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Proactive news summary, including AFC Energy, Jupiter Energy, Bullabulling

Proactive news summary, including AFC Energy, Jupiter Energy, Bullabulling

AFC Energy (LON:AFC), the industrial fuel cell power company, has lent a pile of its equipment to the engineering department at Lancaster University to help with their research.

The academics at Lancaster University are conducting alkaline fuel cell research and, as per the agreement between the university and AFC signed in January, the AIM-listed company has lent some state-of-the-art material processing and catalyst characterisation equipment.

Fundamental research that will be undertaken using this equipment will help AFC to exploit its world-leading technology, the company said.

AFC’s technical director, Dr Gene Lewis, said delivery of the gear was the first step to creating a strong technical partnership with the university.

“The equipment we have loaned to Lancaster will enable them to work in tandem with the team at AFC and further develop these materials/processes to maximise the potential of our proprietary technology,” Dr Lewis said.

Sticking with companies dealing in new forms of energy, coal bed methane specialist IGas (LON:IGAS) is to raise US$165mln through a bond issue.

The bonds will carry a coupon of 10% and will be listed in Oslo.

The AIM quoted firm, which has production in the order of 3,000 barrels per day, says the purpose of the funding is to refinance existing debt and also for general corporate purposes.

IGas has a solid production base coming from conventional oil and gas operations, and it is one of the early movers in Britain’s unconventional hydrocarbons industry.

It has an extensive coal bed methane portfolio, and it is one of just a few companies with a proven shale gas discovery in the UK.

This discovery in Cheshire, found within the Bowland shale play, has been a focus for investors in recent weeks following the British government’s decision to allow fracking - a controversial technique that is essential to the exploitation of shale hydrocarbons.

Also hitting the cash-raising trail were Bullabulling Gold and Nighthawk Energy.

Bullabulling Gold (LON:BGL AUS:BBB) is to raise up to £5.3mln though an equity issue to complete the definitive feasibility study (DFS) at its flagship project in Western Australia.

Bullabulling published a pre-feasibility study in February based on a 7.5mln tonne per annum open pit mining operation to produce approximately 2mln ounces of gold over an initial mine life of ten years.

The initial phase of the DFS will focus on re-optimisation of the project to evaluate potential improvements identified during review of the pre-feasibility study results.

Nighthawk Energy (LON:HAWK) has set up a US$5mln short term loan and told investors it will drill two new wells on the Smoky Hills project in the second quarter of 2013.

The wells will follow up the Steamboat Hansen discovery.

It said the Steamboat Hansen discovery well, which currently produces just over 200 barrels of oil a day, had now yielded 22,000 barrels of oil between late November and February 28.

The short term loan, via Nighthawk’s largest shareholder Johan Claesson, will cost 15% interest per year and will run until the end of May next year; it also pays the lender a 10% profit share in up to four new wells at Smoky Hills.

On the results front, Jupiter Energy (LON:JPRL) and Medgenics (LON:MEDG) were focused on what lies ahead, rather than on the rear view mirror.

Both are early stage companies, currently making losses, but with promising futures.

Jupiter reported a US$2.7mln consolidated loss for the second half of 2012, which increased from US$2mln the corresponding period of last year.

It had cash of US$3.9mln at the end of December and it had assets of US$56.4mln.

Jupiter says that in the coming weeks it expects to release an updated competent person's report (CPR) reassessing the company’s reserves and resources.

“The drilling results continue to confirm the prospectivity of the Block 31 permit and it is expected that the CPR will provide an independent confirmation of the current reserve base,” the company said.

“Whilst the delays in some of the well testing operations have been frustrating, the goal of developing Jupiter Energy into a full cycle E&P company with a meaningful production profile and sizeable 2P reserves base remains on track.”

Medgenics’ loss in 2012 widened to US$15.1mln from US$8.1mln, as the company ramped up development work on its two lead products, Epodure and Infradure.

“Our goals for the balance of 2013 will be to continue to advance the clinical development of EPODURE and INFRADURE in Israel and the US, to expand our leadership with experienced industry executives, to optimise our manufacturing process, to pursue potential partnership and licensing opportunities and to explore potential new indications for our Biopump autologous tissue technology,” declared Medgenics’ chief executive. Dr Andrew Pearlman, as the company issued results for 2012.

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