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Proactive weekly oil and gas summary including Argos Resources, Trapoil, Xcite Energy and Northcote Energy

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Argos Resources (LON:ARG) confirmed that it is “more likely” that drilling on its highly prospective licence area in the North Falkland Basin will begin next year rather than 2013, as the search continues for a farm-in partner for the acreage.

Last year was notable for two major deals with explorers operating in the waters off the tiny South Atlantic islands: Premier Oil (LON:PMO) teamed up with Rockhopper (LON:RKH), which has the area adjacent to Argos’s; and Noble Oil & Gas tied-up with Falklands Oil & Gas (LON:FOGL).

"We have commenced the search for an industry partner,” said chairman Ian Thomson as the group unveiled its full-year financial results.

Also releasing results this week was North Sea focused Trapoil (LON:TRAP), which said it had has established a strong foundation for growth and looks to commercialise existing discoveries and build "exciting" exploration programmes.

The firm is looking to the future with confidence and has numerous wells to drill in its portfolio over the next three years, it said, as it released preliminary results.

The firm ended the year with £9.3 million in the bank.

Since December last year, Trap has increased its stakes in the Knockinnon prospect, Trent East and Orchid and aims now to gain operatorship in early 2013 of these promising assets.

It expects to spend up to £5 mln this year, it said, mainly on exploration to prepare for drilling in 2014.

It also aims to secure partners for a proof of concept programme for an unconventional oil play related to its farm-in deal in January with Extract Petroleum.

Similarly, in a results statement, Xcite Energy (LON:XEL) chief executive Rupert Cole has told investors that he is enormously excited about what the company can achieve in 2013.

In Tuesday morning’s results statement, for the twelve months to December 31 2012, he said that Xcite remains on track to deliver the new competent person's report for the Bentley heavy oil field in the early part of this year.

The report, which will inform a revised field development plan, will be based on data from last year’s successfull well test.

Yesterday, Falcon Oil & Gas (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) shares started at a premium at the open on its first day of trade in London and Dublin.

Chaired by John Craven, one of the driving forces behind the huge success of Cove Energy, it has unconventional oil and gas assets in Australia, South Africa and Hungary and has negotiated a series of truly blue-chip partnerships.

In day-to-day control of the business is chief executive Philip O’Quigley, who before jumping ship was with Providence Resources, which struck Ireland’s first commercial oil last year.

The group has raised US$25mln, US$10mln of which will be used to repay debentures due in June.

The share placing was completed at 14 pence a share, with the stock changing hands for 15.5 pence in early deals. 

In other news, US onshore focused Northcote Energy (LON:NCT) is to raise funds through a placing after splashing out to significantly increase its exposure to the Mississippi Lime formation in Oklahoma.

It has entered into a number of transactions that will get it a bigger piece of the action on the proven and producing Mississippi Lime formation in Osage County, Oklahoma.

Northcote’s working interest in the producing Horizon project will go up from an average of 37.5% to an average of 50.15% (or 39.80% net revenue interest) through the exercise of an option relating to the project, together with a further acquisition from Horizon Drilling Partners.

The exercise of the option to acquire average a 7.25% working interest in 10 wells will cost US$600,000, payable in equity (at a price of 1.75 pence per share).

The acquisition of a further 6% working interest in nine wells from Horizon will cost Northcote US $480,000 in cash.

Meanwhile, the company is also buying out the outstanding membership interest of Oklahoma Energy (OKE) in the Mississippian play in Osage County, Oklahoma, in a deal which will triple Northcote's net acreage in the play.

Meanwhile, Magnolia Petroleum (LON:MAGP) has agreed to participate in three new wells in Oklahoma, and it also revealed that production from a newly completed well is exceeding expectations.

The newly completed well, Campbell 1-H, is producing at a gross rate of 614.79 barrels a day, with Magnolia’s 0.02% interest equating to 0.16 barrels of oil per day.

The AIM quoted oil firm will take minority stakes (between 0.1 and 2.4%) in the three new wells – Murl 1, Big Rig 1-35 and Jones 1-24H. 

This will add to the company's interests in 126 wells in its portfolio.

Quick facts: Archer Daniels Midland

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