Proactive weekly oil and gas highlights: Eco Atlantic, Block Energy, Lekoil, Cadogan Petroleum, AAOG, i3 Energy, Mosman Oil & Gas, Solo Oil, Hurricane Energy

It was another busy week in the junior oil and gas sector.

oil and gas operations
Eco has started on an exciting new well offshore Guyana

Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:ECO) (CVE:EOG) has told investors that drilling has now started on the Jethro-Lobe prospect within the Orinduik Block.

The explorer, which owns a 15% stake in the project, said the Orinduik partners estimate the well will take up to 40 days to drill.

Jethro-Lobe will be the first of two wells in the envisaged exploration programme, and the second will follow immediately afterwards to test the Joe prospect. Eco highlighted that it is fully funded for its share of up to six potential exploration or development wells on the Orinduik Block.

Pre-spud Jethro Lobe is estimated to have 214.5mln barrels of prospective resources, it is estimated to have a 43.2% chance of success.

Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE)

Block has negotiated a substantial oil storage leasing agreement that will enable it to re-start production from its West Rustavi field in Georgia.

Paul Haywood, Block’s chief executive officer, said the agreement gives it access to 90,000 barrels of storage capacity just 30km away at state oil group GOGC's main facility near Sartichala. “We can now allow well 16aZ to flow to its full potential, opening the prospect of excellent netbacks of US$36/bbl at US$65/bbl Brent and US$3.40/MCF for gas.”

Well 16aZ flowed at more than 1,100 barrels per day during testing but has been reined back subsequently.

Lekoil Limited (LON:LEK)

Lekoil’s joint venture with investment vehicle Green Energy International signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the development of the Otakikpo project in Nigeria.

The West Africa-focused oiler said the MOU had been signed with Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), the world’s largest oilfield services company, and another firm identified as the subsidiary of a “major international oil company” which has operated in Nigeria for over 50 years.

The MOU covers a comprehensive infrastructure sharing and drilling programme around a group of marginal field assets at Otakikpo, with the phased development plan consisting of five new wells to be drilled at the project, expanded processing infrastructure and the construction of an export pipeline.

Lekoil said its JV would partake in field development costs while project and asset management costs would be shared between the JV and the owners and operators of other fields participating in the project.

Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD)

The company filed an application for a 20-year production licence in the Monastyretska exploration area in Ukraine. The production license, called the Blazhiv field, was filed with the State Geological Services of Ukraine nearly five months before the current exploration license expires in November.

"This is an important step towards stabilising the future of our company in Ukraine," said chief executive Guido Michelotti.

Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG)

AAOG drummed up £8.25mln of funding from existing and new investors as it looks to extend a well at its Tilapia project in the Republic of Congo into a “potentially prolific” deeper layer.

Existing institutional investors have agreed to buy 52.3mln shares at a price of 5.2p apiece in a £2.7mln placing and the European High Growth Opportunities Securitization has pledged another £5.5mln at the same price.

The new cash will provide the AIM-listed company with the funds required to re-enter the TLP-103C well at Tilapia with a view to producing oil from the Djeno interval, as part of a revised operational plan for the field based on recent technical analysis of the well data.

The same interval at the adjacent Minsala field produces at a rate of 5,000 barrels of oil per day.

i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E)

The North Sea firm awarded Baker Hughes GE, one of the world’s largest oilfield services companies, contracts worth £3mln to carry out drilling at its Liberator and Serenity assets in the North Sea.

BHGE will supply oilfield services and equipment for i3’s summer drilling programme for its Liberator and Serenity prospects in the outer Moray Firth. It has also been appointed to carry out the Phase I development of Liberator in 2020.

BHGE's scope will include directional drilling, drilling fluids, mudlogging, formation evaluation operations and wellheads. The cost of the contracts is £3mln, but BHGE has agreed to defer payment until i3 has received its first sales revenues from Liberator Phase I.

Mosman Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:MSMN)

It has parted ways with the first oil field it operated in the USA as it is no longer deemed a material asset.

The AIM-listed producer, which owns stakes in a number of larger projects in the US and Australia, sold the 50% stake in the Strawn production facilities and lease for US$75,000 (AU$108,500) to Eagle Natural Resources LLC.

Looking back, chairman John Barr said: “Strawn was a small but important step towards the team implementing Mosman's business plan, as it established Mosman as an operator in USA and gave valuable experience in operating mature oil fields. This led to the acquisition and operatorship of Welch, which has more development potential."

Strawn was acquired in spring 2017 for US$75,000 (approximately AU$108,500) and in the six months to 31 December contributed a net loss of just over AU$7,000.


The company plans to step up efforts to divest its 25% stake in the Ruvuma licence in Tanzania.

Following the recent upgrade to Ntorya (a prospect on Ruvuma) by operator Aminex, Solo’s net share of resources at the licence has risen to more than 190 bcf (billion cubic feet) most likely gas - over 30mln barrels of oil equivalent. A new well at Ruvuma, Chikumbi-1 well, is scheduled to be drilled in the first half of 2020.

Solo noted that its shares are currently trading at approximately a 50% discount to net asset value, a gap the board says it wants to close over the coming year. Aminex has aggreed a farm-out deal for most of its stake in Ruvuma to Omani group Zubair.

Europa Oil & Gas Holdings Plc (LON:EOG)

has revealed it is close to being awarded an offshore exploration permit on the Atlantic Margin of Morocco.

In a letter to shareholders, the firm said a bank guarantee is the final requirement and once this is in place it will sign the agreements with ONHYM (The National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines) in Rabat.

Europa pointed out that it was recently invited by ONHYM to join a panel discussion on Morocco at a recent industry conference, underlining its credentials in the country.

Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR)

The high profile oiler revealed it is to move onto the next well in its drill programme after deciding to plug and abandon the Warwick Deep well, located off the west coast of the Shetland Islands.

The well was drilled to almost 2km below the sea floor, and despite initial encouraging signs, it did not flow at commercial rates, instead producing a mixture of drilling brine, water, oil and gas.

The drill rig will now be moved to the Lincoln Crestal well – the second well of a three-well programme on the Greater Warwick Area, in which Hurricane has a 50% interest following Spirit Energy’s farm-in last September.

 “It is disappointing that the Warwick Deep well did not flow at commercial rates,” said chief executive Robert Trice. “We were initially encouraged by hydrocarbon shows and gas ratio analysis indicative of light oil, however drill stem testing has clearly demonstrated that Warwick Deep cannot be considered suitable as a future production well and therefore the well will be plugged and abandoned.”

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