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Transformed Zephyr Energy set for production led growth

The company is now positioned as a clean, low-overhead, unlevered and value-focused vehicle from which to build.

Colin Harrington, chief executive



How it’s doing

Zephyr Energy Plc (LON:ZPHR) continues its counting down to the start of drilling in Utah later in December.

The State 16-2 well in the Paradox basin is slated to spud by December 31 and, on December 10, the company said it remained “firmly on track” to deliver this key objective.

Its is a dual purpose well, supported by a Department of Energy grant.

Earlier this year, the company (formerly Rose Petroleum) was rebranded and following its fresh fresh-start it continues to advance.

In 2019, there was an overhaul of the management team and a sharpening of the company’s focus to concentrate on responsible exploration and production investment in the Rocky Mountain region of North America.

The company is now positioned as a clean, low-overhead, unlevered and value-focused vehicle from which to build.

“I believe we have the team, strategy and value set to deliver on all of our ambitious objectives, and I look forward to the future with cautious optimism,” said chairman Rick Grant.

Grant noted the group has “no debt, very low fixed costs and no near-term capital commitments”.

While the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly caused “considerable distress to the US natural resource landscape” it has also created opportunities, as evidenced by the number of companies filing for Chapter 11 protection from their creditors, increased asset sale activity and lower asset sale prices, he added.

The pre-revenue company saw its loss before tax widen to US$3.0mln in 2019 from US$978,000 in 2018.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of last year stood at US$1.1mln, up from US$616,000 a year earlier. The comapany’s directors are confident that the group has, or has access to, sufficient resources to enable it to continue in operation for at least the next twelve months.

DOE-sponsored programme to boost Paradox

Zephyr’s efforts will be boosted by third party work, sponsored by the US Department of Energy.

A portion of the company’s acreage was selected in early September for a study – entitled “Improving Production in Utah’s Emerging Northern Paradox Unconventional Oil Play” – conducted by the University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) and the Utah Geological Survey (UGS).

As part of the study, the EGI and UGS plan to drill a vertical stratigraphic test well to gather data to improve the understanding of the Paradox Basin play.

This well will be drilled within Zephyr-leased acreage, subject to the negotiation of final funding terms and permitting. The well will be funded via DOE grant and is slated before the end of 2020.

Zephyr pointed out that its acreage was selected for a number of reasons though the quality of Zephyr’s underlying 3D seismic data was a factor. It will provide the company with valuable new well data, which will potentially boost the company’s ongoing partnering and funding efforts.

Inflexion points 

  • Now 100% focused on exploration and production investment in the Rocky Mountain region
  • A major restructuring of the Paradox Basin asset
  • The creation of a technology-led acquisition process designed to rapidly assess and acquire distressed E&P assets
  • Completion of the potential acquisition of the McCoy lease, a working interest in a two-mile horizontal redevelopment project operated by one of the most active industry participants in the DJ Basin
  • The potential addition of further interests through acquisition, farm-in agreements or joint venture arrangements



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