Max Petroleum plc (BUY, £0.50) (LON:MXP, 13p, ▼ 1.89%) provided a production update for the Zhana Makat Field. The ZMA-ET1 well has been connected to temporary production facilities for long-term production testing and is currently producing at a stable rate of approximately 650 bopd barrels of oil per day ("bopd") from perforations in the T4 Triassic reservoir at depths from 1,282 to 1,288 metres. The current production rate has been restricted to 650 bopd while the Company monitors the level of gas production from the well. The Company has also perforated the ZMA-ET2 appraisal well, successfully flowing 48 degree API oil at an equivalent rate of approximately 450 bopd from perforations in the T5 Triassic reservoir from depths of 1,315 to 1,321 metres during a limited flow-back period. The well will be connected to temporary production facili ties and brought onto long-term production testing in August 2011. The Company expects the well to produce at a stabilised rate of approximately 500 bopd. The Company is on track to increase aggregate daily production during the current quarter to approximately 3,500 bopd, which is a significant milestone for the Company
Matra (BUY, £0.07) (LON:MTA, 2.675p, ▲ 2.88%) announced an update on operations in the Sokolovskoe Field, Russia. The planned workover on well-12 was completed at the end of June by installing a production packer, with the intention of isolating the productive zones in the well. The well was returned to production by swabbing on 2 July and has been on production since that time. During this period the well has averaged 352 bpd with a water cut of around 42% (net 203 bopd). Fluid loss from the annulus confirmed a leak in the casing/liner system, although installation of the production packer has not stopped water production as intended. Well-12 was drilled through the oil-water-contact ('OWC') and encountered various operational problems during drilling and side-tracking, making definitive analysis difficult. Well performance has been reduced by the presence of water in the tubing and the high viscosity of the resulting oil/water emulsion. At the current time, the source of the water has not been identified and the well will continue on production and to be monitored. It is planned that future wells will be terminated above the OWC thereby facilitating good cement bonding and zone isolation. The independent study carried out last year by ERC/Equipoise concluded that the Company should encounter better reservoir to the north of the two existing wells where full development of subsurface reefs are expected. Planning and approvals for the full field 3D seismic survey and the drilling of well-14 are continuing with both operations intended to commence later this year.
Providence Resources plc (LON:PVR, 250p, ▲ 2.67%) announced that it has, on behalf of itself and its partners, commenced operations for its 3D seismic acquisition project in Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 4/08 in the Porcupine Basin, off the west coast of Ireland. Using a vessel supplied by Polarcus Limited, the c. 200 km2 3D survey is expected to run for approximately 15 days. Providence operates FEL 4/08 (32%) on behalf of its partners, Chrysaor E&P Ireland Limited (60%) and Sosina Exploration Limited (8%).
Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) plc (LON:EOG, 13.25p, ▲ 0.95%) provided an update on planned operations in Romania for the coming 6 months. Europa has received both drilling approval and an extension to the licence from the Romanian authorities in order to undertake the deepening of the Barchiz-1 exploration well, situated in the EPI-3 Brates Concession (Europa 100%). The deepening of the well is planned to test the exploration target thought to lie beneath the current 1,450m depth of the well. Aurelian Oil & Gas, the Operator of the Brodina Concession (Europa 28.75%) in northern Romania, has advised partners that the Voitinel gas discovery appraisal well is due to spud on or around 1st October 2011. Subject to the results of this well, a further well is anticipated to be drilled to test the upside to the play in early 2012. The 2011 seismic programme in Romania is underway, with the EIII-3 Cuejdiu area (Europa 17.5%) acquisition over 70% complete. The EIII-1 Brodina programme will follow on from this survey. Both of these seismic programmes are concentrating on the underexplored thrust belt oil play.
Afren plc (LON:AFR, 149.80p, ▲ 0.47%) issued a trading statement and operations update in advance of the Company's 2011 Half-yearly results. Highlights: Reservoir performance at Ebok and Okoro at upper end of expectations; Average full year daily production revised to 25,000 to 30,000 boepd due to non-reservoir related facilities downtime; on track for 50,000 boepd 2011 exit rate; Strong financial position - first half revenue US$161 million; Cash at bank US$320 million and net debt US$344 million; First half capital expenditure US$254 million, with forecast full year expenditure at US$450 million; Active exploration programme with nine wells planned targeting over 600 mmboe net to Afren; and continue to prioritise value accretive acquisitions
Bahamas Petroleum (LON:BPC, 13.75p, ▼ 3.51%) announced the appointment of Steve Weyel as Non-Executive Director of the Company effective immediately. Mr. Weyel has 35 years of experience including operating experience in major oil producing basins around the world. Most recently, as a Founder of Energy XXI, he helped take it from an AIM company to a $2bn NASDAQ-listed company.
Arian Silver Corporation (LON:AGQ, 4.275p, ▲ 4.91%) announced the results of its updated NI 43-101 mineral resource estimates for its San Jose Property in Zacatecas State, Mexico. The in-situ resources comprises 8,000,000 gross tonnes in the indicated mineral resource category, containing 30.03 Moz Ag, 69.9 M lbs of Pb and 126.6 M lbs of Zn at an average grade of 117 g/t Ag, 0. 40% Pb and 0.72% Zn; and 17,000,000 gross tonnes in the inferred mineral resource category, containing 58.42 M oz Ag, 140.1 M lbs of Pb, and 291.1 M lbs of Zn at an average grade of 107 g/t Ag, 0.37% Pb and 0.78% Zn. This represents an 86% increase in resource tonnage along the San Jose Vein from the August 2008 mineral resource estimate, a 10% higher average silver grade; a 105% increase in contained silver, and a34% of gross silver mineral content now in the indicated category. The Phase-4 drill programme is underway with 5 holes for 1,745 metres completed so far.
Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU, 4.38p, ▲ 2.94%) announced that further to its announcement of 3 June 2011 it has completed the acquisition of four prospective exploration licences in western Turkey from AIM-listed Turkish explorer, KEFI Minerals plc. In accordance with the terms of the sale and purchase agreement Ariana's wholly owned Turkish subsidiary Galata Madencilik San. ve Tic. Ltd. has now made a payment of 10,000 Turkish Lira to KEFI's Turkish subsidiary Dogu Akdeniz Mineralleri San. ve Tic. Ltd. in consideration for the transfer of the licences. Ariana has also issued 910,747 new ordinary shares in the Company at a deemed price of 5.49p per share to KEFI in consideration for the acquisition of certain mineral exploration data and drill core samples relating to the four exploration licences to Ariana. The net smelter return royalty of 2% payable by Galata to Dogu on commercial production of any mineral from the licences has also now been granted.
Firestone Diamonds plc (LON:FDI, 29.50p, ▲ 3.06%) provided an update on the Company's mining operations in Lesotho and Botswana. At the Liqhobong Mine in Lesotho pumping of water from the Main Pipe of K5 to the new raw water dam has enabled some of the K5 ore to be exposed for mining. Approximately 3,000 tonnes of K5 material has been treated through Plant 1 to provide an initi al indication of diamond quality from K5 and to assess plant performance with the high fines content contained in K5. Recoveries included four large diamonds; a 33 carat white, a 9 carat vivid yellow, an 8 carat white octahedron and a 1.7 carat pink diamond. These results confirm the presence of high quality diamonds at the Main Pipe, in particular the first pink diamond to be recovered at Liqhobong. The Company plans to hold its third diamond sale of 2011 during the last two weeks of August and is expected to be significantly larger than the last sale in June 2011, and will include the high quality diamonds recently recovered from the K5 material.
AEA Technology (Monitored Coverage) (LON:AAT, 3.55, ▲ 2.90%) results reflected the challenging year that the group experienced. Revenues were essentially flat but adjusted operating income was down to £8.8M and the group reported an operating loss of £5.9M. Business was affected by the reduction in UK Government spend. Looking forward the acquisition of ERG provides a large platform for growth in the US, where business in the current year has begun well with a strong i mprovement in order intake
Lamprell (HOLD) (LON:LAM, 382p, ► 0.0%) announced today an unconditional mandatory cash offer to acquire all remaining shares in MIS in issue. The offer price is NOK 38 per share with settlement in cash, which is the same as under the voluntary offer. This acquisition of MIS is strategically important for the group. The medium/long term prospects remain encouraging and we retain our neutral stance.