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Petroceltic International, Baobab Resources, Chaarat Gold plus others feature in today's Fox-Davies Capital newsflash

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Oil & Gas News 

Faroe Petroleum (LON:FPM) today announced the completion of a successful initial side-track well on the Butch oil discovery (Faroe 15%) located in the Norwegian North Sea. As announced on 18 October 2011, the Butch exploration well (8/10-4 S) encountered net oil pay of approximately 50 metres in the Upper Jurassic reservoir of the Ula formation and an initial side-track (8/10-4 A) was drilled to appraise for additional volumes of oil further down-dip.  The initial side-track (8/10-4A) was water-bearing and due to technical issues, a technical side-track (8/10-4 T2) was drilled with the main objective of acquiring pressure data to establish the oil-water contact. The technical side-track has been completed successfully and the operator (Centrica) has calculated a preliminary resource estimate of 30 - 60 million barrels of oil equivalent. Drilling of a second side-track well is planned to commence in the coming days.  The objective of this exploration side-track well is to prove additional oil volumes in the same formation but in an exploration prospect further south on the salt structure and outside the Butch main discovery. The Butch discovery is situated in 66 metres water depth in the Norwegian North Sea, close to significant existing infrastructure with the producing fields Ula, Tambar and Gyda approximately seven kms to the west, 10 kms to the south west and 20 kms to the south respectively Equity holders in the Butch licence are Faroe 15%, Centrica 40% (operator), Suncor Norge AS 30% and Spring Energy Norway AS 15%.

Roxi Petroleum (LON:RXP) announced that it has been advised by the Ministry of Oil & Gas of the Republic of Kazakhstan that its operating Company, BNG Ltd LLP, ("BNG") has received approval for gas flaring for the period 2012 to 2014, which is the final regulatory consent needed before pilot production can commence on its South Yelemes field (Airshagyl Area). Roxi now expects Well 54 and Well 805 will be put into pilot production in the second quarter 2012. After pilot production commences, BNG will test and evaluate Well 806 as part of its ongoing development of the South Yelemes field.

Petroceltic International PLC (LON:PCI) issued an update on operations at the Ain Tsila field in Algeria. Highlights: AT-9 well flows at 43.9 MMscf/d from the Upper Zone and 8.9 mmscf/d from the Lower Zone without fracture stimulation, substantial condensate yields from both zones - 1,005 bpd from the Upper Zone and 205 bpd from the Lower Zone, highest pre-fracture stimulation flow rates achieved to date on the Ain Tsila field, the well will not be fracture stimulated at this time as current test rates are already limited by surface facility capacity, 2011 Algerian appraisal drilling and testing programme now complete - all 6 wells successfully tested gas columns, 3 of the total of 9 wells drilled have flowed gas at rates in excess of 33 mmscf/d.

Mining News 

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) announced that the Company has raised £112,500 (approximately A$172,000) by way of a Placing of 11,250,000 new Ordinary Shares of 0.3p each in the capital of the Company to UK sophisticated clients of Simple Investments, the Company's Broker, at 1.00p per share. The Placing is conditional on the 11,250,000 new Ordinary Shares of 0.3p each in the capital of the Company being admitted to trading on AIM.

Paragon Diamonds Limited (LON:PGR) announced that the Company has appointed Fox Davies Capital Limited to act as its Nominated Adviser with immediate effect. Fox Davies is also the Broker to the Company. 

Chaarat Gold Holdings Limited (LON:CGH) announced a project update on the Tulkubash Project, which is part of the Chaarat project area in north western Kyrgyzstan. Resources increased 56% to 501,000oz @ 2.92 g/t* from 321,000oz @ 3.96g/t with a significant uplift potential for resource and reserve identified. Mine development continues with production scheduled for second quarter 2013.

Baobab Resources PLC (LON:BAO) announced a resource update at the Massamba Group of its Tete iron / vanadium / titanium project. The Massamba Group global resource base expanded to 324Mt (JORC) with the completion of the Ruoni South resource estimate. The Ruoni South 56Mt Inferred Resource reports a head grade of 34% Fe with an average concentrate grade of 62% Fe, 0.9% V2O5 and 8% TiO2 at a mass recovery of 34%. The Ruoni South resource complements the 93Mt estimate at Ruoni North and delivers a higher quality concentrate at a competitive mass recovery. Drilling programmes at the contiguous Tenge deposit are all but concluded, with 24 drill holes completed for an aggregate total of c.4,500m. Drilling is defining a substantial package of mineralisation, approximately 120m thick, that comprises a significant portion of the 100m high Monte Tenge and dips shallowly towards the west. Initial analytical results are expected during December with a resource statement scheduled for February 2012. 

ATH Resources PLC (LON:ATH) announced a trading update in respect of its year ended 2 October 2011. Group sales for the period increased by 7 per cent to £84.2 M (2010: £78.3 M) on sales volumes of 1.67 Mt (2010: 1.79 Mt).  Greater emphasis has been placed on maximising supply of tonnage due under legacy contracts together with further reductions in debt in order to improve shareholder value over the longer term.  The Group has therefore concentrated its mining strategy on those areas of recoverable reserves which give rise to higher quality coals at lower mining ratios and remains on track to fulfil the first of these legacy contracts by the end of March 2012 with the second during 2013.

Average selling prices rose by 15 per cent. to £50.43 per tonne (2010: £43.70 per tonne) with the Group's legacy contracts, which accounted for 32% of sales,  continuing to constrain performance.  Further significant improvements to average selling prices are anticipated in the current financial year.

Pre-exceptional operating profits were reduced to £3.0 M (2010: £7.0 M) as the full impact of higher input costs, principally gas oil, which increased by 28% over the same period last year, took effect.  With higher gas oil prices likely to remain at, or above, their current levels for the foreseeable future, the Board felt it appropriate to increase restoration provisions by some £1.6 M.  Additionally difficult and unexpected geological conditions at Glenmuckloch and Muir Dean sites caused a write down of the Group's work in progress provisions of some £4 M.  This has resulted in a pre-tax loss of £5.8 M (2010: profit £4.0 M).

Alba Mineral Resources PLC (LON:ALBA) announced that Teck Ireland Ltd., a subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited, a Canadian-based diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy, has entered into an exploration option and joint venture agreement with the Company. Teck has an option to earn a 75% interest in the Limerick project before the formation of a joint venture company to be held 75% Teck, 25% Alba by completing US$400,000 of exploration expenditures over a four year period. Programmes of ground geophysics, soil geochemistry and possible diamond drilling are planned during 2012. 

Oilfield Services News 

Subsea 7 (PINK:SUBCY) announced  the award of a SURF contract valued at approximately $200 million from Petrobras on Campos Basin, 80km from the Brazilian coast. The contract scope includes the management, engineering, procurement and installation of two rigid oil lines of 4.5km x 34”OD at water depths of 70 metres, umbilicals and subsea related equipments. The subsea layout is comprised by an offshore terminal for oil temporary storage and offloading and two mono-buoys connected to the subsea system (pipeline and equipment) through flexible hoses and and umbilicals. Engineering and project management will commence immediately with offshore operations due to commence in the first half of 2013 utilising a number of Subsea 7’s pipelay and construction vessel.

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