Antrim Energy Inc. Announces 2015 Results
CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – April 25, 2016) –
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Antrim Energy Inc. (“Antrim” or “the Company”) (TSX VENTURE:AEN)(AIM:AEY), an international oil and gas exploration company, today reported its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015.
All financial figures are unaudited and in US dollars unless otherwise noted.
Antrim, with its current cash resources, no debt and no decommissioning obligations, continues to maintain a strong financial position. Working capital at December 31, 2015 was US$9.6 million (CAD $0.07 per share), including cash of US$9.9 million.
Antrim continues to search for M&A opportunities, using a structured approach in its evaluation. Key criteria include strategic fit, focus on near term appraisal / development, use of funds, transformative potential with upside potential for Antrim shareholders and current or near term cash flow. In a period of significant commodity price volatility, ensuring that the opportunity remains viable in a low oil and gas price environment is a key component in the evaluation.
In Ireland, the Company has a 100% working interest in Frontier Exploration Licence (“FEL”) 1/13, subject to finalization and government approval of the transfer of Kosmos Energy Ireland’s (“Kosmos”) interest to Antrim. Antrim was one of the first companies to realize the oil and gas potential in the southern Porcupine Basin. The Porcupine Basin is the conjugate basin to the eastern Canadian Orphan Basin/Flemish Pass area, where several significant oil discoveries have recently been made. Studies of these conjugate margins have demonstrated many similarities in terms of source rock, maturation, hydrocarbon migration, reservoir characteristics and trap formation.
The Company has identified two highly prospective Jurassic fault blocks and one Cretaceous submarine fan system in the FEL 1/13 licence, as well as numerous other leads. To move exploration of FEL 1/13 forward, Antrim is seeking to extend the first exploration phase of the licence as well as farm-out a portion of its interest in the licence to a new operator. In February 2016 the first round results of the Ireland 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round were announced. In total, 14 new licensing options were awarded with successful participants including Eni, ExxonMobil, Statoil and BP, confirming very strong industry interest in this frontier exploration play. A second announcement of results from the licensing round is expected in May 2016.
Frontier Exploration Licence (“FEL”) 1/13, Antrim 100%
In 2013, Kosmos farmed-in to Antrim’s Licencing Option over the Skellig Block and acquired 75% interest in and operatorship of FEL 1/13 in exchange for carrying the full costs of a 3-D seismic programme and re-imbursement of a portion of Antrim’s past exploration costs. Results from the subsequent 3-D seismic reinforced Antrim’s interpretation based on 2-D seismic and strongly indicated the presence of Lower Cretaceous slope fan and channel deposits similar in geometry and seismic character to many of the recent Cretaceous oil discoveries offshore West Africa. The licence prospect inventory includes two tilted Jurassic fault blocks and a Cretaceous submarine fan, as well as several other leads.
In September 2015, Antrim was advised by Kosmos of its intention to withdraw from all of its licence interests in Ireland to focus on other recent discoveries in their African portfolio. The Company has applied for and anticipates obtaining at no further cost a 100% working interest in and operatorship of the licence, subject to finalization and government approval of the transfer of Kosmos interest in FEL 1/13 to Antrim.
FEL 1/13 has a 15 year term, with an initial three-year term followed by three four-year terms. The initial three-year term expires in early July 2016 and Antrim has submitted a request to extend the first exploration term by an additional two years pending government approval and agreement on an additional technical work program. The Company is also currently seeking a new farm-in partner and operator to complete any additional technical work necessary during the extension period with the ultimate goal that a well commitment could be made at the end of the revised first exploration phase. In the current commodity price environment the cost of drilling an exploration well on the licence has decreased considerably from when the licence was first awarded in 2013. As part of a farm-out transaction Antrim would seek a carry on the first exploration well.
P077 Block 21/28a – Fyne, Antrim 100%
United Kingdom (UK) Seaward Licences require licensees to permanently abandon all suspended wells prior to licence expiry. In the third quarter of 2015 the Company successfully permanently plugged and abandoned three suspended wells on the Fyne Licence and one suspended well on the Erne Licence in the UK Central North Sea. The well abandonment campaign was completed as part of a larger abandonment programme allowing Antrim to share certain common costs offering significant cost savings.
The Company is in discussion with the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), formerly DECC, with respect to relinquishment and possible reapplication for the licence. The carrying value of the Fyne Licence at December 31, 2015 is $nil (December 31, 2014 – $nil).
P1875 Block 21/29d – Erne, Antrim 100%
Previous discoveries on the Erne Licence are not commercial on their own, but may be economic to develop as tie-backs to an adjacent production facility if such a facility were available. Antrim’s interest in the Erne licence increased to 100% after its partner withdrew from the licence following completion of the Erne well abandonment. The carrying value of the Erne Licence at December 31, 2015 is $nil (December 31, 2014 – $nil).
Cash Flow and Net Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations
In 2015, cash flow used in operations was $3.0 million compared to cash flow used in operations of $4.6 million in 2014. Cash flow used in operations decreased due to lower G&A costs and a $2.2 million foreign exchange gain in 2015 as a result of a significant decline year to date in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar, partially offset by actual decommissioning costs incurred in 2015. Excluding foreign exchange gains and losses, cash flows used in operations in 2015 decreased to $5.2 million compared to $5.5 million in 2014 due to a $3.2 million decrease in G&A costs partially offset by $3.0 million in actual decommissioning costs incurred in 2015.
In 2015, Antrim had net income from continuing operations of $1.8 million compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $6.5 million in 2014. Net income increased due to lower decommissioning obligations, foreign exchange gains and lower general and administrative costs.
Financial Resources and Liquidity
Antrim had a working capital surplus at December 31, 2015 of $9.6 million compared to a working capital surplus of $15.1 million as at December 31, 2014. Working capital decreased due to $2.3 million in general and administrative expenses and $3.0 million net to Antrim in actual decommissioning costs incurred in the year.
The Company has been examining various strategic alternatives, including potential business combinations, to maximize shareholder value. The Company has also been actively engaged in reviewing various options that could lead to future development of its remaining appraised, but undeveloped UK oil and gas assets. Those assets were subject to material well abandonment obligations and created an obstacle in determining the Company’s contribution toward a transaction. In September 2015, the Company eliminated uncertainty surrounding the abandonment liability by successfully completing the well abandonments at significant cost savings to previous estimates.
From the start of the strategic review process, the Company established a clear set of objectives to avoid value destruction and maximize shareholder value. These criteria included but were not limited to:
To identify and evaluate opportunities the Company has been using its own internal resources as well as Carlingford, a division of GFI, as international financial advisers. Through this process, the Company has had contact with over 100 international oil and gas companies resulting in consideration of numerous opportunities and a further, more in-depth evaluation of over 15 possible transactions. Many companies in the junior oil and gas sector are enduring tough trading conditions with limited access to fresh equity or other sources of financing, which has only been exacerbated by the significant volatility and decline in oil prices.
The Company continues to actively evaluate M&A opportunities using the criteria set out above. No assurance can be provided that a satisfactory opportunity will be identified and if one is identified, that a transaction could be closed on terms acceptable to the Company.
The Company has submitted an application to extend the first exploration term of its Ireland licence by an additional two years, pending government approval and agreement on an additional technical work program. The Company is also seeking a new farm-in partner and operator to complete any additional technical work necessary during the extension period to further de-risk the identified leads and prospects on the licence. No assurance can be provided that an extension or farm-out of the Ireland licence can be concluded in a timely manner on terms acceptable to the Company.
The Company will continue to manage its general and administrative expenses, and where possible, further cost reductions will be made to preserve the Company’s resources.
Antrim Energy Inc. is a Canadian, Calgary based junior oil and gas exploration company with assets in the UK North Sea and Ireland. Antrim is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (AEN) and on the London AIM market (AEY). Antrim’s 2015 annual report (including management’s discussion and analysis and consolidated financial statements), is available on SEDAR and our website. Visit www.antrimenergy.com for more information.
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