Range Enters HOA to Acquire Trinidad Blocks
Range has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement ("HOA") to acquire through SOCA Petroleum ("SOCA") its right to purchase a 100% interest in a Trinidad holding company whose two wholly owned subsidiaries hold production licenses for three blocks in producing onshore oilfields in Trinidad together with a local drilling company.
The production acreage and operating wells cover the Morne Diablo, Beach Marcelle and South Quarry oilfields, with the total acreage covering 16,253 gross acres on the southern coast of onshore Trinidad. Current production from the fields is approximately 600 bopd, however Range believes a minimal work program could potentially lift production to more than 4,000 bopd within 36 months on the known reserves.
In addition to the holding company parent of two subsidiaries holding production licenses for the onshore acreage, the proposed Range acquisition also includes a 100% interest in a wholly owned drilling company (located in Trinidad), which owns onshore drilling equipment and related facilities.
The Company is planning to use company-owned drilling rigs and equipment and, with cashflow from existing production supplemented by a well advanced financing facility (to be finalized) to fund its development and exploration program which aims to increase the production from 600 bopd to 4,000 bopd within 36 months from known reserves without taking into account any exploration upside.
In addition to the known reserves, significant potential exists in the deeper Herrera Formation. The Deeper Herrera Formation will be a primary target of future drilling using company-owned drilling rigs, which are capable of reaching the depth of these formations. Subject to the successful drill testing of this formation, the Company is ultimately targeting an increase in the production level to between 8,000 - 10,000 bopd.
Range's Executive Director, Peter Landau commented today, "With the recent strength and growth in Range's asset base and market capitalization, the 100% acquisition represents an incredible opportunity to compliment Range's asset base of good value exposure to early stage, low risk production / mature exploration opportunities whilst retaining significant exposure to considerable measurable exploration upside."
"Onshore Trinidad is a low cost, high operating margin environment with oil production sold at the wellhead and transported to the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery, which has capacity for all additional planned production."
"The Company believes that there is significant potential for value enhancement given the known management team and will target (subject to exploration success) an ultimate production profile of up to 10,000 bopd over the next 2-3 years," he added.
Under the terms of the Agreement with SOCA Petroleum, Range will pay the following to acquire the remaining 90% interest in SOCA that it doesn't already own:
- US $52m upon formal completion of the acquisition (scheduled to happen imminently upon all necessary closing actions being completed);
- The issue of 35,842,293 fully paid ordinary shares upon completion; and
- The potential issue of two parcels of a further 17,921,146 fully paid ordinary shares upon production from the SOCA licenses reaching 1,250 bopd and 2,500 bopd respectively.
To help provide funding for the cash component of the acquisition consideration, Range has received commitments to a placement of 117,647,059 shares at an issue price of £0.17 per share to raise £20 million. The placement was undertaken through the Company's UK broker, Old Park Lane Capital, to a number of sophisticated and institutional investor. The placement was well oversubscribed and Company is looking at accepting up to £5m in over subscriptions due to demand.
The placement is scheduled to settle on April 27, 2011, other than 4,426,271 shares which are scheduled to settle on May 10, 2011.
Technical Overview of Trinidad assets to be acquired
Historical and current oil production is from the Forest and Cruse Formations which are shallow fluvio-deltaic reservoirs with current total estimated Proved plus Probable plus Possible Reserves (3P) (on SOCA's and third parties' licenses) of 20 million barrels of oil (MMbo) (Forest A. Garb & Associates report1). Current production is approximately 600 bopd from the Morne Diablo, South Quarry and Beach Marcelle fields.
Significant potential exists in the Deeper Herrera Formation. The Deeper Herrera Formation is a Miocene-aged deepwater turbidite. Production is typically found in the northeast to southwest thrusted structures to the east and north of the subject acreage, where the Penal field has produced more than 60 MMbo to date. 3D Seismic was used to identify prospective drilling locations in the license area that have a further undiscovered oil potential of 100 MMbo.
The Deeper Herrera Formation will be a target of future drilling using company-owned drilling rigs, which have the capability to reach these formations.
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