Aminex plc (LON:AEX) shares advanced around 14% on Wednesday afternoon after it revealed that it is in discussions with Eclipse Investments LLC regarding a possible farm-out of part of its interest in the Ntorya appraisal area in Tanzania.
In a statement, which the AIM-listed firm said was issued following recent inquiries, the group noted that Eclipse is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Zubair Corporation and is the company's largest shareholder.
It added that the Zubair Corporation is one of Oman's leading business groups. Aminex said any farm-out deal would be subject to Tanzanian Government, shareholder and certain other approvals, with no guarantee that a transaction will be completed. It said shareholders will be updated when appropriate.
Aminex currently holds 75% of the gas project where it is working to accelerate development.
Partner Solo Oil, which has the other 25% of Ntorya, also saw its shares strengthening.
Resource upgrade delivered important catalyst
In February, the company revealed a major upgrade to the gas resources at the Ntorya project as part of an independent competent persons report produced by RPS Energy.
It follows the Ntorya-2 appraisal well success and an assessment of well testing. The project’s gas-initially-in-place increased to 1.87 trillion cubic feet, which is 44% more than Aminex’s previous in-house estimates. Compared to the prior independent assessment, the new number represents a 12-fold increase.
Ntorya’s contingent gas resource has now risen to 762.8bn cubic feet of gas, comprising 80.6bn cubic feet of gas that’s described as pending development – to be addressed by the planned initial three well operation.
Two of the three wells have so far been drilled, and the third is due later this year. The gas would be connected to a gas plant located some 33 kilometres away.
Well programme unlocking Ntorya
“The RPS CPR significantly exceeds management estimates published following Ntorya-2 drilling and testing and also exceeds the company's subsequent upgrade which was reported to shareholders following in-house technical work,” Aminex said in a statement.
Additionally, the consultant assessed the currently producing single-well Kiliwani North gas field where it sees some 30.8bn cubic feet of gas initially in place - some 6.4bn cubic feet has been produced from the site to date, and RPS sees some 1.94bn cubic feet of proven and probable reserves.
RPS also sees 57bn cubic feet of gas initially in place for the Kiliwani South exploration lead.