Cooper Energy’s sales revenue for the three months to 31 March 2017 was AU$14.9 million compared with $6.1 million in the previous quarter and $6.1 million in the March quarter of 2016.
Sales revenue for the nine months to 31 March 2017 was $26 million compared with $20.8 million in the previous corresponding period.
This increase, the ASX-listed company said, is due to the sales contributed from the Casino Henry gas assets from January 2017.
Cooper bought Santo’s 50% interest in the Casino-Henry gas project last October as part of a larger $82 million agreement to snap up the latter’s natural gas assets offshore Victoria.
Other assets acquired include 10% interest in the Minerva gas field and gas plant; 100% interest in the Patricia-Baleen gas field; and remaining 50% interest in the Sole gas field and the Orbost gas plant.
Cooper’s board approved the Sole gas project in March 2017. The group is now looking to raise $151 million in an equity raising to help develop the field in the Gippsland basin.
Gas produced from the Sole field will be piped to the Orbost Gas Plant from where the gas will be supplied to customers through the Eastern Gas Pipeline.
“The milestones completed for the Sole gas project have set the company on the path to its next phase of growth,” said Cooper managing director, David Maxwell. “We are now finalizing the debt finance that will complete the final investment decision for Sole in the current quarter.”
Commenting on Q3, Maxwell said the quarter ranks as the most eventful and significant for Cooper since its formation and first hydrocarbon discovery.
“We completed the transactions and tasks that reset the company as an exploration and production company focused solely on Australia and generating the majority of its income from gas. The results show the first benefits with revenue growth of 144%, and production growth of 575%, on the prior quarter,” he added.
During Q3, Cooper produced 0.43 MMboe up 282% from 0.11 MMboe in the previous corresponding period. Contribution from the Victorian gas assets was the principal feature of production results for the period.
Production of 2.14 PJ of gas and 1440 bbl of condensate from the Casino Henry and Minerva gas fields accounted for 85% of total production. Cooper basin oil production recorded higher production on a daily rate basis of 697 bo/d.
Completion of international withdrawal
To concentrate its resources on Australia and build a gas business focused on supply to southeast Australia, Cooper has been shedding international assets since last February - beginning with the sale of its Indonesian exploration permits to Mandala Energy for US$8.25 million.
Mandala is a Southeast Asia-focused upstream company backed by global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The agreement included 100% of the Sumbagsel and Merangin III production sharing contracts (PSCs) located in the South Sumatra basin.
In June 2016, the firm accepted Bass Strait Oil’s offer to buy its remaining Indonesian asset, a 55% interest in the producing Tangai-Sukananti KSO in the South Sumatra basin, for $ 5.7 million. Cooper is currently a 13.5% shareholder in Bass.
In Tunisia, Cooper elected not to participate in the renewal of interest in the Bargou permit in December 2016 and transferred its 30% stake to joint venture partner Dragon Oil. With the closure of operations in Tunisia, following the completion of the sale of all Indonesian assets in March 2017, Cooper officially ceased all international operations in Q3.
Image: Orbost gas plant / Cooper
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