Italy-focused junior explorer Sound Oil says it is prioritizing its human and capital resources towards the drilling of its onshore Badile asset, which it expects to achieve in early 2015.
In August the firm bought a plot of land to host the drill site for its initial exploration well on Badile, which is located in Italy's Lombardy region.
Reporting its half-year results Wednesday, Sound Chairman Simon Davies said:
"We continue to prioritize our human and capital resources towards the successful drilling of this game changing asset. In this context, I am also very pleased to note the announcement and subsequent decree by the Italian Prime Minister, in which he proposed a streamlining of the Italian oil and gas permitting process which we expect to result in faster approval timelines going forward."
The firm also said that a competitive farm-out process for Badile was now underway.
Meanwhile, Davies said that the firm is continuing to develop its growing portfolio of producing assets. Following first gas from Casa Tiberi, gas sales now cover the firm's Italian cost base while also demonstrating its capacity for bringing assets from exploration through to development and into production.
During the first quarter of the year, Sound reported that production at its Rapagnano onshore gas field was ahead of budget and that there had been a 31-percent increase in the Rapagnano reserve base. The company also expects its Nervesa asset – where it will soon drill a second well – to become its next addition to its producing portfolio.
Sound also said that it is making progress in relation to its portfolio of low-risk existing discoveries, with the recent award of the permits containing the 30-billion cubic foot Laura discovery and a new competent person's report on the onshore Santa Maria Goretti permit – so confirming a 32.8 bcf opportunity.
Sound's revenue for the first six months of 2014 was $799,000 (1H 2013: $173,000) while its loss before tax came in at $3.33 million (1H 2013: $1.63 million).
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