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Aminex nearly triples estimate for Ntorya gas resources

The needle moves to 1.3 trillion cubic feet, up from a prior estimate of 466 billion cubic feet.
onshore drilling operation
A field development plan for Ntorya is now imminent

Aminex plc (LON:AEX) shares were up more than 10% on Monday thanks to a major upgrade to the company’s own estimates for the Ntorya gas discovery, in Tanzania, where it now sees nearly three times more gas.

The company has told investors that its new estimate sees some 1.3tln cubic feet of gas initially in place, up from prior estimates of 466bn cubic feet.

WATCH: Solo Oil boss delighted with estimated Ntorya gas resources boost

This major upgrade comes amid ongoing analysis of the results from the company’s recent and successful Ntorya-2 appraisal well, in addition to findings of a re-evaluation of existing 3D seismic data.

Perhaps significantly, Aminex highlighted that the upgraded 1.3 TCF estimate still only covers the Ntorya appraisal area and does not account for any of the resource potential in the surrounding exploration acreage.

Exploration aside, the company is presently working with consultant Baker Hughes to put together a commercialisation plan for the Ntorya resource.

The plan, along with an associated development plan for the Tanzania authorities, is expected to be ready in the near future – the company said ‘early September’.

"The updated modelling, mapping and corresponding resource numbers continue to confirm that the Ruvuma Basin is of significant importance to Tanzania and the company,” said Jay Bhattacherjee, Aminex chief executive.

“We continue to work directly with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation to create an optimal development plan so as to begin gas production from the licence as quickly as possible."

Aminex owns 75% of Ntorya, alongside AIM-quoted partner Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) which has the other 25%.

Remapped Ntorya reveals a lot more gas

Aaron LeBlanc, Aminex chief operating officer, in a Proactive Investors Stocktube interview, highlighted that the latest numbers represent a nine-fold increase on the past 2015 resources estimates.

He explained that Aminex has remapped the model for Ntorya, and, as a result the team no longer sees the reservoir as being broken up and separate, instead he said the new mapping is contiguous.

“We’ve identified something that looks like a basin floor fan system. It looks, geologically realistic and is much bigger in size. So, we have eighty square kilometres that we’ve identified on this fan, compared to approximately fifty square kilometres in the previous mapping work,” LeBlanc said.

He added: “We’re very excited about it. [There’s] a lot of potential here.

“There are a lot of announcements and a lot of resources out in the market right now, but, most of those are unconventional reservoirs – meaning they need horizontal wells, you need a lot of horizontal wells, and fracking or some kind of stimulisation to get these reservoirs to flow.

“If you look at this [Ntorya], it is a conventional reservoir. We can drill this with vertical wells, much fewer than you would in an unconventional reservoir, technically it is much easier to drill and we can flow those reservoirs.”

“So, if you look at our mapped fan … we can probably put - in a success case – five to sixteen wells into that reservoir.”

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