It can hardly get more bullish than this. Many thanks to Jimmisidz, our roving reporter..
Answers to questions left on shareholdersunite.com
1. Deal dates? Time lines established with the ABN/BNP advisors ends before January. The recent positive developments (new $70mill equity, Singapore office and oil shows) will tend to advance these time lines as IOC has greater leverage in any negotiation.
So, likely deal date is Nov/Dec.
Now, that does not mean there are fixed time lines. Phil said for example, if a major says something like….”Everyone else is bidding $65/share, but we will bid $150/share if the results of Ant3 or Ant4 are (fill in the blank)” then, Phil said he would do the best thing for shareholders and prove the Ant3/4 results.
The problem for us little guys is we won’t know these confidential details. We’ll be waiting for results, and the jittery will run and sell thinking there is trouble. The truth is we are being well taken care of and getting the best deal for our shares.
2. Oil? Phil gives every indication that there is oil. He says “257 feet of oil” in the results is enormous!! He talks about bringing horizontal drilling technology to PNG to assist with the oil analysis and extraction.
There’s oil! Lots of it!
3. Stripping plant? It’s viable today and going ahead. Third Party advisors have confirmed that. Location will be riverside with barge to refinery. Gas will be re-injected. Oil will be defined first, Ant2 will do that. Oil will be the priority for the early recovery operations, with a bolt-on condensate facility later. Cash flows will be 2010, 2011.
4. How many T’s of gas? Phil smiles and says lots! He compared it to a Texas rancher with a heard of cattle – someone asks “Have you got any beef?” He says, “Well, just take a look! There may not be USDA stamps on the meat yet, but there sure is a whole lot of cattle!” Also, see new 3rd party report at 6.7t’s. It will take 2-5 wells to fully define the resource.
5. New Rig. They have already been evaluating rigs for a several weeks. Prices have come way down, huge benefits to IOC. Likely in place by end of July to spud Ant3. Manpower is absolutely not an issue. There is a glut of experienced rig hands worldwide and IOC will not have trouble hiring them!
6. How many more wells? Phil says they could stop right now if all we cared about was LNG. More than enough proved to get that going profitably. There will be more wells drilled to prove the oil and condensates.
BTW, the principal purpose of Ant2 is to “set the goal posts at the far end of the field”. It will be important to help confirm the size of the Antelope field, and should nail the gas volumes. Phil also anticipates better porosity for oil. Ant2 will “Eliminate Arbitrage in partner negotiations” – i.e. it gets harder and harder for third parties to gain any value leverage for their side – we are holding all the aces!
7. Are 2 drilling rigs enough? Phil says yes! So far IOC has been spending more time testing than drilling. That will not be the case in the future. Drilling will be faster. There will only need to be 2 or 3 DST’s not 15!! IOC will be completing and moving on to the next target hole much more quickly.
But here’s the key point. Per Phil, the 2nd rig will add 10% to IOC’s costs, but double efficiency. That adds tremendous value.
8. PNG Sign-off. Not an issue. Exxon deal with PNG has set key terms. IOC is getting a better deal and terms are evolving as more is learned about the extent of Elk/Ant. Actions of PNG government clearly indicate their support for IOC and its long term plans.
9. Management expectations by year end? They believe the 3rd party will be in place, Ant2 & 3 will be at or near completion and IOC will be awash with cash from the new partners. I said I was hoping for $65 by Jan1 – they all clearly felt that was very, very low.
10. What is IOC’s % interest in the condensates? Per CFO Collin, they are the same as all the other hydrocarbons. There is no special or different agreement. So in valuing IOC, add together the value of the gas, oil and condensates, multiply the aggregate value by the single % to IOC, and that is what to use for determining NAV and price per share.
11. New resource valuations by third parties? At year end.
I’ll conclude by observing that we have a very committed and credible management team and board of directors. Too often the bashers are howling that management is lying, avoiding the truth or incompetent or a fraud. Not so. These are very impressive and very real people, with professional expertise and a real commitment to IOC. Rest assured.
I asked Collin and Phil and Wayne about the share price volatility, especially the past week. Their responses were similar – that the fundamentals were excellent and they are working their hardest to focus on the fundamentals – not the daily share price. They believe they have a $multibillion asset and they will use all their efforts to fully unlock that value – to our benefit. They are not thinking about next week. They believe in the methodical approach they are pursuing as the best strategy to realize the full value of IOC.
I believe them. I believe IOC will more than double by year end and have invested accordingly.