WTI (Apr) $66.74 -$1.61, Brent (May) -$72.97, Diff -$6.20 15c. 

USNG (Apr) $2.33 -18c, UKNG (Apr) 103.5p -5.69p, TTF (Apr) €40.25 -€4.35.

Oil price 

A bad week as the banks were awash with grief which rubbed off on the whole market and whilst most of us knew that CS was a basket case before yesterday, when the directors of UBS elected to put the fellow bank out of its misery. A bank which only recently had a value of some $8bn, was sold for $3.2bn and UBS nicked a heap loan of $108bn to ensure no one lost out…Oh and yes, the Swissies say it’s not a bail-out.

Markets now await the Fed and its Loser-in-Chief who dont know whether to stick, twist or do nothing on rates…and oil fell nearly 10 bucks last week as a result of Captain Cock-up and the other US banks in the waiting room.

Zephyr Energy

Zephyr has provided an update on operations on the State 36-2 LNW-CC well  at the Company’s flagship project in the Paradox Basin, Utah, U.S.  

Commencement of State 36-2 well production test 

On 8 March 2023 the Company announced, amongst other matters, that planning for the State 36-2 well production test had completed and that all services for the test have been procured.

The Company is pleased to announce that a Zephyr-contracted service rig has now been mobilised to the well-site and operations on the ground have commenced. This has been achieved in spite of the difficult winter weather conditions recently encountered in Utah.  

Workover operations (which will include perforating the well in the productive portion of the Cane Creek reservoir) and subsequent production testing are estimated to take four to six weeks, with the ultimate timeline dependent upon field conditions.

As the well is expected to flow from natural fractures, no hydraulic stimulation is expected at this time. The production testing is therefore expected to be completed quicker than the equivalent testing on the Company’s hydraulically stimulated State 16-2 LN-CC well (as there are no significant completion fluids to flow back during well clean-up operations).

The production test will be paid for from the Company’s existing cash resources.

Colin Harrington, Zephyr’s Chief Executive, said:

“I am pleased to announce our continued progress on the State 36-2 well, especially in light of the challenging weather conditions, and I want to thank our operations team for continuing to move the project forward in a safe and effective manner. 

“We look forward to the results of the production test, which we expect will provide critical information to help us determine the optimal development programme for the Paradox project. 

“We look forward to updating Shareholders once the test has been completed.”

Completion of planning for the State 36-2 well production test has occurred and now that all services for the test have been procured and that operations on the ground have commenced, despite awful weather conditions, is good news for investors. 

There is little to add just now, operations are expected to take four to six weeks, again somewhat dependent on the infamous Utah weather, and with no fraccing will be shorter than the previous well. 

Wentworth Resources

Operational and Corporate Update

Wentworth has provided an operational and corporate update.

Operational Highlights and Outlook

·    As of 12 March 2023, the Mnazi Bay operation has reported zero lost time incidents for a period of 2,413 days (six years and 222 days)

·    In 2022, the Mnazi Bay gas field attained record production levels, reaching an average gross daily rate of 90 MMscf/d, the highest annualised average daily production rate in the licence’s history

·    Current year to date daily average production is c.95.0 MMscf/day (gross), compared with 98.1 MMscf/day (gross) for the same period in 2022

·    Q1 2023 average daily production is projected to reach approximately 98.0 MMscf/day (Q1 2022: 98.5 MMscf/d)

·    Production guidance for 2023 is in the range of 85-95 MMscf/d, to take account of conditions at the Madimba gas facility and national rainfall levels which affect hydroelectric generation

·    Based on the recent perforation programme, there are indications of additional gas production volumes; the results will be reported upon testing completion and analysis of the results

·    The Mnazi Bay Joint Venture Partners have identified a number of leads on the Mnazi Bay licence and are evaluating the prospects as potential drilling targets

·    The Company anticipates ongoing growth and development in the Tanzanian market supported by Mnazi Bay gas production

Financial

·    Debt free with cash on hand of $32.3 million

·    TPDC receivable of $4.9 million representing two months of gas sales

·    Tanzania Electric Supply Company  receivable of $764k representing five months of gas sales

Corporate

·    On 5 December 2022, the boards of Wentworth and M&P announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all cash offer by M&P for the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of Wentworth

·    On 23 February 2023, the Company announced that shareholders had approved the Acquisition at the Court Meeting and the General Meeting held on that date

·    The Acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the other Conditions to the Acquisition as set out in Part III of the scheme document posted to shareholders in connection with the Acquisition on 25 January 2023 ( and the Company expects completion in Q2 or Q3 2023

Sustainability

·    An effective ESG strategy remains a top priority for Wentworth.  In 2022, the Company progressed its disclosure against some of its most material topics; detail will be included in the 2022 Sustainability Report

·    As announced previously, Wentworth is in discussion with Vitol to develop a carbon offsetting project in Tanzania involving the distribution of clean stoves and water filters.  Following the issuance of regulation in late 2022 to manage and control carbon trading in Tanzania, consultation with the Department for Environment and Climate Change is underway to establish the project

Katherine Roe, CEO, commented:

“I am pleased to report that we continue to deliver strong production following a record year in 2022, ensuring a sustained, dependable supply of natural gas which supports growth in Tanzania. I am also especially proud of our distinguished safety record – a metric of paramount importance for the Company.

“I want to thank the entire Wentworth team for their work which has created significant value for shareholders over recent years. Particularly, as we work towards realising this value in the near term through the completion of Wentworth’s acquisition by M&P, the operator and majority owner of our sole asset, Mnazi Bay. We believe this logical combination is in the best interests of our shareholders, wider stakeholders and of Tanzania.

“We continue to work with our in-country stakeholders to assist M&P in achieving the required regulatory approvals.”

Nothing to see here as  Mnazi Bay carries on delivering whilst the M&P acquisition meanders towards completion. I agree that this ‘logical combination’ is indeed in the best interests of shareholders.

Egdon Resources

Ahead of the release of the Company’s interim results on 24 April 2023, Egdon is pleased to provide a summary trading update in relation to the six months period ending 31 January 2023.

·      Production for the Interim Period was up by 27% to 46,465 barrels of oil equivalent equating to a rate of 253 boe per day, ahead of full-year guidance of 225-245 boepd (H1 2022: 36,714 boe and 200 boepd)

·      Unaudited revenue for the Interim Period was up 46% to £3.725 million (H1 2022: £2.551 million)

·      As at 31 January 2023 the Company had cash and cash equivalents of £5.524 million (H1 2022: 2.084 million) and net current assets of £7.334 million (H1 2022: 1.165 million)

The Company is continuing to make good progress across its conventional assets and particularly in relation to the near-term operational objectives set out in the 2022 annual report. Production continues to be strong, particularly from Wressle, where Egdon has also progressed with the gas utilisation and monetisation scheme through the installation of the micro-turbines – which will eliminate routine on site diesel generation – and where work is ongoing on the gas to wire project. The Company is progressing towards submitting planning and permitting for further development at Wressle and finalising a programme of drilling in our exploration and development/redevelopment projects for 2023-24.  Egdon is also making good progress on a potentially material renewable energy, green hydrogen and energy storage project.

Commenting on the trading update, Mark Abbott, Managing Director of Egdon, said:

“We continue to generate material revenues from the strong performance of our UK producing assets.  This has led to a strengthening of the balance sheet to support the planned 2023-24 operational programme.

With the business in good health, I look forward to providing shareholders with a more detailed update on the Company’s financial and operational performance on the 24thApril.”

What’s this, beating production guidance, plenty of cash and the business in good health ahead of the interims in April, a Wressle backed and resurgent Egdon is exciting to see. But the UK onshore area, despite being a minefield of legal difficulties and run-ins with local Councils is hard graft and there are sharks in them there waters, mostly ignorant politicians who banned fracking which cratered last summer’s rally in Egdon shares.

Also you only have to ask the Reabold boys, other aquatic bottom feeders are seen out and about are making life difficult for long term investors, Egdon was 9.7p a few months ago and now is 2.6p, beware the M&A train in onshore hydrocarbons is pulling out of the station….

Predator Oil & Gas

Predator has announced that it has conditionally placed 15,500,000 new ordinary shares of no par value in the Company and 20,863,636 existing ordinary shares of no par value in the Company transferred by a director of the Company, Paul Griffiths, at a placing price of 5.5 pence each to raise £2,000,000.

The Placing utilises the Company’s available headroom shares as of 31 March 2023 under the Financial Conduct Authority restrictions for companies on the Official List (standard listing segment) of the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities.

Novum Securities Limited (“Novum”) are acting as the sole placing agents to the Company.

The Company will not have sufficient headroom to enable issue and admission of all of the 36,363,636 Placing Shares which are required to be issued pursuant to the Placing without producing of an FCA approved prospectus.

The Company is therefore proposing to issue and admit 15,500,000 new ordinary shares (up to its existing headroom limit existing at 31 March 2023)  on or around 3 April 2023.

On the same date, it is also intended for a director of the Company, Paul Griffiths, to make up the shortfall by way of a loan of 20,863,636 existing ordinary shares (the “Loan Shares”) held by him in order to settle the Placing in a timely manner. For the avoidance of doubt, the transfer of the shares subject to Novum from Paul Griffiths involves no consideration being paid. The transfer of these shares is expected to be made on or around 3 April 2023.

Use of Net Proceeds

WORK PROGRAMME

  COSTS (GBP)

MOU-3     civil engineering

     130,000

                  site build

 

MOU-3     drill to 1,500 metres

  1,800,000

General working capital

       70,000

 

The MOU-3 surface location and drilling programme incorporates geological information from the suspended MOU-2 well and allows the Company the first opportunity to penetrate in a single well not only the Moulouya Fan primary target but also the shallower potential gas target included in the first Competent Persons Report produced by SLR Consulting Ireland Ltd. in March 2019.

MOU-3 will therefore target the Prospective and Contingent gas resources shown in the table below.

GAS RESOURCES

            BCF

Best Estimate

High Estimate

Best

Estimate

High

Estimate

Gross

Net

Gross

Net

PROSPECTIVE¹   Shallow target

      426

       320

        879

      659

CONTINGENT²     Moulouya Fan

      393

       295

        944

      708

                   TOTAL

      819

       615

     1,823

   1,367

 

¹    SLR Consulting (Ireland) Ltd. March 2019

²    SLR Consulting (Ireland) Ltd. January 2022

SLR Consulting (Ireland) Ltd. ² assigned an Expected Net Present Value of US$1.99 million per BCF with a 25% chance of commerciality for the Contingent Moulouya Fan gas resources.

Stock Lending Agreement

The Loan Shares will be documented in a single stock lending agreement between Paul Griffiths and the Company (the “Stock Lending Agreement”).

Under the unsecured Stock Lending Agreement between the Company and Paul Griffiths the return of 20,863,636 shares loaned to the Company (the “Loan”) are intended to be issued to Mr Griffiths when the Company has additional headroom and at an appropriate time, subject to the Company’s dealing policy. When repayment is due the Company will make the necessary listing and admission hearing applications to have those new ordinary shares admitted to trading.

Interest shall accrue on the Loan at a rate of 4% (four percent) above SONIA of the principal sum lent of £1,147,500, being the market value of 20,863,636 shares at the Placing Price. The default rate of interest under the Stock Lending Agreement for any sum which is not repaid when due is 12% per annum.

Related Party Transaction

Paul Griffiths is a director of the Company. The Stock Lending Agreement is therefore considered to be a related party transaction.

Lonny Baumgardner, Alistar Jury and Carl Kindinger, being the independent directors for the purposes of the Related Party Transaction consider that the terms and conditions of the Stock Lending Agreement are fair and reasonable insofar as the shareholders of the Company are concerned.

Completion of the new Placing Shares

Completion of the Placing is conditional on, inter alia:-

15,500,000 ordinary shares of no par value of the total number of 36,363,636 Placing Shares, being admitted to listing on the Official List (standard listing segment) and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities (“Admission”) on or before 3 April  2023 (or such later date as may be agreed by the Company and Novum).

Admission, Settlement and Dealings in new Placing Shares

An application will be made to the FCA and to the London Stock Exchange Admission in respect of those 15,500,000 new ordinary shares of no par value of out of the total number of Placing Shares proposed to be issued on completion of the Placing.  It is expected that Admission will become effective, and that dealings in such shares are expected to commence, at 8.00 a.m. on 3 April 2023.

The rights attaching to the new Placing Shares will be uniform in all respects and all of the new Placing Shares will rank pari passu, and form a single class for all purposes with, the existing issued shares of no par value in the Company.

Total Voting Rights

Following Admission, the Company will have 401,294,903 ordinary shares of no par value in issue, each with one vote per share (and none of which are held in treasury). The total number of voting rights in the Company is therefore increased by 15,500,000 to  401,294,903.  This figure of 401,294,903 may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for calculations to determine if they have a notifiable interest in the share capital of the Company under the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules, or if such interest has changed.

Paul Griffiths, Executive Chairman of Predator Oil & Gas Holdings Plc commented:

“The additional funding announced today allows us to advance the drilling of MOU-3 to target for the first time all Prospective and Contingent gas resources.

The learning curve has improved substantially following the information gathered from the suspended well MOU-2. As a result we believe that bringing forward the drilling of MOU-3, with a projected start date in the first week of May, is a sensible course of action.

I am delighted to be supporting the Company and its shareholders through a loan of shares to enable MOU-3 to proceed earlier than originally envisaged based on attractive risk versus reward metrics.”

This is good news from Predator as the funding makes it possible to really get to grips with drilling MOU for which Paul Griffiths has always had so much confidence in. It is not necessary to say how much of a company maker this would be and I wish him well. 

 

Morocco Webinar

A Webinar discussion between Malcy and Mr Mohamed Zine, Director of Hydrocarbon Promotion and Asset Management -ONHYM.

I was delighted to be invited to talk to this Webinar although apologies for the mixed quality of the recording…..

The link is below for those looking to waste plenty of time on a cold afternoon post Cheltenham…

And finally…

The 6 Nations concluded pretty much as expected, Ireland the world No1 won the Grand slam although England put up a pretty good fight and without the referee again wanting to be the centre of attention might have come closer. Italy visited Murrayfield where I was and it was a good  match worthy of either side winning. And France not surprisingly saw off Wales.

In the footy the Prem was smaller due to the FA Cup, in the former the Gooners won to stay top and Spurs only drew against the Saints. Try to listen to Conte in the after match interview.

In the FA Cup the Noisy Neighbours thrashed Burnley and the Blades with a great winner beat Blackburn. With the Seagulls easily ending the run for the Haddocks it was up to the Red Devils to play the Cottagers. In a display of rank stupidity that I’m not sure I have seen in 50 years Fulham, after having a 0-1 lead and possibly more imploded. In the space of 5 minutes Fulham had two players and the manager sent off and conceded two goals to go behind, 3-1 in the end and Mitovic needs to have a proper smack bot and sent to his room with no tea.