Voyager Energy’s oil discoveries were instrumental in the revival of Perth Basin. That early start means the company is now well placed to reap the benefits. Alison Birrane reports.
Only two companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on September 12 2001, a day markets were reeling after the terrorist attacks in the US.
Both new listings were Western Australian companies (Salay Malay Mining and Voyager Energy) and both remain stocks to watch, despite the rather infamous nature of their entry to the ASX.
Now, 30 months later, Voyager managing director John Begg said the company was on track to reach its five-year plan of becoming a $250 million market capitalisation company.
The cashed-up company has consolidated its position as the largest player in the Perth Basin, in terms of acreage, and is now enjoying the spoils of an improving share price and financial position.
By August 2005 the company is expecting production to reach 1,200 barrels of oil a day from Cliff Head and Jingemia.
Adding to this, Voyager managing director John Begg said Voyager’s offshore exploration program in October and November should also prove fruitful for new oil prospects.
Analysts are watching the company’s activities with interest.
“John Begg and Ray Barnes have put together a comprehensive land package in the Perth basin,” Hartleys head of research Kevin Tomlinson said.
“They put the package together at a time when others believed the basin was gas prone and not the flavour of the day.
“However Voyager, through its various joint ventures, has proved the Perth Basin to be oil prone with the Cliff Head discovery and Jingemia as well as Arc’s Hovea discovery.
“The company also has several excellent prospects, which include the Fiddich (100mmbo potential) and Hadda (68mmbo potential).
“Both of these prospects are planned to be drilled in October this year and Voyager has a 10 per cent interest in each.
“Very exciting times lie ahead for Voyager as it has production from Jingemia of 440 barrels of oil per day, the possibility of doubling the oil reserves at Jingemia from 5 million to 10 million barrels of oil, and the potential to increase reserves at Cliff Head from 20 million to possibly 28 million barrels of oil.
“The potential of the Perth Basin is only now being recognised since the oil discoveries, and 3-D seismic is being used to help delineate some excellent structures.
“It is only a matter of time before another Cliff Head is discovered and Voyager has an extensive permit holding and equity positions along the ‘oil fairway’ north north-west from Cliff Head.”
Last year Voyager sold off its 40.9 per cent interest in the producing south-west Queensland Nockatunga oil field to Magellan Petroleum for $2 million.
Focusing on the Perth Basin, Voyager then acquired an additional 1 per cent in the offshore Cliff Head project from Wandoo Petroleum in April this year – upping its stake to 6 per cent. First oil is scheduled for late 2005 and additional seismic studies of the area will be acquired before probable drilling.
Then, in June this year, the company increased its holding in the Perth Basin Jingemia oil field from 6.27 per cent interest to 11 per cent – acquiring an additional 4.73 per cent from Arc Energy.
Arc had on sold equity in the project after acquiring Perth Basin assets from Hardman Resources.
“Net revenue from the land-based Jingemia will be high as operating costs are lower than offshore operations and the oil can be trucked directly to the Kwinana refinery for processing,” Mr Tomlinson told WA Business News.
“Voyager has enough cash to meet its equity requirements when it takes on debt to get the Cliff Head field into production in late 2005. A final go-ahead decision is planned for September.”
Following a $13.8 million rights issue in April this year, the company now has a $9.2 million cash balance and is increasingly confident.
In Voyager’s most recent report, the company said: “Since making the placement at 24 cents and the rights issue at 20 cents (with a 1 for 2 free attaching option) Voyager has been pleased with a steady strengthening in the share price.
“At report time with shares and options trading at 27.5 cents and 9 cents respectively, rights issue investors have gained 60 per cent on their investment in just a few months.”
Mr Begg said the company had nothing two and a half years ago.
“We set a vision to be a $250 million market cap company within five years,” he said.
“We’ve gone from $6 million to over $30 million market cap in two and a half years; I think we’re effectively half way through to the $250 million.
“If we have a discovery in one of our offshore wells by October or November this year then our market cap will increase once more and we should reach the $100 million market cap. From there it is only one step to $250 million market cap.”
- Voyager Energy prospects include the Fiddich (100mmbo potential) and Hadda (68mmbo potential) oil fields.
- Voyager increased its holding from 5 to 6 per cent in the offshore Cliff Head project in April this year.
- In June this year the company increased its holding in the Perth Basin Jingemia oil field from 6.27 per cent interest to 11 per cent – acquiring an additional 4.73 per cent from Arc Energy.
- Last year Voyager sold off its 40.9 per cent interest in the producing South West Queensland Nockatunga oil field to Magellan Petroleum for $2 million.
- Voyager believes it is on track to become a $250 market capitalisation company in the next two and a half years.