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Proactive weekly oil and gas highlights: 88 Energy, United Oil & Gas, Sound Energy, Victoria Oil & Gas ...

Well updates and takeover talk provided some of the week's biggest stories.

oil and gas operations
It was another buys week

What’s going on with 88 Energy Ltd’s (LON:88E) exploration well in Alaska? That’s likely the question on the lips of many oil company investors at the end of this last week.

Seven days ago sentiments around the Winx-1 well were sour, after inconclusive initial results from one part of the well’s primary target, the Nanushuk formation.

Subsequent well updates this week revealed that oil shows were observed in additional zones, including the Nanuskuk, and, the explorer expressed its new encouragement whilst acknowledging that more detailed results and analysis will be needed.

On AIM, 88 Energy and exploration partner Red Emperor Resources both experienced whip-saw trading in their respective shares, and, speculators now await further news.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG)

United and its exploration partners similarly saw share price volatility as its well results were on Friday revealed. It confirmed that the sidetrack in the Colter well has been completed, after encountering the appraisal target.

The sidetrack encountered oil and gas shows in the targeted zone, though it was found deeper than expected and initial analysis suggests it is smaller than previously estimated.

There are still meaningful positives to take from the well, however, with the previously announced ‘bonus’ Colter South discovery which is thought to contain some 15mln barrels of oil.

Additionally, United noted that oil and gas shows encountered in shallower Jurassic intervals which mirror the producing nearby Kimmeridge oil field and that gives encouragement for the prospectivity of the adjoining onshore licences.

United told investors that the next phase of evaluation will support a forward work programme and look at options for commercialisation.

Independent Oil & Gas PLC (LON:IOG)

Takeover talk is what moved IOG as its shares shot up more than 30% after the North Sea firm revealed it is in the takeover crosshairs of London-listed peer RockRose Energy PLC (LON:RRE) which has made a cash offer.

RockRose on 1 March offered 20p per share, valuing IOG at £26.6mln, which represents a 51% premium to the closing price prior to the offer.

It was, however, rejected by IOG’s board which also expressed an intention to continue endeavours to find a strategic partner to fund and develop its assets. Appealing to IOG shareholders, RockRose said its offer is compelling as it would allow IOG shareholders to realise an immediate cash upside.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC)

DGOC revealed it has agreed a new fifteen year agreement with the authorities in Pennsylvania which defines the company’s asset retirement obligations in the state.

The company operates some 23,000 wells in Pennsylvania, which represents around 40% of the group current well portfolio.

Under the new agreement it is envisaged that DGOC will plug at least 20 wells every year. A further 30 non-producing wells will either be returned to production or will also be plugged. If in any year DGOC plugs more than the quota of 50 wells then the excess will be carried forward against future obligations.

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU)

Sound told investors that it has continued positive discussions with the Moroccan authorities over a gas sales agreement that would unlock the Tendrara project for production.

The explorer, in a statement, revealed that Morocco's Office National de l'Electricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE) and the Moroccan Minister of Energy have confirmed the intention that, once agreed, the GSA will cover all of the gas to be produced from the recently awarded Tendrara production concession.

It described the pending GSA as “a critical next step” required to bring the field development project to a final investment decision.

Victoria Oil & Gas PLC (LON:VOG)

VOG revealed that executive chairman Kevin Foo is signing off his tenure at the head of the company with a £12.6mln equity-based funding that promises a “new beginning” for the Cameroon gas firm.

Foo will retire as a director and executive chairman upon completion of the fundraising.

Under his stewardship, VOG has grown from an early stage explorer to become an integrated gas producer and distributor in the Duala region of Cameroon. More recently, the company exited a tough period following a new agreement to restart supply to a key customer.

Located in a region with rising gas demand the company seeks to scale up its capacity and expand its operational footprint. These ambitions will now be supported with an injection of funds and an injection of new management.

On Thursday, VOG confirmed the result of its equity raise, with the company successfully selling 59.35mln new shares priced at 13p each.

The placing was oversubscribed, VOG highlighted, with new and existing investors taking up shares.

i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E)

On Thursday, it responded to speculation about a possible fund-raising by saying it is considering many viable funding options.

The company said it has been and remains focused on securing the best funding package for its shareholders to bring its wholly-owned Liberator field into production and to unlock what it believes to be material upside within its asset base.

The independent energy company noted that one of the conditions of its recently announced junior loan package is a commitment to stump up at least £16mln of capital, which the company could either effect through the issue of new shares to investors or by raising cash through a farm-out; talks on a farm-out are currently in progress.

“In order to assess each viable funding configuration, the company has for some time been and continues to be in ongoing discussions that span its entire asset base and capital structure, including the potential farm-out of its licences, the placement of junior debt, senior debt and equity,” it stated.

Block Energy Plc (LON:BLOE)

The company revealed a significant increase in production rate at Norio wells 44 and 27.

The company said that the improvement is “moving the combined current production rate at the Norio and Satskhenisi fields towards 60 barrels of oil per day.” Additionally, the company noted that preparations are underway for the Norio field’s well 39 which will target a production rate of 10 barrels of oil per day.

The results support Block’s intention to start workover operations at the currently producing Norio well 31.

Mosman Oil And Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN)

Mosman told investors that the Stanley-1 well will be opened up in the Spara reservoir.

Stanley-1 was brought into production last year, and, it was recently reported that it had produced 6,071 barrels oil equivalent gross between September 2018 and 31 December 2018. It is expected that the Sparta reservoir will need a straightforward re-completion at a shallower depth.

The company, meanwhile, is preparing to drill the Stanley-2 well and it confirmed site works are complete, though operations remain delayed by the weather. No spud date can currently be predicted, Mosman said, following extended and substantial rainfall last week.

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