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Carnarvon Petroleum's leverage to recovering oil price underappreciated says Hartleys

Hartleys notes company's cash position of circa $50 million as at December 31, 2017.
Picture of oil rig
Hartleys' target price implies a premium of circa 100% to the current share price

Carnarvon Petroleum Limited (ASX:CVN) and joint venture partner, Quadrant Energy, are approaching the drilling of the Phoenix South-3 well, with results a potential catalyst.

The Phoenix South-3 well has been designed to evaluate the gas and condensate discovered in the Phoenix South-2 well.

Analysts at Hartley’s note that the appraisal of Phoenix South and confirmed drilling of Dorado-1 could result in Carnarvon being one of the better performers in the oil sector in 2018.

READ: Carnarvon Petroleum and partner lay out drilling plans for 2018

Carnarvon’s exposure to recovering oil price underappreciated

Hartleys is of the view that Carnarvon’s potential exposure to a recovering oil price is possibly underappreciated.

It believes Phoenix South is likely to have a very high liquids content, and the liquids component is so high, the liquids cash flow alone could pay for the development.

Could there be a takeover in the wind

The broker also believes there is the potential for corporate activity given the group is now one of the largest independent owners of uncontracted gas in Western Australia.

Acquisition activity isn’t new to operators in that region.

AWE Ltd (ASX:AWE) attracted takeover interest in 2017 and Hartleys juxtaposed whether 2018 will see the losing bidders on AWE, or even another third party, come to the table.

Share price implies upside of circa 100% to Hartleys target price

Hartleys has a speculative buy rating on Carnarvon based on a combination of an attractive valuation relative to its enterprise value to barrels of oil equivalent and takeover appeal.

The broker has a 12 month share price target of $0.25 on the stock, a substantial premium to Friday’s intraday high of $0.13.

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