WTI $63.46 +31c, Brent $66.94 +36c, Diff -$3.48 +5c, NG $2.66 +4c, UKNG 51.0p +0.3p

Oil price

Another modest up day for crude oil yesterday as economic stats in key markets were positive. In the US March retail sales were up 9.8%, impressive as it was on February and this made up 35% y/y, also unemployment also fell helping the mix. In China !q GDP growth was 18.3%, admittedly not the 19% some had forecast but hey, no need to split hairs eh?

Markets are looking at this and are still rising, something Larry Fink agrees will continue, in an interview I saw yesterday but the laggards are still huge, Brazil, India and most of Europe to name but a few are very slowly vaccinating.

President Energy

A drilling update this morning from President with regard to current operations in the Rio Negro Province, Argentina. The new gas well EV-1001 at the Estancia Vieja field, Rio Negro, Argentina has now been spudded ahead of schedule. Drilling time excluding completion of the well but including logging and casing is estimated to be 12 days with a target depth of 1,850 metres. The company say that ‘the well will twin the old well EVx-1 which was producing until a recent casing collapse’ which I must have missed but it is heartening to see that ‘with an estimated cost of US$1.8 million, President projects initial production of 60,000 m3/d (2.1 MMsft/d or circa 350 boepd)’.

The completion of LB-1002 continues as planned, with the well to be on stream by the end of the month. Petrophysical analysis of this well has shown an increase in net gas pay to 11 metres (36 feet), over 4 metres (14 feet) more than originally considered which is another piece of good news for PPC.

The workover of the well LB-1001 in the Las Bases field, Rio Negro has now been successfully completed. The intra-Loma Montosa interval was perforated and under test with the workover rig producing little or no water and free flowing gas production in excess of 61,000 m3/d of gas (2.1 MMsft/d or circa 350 boepd). Clean-up is expected to continue through the early production stages. Downhole pressure was good and there is scope to increase the choke size gradually to increase production but under careful monitoring to mitigate coning (water ingress). Again this is drilling success that the market continually seem to avoid one way or another but they certainly add value…

The rig has now moved off site and the well will be placed on stream by the end of this coming weekend. When a frac unit comes into the field for the LB-1002 well completion the opportunity may be taken to hydraulically stimulate this well at or around the first week of May. It is considered that production levels of 80,000 m3/d (2.8 MMsft/d or 470 boepd) can be achieved one way or another.

Peter Levine, Chairman, commented
“Progress continues
“Onwards and both upwards and downwards as the case may be”

Don’t you just love him…?

Helium One Global

HE1 has announced that it has raised £10m at 10p per share with institutional and other investors, including the directors. The Fundraise Shares being issued represent a substantial 20.0%. of the existing issued ordinary share capital of the Company. The Issue Price represents a chunky 14.5% discount to the closing mid-market price on AIM on 15 April 2021 and a 6.4 per cent. discount to the 15 day VWAP to that date suggesting another issue that had leaked. Having said that the shares have performed very strongly and the temptation to use that strength would have been impossible to resist.

Funds will be used to continue the fast-track development programme of the Company’s Rukwa project in Tanzania and proceeds will enable the Company to save significant time and costs by keeping drilling equipment in the field to carry out appraisal work immediately following intended exploration success which makes a lot of sense. Proceeds will also allow contracting of 3D seismic over any discovery, maximising resource to reserve conversion and allowing completion of the majority of the field appraisal programme before the end of 2021.

David Minchin, CEO of Helium One, commented:

“We are delighted to be able to continue the fast-track development of our Rukwa project in Tanzania. The response that we have seen during this oversubscribed fundraise endorses the confidence that we feel in our assets and planned exploration drilling campaign, as well as giving financial support necessary to contract all appraisal work to avoid downtime between any discovery and economic evaluation.
“The fundraise has seen broad support from a number of institutional and other investors, who support our aggressive exploration and appraisal strategy, as well as the quality and scale of our assets.
“Helium remains a vital resource, essential and irreplaceable, and which is a crucial component of growing next–generation technology focussed business. We believe our Rukwa Helium Project is well placed to become a strategic asset in supplying anticipated zero-carbon primary helium into this demand. Whilst we are fully funded for our three well exploration programme, this fundraise will enable us to aggressively carry out our appraisal drilling and 3D seismic programme immediately following any discovery.
“We look forward to welcoming our new shareholders on board at this exciting time for the Company as we prepare to commence our maiden drilling.”

This looks a very solid and sensible raise from HE1 who are involved in high risk but potentially very high reward drilling and are taking advantage of a good run in the shares to raise more moolah. Even Scirocco are pleased about this good progress given where the shares have come from and that they have been ‘super supportive’ with regard to the drilling campaign.

And finally…

Tomorrow is the funeral of Prince Philip and no sport in the UK will take place between 3-5pm.

Last night in the Boropa Cup Quarter finals the Red Devils beat Granada 2-0 on the night going through 4-0 on aggregate. The Gooners won impressively 0-4 making the tie 1-5. The semis see Man U take on Roma and the Gooners face Villarreal.

In the Prem, tonight the Toffees host Spurs, tomorrow sees the Magpies host the Hammers and the Blades go to Wolves. On Sunday the Gooners host the Cottagers and Burnley go to the Theatre of Dreams.

It is also the FA Cup semis, tomorrow Chelski play the Noisy Neighbours and on Sunday it’s the Foxes vs the Saints.

Also it is the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola, in practice today Bottas is fastest whilst Perez and Ocon have crashed into each other. Nikita Mazepin continued his form from Bahrain where he crashed out on the first lap having had 4 crashes in practice, today he has already crashed.

The Scottish Grand National at Ayr and the trials at Newbury are now on Sunday.