Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
11 December 2014
FRONTERA RESOURCES CORPORATION
(“Frontera” or the “Company”)
Frontera Resources Corporation (AIM: FRR), an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, today announces operations progress at its Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex and Taribani Field Complex in Georgia, as well as a general operations update for other key areas of its portfolio.
Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex:
– Well #34 successfully drilled as ongoing drilling campaign continues.
– Expansion of gas processing/sales facilities.
– Independent assessment of internal 11 TCF gas-in-place resource estimate in progress.
Taribani Field Complex:
– Drilling preparation associated with Varang Exploration farmout in progress.
– Existing well workover/frac-recompletion campaign advancing.
– Internal study identifies new 9 TCF gas-in-place resource associated with deep horizons of Taribani Field. Independent assessment in progress.
Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex:
Following updates released during September, continuous drilling operations and gas production operations have continued at the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex.
Continuous Drilling Operations: After some delay associated with slower than anticipated drilling conditions, well #34 has completed drilling and is currently being prepared to be placed into production. The well successfully encountered approximately 200 meters of gross objective intervals from depths between 120 meters to 320 meters. Production testing is expected to yield similar results to recently completed well #32a (700+ Mcf per day) before the well is connected to Frontera’s gas gathering and sales infrastructure before the end of December.
Continuous drilling operations are now planned to continue at the next location, well #37, expected to commence in January. In addition, a second rig is also scheduled to be added to operations in January. It will focus on adding gas production from unperforated/behind-pipe gas-bearing intervals that have been identified throughout the existing well inventory. These parallel operations will continue to provide enhanced gas-production/revenue generation from the area and will serve to further delineate gas reserves and associated upside potential for the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex.
Expansion Of Existing Facilities: Additionally, as previously announced, new engineering design work commenced during the month of August to increase capacity of the existing gas gathering/processing facilities and associated 14 kilometer transportation system that accommodates gas production at a planned rate of approximately two million cubic feet per day of gas. As a result of this work, the Company intends to increase system capacity to approximately 7 million cubic feet per day of gas during Q1 of 2015.
The Mtstare Khevi Gas Complex is an area of approximately 140 square kilometres and encompasses gas reservoir targets found between 300 metres and 5,000 metres in depth. Based on Frontera’s internal estimates, analysis has revealed significant gas potential throughout this area of up to approximately 11 tcf of gas-in-place and up to approximately 9 tcf of recoverable gas. Independent assessment of Frontera’s internal estimates is underway and expected to be completed during Q1 of 2015.
Taribani Field Complex:
New Drilling: Planning and procurement are in progress related to commencement of operations associated with Phase I of the Varang Exploration farmout agreement. Operations are expected to commence during Q1 of 2015.
As previously announced, Phase I calls for the completion of three wells (estimated to be approximately US$17 million) over a period of 18 months. These wells are designed to continue exploitation of the Taribani Field’s main reservoir objectives, as well as other associated horizons situated within a potentially prospective 1,000 meter geologic column situated between 2,000 meters and 3,000 meters in depth.
Specific operations will include the re-entry, sidetrack and frac-completion of the Niko #1 well and side track of the T-#31 and T-#16 wells in order to apply frac-completions to Zones 14 and 15. Based on the Company’s reservoir performance modeling, it is anticipated that these wells can achieve a combined daily production rate of 1,600 bopd per day.
New Workover/Re-Completion Campaign: After extensive workover, repair and installation of new well-heads, four existing wells within the field have been prepared in order to undertake a new frac/re-completion campaign during Q1 of 2015. This campaign will serve to enhance oil production from the Taribani Field and will target Zones 9, 14 and 15. Six additional wells have been identified and will be repaired during Q1 for similar subsequent operations.
Significant New Gas Resources Identified: Concurrent with ongoing operations, new internal geologic studies have been concluded at the Taribani Field revealing significant new gas resource potential associated with the field. These extensive studies have been associated with recently completed similar work related with the nearby Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex that is situated to the west and on-trend with the Taribani Field Complex. Studies included the integration of historical drilling, geologic, geophysical and engineering databases; new geologic field work and outcrop sampling, as well as associated laboratory analysis.
As a result of this work, new gas-in-place resources associated with the Taribani Field have been identified and estimated internally to be as much as approximately 9 tcf from reservoir targets found between 3,000 metres and 5,000 metres in depth. Independent assessment of Frontera’s internal estimates are currently in progress and are expected to be completed during Q1 of 2015.
Situated within the Taribani Field Complex, the Taribani Field proper is a large oil accumulation with 788 million barrels of original oil in place (“OOIP”) independently assessed by Netherland, Sewell & Associates (“NSA”) in 2005 for Zones 9, 14, 15 and 19. NSA assigns a 15% recovery factor giving “Technical Possible Reserves” of 118 million barrels for the field. An additional 36 million barrels are assessed as un-risked Prospective Resources in five deeper zones in the field.
The Taribani Field Complex is an area that encompasses approximately 1,400 square kilometres and includes the discovered yet undeveloped Taribani, Kila Kupra, Bayda and Iori fields within Block 12. Internal preliminary analysis suggests that there could be as much as 18 billion barrels of oil in place throughout this complex. Ongoing work throughout the remainder of 2014 will continue to study and assess the viability of this analysis and larger scale development potential. Independent assessment of the Company’s conclusions are expected to now take place in 2015 in conjunction with new drilling operations.
At the Mirzaani Field, the Company has planned a 5 well drilling campaign with the intention of exploiting the undeveloped northwestern portion of the field, with individual wells each believed to be able to deliver approximately 100 bopd. Efforts are in progress to commence this program in 2015.
The Mirzaani Field is located in the eastern portion of the Shallow Fields Production Unit amidst a complex of several existing oil fields. Discovered in 1932, the Mirzaani Field has historically produced oil from a small developed portion of the field but contains extensive undeveloped and underdeveloped areas. After acquiring approximately 100 kilometres of new 2D seismic data as part of an effort to re-map and identify new potential associated with the field, Frontera drilled the Mirzaani #1, #2 and #5 discovery and appraisal wells, which were the first wells to be drilled in the field since the Soviet-era.
In 2010, NSA assigned a “Best Estimate” for gross OOIP for the Mirzaani Field and Mirzaani northwest Extension of 541.7 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 343.8–857.3 million barrels; and a “Best Estimate” for remaining recoverable gross contingent and unrisked prospective oil resources of 43.8 million barrels, with a “low”-to-“high” range of 20.5–86.1 million barrels. This assessment is consistent with Frontera’s internal estimates.
Basin Edge Play Unit:
Technical analysis of Frontera’s historical work relating to the Basin Edge “A”, “B” and “C” prospects have continued throughout 2014, including commencement of a new study initiative to identify gas potential associated with the Basin Edge Play Unit. Ongoing studies have continued to refine historical interpretations associated with each prospect and provide better understanding of potential reservoir targets related to the prospects associated with this exploration play. Efforts are in progress to return to operations at the Basin Edge “C” prospect in 2015.
The Basin Edge Play Unit is located along the northern border of Block 12 and represents what the Company believes to be one of the newest and potentially most prolific exploration plays in the Upper Kura Basin, with large potential structures in Cretaceous carbonate reservoirs. In 2005, NSA estimated total unrisked prospective resource potential to be in excess of 680 million barrels within the primary Cretaceous and secondary Miocene (Sarmatian) reservoir targets of the “B” and “C” prospects within the play.
Shale Play Unit/Unconventional Reservoir Studies:
Extensive studies continue across a potentially prospective area associated with the regional Maykop shales within Block 12. As Block 12 is hypothesized to have significant unconventional reservoir potential, study work to further define the play’s prospectivity is ongoing and has included analysis of historical databases, extensive new geologic field work and outcrop sampling, as well as associated laboratory analysis. This work is currently planned to continue into 2015.
Greater Black Sea Strategy:
Frontera continues to work with the State Service For Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine in support of finalizing a new license and establishing an operating presence in the country. Frontera’s objective is to build on its extensive regional geologic knowledge and extend into the west through the acquisition of an expanded exploration and production portfolio.
Steve C. Nicandros, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented:
“During the second half of 2014 the Company has continued to enhance its value proposition at the Taribani Field Complex and the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex. In particular, we continue to realize meaningful advances in the evolution of our growing gas business and the identification of significant gas resources within our Georgia portfolio. These resources hold great value not only from Georgia’s domestic consumption market, but also more broadly from nearby European consumption markets.
“With the addition of near term new drilling and ongoing frac operations at the Taribani Field we expect to continue to see increased positive financial impact of this work as we progress into 2015, resulting in a strong balance sheet for our company as we move into the future.
“In this context, I am extremely pleased with the focused dedication of our technical and commercial efforts as we continue to forge new, important and transformational breakthroughs in our work. These advances are similar in nature to the sustained, dedicated technical efforts that have proven instrumental in transforming significant value from portfolios in the North American unconventional reservoir boom of the past decade. Our work in Georgia has many similarities and has continued to follow a similar progression. Because of this, I strongly believe that it will bring great value to our company as it continues to progress. ”
Frontera Resources Corporation
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP
61 Cheapside, London EC2V 6AX
Jo Turner/Avi Robinson
+44 (0) 20 7148 7900
Cornhill Capital Limited
Nick Bealer / Stefan Olivier
+44 (0) 207 710 9610
+44 (0) 20 7466 5000
Notes to Editors:
1. Frontera Resources Corporation is an independent Houston, Texas, U.S.A.-based international oil and gas exploration and production company whose strategy is to identify opportunities and operate in emerging markets in Eastern Europe around the Black Sea. Frontera Resources Corporation shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange, AIM Market – Symbol: FRR. For more information, please visit www.fronteraresources.com.
2. Information on Resource Estimates: The contingent and prospective resources estimates contained in this announcement were determined by the independent consulting firm of Netherland, Sewell & Associates (NSA) in accordance with the definitions and guidelines set forth in the 2007 Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) adopted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Gerard Bono, Frontera’s Vice President and Chief Reservoir Engineer, who is a member of the SPE, is the qualified person who reviewed and approved the statements in this announcement.
3. This release may contain certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, expectations, beliefs, plans and objectives regarding the transactions, work programs and other matters discussed in this release. Exploration for oil is a speculative business that involves a high degree of risk. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: risks inherent in oil and gas production operations; availability and performance of needed equipment and personnel; the Company’s ability to raise capital to fund its exploration and development programs; seismic data; evaluation of logs, cores and other data from wells drilled; inherent uncertainty in estimation of oil and gas resources; fluctuations in oil and gas prices; weather conditions; general economic conditions; the political situation in Georgia and relations with neighboring countries; and other factors listed in Frontera’s financial reports, which are available at www.fronteraresources.com. There is no assurance that Frontera’s expectations will be realized, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.