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Oil & Gas highlights:Northern Petroleum, San Leon, Genel..

Deal making was a highlight for some oil and gas juniors this week.
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Petroceltic and Empyrean Energy were in focus.

A surge in Petroceltic’s (LON:PCI) share price indicates some optimism over its current debt conundrum.

Worldview Capital, Petroceltic’s largest shareholder with 29.6%, this morning announced it was preparing a possible all cash offer for the oil and gas firm. The AIM company kicked off a strategic review in December, and said it would consider asset sales or the sale of the entire company.

Investors in Empyrean Energy (LON:EME) were celebrating as the AIM oiler agreed to sell its 3% stake in Marathon Oil’s operations at the Sugarloaf project for an upfront US$61.5mln. And, the junior oil share raced some 45% higher.

It means Empyrean will be cashed up, with about US$30mln left after debts and liabilities are cleared, and management intend to look for opportunities in the currently destressed marketplace.

Northern Petroleum (LON:NOP) has completed the acquisition of producing oil and gas assets onshore Canada.

The deal means group production now stands at around 200 barrels of oil equivalent per day, comprising around 80 barrels of oil. Proved and probable reserves now stand at 1.5mln boe, of which 0.9mln are in the proved category.

A new work programme has now begun in Canada. It aims to double production volumes. Work is focussing on the repair and replacement of equipment, and no drilling capital is necessary.

San Leon Energy (LON:SLE) has told investors it is no longer in an ‘offer period’. The company flagged in August that it had received an approach from a possible offeror which may or may not lead to an offer being made.

Genel Energy (LON:GENL) boss Murat Özgül says the Kurdistan based oil firm is well positioned to weather the downturn and thrive when the oil cycle turns.

In a statement, ahead of the company’s full year results, the chief executive highlighted that its operations have low production costs (below US$2 per barrel), and moreover pointed to its robust cash position and low capital commitments.

Genel’s share of production from the Tawke and Taq Taq fields averaged 75,900 barrels of oil per day in the fourth quarter. For the year Genel averaged 84,900 barrels per day, which is up 22% on 2014 and compares to guidance of 85,000 to 90,000 bopd for 2015. The company highlighted that it ended 2015 with some US$455mln of cash.

Cameroon-based gas supplier Victoria Oil & Gas (LON:VOG) saw volumes jump by three-quarters in its latest quarter as supply deals with local businesses and power group ENEO ramped up. Victoria said there had been a minimal impact from weak oil prices on gas tariffs or customers changing back to oil.

Faroe Petroleum (LON:FPM) has added six exploration licences offshore Norway via the country’s 2015 APA (Awards in Pre-defined Areas) licence round. Chief executive Graham Stewart said the company had been “very successful” in its application strategy.

“Significantly, we have further consolidated our position in core areas of the Norwegian continental shelf in which we have enjoyed recent exploration success, enhancing our acreage positions near and around the greater Njord Areas and the Butch development project,” Stewart said.

Providence Resources (LON:PVR) is to receive new 3D seismic data for its Newgrange exploration project, off Ireland’s west coast. Searcher Seismic is conducting a large new multi-client 3D programme, scheduled for this summer, covering the southern Porcupine & Goban Spur Basins.

A portion of the programme will cover Providence’s Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 6/14, including the Newgrange prospect, and the AIM quoted oil company has licensed a total of 1,200 square kilometres of the data.

88 Energy (LON:88E) boss Dave Wall has told investors that early observations and tests on the shale discovery in the Project Icewine well are very positive. The company, in a technical update, has said that ongoing leaching tests have shown oil and condensate coming from core taken from the HRZ shale in the well.

Other testing, via mass spectrometry analysis of mud gas, confirmed the presence of liquids rich gas throughout the shale interval.

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