Rose Petroleum plc

Interim Report, Six months to June 2015

28-September-2015

The Board of Rose is pleased to present its report for the six month period to 30 June 2015.

INTERIM REPORT FOR THE SIX MONTHS TO 30 JUNE 2015

The Board of Rose is pleased to present its report for the six month period to 30 June 2015.

REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES

OVERVIEW

The Board believes that its oil and gas portfolio is of a scale and quality to deliver long term Shareholder value. The assets were acquired due to their prospectivity, size, location, and relatively low breakeven price. Following the purchase of these assets, the Company started to implement its development plan in line with its previously stated strategy of unlocking the value of the portfolio.

However, with the uncertainty of the current market conditions, the Board has initiated a review of its strategy, assets and cost base to ensure that its existing capital is optimally deployed across the Group. As a result, the operational plans that were put in place twelve months ago have been revised to reflect the current operating environment and a rationalisation of expenditure across the Group has been carried out. While the cost cutting has been radical and far-reaching, the Group has retained an operational capability sufficient to meet its commitments for the foreseeable future. We believe the Group is now well-positioned to maintain its assets.

As well as protecting the existing asset base, we are confident that the Group can take advantage of potential acquisition opportunities that might arise due to the current challenging environment in the sector. The Company is utilising two investment banks to help develop and fund these potential opportunities.

A full review of the developments over the period is outlined below. It explains the development chronology and rationale behind the current strategy. Additionally, a review of the non-oil and gas assets is provided. These assets are constantly being assessed to ascertain the most effective way of realising value.

OIL AND GAS DIVISION

The prime focus during the period has been the Uinta Basin, specifically, the Mancos Formation. The development chronology and rationale is reported below:

Uinta Basin (Mancos) activity:

The State 1-34 Mancos well was drilled to a total depth of 3,200 feet (’ft’) at the beginning of the year to penetrate the Mancos formation and retrieve whole and rotary core samples. It also provided us with a full suite of electric logs for establishing critical rock properties to calibrate with the Ryder Scott resource analysis carried out in 2014. Mud logs indicated the presence of hydrocarbons in both the Mancos and in the conventional sands below. Results from core samples were extremely encouraging and reiterated the potential of this acreage. The core results matched or surpassed the parameters used by Ryder Scott for the Mancos Shale resource calculation of 709 MMB of oil and 4.26 TCF of gas for key criteria. Specifically:

  • Total Organic Content (‘TOC‘) used by Ryder Scott was 1.5-2%. The State 1-34 has an average background of 1.5-2% with a 150 ft ‘kitchen‘ interval in the Ferron Member of TOC between 2.75% and up to 4.5%;
  • Potential target reservoir or ‘carrier‘ beds identified in the same four Ryder Scott-defined Mancos intervals with porosities in the 6-9% range;
  • State 1-34 average porosities 0.5-1% higher than the Ryder Scott study (P50 values);
  • State 1-34 hydrocarbon (oil) saturations both in core and in situ are in line with the Ryder Scott study;
  • Net potential ‘carrier‘ beds to gross interval ratios are comparable with Ryder Scott; and
  • Thermal maturity (‘Tmax‘) confirms that the State 1-34 is within the ‘Intensive Generation and Expulsion’ window for the Ferron Member.

With the expected potential for early revenue and cash flows from the conventional opportunity below the Mancos, a completion was carried out on four selected intervals. These intervals were perforated and flow tested, but none were deemed to be commercial by virtue of the intersection of a vertical fault that was breached with water. The well is currently shut in pending completion of the Mancos core analysis, which was the primary objective of this well. Although the results from the conventional completion programme were disappointing, they should not overshadow the prospectivity and potential large scale nature of the Mancos Shale, which has always been the initial target of the O&G portfolio.

The permitting application process in relation to five new Mancos wells was initiated in order to submit the Authority for Permit to Drill (‘APD’) to the Bureau of Land Management (‘BLM’). HRL Compliance Solutions and Uintah Engineering and Land Surveying completed the internal location site evaluation in respect of the Environmental Assessment (‘EA‘) requirements and completed the reports to submit to the BLM. Subject to approval, the Group anticipated commencing drilling of the first of these new wells in late 2015. However, as previously announced, in view of the oil price environment, the Board has revised its Mancos strategy. In order to seek to deliver value while prudently conserving cash, Rose is now focusing on one permit initially, within the Cisco Dome area, for the Federal 1-15 20-21 horizontal well. The APD has now been submitted to the BLM, with the required archaeology, paleontology, and biological studies having been completed for the 1-15 20-21 horizontal location. The location of the Federal 1-15 20-21 horizontal well was selected by an in-house geological study of over 75 wells consisting of Rose-operated wells and wells developed by third parties, where the existing well bores targeting the deeper conventional gas field penetrated the Mancos. This review was crucial in determining correct orientation and dip rates and provided a more intimate understanding of the fault/fracture system in the field. The Mancos formation is deeper into the basin and benefits from the availability of the superior well control data in this area. The Directors believe that due to the excellent infrastructure, once a successful well has been completed, oil and gas sales will follow shortly thereafter.

There are active discussions taking place with a number of third parties in respect of the funding for the Mancos drill programme. Once the permitting process for the 1-15 20-21 is completed and timings known these discussions will be accelerated in the hope that the funding for the programme can be secured.

Cisco Dome Acquisition

In Q4 2014, the Group made an add-on acquisition with the purchase of the Cisco Dome Field consisting of 76 miles of mid-stream gathering system, a gas processing plant, compressor station and, importantly, a main pipeline tap into the Williams natural gas pipeline. This acquisition added over 11,000 acres to the Group’s Mancos holdings and gave the Group control of its own mid-stream gathering and processing capability in the area.
During the first six months of the period, the Rose field team implemented a number of well enhancement procedures consisting of dropping plunger lift systems into three wells and bringing four wells back on line which had been shut in since the original purchase. Two of the three plunger lift systems implemented improved the stability of gas production and unloading well liquids. However, due to the current gas price environment and a weather related outage, the plant is currently suspended allowing us to undertake a detailed review of operations. The outage does not have a material financial impact on the business.

Paradox Basin

In late 2014, the Group began permitting a 61 square mile 3-D seismic survey over its Paradox leasehold. Pending completion of permitting and the availability of sufficient funding, the Group plans to begin the survey in early Q1 2016. Since the end of Q1 2015, all field work for the cultural and environmental assessments as well as field surveying for transmitter and receiving lines has been completed. The Rose team believes permitting approval is possible by the end of 2015, which will then enable actual acquisition work to commence. The Board feels the 3D seismic will add significant value to the Company and will be reviewing its options on funding before proceeding. Once the seismic data is processed and interpreted, it is expected that the Group will be able to select its first Paradox well location.

Potential Acquisitions

The Board continues to assess opportunities to introduce productive assets to Rose's portfolio. The Board believes the current environment provides an opportunity to acquire high quality assets with stable income which are non-core to other companies. Accordingly, the Company has engaged both Jefferies International Limited and Wellford Capital Markets to assist in the evaluation and funding of potential targets. The team has identified key target basins and are reviewing opportunities in the Marcellus, DJ Basin, Eagle Ford, and Permian. The DJ Basin is our prime focus, where our team has significant operational knowledge and experience.

MINING DIVISION

Gold / Silver Production - Mina Charay, Mexico

Mine production continued throughout the period from the Mina Charay mine in northern Sinaloa, Mexico. By the end of June, ore production had reached the forecasted rate of 100 tonnes/day.

A total of 10,286 tonnes of ore were mined during the period, and of this total, 8,385 tonnes of were processed at the Company’s flotation mill and laboratory (‘SDA’) located near the town of Acaponeta in Nayarit. This tonnage yielded 1,128 ounces (‘oz ‘) of gold and 8,670 oz of silver. The average mill head grade for period averaged 5.89 grammes per tonne (g/T) gold and 63.5 g/T silver. Due to the metallurgical processing and the oxide nature of the near-surface ore, recoveries for the period averaged 71% for gold and 50.6% for silver. These recoveries were lower than planned.

Both grade and recoveries are expected to increase as the mine is developed in sulfide ore at deeper levels. Early production was to the 30 metre (‘m’) level which is above the 50m average level of the resource calculation. The Company has been conducting metallurgical tests to determine if a solution to improve recoveries in the oxide ore at the higher levels is possible.

Unfortunately, operational efforts have been overshadowed by the continued decline in metals prices. Gold reached a high for the period of US$1,302/oz in January and as of June 30 was US$1,172/oz and post-period has hovered around US$1,100/oz. This, combined with the low recoveries, has put a strain on the operation.

Against the challenging gold price and operational backdrop, the Company is keeping the performance of Mina Charay under continual review.

Copper and Molybdenum Porphyry Exploration, Mexico

During 2015, the Company has been active in preparing permit applications for drilling on the Tango project located approximately 70km east of the city of Mazatlán in southern Sinaloa. This will be the first drilling to evaluate the separate copper and molybdenum porphyry occurrences. In addition, drill permit applications are being prepared to evaluate the vein on which the San Agustin Mine is situated, in an effort to outline additional gold and silver resources for the Company’s SDA mill. Applications were completed and submitted after the period end. The drilling permits are expected to be received during H2 2015.

Porphyry Copper Exploration, Southwest U.S.A.

Property positions are being maintained at minimal cost on several prospective targets in southwest New Mexico and southern Arizona. This includes the Ardmore, Cherry Creek, Lone Hills, McGhee Peak, and Railroad Well projects. The properties and programme are on care and maintenance while Rose looks for a partner to fund exploration. Given the continued inactivity on these projects, the Board has taken the decision to write off their carrying value.

U.S.A. Uranium Exploration

In February 2015, and in line with the Board’s decision to divest the Group’s uranium assets, the Company sold its 50% interest in the Wate breccia pipe project to Energy Fuels Resources, Inc. (‘EFR’). As consideration for the 50% interest in the Wate project, EFR paid US$250,000 cash to Rose at closing, along with a US$500,000 non-interest-bearing promissory note, payable in two equal instalments of US$250,000 on each of the first and second anniversaries of the closing, and a 2% production royalty on EFR's stake in the project. The royalty can be purchased by EFR upon payment to Rose’s wholly owned subsidiary, VANE Minerals (US) LLC (‘VANE’), of an additional US$750,000, less any royalties previously paid. In addition, upon meeting certain regulatory milestones, the deferred payments due under the note will be accelerated. In addition, EFR will pay an additional US$250,000 cash to VANE resulting in a total sales price of US$2M assuming the full value of the royalty is realised.

The remainder of the Company’s uranium assets and programme, operated by VANE, are being managed on a care and maintenance basis. These assets are spearheaded by the 50:50 joint venture with Anfield Resources Inc. in northern Arizona which maintains a land position covering a number of breccia pipe targets on both State of Arizona and federal lands. The targets on federal lands are located in an area that was withdrawn in 2012, but ongoing litigation by outside parties challenging the withdrawal order continues to present the possibility that these lands could be re-opened.
The Company also holds land positions in Utah covering the North Wash uranium-vanadium project and a State of Utah lease on an exploration property adjacent to the Energy Queen Mine owned by EFR. The Company continues to seek potential buyers for these assets.

Group Structure

The Company’s oil & gas division and mining division are run and operated on a stand-alone basis. The Board believes that this will enable it to divest the mining assets at the appropriate time, should suitable opportunities arise, as they continue to focus on Rose’s oil and gas assets.

FINANCIAL REVIEW

The financial information is reported in United States Dollar (‘US$’)

Revenue

Revenue for the period was generated primarily from the Company’s gold mining and milling operations in Mexico. The Income Statement reports total revenue for the six months ended 31 June 2015 of US$1.2 million (2014: US$2.3 million). The reduction in revenues was primarily the result of the cessation of activities at a number of the gold projects during 2014 and the gradual start-up of the Mina Charay mine during 2015.

Income Statement

The Group reports a net loss after tax of US$6.1 million or 0.4 US cents per share for the six months ended 30 June 2015 (2014: net loss after tax of US$1.8 million or 0.22 US cents per share). An impairment of the Group’s U.S.A. copper exploration and evaluation assets resulted in a charge of US$2.34 million (2014: nil) to the income statement in the period. The income statement also includes a ‘non-cash’ charge of US$0.97 million (2014: US$0.15 million) relating to the issue of share options.

The full financial impact of the current reorganisation and cost reductions will be visible in the 2015 full year numbers.

Balance Sheet

Cash and cash equivalents at 30 June 2015 were US$6.1 million (2014: US$9.3 million). During the period the Company raised gross proceeds of £3.1 million through the placing of the Company’s Ordinary shares. Current cash is circa. US$4.0 million.

OUTLOOK

Shareholder returns remain the Board’s principal objective and we believe that with active stewardship, we can not only preserve our assets in the current market conditions, but also take advantage of opportunities within the sector as they arise.

The Board would like to thank all the staff, consultants and advisers to Rose, as well as the continuing support of Shareholders. 

Rt Hon Earl of Kilmorey PC, Chairman
MC Idiens, Chief Executive Officer

 

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