Proactive weekly oil and gas highlights: 88 Energy, Harbour, Zephyr, Westmount, Touchstone Explorati

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88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E, ASX:88E) investors are counting down to the next well results from the Merlin-1 exploration well.

This week it confirmed wireline logging operations are now underway and the hotly anticipated ‘preliminary’ results are expected over the weekend, it said.

This morning the company also confirmed the remaining conditions to its acquisition of the Umiat oil field, also in Alaska, are now complete – following cement work to plug and abandon two historic wells on the site.

88 Energy said further remedial site work will be finalised in the near-term. Umiat is located close to the Project Peregrine acreage, which contains Merlin. It was discovered in 1945 and saw eleven wells drilled by 1953.

Harbour Energy Plc (LON:HBR) – Premier Oil’s port in the storm – began trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Harbour is a combination of Premier and private-equity backed Chrysaor to create ‘the largest UK listed independent oil and gas company’. It is a producer with a portfolio comprising some 200,000 barrels oil equivalent per day from operations in the North Sea and South East Asia.

The company boasts a new management, a strong and flexible balance sheet giving it the potential for further growth.

For 2021, Harbour is guiding for 200,000 to 215,000 boepd of production with operating costs averaging less than US$15 per barrel, free cash flow breakeven is stated at US$30 to US$35 per barrel.

Zephyr Energy PLC (LON:ZPHR) completed the acquisition of non-operated working interests in producing and near-term production wells in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, US.

The deal, first announced earlier this week, transforms the company into a producer and provides it with a source of cash flow, with first payments to Zephyr expected before the end of April. Presently, production comes from one well and in today’s statement Zephyr highlighted that completion of four wells drilled last year is expected in May.

The acquisition was supported by a £10mln equity fundraise, which included the issue of 500mln new shares to institutional investors, family offices, Zephyr board members and other investors. The new shares were priced at 2p each, marking a 2.5% discount to last Friday’s closing share price.

Westmount Energy Ltd (LON:WTE, OTCQB:WMELF) announced the final repayment against convertible unsecured loan notes, which became due on March 31 2021. The final payment amounted to £456,547.94 comprising 400,000 residual principal and £56,547.94 of accrued interest.

All loan notes issued in October 2018 have been repaid and the company is now debt-free, Westmount highlighted in a statement. The company said it had £1.3mln of cash following the repayment.

Shares in Advance Energy PLC (LON:ADV) resumed trading on Thursday as it advances a reverse takeover to acquire an interest in the Buffalo oil field in Timor-Leste, southeast Asia. It was previously suspended in December as the deal was initially announced and today the company notes the publishing of an admission document for the enlarged company.

The company is acquiring a 50% interest in Carnarvon Petroleum Timor Unipessoal Lda, a subsidiary of ASX-listed Carnarvon Petroleum, which owns 100% of the Buffalo field. At the same time, it is raising £21.84mln of new capital in a share placing.

Buffalo is host to 34.3mln barrels of contingent oil resources and under previous operators (BHP and Nexen Petroleum) it produced some 21mln barrels over a five-year period.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP, TSX:TXP) provided an update on exploration at the Ortoire block, onshore Trinidad and Tobago.

It completed and tested the third interval at Chinook-1 encountering 35-degree API gravity crude oil – a light crude – and said further evaluation is required to determine commerciality. Chinook-1 will be placed on pump for an extended production test to evaluate the reservoir and guide future development. All three Herrera thrust sheets in Chinook-1 encountered light oil indicating the structure is predominantly oil charged.

The Cameroon authorities are supporting Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) company’s plans for the Thali license and it is working with its contractors to organise a schedule for the NJOM-3 well.

The licence has been under force majeure since March 2020 amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic though today the company said the Government of the Republic of Cameroon has now notified the company it will provide an extension of the licence’s first exploration period. Logistics necessary for a drill programme remain challenging, Tower said, but the company intends to deliver the NJOM-3 well safely in the present circumstances.

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) expects the first phase of evaluation at the WNB-1Z well at the West Newton project will get underway in April. The company, in a stock market statement, said it received a draft environmental agency permit for the completion, clean-up and extended test of the well.

The first phase of evaluation will include a cased hole logging programme and vertical seismic profiling. This is expected to take two weeks to carry-out, after which the findings will inform the completion and testing operations. Additionally, the company added data from the testing programme will feed into a new competent-persons report to assess the project.

Deltic Energy PLC and Shell UK Ltd decided to drill the high impact Pensacola prospect on Licence P2252 in the UK Southern North Sea. Shell and Deltic have subsequently confirmed to The Oil and Gas Authority the contingent well commitment is now firm.

The drilling of this key well on Pensacola has the potential to be transformational for Deltic and is a vital step in evaluating the highly prospective Zechstein reef play which in turn has the potential to revitalise exploration in the Southern North Sea.

Following re-interpretation of the new 3D seismic data acquired over the prospect, Deltic estimates the Pensacola prospect contains gross P50 prospective resources of 309 billion cubic feet of gas, which will rank Pensacola as one of the highest impact exploration targets to be drilled in the gas basin in recent years.

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