Range Resources (LON:RRL) slipped 4% to 8.7p during early trading even after the company said that the report on its North Chapman Ranch field in Texas confirms a significant increase to the company's proved reserves by as much as 50%, while in Trinidad, progress continues to gain pace in the development program of the shallow Lower Forest Horizons within the Morne Diablo field. Company estimates it has: total oil reserves of 19.6 MMbbls, or million barrels, in Trinidad, and 3MMbbls in Texas; 3.2 Bcf, or billion cubic feet, of natural gas in Trinidad and 27.7 Bcf in Texas; and 2.5 MMBBls of natural gas liquids in Texas. If the market was not another 50 odd point off when this update hit the news wires, possibly the market would have reacted more favourably.
Ophir Energy (LON:OPHR) jumped another 11% to 572p during afternoon trading after the company said that its fifth consecutive Tanzania gas discovery with the Mzia-1 exploration well located in Block 1, offshore southern Tanzania, and said preliminary evaluation of the results indicates 55 meters of natural gas pay in good quality sands. An extensive logging program has been completed, including the acquisition of pressure data and gas samples. Well has de-risked a number of adjacent Cretaceous prospects, which could form part of a future Mzia hub; prospects are expected to be tested in a future appraisal program to be defined following incorporation of data from this new well and 3D seismic. New resources proven by Mzia and the potential of adjacent prospects are currently under evaluation. Prior to drilling Mzia-1, BG Group had estimated mean total gross recoverable resources approaching 7 trillion cubic feet of gas from the four previous discoveries drilled in Tanzania. Following the imminent completion of operations at Mzia, the Deep-sea Metro-1 will relocate to Block 3 for the drilling of the next exploration prospect, Papa-1. BG Group as operator has a 60% interest in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore Tanzania, with Ophir Energy PLC (OPHR.LN) holding 40%.
Chariot Oil & Gas (LON:CHAR) slipped 2% to 78p during early trading even after a number of directors bought stock yesterday. Adonis Pouroulis, Chariot's Non-Executive Chairman, bought 100,000 ordinary shares in the Company at a price of 74.95 pence per share. Following the purchase, Mr. Pouroulis holds 100,000 ordinary shares, representing 0.05% of the Company. Larry Bottomley, a Non-Executive Director of Chariot, today bought 20,289 ordinary shares in the Company at an average price of 80 pence per share. The Company also announced that Phillippa Bottomley, spouse of Larry Bottomley, purchased 20,104 ordinary shares in Chariot at an average price of 81 pence per share. Following this transaction, Larry Bottomley has a beneficial interest of 40,393 ordinary shares, representing 0.02% of the Company.
Xcite Energy (LON:XEL) slipped 4% to 85p during early trading, along with most of the market. The shares have slipped from just over 180p back in February, down to the current level. The next major support line I can see is 83p, and if that is broken it would appear that 73p would be the next major level to watch for thereafter.
Heritage Oil (LON:HOIL) bucked the overall negative trend in the market by pushing 2% higher to 125p during afternoon trading. The company has continued to buy back shares over the last few months, and the shares are sitting right on the 52 weeks low. We will be watching these closely over the coming sessions for any signs of the turnaround continuing.
Afren (LON:AFR) recently gave the market a bullish update that said first-quarter production has been in line with expectations, over four times higher than the previous year, significantly lifting revenue and profit, and added it is on track to end 2012 with production in line with previous guidance at 42,000 to 46,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. Net production in the first quarter rose to 41,308 barrels of oil equivalent a day generating $300.2 million of net operating cash flow. The company ended the quarter with $399.0 million cash compared with $333.0 million a year earlier. Due to the increased production, first-quarter pretax profit rose to $143.2 million from $2.0 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $386.7 million from $73.4 million. "We have made an excellent start to our 2012 exploration campaign with significant discoveries at Okoro East, Ebok North fault Block and Ain Sifni. We look forward to continuing our exploration program, with wells in Nigeria, the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe JDZ, Congo, the Kurdistan region of Iraq and East Africa, targeting in excess of 630 million barrels of oil equivalent net to Afren," Chief Executive Osman Shahenshah said. Shares have continued to slip with the overall negative market, and were 2% easier again today at 118p, after hitting an intraday low of 112.108p. The major support level that I can see is around the 110p/113p so it was no surprise to see long term holders drawing a line in the sand down at these levels.
Gulfsands Petroleum (LON:GPX) continued to slide once again today, pushing 3% easier to 110p during afternoon trading. The next major support line I can see here looks to be around 100p to 105p, a level which the shares traded at intra-day today (105.6p). If that level is broken, the next are to watch for would be 90p.
Argos Resources (LON:ARG) fell another 10% to 16.25p during afternoon trading today, and are now trading back at what looks like a decent support level. A number of stocks over the last few sessions have slipped back to major support, and we are now looking to the broader index for answers as to whether these will hold up once again.
Written by Steven Asfour