For clarity the entire amended news release is appended. No further corrections were made to the remainder of the news release.
Entering the year, the Company and its partners had seven drilling rigs operating in the region. Four Tullow-Africa Oil joint venture rigs are operating in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya in Blocks 10BB and 13T, one of which is a testing and completions unit. In addition, the Company and its partner have a rig operating in Block 9 in Kenya. In Ethiopia, the Company and its partners in the South Omo Block and Block 7/8 had rigs operating in each block. Drilling operations in Block 7/8 have been completed, and the rig has been released. Additionally, drilling operations in the South Omo Block have been completed and the rig is being de-mobilized whilst future drilling opportunities are being assessed. The Company expects to have five drilling rigs operating in Kenya through the remainder of 2014.
Keith Hill, President and CEO of Africa Oil, commented, “We are looking forward to the results of three new basin opening wells to be drilled in the second half of 2014 which have the potential to unlock significant value in terms of new prospects and resources. The ongoing drilling in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya has been quite helpful in understanding the distribution of the best reservoir facies and will no doubt be enhanced by the ongoing 3D seismic survey. We remain very bullish in not only the existing discoveries but in the remaining prospects in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya. Our goal is to open up at least one new basin and to move a significant number of barrels from prospective to contingent resources by the end of 2014 as we move the field development program forward.”
Operating expenses increased $28.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2014 compared to the same period in the prior year. Upon further evaluating the drilling results of the El Kuran-3 well, the Company has written off $30.8 million of previously capitalized Blocks 7/8 exploration expenditures in Ethiopia. The $4.1 million decrease in stock-based compensation is result of 120,000 stock options of AOC issued to directors, officers and employees in the second quarter of 2014 versus 5,673,500 stock options of AOC issued to directors, officers and employees in the second quarter of 2013, of which one- third vested immediately. The Company made $0.8 million of donations to the Lundin Foundation in the second quarter of 2014 versus nil in the same period in 2013, resulting in a $0.8 million increase in operating expenses. Stock exchange and filing fees increased $0.7 as a result of costs associated with the graduation to the TSX in Canada and the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm main board.
Operating expenses increased $37.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014 compared to the same period in the prior year. Upon further evaluating the drilling results of the El Kuran-3 well, the Company has written off $30.8 million of previously capitalized Blocks 7/8 exploration expenditures in Ethiopia. The $4.7 million increase in stock-based compensation is mainly the result of an increase in the fair value of each stock option granted in the first half of 2014 compared to those granted in the first half of 2013. The increase in the fair market value is primarily attributable to the exercise price being higher for the options granted in the first half of 2014 compared to those granted in the first half of 2013. The Company made $1.5 million and $0.1 million of donations to the Lundin Foundation in the first half of 2014 and 2013, respectively, resulting in a $1.4 million increase in operating expenses. Stock exchange and filing fees increased $0.7 as a result of costs associated with the graduation to the TSX in Canada and the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm main board.
Financial income and expense is made up of the following items:
At June 30, 2014, nil warrants were outstanding in the Company. In June 2014, all of the remaining 9,546,248 Horn Petroleum Corporation (“Horn”) warra nts expired unexercised. The Company recorded a $0.001 million gain on the revaluation of warrants for the six months ended June 30, 2014 as the Horn warrants expired unexercised.
Interest income increased in the second quarter of 2014 due to an increase in cash as a result of the brokered private placement in October of 2013.
Foreign exchange gains and losses are primarily related to changes in the value of the Canadian dollar in comparison to the US dollar. Historically, the Company has recorded foreign exchange gains when the Canadian dollar has strengthened versus the US dollar, and has recorded losses when the Canadian dollar has weakened versus the US dollar.
The increase in total assets from December 2013 to June 2014 is primarily attributable to intangible exploration expenditures incurred during the quarter in Kenya, Ethiopia and Puntland (Somalia).
The decrease in cash for the six months ended June 30, 2014 is mainly the result of intangible exploration expenditures and cash-based operating expenses, offset partially by proceeds received on the Rift Basin Area farmout.
The Company expects to have five drilling rigs operating through the remainder of 2014, one of which is currently being utilized as testing and completion rig. Completion of the brokered private placement in October 2013 increased the Company’s liquidity and capital resource position which is expected to fully fund the Company’s portion of 2014 exploration, appraisal and development activities.
The near term focus of exploration is to continue drilling out the remaining prospect inventory in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, appraising existing and future discoveries with the aid of the new 3D seismic survey, drilling three new basin opening wells in the second half of the year and progressing the development studies towards project sanction in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya.
Given the significant volumes discovered and the extensive exploration and appraisal program planned to fully assess the upside potential of the basin, the Tullow-Africa Oil joint venture has agreed with the Government of Kenya to commence development studies. In addition, the partnership is involved in a comprehensive pre-FEED study of the export pipeline. The current ambition of the Government of Kenya and the joint venture partnership is to reach project sanction for development, including an export pipeline, by the end of 2015/early 2016. The governments of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have signed a MoU and formed a Steering Committee to progress a regional crude oil export pipeline from Uganda through Kenya. The Kenya upstream partners have also signed a cooperation agreement with the Uganda upstream partners in support of the same objective.
Africa Oil Corp. is a Canadian oil and gas company with assets in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as Puntland (Somalia) through its 45% equity interest in Horn Petroleum Corporation. Africa Oil’s East African holdings are in within a world-class exploration play fairway with a total gross land package in this prolific region in excess of 215,000 square kilometers. The East African Rift Basin system is one of the last of the great rift basins to be explored. Seven new significant discoveries have been announced in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya in which the Company holds a 50% interest along with operator Tullow Oil plc. Good quality existing seismic show robust leads and prospects throughout Africa Oil’s project areas. The Company is listed on the TSX and on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm main board under the symbol “AOI”.
FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain statements made and information contained herein constitute “forward-looking information” (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation). Such statements and information (together, “forward looking statements”) relate to future events or the Company’s future performance, business prospects or opportunities. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimates of reserves and or resources, future production levels, future capital expenditures and their allocation to exploration and development activities, future drilling and other exploration and development activities, ultimate recovery of reserves or resources and dates by which certain areas will be explored, developed or reach expected operating capacity, that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management.
All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Statements concerning proven and probable reserves and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements and reflect conclusions that are based on certain assumptions that the reserves and resources can be economically exploited. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as “seek”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “continue”, “estimate”, “expect, “may”, “will”, “project”, “predict”, “potential”, “targeting”, “intend”, “could”, “might”, “should”, “believe” and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward- looking statements, except as required by applicable laws. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties relating to, among other things, changes in oil prices, results of exploration and development activities, uninsured risks, regulatory changes, defects in title, availability of materials and equipment, timeliness of government or other regulatory approvals, actual performance of facilities, availability of financing on reasonable terms, availability of third party service providers, equipment and processes relative to specifications and expectations and unanticipated environmental impacts on operations. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
“Keith C. Hill” President and CEO