Gneiss Energy is proud to sponsor this year’s Small Cap of the Year Award.
Last year’s winner, Energean, has enjoyed another headline-grabbing year, illustrating the opportunities available for Small Caps to expand operations and become household names. The shortlisted companies for this year’s award have all enjoyed significant success during the past 12 months. The criteria for consideration for Small Cap of the Year stipulate excellence across leadership, financial performance, operational performance, market transactions, exploration successes, industry partnerships and market reputation. Each of the shortlisted firms have performed superbly in the Small Cap peer group during a year in which investor focus on sustainability and good governance has sharpened significantly. We look forward to finding out which of these four worthy candidates takes home the prize.
Gneiss Energy is a strategic and financial advisory practice operating within the energy and natural resources sectors, with offices in London and Edinburgh.
The companies shortlisted for Small Cap of the Year are:
Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas
Over the last year, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas has gone from strength to strength. The company closed a fundraising exercise in April that provided US$17mn that was earmarked for further exploratory work offshore Guyana where it is partnered with Tullow Oil and Total. This followed the release of a CPR that put the Orinduik block’s gross unrisked prospective resources at nearly 4bn billion barrels of oil equivalent, with Eco’s 15% share accounting for more than 596mn boe. The back-to-back discoveries of further significant resources at nearby Jethro-Lobe and Joe de-risked Orinduik and the company will soon commission a new CPR to include the new finds. Interest is also returning to Namibia where Eco holds four offshore blocks and the company is making plans to explore and create value there. 2019 has been a year of great success for Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas and 2020 holds even more promise.
“We are extremely pleased to have been nominated for the Small-Cap of the Year Award. To be nominated for this Oil Council award is great credit to the team and all the hard work that has been put in. We’ve had an incredibly successful year exploring offshore Guyana with two back-to-back discoveries on Orinduik announced this summer. We have built excellent partnerships with both our local governments in Namibia and Guyana, and industry leaders, Tullow, Total, Qatar Petroleum, Azinam and Namcor. Eco Atlantic’s strategy is focused on creating value for our shareholders and with only two short years on AIM we are proud of what we have achieved to-date in generating excellent value. We have multiple catalysts for further success in 2020, and are excited to continue delivering on our strategy to our shareholders.”
Hurricane has had a landmark year. The development phase of the Lancaster Early Production System (EPS) concluded with first oil being produced in June, whilst the company was simultaneously drilling wells on the adjacent Greater Warwick Area in partnership with Spirit Energy. Hurricane has become the first firm to produce oil from naturally fractured basement formations in the UK continental shelf. The Lancaster field, located offshore in the West of Shetland region, has been flowing at an average of over 14,000 barrels per day since start-up, clearly demonstrating the commerciality of the development. By September, Hurricane had sold 1.6 million barrels across four cargoes. The ultimate goal of the Lancaster EPS is to improve Hurricane’s understanding of the reservoir to aid planning of future phases of development of its Rona Ridge resource. Significant progress has also been made in the nearby Greater Warwick Area with the three-well 2019 campaign resulting in a well that is likely to be tied back to Lancaster’s Aoka Mizu FPSO next year. 2019 has been a year of significant asset development for Hurricane. The company can look forward to realising the full-year benefits of this in 2020.
“2019 marks the culmination of many years of exploration and appraisal for Hurricane. We are now in production with Lancaster generating the cash flow that will allow Hurricane to shape its business on its terms. Delivery of a harsh environment, offshore development on time and on budget is a remarkable achievement for a small independent company like Hurricane. The real test for a company nominated for Small Cap of the Year, though, is to graduate from that category. The scale of our resource base suggests that this is eminently achievable,” Dr Robert Trice, CEO, Hurricane Energy
Independent Oil & Gas
Independent Oil & Gas has had a transformational year in 2019 and finished the year with its Southern North Sea infrastructure led gas development fully funded and FID declared. During 2019 the company has restructured its debt, fended off an opportunistic hostile bid, raised equity, acquired the onshore Thames Reception Facilities, safely drilled an operated well, refreshed its board and most importantly fully funded its gas development through a combination of a £165m farm-out to CalEnergy Resources and a €100m bond leading to the partners declaring FID on Phase 1 of the SNS project. IOG’s is now fully funded for both phases of its SNS project comprising 302bcf of 2P reserves and a further 108bcf of 2C resources, developing six discovered gas fields via its Thames Pipeline and associated reception facilities at Bacton. First gas is due in July 2021.
“As a small cap CEO it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture sometimes. I like to keep the broader view in mind as I am in no doubt that natural gas will be the key transition fuel in helping secure a lower carbon future, reducing our reliance on oil and coal in the energy mix. IOG is a natural gas company that wants to help bring that about that outcome. At IOG this year I’m very proud of what my team and the board has delivered. Our debt has been restructured, £19m equity placed, we operated a well safely in the UK Southern North Sea and most of all, secured full development funding for our UK Southern North Sea Core Project via our £165m farm-down to CalEnergy Resources and the raising of a €100m Nordic Bond. We began the year as a £15m market cap company with a good idea – develop our core gas portfolio of 412bcf gross and produce it into the UK gas market through the recommissioned Thames pipeline which we own. We end the year poised to do just that with our Core Project in the Execution phase, a high quality party joining with us in CalEnergy and a Board and Team determined to push on and deliver cash flow and returns for our shareholders, ” Andrew Hockey, CEO, Independent Oil & Gas
Serica Energy has enjoyed a year of outperforming expectations thanks to the November 2018 acquisition of the Bruce, Keith and Rhum (BKR) from BP. Having provided a full-year net production guidance range of 26,000-30,700 boepd, first half net production averaged 31,000 boepd, with operating costs having been reduced by more than 30%. Serica posted a first half pre-tax profit of £52 million, up £60 million on a £8 million deficit in the same period in 2018. The good news kept coming in October, when Serica secured protection for the continuation of development at Rhum, receiving an extension of a waiver US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) through to 2021. With the recent award of a drilling contract to Maersk Drilling for the Columbus field and the roll-out of a platform to digitise safety at its offshore assets, Serica appears set for another year of major progress in 2020.
“Serica is delighted to be nominated for the Small-Cap of the Year award. This nomination recognises the hard work and energy that our entire team has put in to see Serica through the challenging transition phase for the Bruce, Keith and Rhum assets and into a transformational new era. The new team is already surpassing expectations and delivering significant improvements on performance and setting the bar high as we focus on maximising the value of one of the UK’s most productive assets. Our success provides satisfying proof of Serica's business model at a time when we are actively seeking new, similarly rewarding projects.”