Gran Tierra Receives 'Outperform' Rating After Revealing Exploration Plans

Gran Tierra Energy received an “outperform” rating on its stock in a brief research note from FirstEnergy Wednesday, following the energy firm’s recently announced future exploration plans in Colombia.

The South America-focused oil and gas firm has identified 54 exploration prospects which have a combined unrisked resource potential of 682 million barrels of oil equivalent, net to the company. Gran Tierra expects that 47 out of these 54 prospects can be drilled over the next five years and can be self-funded from funds flow from operations.

Over the next 18 months, Gran Tierra plans to drill 19 exploration prospects targeting 222 million boe (58 million boe risked) of resource potential. On a risked basis, “this represents reserve growth potential of approximately 74 percent,” said FirstEnergy in a statement sent to Rigzone.

In May, Gran Tierra revealed that it was increasing its base 2016 capital budget by between $33 million and $43 million to a revised total of up to $150 million. The increased capital investment will be entirely directed at exploration in Colombia. The increased budget will also allow for the acquisition of additional 2D seismic in the Sinu Basin, and accelerated lease construction and environmental impact assessment work in preparation for the Company's 2017 Colombian exploration drilling program. The company's previously announced base capital budget was $107 million.

"We are pleased to be in a position to accelerate our exciting Colombian exploration program,” said Gary Guidry, president and CEO of Gran Tierra Energy, in a company statement May 31.

“The substantial recovery in the Brent oil price since its multi-year low in January 2016 also gives Gran Tierra an opportunity to accelerate some key exploration drilling and seismic activities in Colombia while continuing to pursue opportunities to expand the company's portfolio in an effort to increase net asset value per share for shareholders.”

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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