WTI (Apr) $86.26 +$1.54, Brent (May) $85.42 +$1.39, Diff -$4.16 -15c.

USNG (Apr) $1.74 +8c, UKNG 66.1p +4.46p, TTF (Apr) €26.365 +€1.56.

Oil price

Oil had another good day as the market assimilated the IEA forecasts I mentioned yesterday and also the US inflation number firmed the dollar.

Zephyr Energy

Zephyr has announced that following a detailed selection process, Zephyr has signed a rig contract with Helmerich & Payne (“H&P”) for its Rig 257 which will be used to redrill the State 36-2 well (the “State 36-2R well”) on the Company’s project in the Paradox Basin, Utah, U.S. 

Rig 257 is a Flex 3 1,500HP drilling rig fully capable of drilling the planned well and managing the high reservoir pressures expected to be encountered.  The rig is wrapping up a sustained and successful drilling campaign in the nearby Uinta Basin and will mobilise to the State 36-2R well site in the near-term, with an expected spud in mid-April.  In the meantime, the Company plans to mobilise a spudder rig to site in order to set the conductor casing ahead of the larger drilling operation.

Colin Harrington, Zephyr’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are pleased with the swift progress made by Zephyr’s operational team in securing the rig contract with H&P following the recent final permit award, and believe that Rig 257 is particularly well suited for the State 36-2R drill. The focus is now on drilling the well safely and efficiently, with full drilling operations expected to start in mid-April.”

“We look forward to keeping our investors well-informed as operations develop at the well site.”

Zephyr shareholders should be aware that we are entering a period of significant news flow for the company, I spoke to Colin yesterday and he is delighted with operational progress and in particular with this rig signing. 

The company is described as being of ‘gold standard’ especially working under high pressure conditions and is currently drilling a few miles away. Given that there are a few things still being prepared, such as the casing and some pad work a drill date of, say, mid April is on the cards.

Zephyr’s engineers are ready to encounter all the difficulties that they saw last time, such as high pressure and heavily faulted rocks but are confident that they can handle everything and are looking forward to the challenge that the Paradox presents. With a great deal of upside, this summer should be something special. 

Sintana

Galp (80%, operator), together with its partners NAMCOR and Custos (10% each), has successfully drilled the Mopane-2X well to its designed depth, in block PEL83.

Drilling encountered a significant column with light oil in reservoirs of high quality.

The AVO-3 exploration target, the AVO-1 appraisal target and a deeper target were fully cored and logged.

The AVO-1 appraisal target found the same pressure regime as in the Mopane-1X discovery well located around 8 km to the east, confirming its lateral extension.

The rig will now return to the Mopane-1X well location to conduct a DST until early April.

Galp will continue to analyse the acquired data during the coming weeks to assess the commerciality of the discoveries.

I mention this Galp well because I know that there are a number of readers of the blog who hold Sintana who own some of this fantastic play through its holding in Custos Energy and its 10% in the well. The stories of this well result have been doing the rounds for ages as a number of blog readers very kindly alerted me to the drilling progress, flaring and so on. 

For Sintana this is very good news as despite what looks like a modest involvement could be a bit of a game changer so good luck to them. But also remember some of the other key players in Namibia, obviously the big players but also the likes of Eco Atlantic who are poised with a top hand of acreage.

Jadestone

Earlier in the week I managed to get Jadestone President and CEO Paul Blakeley into the Core Finance studio for my CEO interview slot. For anyone who missed it at the time I am putting the link in below again to be able to catch up with at your leisure…

Core Finance CEO Interview: Paul Blakeley of Jadestone Energy

And finally…

Cheltenham continues, it’s Gold Cup Day with another Irish warm favourite and yesterday GB actually did very well.

Tomorrow it’s FA Cup QF day with Wolves hosting Covvo and the Magpies going to the Noisy Neighbours. Also in the Prem Burnley host the Bees, Forest go to the Hatters and the Cottagers host Spurs.

On Sunday in the Cup it’s Chelsea hosting the Foxes and Liverpool travel to the Theatre of Dreams.

In the Prem the Hammers take on the Villa in another claret and blue derby.

And the 6 Nations finishes tomorrow with Wales v Italy, Ireland v Scotland and finally France v England.