Thanks cwmtawe - I was wondering why the share price moved so much today. Although risk assessments are essential they can come across as doom and gloom because they highlight all the "negative" risks and don't usually approach it from a positive viewpoint - hence the share price drop?
Release over the weekend by Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)
APPEA welcomes the release of the interim report of the Northern Territory Governments
independent inquiry into hydraulic fracturing.
APPEA NT Director Matthew Doman said the Inquiry was clearly taking a comprehensive approach and the industry would take time to study the report closely.
The gas industry is pleased the interim report has been released on schedule and that the inquiry remains on track to be completed this year, Mr Doman said.
We look forward to the panel concluding its work and enabling the NT Government to make a decision on development of the Territorys abundant gas resources.
The industry is ready to invest billions in the NT when and if the governments fracking moratorium is lifted.
Mr Doman said the gas industrys view remained that the issues being examined by the inquiry had already been thoroughly investigated.
While we dont believe the inquiry is necessary, we acknowledge it was an election promise of the NT Government, he said.
As such, we will continue to support the inquiry to ensure its work is factual, complete and relevant to the NT.
Numerous studies in Australia and overseas have confirmed that, properly regulated, our industry is safe.
Mr Doman said APPEA had argued that it was important the inquiry considered the public benefit to Territorians of natural gas development and was pleased this work was now underway.
We believe developing the Territorys natural gas resources offers significant public benefits, including jobs and training opportunities in regional communities, improved infrastructure and services, and direct benefits to the Traditional Owners and landholders who host development on their land, he said.
Recent news from its near-30% held Australian operations indicates that the subsurface risk has been much reduced and a viable unconventional gas project is emerging. However, political and public resistance to the fracing process has intensified and a moratorium preventing drilling activity is in place. While national gas demand imperatives should ensure an accommodation is reached, the short-term price outlook revolves around the outcome of an inquiry that is underway examining the use of fracking in unconventional resource development.
Beetaloo discovery evaluation report; significant price catalyst
In October 2016, Origin lodged a notification of discovery report with the Northern Territory state government in Australia. In February, an evaluation of the discovery was also submitted. This indicated a gross technically recoverable resource of 85 TCF of gas was present. The operator also went so far as to produce a gross contingent resource in a specific area (12% of the total area) of 6.6 TCF of gas. Despite the moratorium on drilling for unconventional oil and gas, the news was a major price catalyst.
Hydraulic fracturing scientific review underway
In September 2016, the new Labour government of the Northern Territory put in place a moratorium on the practise of hydraulic fracturing unconventional onshore reservoirs. It also established an independent scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing. An interim report from this group will be available in June and it will conclude its report by the end of this year. The report is scoped to assess the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing and to advise on the level of impact and whether it can be reduced. It will also look at the costs and benefits of the unconventional onshore gas industry.
Success case valuation creates large amount of upside
Notwithstanding price performance so far, we think there is still considerable additional upside based on the comparable valuation metrics of more established shale plays in the US. Using metrics from a Marcellus type well as a platform for a Beetaloo shale well and risking the moratorium on a simple 50% outcome, we build a valuation of 41p per share for Falcon. In reality, we think any outcome is likely to be much more nuanced and given the shortage of gas and the Federal position on supply security political ramifications, an outright drilling ban looks unlikely. Consequently, our valuation is just one point on the spectrum of possible outcomes.
In any event, Falcons business model was always to create value at the asset level and exit prior to the development and production stage. The main conclusion of this note is that considerable value has already been created and there is still plenty of scope to increase this despite the complexities involved.
Our investment case for Falcon, which rates the stock as Outperform, is based on the following:
The operator of the Beetaloo project, Origin Energy, has compared it with the Marcellus play in the Eastern US.
The operator has lodged a discovery report and also a subsequent evaluation report to the relevant state authorities. These confirm organic content, rock quality, scale and maturity. This creates the potential for the scale of gas quantities required in any eventual commercial development.
Falcons costs are carried by the operator and will continue to be so, at least until considerably more value is added to the project. It currently has $10m in free cash at hand with no debt.
The last well in the first phase of the farm-in agreement is still to be drilled with an extra four wells scheduled in the cost capped phases II and III. Taken together the remaining costs carry value is estimated at A$115m.
While easy comparison is made with the US, particularly the Marcellus, the particular dynamic of Australian gas markets and their location has led to a higher gas price than the US. All this being equal, this should lead to higher r
"WTI $45.52 -$2.30, Brent $48.38 -$2.41, Diff -$3.06 +9c, NG $3.19 -4cAs predicted, the oil price is continuing to head southwards as goons around the world telegraph their innermost worries for all to see. Accordingly, which respected wheeler ..."
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