By Robin Mayes
Following the recent Joe-1 well discovery, there has been a lot of commentary and interviews of Gil Holzman in the market. No point going over old ground as colleagues at Value the Markets and Proactive Investors have done some fine work that sums up what’s happened succinctly. See the below links. It’s really worth listening to the two interviews with Gil and reading Daniel Flynn’s (write up here)
So what next?
Their neighbours on the Kanuku block next door, Tullow and Repsol, will be spudding an exploration well on the Carapa prospect in the next week or so. It’s very significant as it is a Cretaceous target. 14 out of Exxon’s 15 discoveries were in the Cretaceous, but, down-dip in the basin. Carapa is up-dip, on the shelf, and contiguous with ECO’s shallower Cretaceous prospects. Whilst ECO has de-risked 2 billion BOE in the Tertiary prospects, it has yet to test the 2 billion of prospective BOE in the Cretaceous that the CPR outlined earlier this year. Their neighbours are kindly going to do this for them giving further colour to the geological picture.
Gil Holzman states,’ Carapa is testing the shallow water Cretaceous play (upper terrace in our presentation slide 5). If it works it will de-risk all the Cretaceous prospects (around 2bn barrels in our CPR) but mainly the shallow water targets, which we see a few of on our block.
Cretaceous prospects work in Guyana as we know from Exxon’s 14 discoveries, we just need to prove it was trapped up-dip. If Carapa hits – it is great. If it misses it doesn’t have real implication as could be local trap issue most probably. Not a play issue.
Besides the Carapa well, we will see an updated CPR within a couple of months. It will include the implications of the recent successes of the Jethro-1 and Joe-1 wells. The Chance of Success (COS) of all the other Tertiary prospects will be greatly improved and we should see multiple other Upper Tertiary prospects get included.
We will hopefully, depending on what the partners agree, see some more technical information on the Jethro-1 well and Joe-1 well results. Some detail on porosity, oil quality, volumetrics, and potential flow rates would be most welcome.
The block partners have stated that between 2-4 wells will be drilled in the spring of 2020. Specific targets to be announced once the Carapa result has come in and all the data from the three wells have been collated. With $27 million in the bank, and the wells costing $3/5 million net to ECO, they are well funded.
What has been forgotten, in all the excitement of the Guyana discoveries, are their assets offshore Namibia. With multiple majors having farmed into the region recently and several wells being planned for the next year, Namibia will garner a lot of attention in the coming months. Until a recent interview, ECO has been very quiet about their Namibian prospects (4 blocks, two drill-ready).
Gil Holzman stated,’ I wouldn’t exclude news coming out of Namibia before too long, be it in the form of ‘farm-outs’, be it in the form of ‘new partners’, be it in the form of ‘well plans’ etc.’
Some nice titbits have surfaced recently from ECO’s director’s road trip around Europe with Berenberg clients, Jethro is bigger than pre-drill expectations. Joe, whilst not as thick as projected, is over a big area and has better porosity making it highly commercial as part of a hub. The partners have already found fresh prospects as a result of this play opener. Namely, Malone(potential to be bigger than 500mboe), that Total highlighted in their Capital markets day presentation last week. There are industry players sniffing around ECO.
The road trip seems to have pulled in fresh stock buyers, (some very big) at the end of last week, ECO has just published a fresh presentation(see below link) which features a plethora of fresh prospects in the Upper Tertiary, none of these in the current CPR.
The stock, not surprisingly, has had a volatile run this year. It’s had three distinct spikes and pullbacks of about 25%. The first hit £1 and pulled back to 70p, the second hit £1.45 and pulled back to £1.15 and just recently the stock touched £2 and pulled back to £1.50. After each correction, it has ground back up steadily. I still think there is a long way to go here, I’m convinced they will be the subject of some M&A action.
Gil Holzman joins our friend Andrew Scott at proactive here
This article/blog is not financial advice. Do your own research. I own ECO shares. The fee for this article was donated to https://www.theolivercurdtrust.org/