Namibia is at the moment witnessing what may develop into probably the most spectacular explorational oil performs in current reminiscence, and one Canadian driller is on the middle of this brand-new, potential blue-sky alternative.
Reconnaissance Energy Africa (TSXV:RECO, OTC:RECAF) is within the strategy of trying to de-risk the doubtless enormous Kavango basin. Following the encouraging outcomes of their first two take a look at wells, the corporate is now analyzing the information to find out the scale and industrial potential of the basin.
With the exploration efforts in Namibia advancing shortly, Oilprice.com founder James Stafford sat down with considered one of RECO’s main geologists Dr. Jim Granath to seek out out extra in regards to the producibility and industrial potential of the encountered hydrocarbon system in RECO’s Kavango basin.
In This interview with Jim we take a look at the next:
– Why the stratigraphic wells had been an enormous success
– How the hydrocarbons are stacked in columns from 15 to over 110 meters in top
– The oil and gasoline they’re seeing are excess of regular exhibits
– The sort of oil they’re seeing within the wells
– How the geology is much like the Zagros belt within the Middle East
– Why this can be a typical play
James Stafford: Well, I’ve to begin off with the newest drilling replace from ReconAfrica. I do know these are solely intermediate outcomes and there’s a lot extra to come back from these wells within the close to future, however may you discuss by means of for our readers what all of it means and what you suppose you may have right here?
Jim Granath: We have virtually accomplished the second nicely now. As you already know there are a number of exhibits of a number of fluids, that’s each oils and gases—and I exploit the plural deliberately. The two wells are comparable in that the distribution of the exhibits run up and down the stratigraphy, and they’re extra intensive than ‘normal shows.’ What is clearly evident is that that is decidedly a traditional play—the hydrocarbons are in rocks into which they’ve migrated. One gigantic challenge is behind us now: our major motive for drilling stratigraphic wells as against focused wildcats has been spectacularly fulfilled—there’s a petroleum system. We have eradicated this specific so-called geologic danger, which is to say the basin is worthy of exploration.
JS: You had been one of many geoscientists accountable for the play idea that has led to this exploration program, one of many first folks to evaluation the aeromagnetic survey. How do you suppose such a doubtlessly enormous oil subject went undiscovered for therefore lengthy?
JG: We have but to learn how enormous that is by way of potential—we are going to ultimately see, but it surely’s encouraging that the 2 wells are so comparable and but 16 km aside. Back in 2014, the founder Craig Steinke requested a few of us to evaluation numerous data to suggest a play to pursue, and I steered the Karoo system in southern Africa was an under-appreciated play: he went on to put Karoo and Namibia collectively and adopted by means of with the licensing of Petroleum Exploration Licence 73 within the Kavango area. When Earthfield produced a mannequin of the form of the basin from aeromagnetic information that Craig bought from NAMCOR, I realized we had one thing totally different from the standard viewpoint on the Owambo Basin. For numerous technical causes it turned obvious that the depth of that mannequin shouldn’t be the place it is—the Owambo ought to begin to die out west of PEL 73; it ought to pinch out the place Earthfield’s mannequin turned deep. The depth of Earthfield’s mannequin was placing—one thing by no means beforehand suspected below Kavango, and thus steered a brand new basin that was separate and distinct from Owambo by way of its geologic raison d’etre. Since this was all hidden below the well-known Kalahari sands, the Kavango Basin as a petroleum goal remained a sleeper till we put the geophysical mannequin collectively with the regional geology.
JS: What is it that excites you in regards to the Kavango? Why had been you and the Recon staff so assured that the bottom held oil?
JG: The thrilling half for me is the brand new insights right into a uncared for geological province. But past the ‘science’ of it, the work I simply described arrange a brand new, blue-sky play: in my view exploration is all about exploiting new insights somewhat than following the herd. And this is feasible solely in a only a few locations on the planet as of late. As Bill Cathey commented early on, in his expertise, all basins of this depth maintain industrial ranges of hydrocarbons. We actually needed to discover out extra about what was below that Kalahari cowl to make the following step. To be a part of forces with the remainder of what has develop into the Recon staff to take that subsequent step has been actually thrilling.
JS: The newest launch says the next: Based on preliminary evaluation of this first part, ReconAfrica is happy to report 134m (440 toes) of sunshine oil and gasoline exhibits from the 6-1 nicely. The exhibits are comparable in character to these seen within the 6-2 nicely, 16 km to the south. This second nicely (6-1), just like the first nicely (6-2), is in the identical sub-basin, exhibits clear proof of a working typical petroleum system. What do you imply by mild oil and gasoline exhibits? Can this oil be produced?
JG: Crude oil is available in a large spectrum of varieties relying on the supply it’s derived from, the temperature of its creation, and its subsequent historical past, and many others. Think of a turkey at Thanksgiving—the turkey is natural matter in sedimentary rocks, immature as we name it earlier than burial and heating up. As it cooks it offers off aromas (gasses) and juice within the pan (oils, liquids)—collectively they’re known as fluids. As the turkey cooks it offers off an increasing number of fluids—the good things that grandma makes scrumptious gravy out of. Then if you happen to overcook it, the turkey burns and the liquid boils off to show to the crusty undesirable crud that makes the pan laborious to wash, and the turkey itself turns into dry and unsavory. Organic matter in supply rocks goes by means of an identical development, besides that early within the ‘cooking’ historical past a tarry sludge comes off—that is heavy oil just like the tar sands in Canada, Venezuelan oil, or even the California oils. These are known as immature oils. As the system cooks additional the oils get lighter and transfer extra towards what gasoline or motor oil appear like, lighter in shade and fewer viscous—their index goes up in what’s known as API—these are mature oils within the candy spot of the spectrum. This is the type of stuff now we have within the wells.
But producibility of the oil additionally is dependent upon the rocks they’re in. Thinking of the reservoir rocks like a sponge to which the hydrocarbons have migrated, producibility is dependent upon how a lot house is out there to host the hydrocarbons (the porosity) and the way linked that house is to get the oil and gasoline to maneuver to the nicely bore (the permeability). Even the very best reservoirs solely surrender a fraction of their oil in human time frames. In the North Sea, for instance, recoverability because it’s known as is about 40-50% of the fluid. That’s on the great finish of the spectrum—extra typical is 25%– lower-end reservoirs may solely be a couple of %. We have to seek out this stuff out earlier than we will say something in regards to the quantity of hydrocarbon that may be recovered. So producibility is among the questions we will probably be trying to reply after we can do what’s known as a drill stem take a look at within the wells exactly on the place of the higher exhibits. This is an try to get the fluids to stream into the wellbore.
JS: Also from the press launch you gave a quote, “In these first two wells, the many oil and gas shows, with such variety, is certainly remarkable. It is highly encouraging to see clastic and thick carbonate sections which appear to have similar reservoir characteristics as observed in many other petroleum provinces.” Could you please tell us what you discover outstanding in regards to the number of oil and gasoline exhibits and also you additionally broaden upon what you imply by, and will you additionally tell us which different petroleum provinces have comparable reservoir traits?
JG: They are outstanding from a few factors of view. The logs present that the hydrocarbons are stacked in columns from 15 to over 110 meters in top, oil exhibits are matched usually with gasoline exhibits and there are also important exhibits of advanced gases. Shows in wells are usually only a temporary puff of gasoline and a little staining on the cuttings as they arrive out of the nicely, and they’re usually interpreted to counsel the nicely has intersected the migration path of the hydrocarbons. The ones in 6-2 and 6-1 counsel now we have a possible accumulation the place the exhibits are—that’s one outstanding half and the very fact that the 2 wells 16 km aside are so comparable to date, and that we had been fortunate sufficient to seek out them within the first wells! But, I’ve to emphasise that we don’t know but the scale of that accumulation or how a lot will probably be recoverable, or will truly produce.
The immense productiveness in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran (particularly the Zagros belt) is predicated on a number of stacked supply rocks and a number of other carbonate reservoirs that are concerned in lots of forms of traps. This will not be to say now we have found a brand new Middle East, however some of these are in buildings –the Zagros specifically in Iran and Iraq—which might be much like what we suspect now we have drilled into. So, the Kavango rocks might have comparable reservoir properties to a few of these.
JS: I do know we’re nonetheless ready for outcomes from the labs of the core samples of nicely 1. Can you share with us what you may discover out from these research? Could nicely 1 produce oil? What would should be achieved to make it a producer? What subsequent for the staff?
JG: We anticipated to seek out out some necessary issues that seismic information can’t inform us, which once more is why a stratigraphic take a look at was step one: the age of the rocks if they’ve sourcing potential, was there any proof of hydrocarbon passage, are there any reservoir rocks and what would their high quality be, and many others. Some of these are clear now, however some are going to take a while to pin down.
The producibility is a key query, in fact: we all know the exhibits are organized over fairly a couple of meters and even tens of meters vertically within the wells—stacked if you happen to like. The open query is “will they move to a borehole to be able to be produced? Is there enough to make the well a production well?” The first step towards answering these questions is to check the exhibits in a simulation of manufacturing to see if they are going to stream. 6-2 has been left in a state that it’s potential to return and take a look at. Then we have to map the construction to see if it’s sizable sufficient to entice sufficient hydrocarbon to be industrial. Then you must drill appraisal wells to show that the primary nicely isn’t one thing anomalous. All of that’s geared toward decreasing the industrial danger. It took 30 wells in offshore Norway to get to the purpose the place we’re in 2 wells in Kavango—a outstanding begin, however nonetheless solely a begin.
JS: Thanks in your time Jim. Hopefully it is possible for you to to reply a couple of extra questions as soon as we get the lab outcomes again.
Here are plenty of different oil corporations with thrilling early stage initiatives world wide you may wish to take a look at:
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) comes in simply above Shell because the world’s second-largest oil and gasoline firm by market cap. Chevron can also be betting huge on Africa, significantly Nigeria and Angola. The supermajor ranks among the many prime oil producers within the two African nations. Other areas on the continent the place the corporate holds pursuits embrace Benin, Ghana, the Republic of Congo and Togo. Chevron additionally holds a 36.7 % curiosity within the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited, which provides Nigerian pure gasoline to clients within the area.
With bets on each oil and pure gasoline, the corporate is trying to take benefit of each fossil fuels. Though costs are nonetheless depressed in the meanwhile, as gasoline demand returns to regular, Chevron may very well be a giant winner as costs climb again up to pre-pandemic ranges.
While it’s nonetheless an oil firm on the core, Chevron has emerged as one of many fossil gasoline business’s largest proponents of hydrogen, even enjoying a significant position as a worldwide advisory physique to the Hydrogen Council with the intention to present a long run imaginative and prescient for the position of hydrogen within the vitality transition.
ConocoPhillips Company (NYSE:COP) as the most important pure upstream firm, has carried out comparatively nicely on this depressed market, producing ample free money stream and returning chunk of it to shareholders. Unlike a lot of its friends who continued to broaden aggressively in the course of the shale growth, COP has taken a number of steps to decrease prices and fortify its stability sheet.
Like a lot of its friends, ConocoPhillips has been step by step offloading non-core belongings, together with the sale of its North Sea oil and gasoline belongings for $2.7 billion and the deliberate sale of its Australian belongings for $1.4B. Its asset portfolio, nonetheless, stays wholesome.
Thanks to a worldwide restoration in demand, Conoco has seen an more and more bullish look on the business, and it was one of many few corporations which didn’t partake within the mass-layoffs seen within the business final yr. In addition, Conoco has additionally seen a reasonably first rate about of insiders shopping for into its inventory, which is an efficient signal.
Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) is targeted on creating its pre-salt operations. And it’s simple to see why. Those upstream initiatives being authorized for improvement will need to have a breakeven value of $35 per Brent or much less. Brazil’s nationwide oil firm has budgeted capital spending for exploration and manufacturing actions of $46.5 billion from 2021 to 2025.
Clearly, whereas the pandemic has hit Brazil’s oil business inflicting manufacturing to fall due to savage price range cuts and nicely shut-ins, it seems to have achieved no materials long-term injury. Demand for Petrobras’ low sulfur content material gasoline is agency and can develop due to the international push to considerably cut back emissions, which is able to finally make Petrobras much more helpful over time.
Petrobras stays probably the most underrated oil majors on the planet. It’s bought fascinating crude oil, an enormous footprint in its home business, and a rising quantity of curiosity from buyers. It’s additionally bouncing off of low share costs like the remainder of the business, indicating there may very well be some upside left.
Exxon (NYSE:XOM) was hit with unbelievable losses sparked by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing demand destruction. Earlier this yr, the firm even did one thing that it was holding off on doing lengthy after all of the remainder of the Big Oil membership did it: it revised down its oil reserves.
ExxonMobil isn’t ignoring the truth of the market, nonetheless. It has made main strikes in its dedication to cut back its emissions. It claims to have about one-fifth of the world’s complete carbon seize capability. The firm captures about 7 million tons per yr of carbon.
ExxonMobil can also be huge in its dedication to cut back its emissions. It claims to have about one-fifth of the world’s complete carbon seize capability. The firm captures about 7 million tons per yr of carbon. This has been in place since 1970, and the corporate claims to have captured extra CO2 than any different firm — greater than 40 % of cumulative CO2 captured.
Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) is reworking itself to outlive and thrive in an oilfield a fraction of the scale it was just a few years in the past. The emphasis is shifting from throwing huge chunks of iron and a schoolyard full folks at a venture to minimizing capital depth of operations by means of the digital PSO transformation now we have mentioned right here. The digitalization of the worldwide oilfield will show to be very sticky and start to ship subscription-type returns to each corporations.
SLB is forward of the remainder of the oilfield pack with their New Energy Genvia enterprise, which goals to supply carbon free blue hydrogen by means of a hydrogen-production expertise enterprise in partnership with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and with Vinci Construction. This new enterprise will speed up the event and first industrial deployment of the CEA high-temperature reversible stable oxide electrolyzer (SOE) expertise.
SOE can doubtlessly be a game-changing expertise within the medium time period as a result of it provides a singular and environment friendly methodology to supply clear hydrogen by water electrolysis utilizing a renewable supply of electrical energy. Genvia’s mission is to ship differentiated system effectivity when producing hydrogen from water, in comparison with present industrial electrolyzer expertise, and as such, enabling clear hydrogen manufacturing at extremely aggressive value.
Baker Hughes (NYSE:BKR) is the world’s largest oil subject providers firm. They present drilling, completion, manufacturing, and reservoir administration merchandise and providers to clients in additional than 100 nations world wide. Founded in 1919 as Geophysical Services Inc., Baker Hughes has grown into a worldwide company with operations in over 120 places throughout 30 nations.
Like a lot of its friends, Baker Hughes has additionally confronted mounting strain to affix the inexperienced revolution. And it’s risen to the call-to-arms. Surprisingly, nonetheless, it wasn’t investor strain that bought Baker Hughes into the hydrogen boon. In truth, it’s been within the recreation for nicely over half a century. It constructed its first hydrogen compressor in 1962, and hasn’t stopped since.
Because it’s nonetheless primarily an oil subject service firm, nonetheless, Baker Hughes has had its share of ups and downs over the previous yr, however the $27 billion business large nonetheless stays a wise purchase for long-term buyers. Not solely has it proven that it might probably adapt to the instances, but it surely additionally pays dividends!
Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) is one other firm to control as oil costs slowly return to pre-pandemic ranges. The Colombian producer has a vivid future in one of many world’s up and coming hydrocarbon areas. South America is usually neglected available in the market, however as the world’s largest customers scramble to broaden their import sources, the area is ready to develop quickly within the coming years.
In a current announcement, Ecopetrol authorized an funding plan to assist enhance the corporate’s development potential. In truth, it’s even betting by itself home fields, allocating as a lot as 80% of its deliberate $4 billion investments in Colombia, with the remaining 20% to be cut up between operations in Brazil and the United States.
Though Ecopetrol continues to be grappling with a pushback in opposition to its fracking plans, it has loads of potential. And if hydraulic fracturing actually takes off in Colombia, it may very well be a boon for not solely the nation’s petroleum-dependent economic system, however for Ecopetrol’s shareholders, as nicely.
Enbridge (NYSE:ENB, TSX:ENB ) is in a singular place as oil and gasoline phases its 2021 comeback. As one of many extra doubtlessly undervalued corporations within the sector, it may very well be set to win huge this yr. In truth, in early December, it issued optimistic updates, planning increased dividends and anticipating extra income in 2021, after the challenges the oil business has confronted final yr as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and the broader market crash. Kinder Morgan additionally expects to lift its dividend for 2021 by 3 % in comparison with this yr.
Kinder Morgan Inc’s chief govt officer Steve Kean famous, “With budgeted extra protection of that dividend, we count on additionally to have the ability to have interaction in share repurchases on an opportunistic foundation.”
Kinder Morgan is a must-watch within the business. With dividends on the rise, oil costs rising, and bullish sentiment returning to the oil business, there may very well be some important upside left for this pipeline operator, particularly as oil begins flowing at pre-pandemic ranges.
Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX:CPG) was one other Canadian oil producer that struggled within the oil value disaster of final yr. The mid-cap firm noticed its share value tumble from a January excessive of $4.56 to an all-time low of simply $0.70 as oil demand dissipated and costs tumbled into the negatives in a traditionally unhealthy first-quarter. The horrible yr pressured the corporate to decrease output and capex forecasts for 2021.
Despite its struggles, nonetheless, Crescent has seen its share value climb considerably over the previous month. The 28% acquire could be the start of a turnaround for the embroiled Canadian oil large. In truth, it has even acquired a ‘strong buy’ sign from analysts at Zack’s due to its robust value efficiency and bettering technical.
In addition to bullish information from OPEC and Asian demand restoration, Canada’s oil sands are wanting a bit extra optimistic as nicely. According to authorities information, the controversial oil sands hit record-production in November and can seemingly proceed to develop all year long. This turnaround in Canadian oil will seemingly be a boon for Crescent, and a full restoration is wanting evermore possible.
Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) has been in a position to do what a lot of its Canadian counterparts haven’t been in a position to, hold its dividend intact after swinging to a loss for the primary half of the COVID pandemic, whereas Canada’s producers are scaling again manufacturing by round 1 million bpd amid low oil costs and demand. Though Canadian Natural Resources stored its dividend, it withdrew its manufacturing steering for 2020, nonetheless. It additionally mentioned it might curtail some manufacturing at high-cost typical initiatives in North America and oil sands operations and perform deliberate turnaround actions at oil sands initiatives within the second half of 2020.
Though there may be loads of destructive press surrounding Canada’s oil sands, the business is beginning to clear up its act a bit. And Canadian Natural Resources is main the cost. And if analysts are proper about Canada’s comeback, Canadian Natural Resources may very well be in for a giant yr.
Though the Canadian vitality large has seen its inventory value hunch this yr, it may present a possible alternative for buyers as oil costs rebound. It is already up over 170% from its March 2020 lows, however it’s simply getting began. If oil costs proceed to climb, it may very well be enormous information for buyers that held on.
Enbridge (TSX:ENB ) is a big in Canada’s oil business, and it’s in a nice place as oil and gasoline phases its 2021 comeback. As one of many extra doubtlessly undervalued corporations within the sector, it may very well be set to win huge this yr. But that’s provided that it might probably overcome a few of the challenges in its path. Most particularly, its Line 3 venture has confronted scrutiny from environmentalists.
The huge multi-billion venture venture plans to substitute Enbridge’s present 282 miles of 34-inch pipeline with 337 miles of 36-inch pipe. The new Line 3 would have the capability to transfer 370,000 barrels of oil per day, assuaging the takeaway capability constraints that Canadian oil producers have been battling for years now. Line 3 is considered one of two pipeline initiatives within the works which might be—in their unfinished state—maintaining Canada’s oil business from reaching its potential.
Though this problem appear show tough for Enbridge to beat, the general well being of the Canadian oil business is bettering, and with it, the outlook for Canadian producers akin to Enbridge. Enbridge began the yr off with a bang, and if oil costs proceed the upward trajectory they’ve seen over the previous few months, the Canadian large may see some upside nonetheless.
TC Energy Corporation (TSX:TRP) is a Calgary-based vitality large. The firm owns and operates vitality infrastructure all through North America. TC Energy is among the continent’s largest suppliers of gasoline storage and owns and has pursuits in roughly 11,800 megawatts of energy era. It’s additionally one of many continent’s most necessary pipeline operators. With TC Energy’s huge affect all through North America, it’s no surprise that the corporate is amongst considered one of Canada’s strongest and well-known corporations.
Like plenty of its friends, considered one of TC Energy’s largest challenges in recent times was grappling with the significantly tough approval course of for its Keystone Pipeline. But that’s all historical past now, and with the bounce again in oil and gasoline demand, TC Energy may stand to learn. While TC Energy’s inventory value has but to get better from pre-pandemic ranges, it is among the few business giants which has managed to maintain excessive dividends rolling in. With quarterly payouts exceeding 6%, TC has remained interesting for buyers within the business.
Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) is one other large in Canada’s business. It has set itself other than a few of its friends by means of plenty of high-tech options for locating, pumping, storing, and delivering its sources. Not solely is it huge within the oil sector, however it’s also a frontrunner in renewable vitality. Recently, the firm invested $300 million in a wind farm positioned in Alberta, exhibiting that it’s dedicated to decreasing its carbon footprint.
Now that oil costs are lastly recovering, giants like Suncor trying to capitalize. While most of the oil majors have given up on oil sands manufacturing – those that deal with technological developments within the space have a fantastic long-term outlook. And that upside is additional amplified by the truth that it’s at the moment wanting significantly under-valued in comparison with its friends, particularly as lithium, which is current in Canada’s oil sands, turns into an much more fascinating commodity.
CNOOC Limited (TSX:CNU) is among the world’s most attention-grabbing oil and gasoline corporations. It is China’s most vital producer of offshore crude oil and pure gasoline, and might be probably the most controversial oil shares for buyers in the marketplace. A label that has nothing to do with its operations, nonetheless.
The relationship between the United States and China has admittedly been higher, and if issues had been to take a flip for the worst, it may have a significant impression on international pure gasoline, on condition that CNOOC is China’s largest importer of LNG. But the Biden administration has been working to enhance relations and as such, Chinese corporations, together with CNOOC, are seemingly to breathe freely as soon as once more, and it’s nice information for buyers in Chinese shares.
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Forward-Looking Statements. Statements contained on this doc that aren’t historic details are forward-looking statements that contain numerous dangers and uncertainty affecting the enterprise of Recon. All estimates and statements with respect to Recon’s operations, its plans and projections, measurement of potential oil reserves, comparisons to different oil producing fields, oil costs, recoverable oil, manufacturing targets, manufacturing and different working prices and probability of oil recoverability are forward-looking statements below relevant securities legal guidelines and essentially contain dangers and uncertainties together with, with out limitation: dangers related to oil and gasoline exploration, together with drilling and different exploration actions, timing of reviews, improvement, exploitation and manufacturing, geological dangers, advertising and marketing and transportation, availability of ample funding, volatility of commodity costs, imprecision of reserve and useful resource estimates, environmental dangers, competitors from different producers, authorities regulation, dates of graduation of manufacturing and modifications within the regulatory and taxation surroundings. Actual outcomes might range materially from the knowledge supplied on this doc, and there’s no illustration that the precise outcomes realized sooner or later would be the similar in entire or partly as these offered herein. Other components that might trigger precise outcomes to differ from these contained within the forward-looking statements are additionally set forth in filings that Recon and its technical analysts have made. We undertake no obligation, besides as in any other case required by regulation, to replace these forward-looking statements besides as required by regulation.
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