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Oil price, BPC, Touchstone. And finally…

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WTI $58.56 -$2.62, Brent $61.95 -$2.46, Diff -$3.39 +16c, NG $2.57 +5c, UKNG 47.4p +0.25p

Oil price

Same old, same old as crude rises one day then falls another, yesterday Brent was down $2.46, Wednesday was up $3.62, Tuesday down $3.83 and today as I write is up $1.45. Traders appear to be punting the Brent play between $60-65 which under the circumstances is a reasonable bet. As far as Suez is concerned it doesnt look like its getting any better any time soon, a couple of Tonka toys digging the wall down isn’t doing it yet.

On the vaccine/virus side of things there is no doubt that outside the US and the UK Covid isnt being smacked down by as much as had been hoped for at this stage. With Easter imminent one might have thought that lockdowns would be being lifted but in most of Europe it’s getting worse not better, almost entirely down to incompetence on a truly massive scale now being addressed by a politician in the twilight…

Bahamas Petroleum

BPC has updated its corporate presentation following completion of the drilling of Perseverance#1 which points investors towards its near term ‘strategic focus’ in Trinidad and Suriname, this follows the recent high-impact exploration update. Whilst I wouldnt normally signal such a release it does pull these things together and so the table below is worth copying verbatim.

‘BPC has existing production of 450 – 500 bopd and a full program of drilling activities and corporate actions planned across the next 18 months (subject to capital availability), designed to add material levels of profitable production from existing producing oil fields and known discoveries, as summarised in the following table (on an indicative basis):

 

ProductionIncremental operational cashflow per annumCapital costs

Current production450 – 500 bopdUS$3m–

Incremental production programs100 bopdUS$0.9mUS$1m

Infill drilling programs200 – 400 bopdUS$3m – US$4.5mUp to US$6m

Saffron-2200 – 300 bopdUS$2m – US$3mUS$3m

Saffron full-field development (2-3 years)4,000+ bopdUS$25m+Up to US$60m

Suriname project500+ bopdUS$2.5mUp to US$3m

Business development opportunities100+ bopdUS$0.7mUS$2.5m – US$3m

Total work program funding required is estimated to be approx. US$25-$40m, as the cash flows generated from production growth will be reinvested into drilling subsequent wells – refer to the Company’s recent RNS of 24 March 2021 for further explanation of its future work program, and potential sources and uses.
 

Touchstone Exploration

Year end 2020 financial results from TXP are of no consequence, it was a year in which the drill bit ruled as the Ortoire block delivered substantial rewards. This year the primary objective remains to bring the two natural gas exploration discoveries at Ortoire onto production. Additionally, production testing operations are ongoing at Chinook-1 and Cascadura Deep-1 prospects, and they anticipate drilling the Royston-1 location in the second quarter of 2021.

Paul Baay, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“2020 presented significant challenges to the wider oil and gas industry due to the impact of COVID-19 on working operations and the volatile nature of global oil prices. It is against that backdrop that I am delighted to report another year of significant progress at Touchstone in which we have enhanced our financial position significantly, encountered major natural gas discoveries as well as signed a historic long-term natural gas sales agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

 I would like to thank the entire team at Touchstone for their dedication, perseverance and flexibility during this difficult period which has enabled us to achieve such success. As a result of their hard work, the Company is very well positioned for another year of growth as we move forward with our exploration, development and production program at Ortoire and across the wider portfolio.”

The shares had a spectacular year in 2020 as the market appreciated that success at Ortoire was indeed company making. With more prospects to drill, giving significantly more exploration upside, the company is extraordinarily well placed as it has the development of its discoveries bringing value that way exceeds the current share price. I am very happy with the shares despite the fall from the peak, indeed that is merely a challenge which I’m sure will be taken up.

And finally…

It’s another big weekend for sport, at the moment India are batting first in the 2nd ODI in Pune and are 112-2 patiently accumulating runs, looking dangerous…

As it is the international break there is no Premiership, in the World Cup qualis so far Italy beat Wales 2-0, Scotland drew 2-2 with Austria and England beat San Marino 5-0 last night, it should have been 15. This weekend Scotland are in Israel, and England go to Tirana in Albania.

Racing is at Newbury with a pretty good card a fortnight ahead of the Grand National meeting at Aintree. Or of course the Dubai World Cup at Meydan…

And of course this weekend sees the return of F1 with the Bahrain GP starting a bumper 23 race calendar. The spies say the Mercs are starting slowly, by their own standards and that Red Bull should be favourites this weekend.

Finally, the 6 Nations unexpectedly ends tonight at Scotland visit Paris after the original match was postponed due to Covid in the French camp. France needs to win by 21 points with a bonus point to win the title whereas a Scotland win by 8 points would place them 2nd  and the highest ever position in the 6 Nations.

Next, Imperial Brands and AG Barr in line for coming week, UK GDP and US non-farms dominate macro di

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