleum would be most appreciated!

    Many thanks


  8. Anton Gully says:

    I am heavy into XEL and SOLG. Fingers crossed.

  9. Angela says:

    Dear Dan

    I’m thinking of abandoning the dream of mta, unfortunately I have a big loss and a little more patience
    thanks dan

  1. 18 March, 2011

    […] to raise approximately £45.6 million (before expenses). … … Read the original post: SmallCap Oil Gas & Miners round-up! 18/March 2011 … ← AZIMUTH RESOURCES LIMITED – AZH Completes $8m Placement/Appendix […]