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Range’s T&T acreage grows

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Although it has almost doubled its after tax losses, Range Resources Ltd of Australia has been awarded “significant new acreage in Trinidad,” the company’s half yearly report, released yesterday (March 17), showed. The company posted an after tax loss of US$18.1 million for the period ended December 31, 2013, almost double the US$9.6 million loss it posted in 2012. Rory Scott Russell, chief executive officer (CEO) of Range, said in the report: “I joined Range at the beginning of February 2014, and during this initial period as CEO, the company has already gone through considerable change, not least with key board and management hires, but also with the award of significant new acreage in Trinidad following our successful bid for the St Mary’s block. 


“We now have the core team in place and our efforts are firmly focused on developing and managing our assets, to grow the company and deliver maximum shareholder value. There is clearly more to do, including the rationalisation of our portfolio but Range remains a fundamentally strong business with a unique position in Trinidad, and I am confident that we will be able to take full advantage of upcoming opportunities.” Range started off in 2011 with 16,500 acres. In mid-2011 Range acquired a 100 per cent interest in three production licences in producing onshore oilfields in Trinidad and a local fully operational drilling company which has six drilling rigs plus further completion/workover rigs and operational personnel.

The three production licenses were for Morne Diablo (9,300 acres), South Quarry (3,700 acres) and Beach Marcelle (3,500 acres). In March 2013, Range announced that Petrotrin had increased its Morne Diablo acreage by 3,000 acres. Asked why, Petrotrin at the time had said: “Adjacent adjoining idle eastern acreage to the Morne Diablo Block, part of Petrotrin’s core licence area, where Petrotrin has no plans for exploration and development activity (high risk and low prospectivity within Petrotrin’s portfolio), was approved for annexation to the Morne Diablo Block in consideration for a synergistic work programme in the adjacent contiguous acreage, subject to further approval by the then Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.”

In the onshore bid round results announced by Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Kevin Ramnarine on February 3 during the T&T energy conference, the country also learnt that Range won the St Mary’s (Moruga) block. The energy ministry’s Web site said the Moruga block is 37,760 acres. In its statement yesterday, the company said: “Range announced that it has been successful with its bid for the St Mary’s block in Trinidad following the submission in the Trinidad Onshore Bid Round 2013. The addition of 44,731 acres further consolidates the company’s position and commitment to exploring and developing onshore oil in Trinidad.” In the paragraph before in the same statement, Range said: “The farm-in agreement with Niko Resources Ltd, regarding the Guayaguayare block in Trinidad formally approved by Trinidadian authorities, adding 280,000 acres to Range’s net Trinidad acreage position.”


New hires
Apart from CEO Russell, Range used the half yearly to update investors on the appointment of two new non-executive directors, Graham Lyon and Dr Christian Bukovics. “Together these appointments bring a wealth of technical, operational and financial experience onto the Board, to fully support the company’s future growth and development,” the report said. Additionally, the company announced two senior management appointments, Dr Douglas Field and William Duncan, as vice president of production and vice president of exploration, respectively. “The core team is now in place to run the company and its portfolio of assets, with the clear objective of delivering value to shareholders,” the company said. Range also announced the continuation of the planned rig maintenance programme.

The company said it received Certificate of Environmental Clearance approvals for the drilling of a total of 40 wells, eight well deepenings and commencement of the enhanced recovery waterflood programme on the company’s Beach Marcelle license in Trinidad. Water flooding is a method of secondary oil recovery in which water is injected into the reservoir formation to displace residual oil. The water from injection wells physically sweeps the displaced oil to adjacent production wells. Range also used its half yearly report to announce that “the previously proposed merger with International Petroleum Ltd will not be proceeding, with constructive negotiations continuing with regards to Range’s US$8 million loan to International Petroleum.” Range had announced it would loan fellow Australian oil company, International Petroleum, US$8 million within the framework of the then planned merger.


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