WTI (July) $72.91. +86c, Brent (July) $76.84 +85c, Diff -$3.93 -7c.

USNG (June) $2.34 -6c, UKNG (June) 67.24p +2.19p, TTF (June) €29.78 +€0.91.

Oil price

Oil remains firm despite there being no debt deal in the US, the word of the Saudi Oil Minister (Yesterday’s blog) has more weight ahead of next week’s Opec meeting…

Jersey Oil & Gas

Jersey Oil & Gas has announced its audited financial results for the year ended 31 December 2022 and the date of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

Highlights

§ In April 2023 JOG executed agreements to farm-out a 50% working interest in the GBA licences to NEO Energy (“NEO”) in exchange for various cash payments and the carry of a proportion of the Company’s future development expenditure

§ The Company has secured a technically and financially strong partner to move the GBA development forwards into production, with NEO set to become operator of the GBA licences following completion of the transaction

§ In addition to milestone related cash payments associated with the Buchan field development totalling approximately $24 million, the transaction results in the Company being fully carried for its $12.5 million share of costs up to Field Development Plan (“FDP”) approval

§ Following FDP approval, JOG will be carried for 12.5% of its 50% share of the Buchan field development costs by NEO (equivalent to a 1.25 carry ratio)

§ With the route to monetisation of the GBA resources established, the Company has the opportunity to deliver long term shareholder value through unlocking the multiple value catalysts that stem from execution of the GBA development programme

§ It is anticipated that the farm-out will be completed around the end of the second quarter of 2023

GBA Development

§ During 2022 the Company was actively engaged with multiple counterparties regarding the planned divestment of an interest in the GBA licences

§ Technical and commercial diligence has been completed on the range of different development options that could be used for future production from the GBA

§ With the introduction of NEO to the GBA, the partnership will work together to finalise selection of the preferred development solution from a short list of attractive options, with first production targeted for 2026

§ Upon selection of the preferred development solution, the project will move into “Front End Engineering & Design” activities along with preparation of the required FDP that is planned for submission to the North Sea Transition Authority (“NSTA”) for approval in the first half of 2024

Attractive Outlook

§ The NEO farm-out delivers significant value to the Company, not least by securing a fully funded position through to FDP submission, and additionally unlocks the route to monetisation of the GBA resources

§ JOG will retain a 50% working interest in the GBA following completion of the farm-out (with 12.5% of development costs carried by NEO) and to catalyse further shareholder value, the Company intends to farm-out additional GBA equity such that it ultimately retains a 20-25% fully carried interest in the development

§ Pursuit of the Company’s corporate growth strategy, through the execution of accretive acquisitions, remains an important objective

§ The Company is well positioned with a cash balance at the end of 2022 of approximately £6.6 million, which is set to be enhanced by the various milestone payments incorporated into the farm-out transaction terms agreed with NEO

Andrew Benitz, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“2022 was an instrumental year in securing the future success of the Company.  The GBA farm-out process involved extensive interactions with multiple counterparties during the year, culminating in the transaction that was announced in April of this year with NEO Energy.  The GBA is a high-quality re-development, which is on track to generate significant value for the Company and its shareholders.  With the route for execution of the development programme now firmly established, the Company looks forward to unlocking the many value catalysts that mark the run up to approval of the project and beyond.”

A good, simple set of historic accounts from JOG with no surprises and reinforces the excellent position the company is in right now. The company has a strong cash position and with cash payments due from the NEO Energy deal is set on a sound footing. 

I am looking forward to the ‘value catalysts’ of which there should be many throughout the year and consequently feel that my existing Target Price for JOG of £10 per share is still very achievable but for the longer term somewhat conservative. 

SDX Energy

SDX is pleased to announce that it has appointed Daniel Gould as Managing Director of the Company.  This appointment follows the hiring of William McAvock as CFO (as announced on 9 May 2023) and Lesley Maclean as Head of Corporate Development.

Daniel Gould has over 20 years of experience in investment banking and developing businesses across multiple sectors in emerging and developed markets.  Daniel was previously at Morgan Stanley and then Goldman Sachs as an Executive Director, in the Investment Banking division, across New York and London.  For the last 10 years, Daniel has successfully grown businesses and executed M&A transactions in the agriculture, energy, financial, and fintech sectors. Daniel has a First Class Masters degree from Oxford University and another degree from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.

Lesley Maclean has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and over 25 years’ experience in energy sector, most recently as Vice President M&A and Acting EVP of Strategy and New Business Development at TNK-BP.

Jay Bhattacherjee, Interim Executive Chairman, said:

“We warmly welcome Daniel into the new leadership group of SDX.  Along with William and Lesley, we are developing a new team culture, which will be focused on delivering the mandate given to the Company by its shareholders to deliver sustainable value with the eventual return of capital to shareholders at our core.”

 Daniel Gould, Managing Director, said:

“I am delighted to be joining SDX at this exciting time where my background in business creation has direct synergy with some of the initiatives the Company is currently evaluating in alternative energy, and I very much look forward to meeting shareholders and driving the business forward.”

Suspension of Senior Employee

Separately, the Company has been made aware that a senior employee within the Company’s local operations who was recently suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation, has sent an email raising concerns around certain in-country financial operations, including certain matters relating to local tax compliance, to some of the Company’s stakeholders.

Having undertaken an initial review of the allegations, the Board believes they are substantially without merit and are being dealt with in the normal course of business. The Company has received tax advice from local tax compliance specialists, including a “Big Four” accounting firm, in relation to the alleged matters and the Company strongly believes it complies with all local tax requirements. The Company is taking all appropriate steps to protect its position.

There is much to be done at SDX and Jay is getting his team together for what the company is going to be like in the future, whatever happens it will not be dull. 

Corcel

Corcel has announced that it has signed its first oil and gas acquisition with the purchase of a 90% interest in Atlas Petroleum Exploration Worldwide Limited (“APEX”), that has working interests in several historically producing oil assets in the Kwanza Basin, onshore Angola. 

Highlights

 Entry into onshore Angola through the acquisition of a 90% interest in APEX – owner of working interests of between 20% and 35% in 3 onshore blocks containing two historically producing oilfields for re-development and one exploration licence

 Initiates the Company’s pan-Angola/Brazil strategy capitalising on both the resource opportunities as well as the historic ties and shared geology and language between the two countries

 Brownfield re-development potential on 2 existing fields (Tobias and Galinda) of 85 MMbls P50 gross unrisked remaining contingent oil resources (APEX estimates), 15.98 MMbls net to Corcel

 Additional exploration potential of 1,460 MMbls gross unrisked P50 prospective oil resources post-salt/pre-salt (APEX estimates), 297.1 MMbls net to Corcel

 Consideration for the acquisition is £800,000 satisfied through the issuance of 200,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of £0.004, locked up for 18 months

 Simultaneous investment in Corcel of £282,741 by APEX shareholders and investors from the oil & gas sector in Brazil and Angola, resulting in the issuance of 70,685,250 new ordinary shares at a price of £0.004

 Combination of the recent Mt. Weld partial sale proceeds and the vendor placing ensures project is fully funded for the licence acquisition phase

 Mr Scott Gilbert, a vendor, joining the Board as a Non-Executive subject to regulatory  checks –  Mr Gilbert brings a long track record as an executive and investor in the oil and gas sector internationally, including Angola and Brazil

Corcel Executive Chairman, James Parsons, commented:

“I am delighted to announce this first acquisition in our oil and gas strategy, providing a strong initial platform on which to progress our pan-Angola/Brazil growth strategy.  The metrics on this acquisition are compelling for Corcel shareholders and the window is now open for rapid further consolidation onshore Angola alongside new asset acquisitions in Brazil.  I look forward to being in Angola later this week with our partners for the licence signature and award ceremonies.

The Kwanza basin has been producing for 35 years, is a well understood petroleum system and has both significant scale and upside.  Corcel sees significant opportunities to increase the legacy operator estimated resources given the structural configuration of the basin and recent new structural mapping.  We also see large stratigraphic and structural pre salt structures on blocks, analogous to the offshore Cameia discovery.  Our initial focus will however be on quickly securing first oil and revenues through our redevelopment opportunities.”

A first look at Corcel for me, my interest piqued by the company taking an interest in onshore Angola which although pretty modest is an interesting starting point for their pan-Angola/Brazil growth strategy. With more to come I’m sure that investors will be keeping an eye on Corcel. 

Transaction Summary:

Corcel has acquired a 90% interest in APEX, a privately owned company domiciled in the BVI, for £800,000 settled via the issuance of 200,000,000 new ordinary shares, priced at £0.004 per share (the “Consideration Shares”).  The Consideration Shares are locked up for 18 months post issuance.  Existing APEX shareholders will retain a 10% interest in the company and will be carried by Corcel through first oil on the KON-11, KON-12 and KON-16 blocks.   

Completion of the transaction is contingent upon the formal execution of three Risk Service Contracts (“RSCs”) covering the KON 11/12/16 blocks, with the Angolan government, expected later this week.  The terms of the RSCs include an initial exploration phase of 5 years, with a subsequent exploration phase of 2 years and a base production period of 20 years.  The minimum spend on the blocks are US$6m on KON-11 and KON-12 and US$3m on KON-16, with commitments to drill one well on all three blocks.  As part of the transaction, the vendors have agreed to provide any guarantees should they be required by government.  Further announcements on completion will be made as appropriate.    

Consistent with APEX’s obligation with the Angolan government to develop the capabilities of and strengthen local exploration and production companies, the Company has also signed an agreement with a local exploration and production company to buy this entity out of an internal consortium agreement with APEX, whereby they would otherwise have had entitlement to 25% of the APEX position in these three licenses, and would also have entitlement to certain cash payments.  This buy-out agreement involves Corcel issuing 28,240,839 new ordinary shares (the “Buy-Out Shares”) and paying US$225,000 cash expected to be utilized towards the local exploration and production company’s operations.  The shares will be locked in for 18 months.

APEX Portfolio Overview:

The APEX portfolio is located onshore Angola, and consists of interests in three licences:

 KON – 11 Non-Operated – 12 historical wells (20% working interest – 18% net to CRCL)

 KON – 12 Non-Operated – 8 historical wells (25% working interest – 22.5% net to CRCL)

 KON – 16 Operated – 1 historical well (35% working interest – 31.5% net to CRCL)

KON-11 and KON-12 are considered brownfield development opportunities and include the historically producing Tobias and Galinda fields, both drilled and developed in the 1960s and 1970s by Petrofina, with combined historic production over 30 MMbbls.  Both licences are operated by Sonangol (the Angolan national oil company).

APEX’s total reported unproduced contingent oil resources are estimated at:

 KON-11 – 65 MMbbls, 11.7 MMbls net to CRCL

 KON-12 – 19 MMbbls, 4.28 MMbls net to CRCL

All three blocks have significant post and pre-salt prospective resources, both stratigraphic and structural with APEX estimating Prospective Resources of:

 Post-salt 456 MMbbls – unrisked P50 (138 MMbo risked), 81.1 MMbls net to CRCL

 Pre-salt 1,029 MMbbls – unrisked P50 (223 MMbo risked), 215.9 MMbls net to CRCL

Both the Tobias (KON-11) and Galinda (KON-12) fields were discovered and originally developed in the 1960s.  Both reservoirs are in the Binga limestone with 4-14% porosity and located at 700m and 1,900m respectively.  Peak production at Tobias was approximately 17,500 bbls/d and at Galinda was approximately 2,700 bbls/d.  Historic total production, which started in 1960 and ceased in the early ’80s, was 29MMbbls and 2.8MMbbls respectively. APEX and Corcel believe that significant recoverable volumes of oil remain in place at both locations and initial plans may include additional seismic work to firm up drill locations, as well as a combination of vertical and horizontal wells.  The development plan envisioned for KON-11/12/16 qualify for marginal field fiscal terms, as outlined by the Angolan government, resulting in advantageous royalty, tax and depreciation regimes.      

The Company estimates an initial funding requirement below US$1M to secure the three RSCs which includes US$800k of pre-negotiated signature bonuses.  The Company is fully funded, post the recent partial sale of Mt Weld and the vendor placing, for this requirement.  

APEX has net assets of approximately $15,000 and did not trade in the year ended 30 September 2022. 

The Company also notes recent announcements by TotalEnergies to develop the offshore component of the Kwanza basin.

The Company plans to re-launch its investor presentation shortly and hold an investor event to more fully explain to shareholders the forward work programme.

Vendor Subscription: 

The Company further announces the completion of a fundraising of £282,741 (“the Placing”) through the issuance of 70,685,250 new ordinary shares of a nominal value of £0.0001 priced at £0.004 per share (“Placing Shares”) subscribed for by the vendors of APEX and several Brazilian and Angolan oil and gas investors.

The Company has agreed on the following staged settlement timeline with the investors.    

o £201,958 representing 50,489,500 shares to be settled on 31 May 2023 (“Tranche 1”)

o £25,000 representing 6,250,000 shares to be settled on 30 June 2023 (“Tranche 2”)

o £25,000 representing 6,250,000 shares to be settled on 31 July 2023 (“Tranche 3”)

o £30,783 representing 7,695,750 shares to be settled on 31 August 2023 (“Tranche 4”)

New Director Appointment and Executive Appointment: 

Mr Scott Gilbert, one of the vendors, will join the Board as Non-Executive, subject to regulatory checks.  Mr Gilbert brings a long track record in oil and gas sector with significant experience in Angola and Brazil.  In addition, a Luanda based ex-Chevron oil and gas professional, and one of the vendors, will also join the Company as Chief Commercial Officer and MD Angola. 

As previously announced on 20 February 2023 the Company is also in the process of reviewing its executive staffing model and Board to reflect the recent strategic broadening to oil and gas and will make further announcements in this regard in due course.

Total Voting Rights:

Application has now been made for the Consideration Shares, the Buy-Out Shares and Tranche 1 of the Placing Shares, resulting in 278,730,339 new ordinary shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that their admission to AIM will take place on or around 02 June 2023 (“Admission”).

Following Admission, the Company’s total issued share capital will consist of 1,220,091,631 Ordinary Shares, with one voting right per share. The Company does not hold any shares in treasury. Therefore, the total number of Ordinary Shares and voting rights in the Company will be 1,220,091,631 from Admission. This figure may be used by shareholders in the Company from admission as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change in their interest in, the share capital of the Company pursuant to the FCA’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

And finally…

Tonight in the Prem the Seagulls entertain the Noisy Neighbours, probably a meaningless game…

And cricket’s Vitality Blast starts today, opening fixtures include the Steelbacks v the Rapids, the Spitfires host Gloucester (smart name huh?) and Somerset play the Hawks.