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Eland Oil & Gas boosts loan facility as value of OML40 field soars

OML 40’s gross reserves in the most certain or 1P category are 42.9mln barrels
OML 40 came on stream at the end of 2017

A big upgrade to the value of its reserves at the OML 40 field in Nigeria has enabled Eland Oil & Gas PLC (LON:ELA) to increase its loan facility.

The new estimate from Netherland Sewell (NSAI) put OML 40’s gross reserves at 42.9mln barrels in the most certain or 1P category.

That is an 8% increase over a year ago even though 6.5mln barrels was pumped out in 2018.

READ: Eland Oil & Gas hits the production accelerator in Nigeria

By value, Eland’s entitlement soared by 68% to US$474mln due to a much higher oil price,  a lower tax rate than expected for the next five years and the utilisation of start-up losses at its joint venture Elcrest.

OML 40’s 2P resources were valued at US$569mln.

Increases at the 40%-owned Ubima field, also on the Niger Delta, were even more eye-catching albeit from a lower base.

Proven or IP reserves at Ubima rose 634% to 6.2mln barrels, while Eland’s attributable value jumped 673% to US$17.2mln.

The proven plus probable 2P estimate rose 285% to 9.3mln barrels with a value of US$31.4mln, up 200%.

Aggregated across both licences, the 1P and 2P Reserves Replacement Ratios were 233% and 188% respectively.

188% reserves replacement

Eland set up a new five-year US$75mln reserve-based (RBL) facility in November that included an accordion for up to a further US$200mln based on incremental production and reserves.

Because of the increased reserves, the borrowing base has risen from US$103mln to US $134mln and the loan facility has risen to US$125mln from US$75mln.

George Maxwell, chief executive described the 2P Reserves Replacement Ratio of 188% as ‘very satisfying' adding there is more to come.

“We will be drilling our first near field exploration well on the [OML 40] licence later this year with the Amobe prospect, followed next year by appraisal drilling on Abiala.

“These two wells have the potential to more than double the licence's current 2P reserves base.

At Ubima, I look forward to the initial phase of development for this field in 2019 following the fourfold increase in reserves estimates.

“I am delighted that the CPRs ascribes a value for Eland's share of 2P reserves in OML 40 and Ubima of approximately $600 million, suggesting there is still material potential upside within the Company".

Shares were unchanged at 122p.

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