Proactive Oil & Gas weekly highlights: Touchstone Exploration, Bahamas Petroleum, Falcon, Echo Ener


Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP, TSE:TXP) raised US$11.6mln (GBP9mln) through a share placing to institutional investors, with the new funds earmarked for the acceleration of exciting exploration activities in the Ortoire block.

The Trinidad-focused oil junior has enjoyed breakthrough success with its exploration campaign at Ortoire to date, most recently with the Cascadura-1ST1 well confirmed as a significant liquids-rich natural gas discovery.

Cascadura-1ST1 encountered a total of 777 feet of pay in the Herrera formation, and first stage testing covered the lower-most 162 feet. Flow rates were measured at 5,180 barrels oil equivalent per day (boepd) over a fourteen-hour test period, and a peak rate measured at 5,736 boepd.

Prior to Cascadura, Touchstone also had success with the Coho discovery at Ortoire.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) brought another funding story as it entered into a GBP8mln convertible loan facility, with the first GBP2.43mln draw down available immediately.

The facility is with what the company described as “a substantial Bahamian based institutional family-office investor”.

BPC noted that it farm-out options are still being evaluated as part of the company’s overall risk mitigation strategy ahead of hotly anticipated exploration drilling in Bahamian waters. Chief executive Simon Potter told investors that the facility would allow the company to “go it alone” if that was necessary.

In Australia, Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) told investors that drilling operations have been successfully completed for the Kyalla 117 N2-1H ST2 horizontal well at the Beetaloo shale project in Australia. The well was drilled to a total of 3,809 metres, including a 1,579 lateral in the Lower Kyalla formation.

“We are delighted to have successfully completed the Kyalla horizontal well section and we now look forward to the next phase of operations with the fracture stimulation of Kyalla 117 N2-1H ST2,” Philip O’Quigley, Falcon chief executive said in a statement.

“We will continue to update the market as results become available,” he added.

Echo Energy PLC‘s (LON:ECHO) Campo La Mata Exploration well (CLM x-1) in the Tapi Aike licence, in Argentina, made a non-commercial gas discovery. The well’s primary target (Lobe C) and secondary target (Anita) both contained gas but did not flow at sufficient rates in testing to be considered commercially viable.

Lobe C flowed 0.28mln cubic feet per day, with the average estimated at 0.25mln and there was no condensate. Anita was stimulated and tested at a peak estimated rate of 0.57mln cubic feet per day, with the average estimated at 0.35mln. It also yielded condensates between 7.5 to 18 barrels per day.

The company noted that the minimum threshold for the well’s commerciality was estimated at 1mln cubic feet per day. It is now considering additional tests in the well, to evaluate other secondary targets (Magallenes 60 and Magallenes 40).

Onshore UK, Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) revealed it is waiting on a date for its plans to restart testing the West Newton A-2 well, after a redesigned test programme was completed and sent to the UK regulator. The firm noted that the redesigned test now needs approval from regulators and project operator Rathlin Energy is working towards a greenlight.

UJO noted that the Health and Safety Executive’s 21-day notification period has been satisfied with no objections, and, Rathlin has now filed a revised operating plan to the Environment Agency and after that it will go to the Oil and Gas Authority to get permission to restart well testing.

In August, the West Newton test programme was suspended as the discovery of an oil column warranted inspection – previously only gas was anticipated – and subsequently, a redesigned programme was put together.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP) wants to drill the hotly anticipated NJOM-3 well in June. Offshore Cameroon the company has just completed a well site survey and equipment is now being sourced for the planned drill programme.

Tower also said that it has made “considerable progress” in its farm-out discussions with a number of parties, who may fund some or all of the well costs.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL, CSE:XOP) is to receive C$200,000 as a loan from its chief executive, Arthur Millholland, so that it can continue discussions with investors and service providers over plans for the OPL 226 asset.

This year the company wants to start drilling an appraisal well in OPL 226 in Nigeria.

The loan will cover working capital, providing room for the OPL 226 talks to continue. Presently, the company is in talks with strategic investors with a view to securing financing to cover the performance bond and other project finance talks.

“This loan, which reflects my confidence in the company, will generate the necessary funds so we can conclude the additional financing measures needed to commence appraisal drilling of OPL 226 within our targeted timeframe of 2020,” Millholland said.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) said it expects its acquisition of Rockhopper Egypt to complete on 28 February after it satisfied regulatory conditions attached to the purchase.

The AIM-listed firm said the satisfaction of the conditions to acquire Rockhopper, which owns a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan field in Egypt, followed receipt of written consents from the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

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