Big Picture – A Deep Dive Examination of Echo Energy PLC
Echo Energy PLC Snapshot
The Echo team builds its businesses around three strategic Pillars : Portfolio, People and Partnerships
The Company believes in gas as the future for the sector - a transition fuel from dirty coal and oil. South and Central America presents a world class gas opportunity combining the subsurface hydrocarbon potential, strong regional demand and a period of significant underinvestment. The Company will now seek to build a portfolio which offers world class multi Tcf exploration potential.
Led by Chairman, James Parsons, Echo Energy is in the process of building a team with a balance of technical, subsurface, financial and commercial skills.
The Echo team is very well connected, including with some of the largest names in the sector and is explicitly working to introduce partners to its portfolio.
Echo Energy is a mid-cap Latin American exploration company in the making.
Echo, however, continues to hold interests in certain non-core assets across Egypt, Tunisia and Italy.
Significant value has not been attributed to these assets and the Company has announced it is therefore planning to exit these interests.
The Tunisian portfolio remains under review.
Echo has identified and is in discussions with various parties in relation to asset opportunities across multiple geographies in Latin America.
Specific asset details will be published following the announcement of the first of Echo’s strategic acquisitions.
Echo and Pluspetrol
Echo has a Joint Evaluation Agreement (JEA) with Pluspetrol, a privately held independent Oil & gas company to assess the subsurface plays, undertake various technical studies and agree an exploration work program for the field. As a part of that agreement, Echo plans to take an 80% operated position in the 75 square kilometre Huayco block, which lies within the Tarija Basin and is close to key regional gas pipeline infrastructure. That infrastructure connects the region to high value gas markets in Brazil and Argentina. The entire block benefits from 3D seismic coverage with an internal assessment indicating multi-Tcf gas potential.
Bolivia’s exploration and development activity began in the 1920’s. Activity increased in the 1970’s-90’s with several discoveries focusing on a shallow carboniferous and Upper Devonian play in the east of the basin where surface topography was less challenging. Since then, the focus has continued to shift westward to explore and develop the deeper exploration targets in the Lower Devonian. The play was proven with the discovery of San Alberto field in the early 1990’s and the Margarita field later that decade. These were substantial multi-Tcf discoveries.
The Sub-Andean fold and thrust belt in Southern Bolivia is a prolific gas producing region of South America. There have been more than 20 discoveries in the Tarija basin, (also known as the Santa Cruz basin) with a favourable exploration success rate.
The Sub-Andean province is characterized by a series of north-northeast trending structures forming the mountain ranges or foothills (‘serranias’), with wide valleys in between. To the east, in front of the foothills, is a plain (Chaco Plain) with much less deformation and topographic structure.
The rocks that form the hydrocarbon system in the Tarija basin were layed down on western margin of an ancient supercontinentthat geologists call Gondawana. The sandstone reservoir intervals, known as the Haumampampa and Santa Rosa were deposited in marine conditions when the sea level was low during a period geologists term the Lower Devonian. The source interval is the older Silurian Kirusillas shales formed under deep marine conditions that existed over a widespread area. The individual source rocks tend to have a fairly low organic content (in comparison to source rocks elsewhere). However, these source rocks are sufficiently thick to generate substantial volumes of hydrocarbons. The regional seal horizon known as Los Monos was deposited when the sea level was highest along the western margin of the supercontinent (a term geologists use as high stand).
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Echo, through a wholly owned subsidiary, holds a 100 per cent interest in the Ksar Hadada exploration permit covering an area of 2,252 square kilometres onshore south-east Tunisia.
The extension to this permit was granted in 2016 and its status as the operator of the permit was confirmed in August 2014.
Recent light oil discoveries in the Ordovician immediately to the south of the block have now validated the potential of the Ksar Hadada Ordovician prospects. Across the border in Libya very high oil production rates have been achieved on test from multiple Acacus wells, providing added attraction to the Acacus play on Ksar Hadada.
As a result of the extensive remapping work and new seismic acquisition undertaken by Independent Resources and its partners over the last few years, existing prospects have been better defined (Sidi Toui structure) within the Ksar Hadada permit area in the Ordovician Bir Ben Tartar quartzites.
Echo is undertaking a strategic review of its interests in Tunisia.
Echo has a stated agreement to avoid conflict of interest between Sound Energy plc and its officers which includes Echo exiting its Italian business and not having any future business in Morocco.The Company is therefore actively and formally exiting all legacy interests in Italy.
CEO of Sound Energy plc for last five years growing company from approx. GBP 30m to FTSE250 scale
Over 20 years in Oil & Gas strategy, general management, M&A and finance across Europe, South America and Central America 12 years with Royal Dutch Shell Specialist in restructuring, funding and growing small listed upstream companies; qualified accountant.
James lived six years in the region (Brazil and Caribbean) and speaks Portuguese.
Martin has over 18 years’ experience in oil & gas investment banking at Rothschild & Sons in London where he was a Managing Director in the global energy team with a focus on LatAM and Africa.
Previously he was Head of Oil & Gas, SE Asia, based out of Singapore. Martin has corporate finance expertise across the value chain with a particular focus on the upstream sector. He has advised on numerous transactions, including debt and equity, at both the corporate and asset level.
Martin holds a BA from Exeter University.
Chief Operating Officer
Geoff Probert brings over 30 years of operational experience with an upstream career incorporating senior and executive roles around the globe with Shell, BHP Billiton and most recently as North Africa Managing Director for Petroceltic.
Geoff is a recognised expert in exploration drilling, field appraisal, field development and field rehabilitation operations and brings with him a wealth of experience in asset monetisation.
Geoff has a degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters degree in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot Watt University.
Chief Financial Officer
A proven financier with extensive operational experience spanning more than 20 years in the upstream industry. Originally with a technical background Will has spent the majority of his career in commercial, financial and M&A roles and has significant experience in corporate acquisitions, setting up and growing small cap E&P companies. Will has an engineering degree from Warwick University and an MBA from Heriot Watt University.
Throughtout his career Will has worked deals across Latin America.
VP of Exploration
A geologist with over twenty years exploration experience across the region, including at BG where he spent time as Bolivian Exploration Manager and VP Exploration Brazil. Julian has a D.Phil from the University of Oxford and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management.
Non Executive Director
Fiona has over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Fiona, a Chartered Geologist, started her career with Mobil North Sea Limited in 1985 and has subsequently held senior roles in a number of leading oil and gas firms, including Amerada Hess and BG. She is European President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Founding Partner at Continental Investment Partners SA (Cornerstone Investor at Sound Energy Plc), and leading shareholder in Greenberry Plc, cornerstone shareholder in Echo Energy.
Previously a Group Partner at 3i; qualified accountant.
Chairman of Sound Energy Plc.
Over 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry.
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director for Exploration and Production at Galp Energia; Senior Vice President Commercial at BG Group. He previously spent a total of 14 years with Shell and six years with Clyde Petroleum.
Stephen was formerly Shell Country Chairman in Brazil and speaks Portuguese.
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