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T&T-based Touchstone nets US$2.79m
Touchstone Exploration Inc, a Toronto-listed company with operations solely in T&T, on Thursday reported net earnings of US$2.79 million for the three months ended December 31, 2013, up from a loss of US$306,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2012.
During the three months ended December 31, 2013, the company successfully completed three wells that were spudded in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013. As a result, the company achieved average quarterly oil production of 1,695 barrels per day, four per cent higher than the preceding quarter and nine per cent greater than the corresponding 2013 quarter. The company also decreased total debt by US$2.24 million from the prior year and US$1.963 million from the fourth quarter of 2013.
Following the well completions, the company deliberately minimised its drilling programme for the remainder of the quarter as it awaited the implementation of a revised, more favourable tax structure that was introduced by the Trinidad Government in October and effective January 1, 2014. The company will be recommencing its drilling programme in the next 30 days with wells planned in WD-4, WD-8 and Coora. The 2014 drilling programme will be focused on follow-up locations proven by the success of the 2013 drilling campaign.
In October 2013 the company received approval from the T&T government for the East Brighton Exploration and Production License. Upon official signing of the license, the company will be paid US$2 million by the block operator based on agreements in existence at the time of the August 2011 Primera Group acquisition. As a result, the company recognised US$2 million in other income during the three months ended December 31, 2013.
In February 2014 the company was informed by the T&T Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) Kevin Ramnarine that its application for the Ortoire block in the 2013 Trinidad Onshore Bid Round was successful. The company is currently in the process of finalising the exploration and production license with the MEEA. The 44,500 acre block is located in south-east Trinidad and is adjacent to production from a variety of existing oil pools.