Proactive oil & gas: Helium One, Zephyr Energy, Diversified Energy, COPL, i3, Challenger, United, 88


Helium One Global Ltd (AIM:HE1) has begun drilling the Tai-2 exploration well at the Rukwa Project in Tanzania. It comes quickly after the Tai-1 well, which proved a working helium system, encountered helium gas shows but could not be definitively tested due to problem well conditions.

Tai-2 is targeting the same prospects that were identified in the preceding well. The new well is located some 20 metres from Tai-1, using the same drill pad which reduces costs and timelines.

Zephyr Energy PLC chief executive Colin Harrington described the State 16-2LN-CC well as an excellent platform from which to assess wider field development options in Utah’s Paradox basin.

It comes as the company has opted to conduct a diagnostic fracture injection test (DFIT) on the horizontal well prior to production testing.

Diversified Energy Company PLC (LSE:DEC, OTCQX:DECPF, FRA:DG2) expanded and extended its credit facility, with the borrowing base increasing by US$200mln to US$625mln. The maturity date on DEC’s credit facility is extended by two years to August 2025, with the cost set at LIBOR plus 2.75% to 3.75% depending on utilisation.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (LSE:COPL, CSE:XOP, FRA:V9LA, OTC:VELXF) told investors that the acquired Atomic Oil and Gas assets are performing significantly ahead of expectations. Oil production from the assets is up some 80% measured at 2,200 barrels per day, up from 706 barrels at April 1 (the effective date of the transaction). Production volumes are expected to rise further.

i3 Energy Plc described its second quarter as “another intensely active and transformational period” and its deal to acquire production assets from Cenovus Energy is due to complete in the coming days. The strategic acquisition adds around 8,400 barrels of oil per day of production in the Central Alberta area of Canada.

Second-quarter production, excluding assets in the Cenovus and Wapiti acquisitions, averaged 8,905 boepd – and in the final week of July the rate was 10,031 boepd. I3 said it is forecasting full year net operating income at US$62.4mln for 2021, and for the next twelve months (starting August 1) it expects the figure will be around US$94.8mln.

Challenger Energy PLC said it had “reinvigorated” talks with potential farm-in partners for its offshore acreage in the Southern Territorial Waters off the Bahamas. It dubbed the area “highly prospective” following post-drill analysis of its first well.

While Perseverance-1 was deemed non-commercial, there was enough data to encourage the company to press the authorities to renew its licence for another three-year term. The logs showed the presence of hydrocarbons at “various horizons” downhole to 3,905 metres.

United Oil & Gas PLC (AIM:UOG, FRA:1UO) told investors its latest well in Egypt was this weekend spudded by operator Kuwait Energy. The ASX-1X well got underway on August 14, the company said in a statement. The drill programme is expected to last for up to 54 days.

ASX-1X is located some 7 kilometres to the north of the producing Al Jahraa field. It is a vertical well, targeting stacked reservoir targets. The targets are described as being similar in structure to the nearby discovery that was recently made at ASD-1X well.

88 Energy Ltd (AIM:88E, ASX:88E) is now planning an appraisal well for the Merlin project, after latest analysis of this year’s well results confirmed the presence of light oil. The company, in a statement, said that well evaluation successfully demonstrated the presence of oil in the N20 and N18 targets, and additionally shows that a new target referred to as N19 was also penetrated in the first well. A total of 41 feet of net pay was encountered by the well, it added.

Locations to the east of Merlin-1 are now being considered for appraisal. There, the company is expecting enhanced reservoir thickness and quality. An appraisal drill programme is anticipated in the first quarter of 2022.

Genel Energy PLC (LSE:GENL, FRA:4VL, OTC:GEGYY) told investors that it will take steps to protect its rights in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, after it received notice from the regional government’s Ministry of Natural Resources stating its intention to terminate the Bina Bawi and Miran PSCs.

In a stock market statement, it said: “Genel believes that the KRG has no grounds for issuing its notices of intention to terminate. “Genel wishes to continue operations under the PSCs and to work with the KRG on the development of these fields. However, Genel will take steps to protect its rights under the PSCs and, if necessary, seek compensation, including for its material investment.

Jersey Oil and Gas PLC (LSE:JOG, FRA:TPC1) told investors that it will not proceed into the next phase of the Zermatt (P2497) and Glenn (P2499) licences in the North Sea, and accordingly the licences will cease on 29 August. The company, in a statement, noted that entering the next phase would have committed it to drill a well on each licence. It added that neither Zermatt nor Glenn feature in the planned Greater Buchan Area (GBA) development project concept, announced in March, which sees the company build up a production hub over three phases.

Aminex PLC (LSE:AEX) and Scirocco Energy PLC (AIM:SCIR) have announced that the Ruvuma joint venture has received a two-year extension to its licence from the Ministry of Energy of Tanzania. Both Aminex and Scirocco each own a 25% share of the JV. The operator, ARA Petroleum Tanzania Limited (APT) secured the extension until 15 August 2023 to allow the JV to complete the acquisition of 3D seismic data over 200 square kilometres, drill the Chikumbi-1 well and conclude negotiations of the gas terms for the Ruvuma production-sharing agreement (PSA).


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