Vancouver, British Columbia, August 31st, 2016.
Newport Exploration Ltd ("Newport" or "the Company") reports that it has received AUD$720,000, representing its after tax 2.5% gross overriding petroleum royalty ("GORR") payment for the period from May 2016 -- July 2016. This corresponds to the period with some of the lowest oil prices over the last five years and a period of maintenance on ex-PEL 106.
Gross royalty income for the period from May 2016 -- July 2016 was AUD$1,028,571. The royalty payment received is net of 30% Australian withholding taxes (AUD$308,571) in accordance with an Australian Tax Office ("ATO") ruling disclosed in the Company's November 10, 2015 news release.
Newport currently has CDN$3.6 million in cash, cash equivalents and short term-investments and an approximate CDN$2.2 million receivable from the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") for Canadian income taxes paid prior to the ATO ruling. The Company's amended Canadian tax returns and corresponding receivable are subject to assessment by the CRA.
Additionally, the Company is able to provide an update on Oil and Gas interests in the Cooper Basin, Australia as publicly reported by Beach Energy Ltd ("Beach") on August 29th, 2016 entitled, "1P, 2P and 3P Reserves and 2C Contingent Resources as at June 30, 2016", and in Beach's "Full Year Report" released on August 29th, 2016. The Beach news release and Full Year Report make reference to their Reserves and Resources on ex-PEL 91 and ex-PEL 106 that are subject to the Company's 2.5% gross overriding royalty, and to commercial productivity in the Bauer Field. The timing and any associated revenues to the Company resulting from the production from these Reserves and Resources as reported by Beach in ex-PEL 91 and ex-PEL 106 cannot be predicted by the Company.
For a detailed breakdown of Beach's estimated Reserves and Resources on their Ex-PEL's 91 and 106 reference should be made to the above referenced Beach news release and Full Year Report. The Company does not have access to the underlying technical data and cannot independently verify the Oil and gas Reserves and Resources in accordance with classification requirements in compliance with NI 51-101 and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook ("COGEH"). The Reserves and Resources for ex-PEL 91 and ex-PEL 106 as reported by Beach may not satisfy the definitions of Reserves and Resources for the purposes of NI 51-101 Canadian reporting requirements and accordingly, the Company cannot report these Reserves and Resources.
The Reserve classification system being used by Beach for Reserve Estimation is governed by the "Reserves and Resources Disclosure Rules for Mining and Oil and Gas Companies"
as required by the Australian Securities Exchange Rules and in compliance with the Petroleum Resources Management System ("SPE-PRMS") guidelines-an internationally recognized Reserve Classification system for Oil and Gas properties which does not comply with Canadian reporting requirements.
The Company continues to strongly encourage shareholders and potential investors to access information released independently by Beach and Santos Ltd. in order to keep current during an active period in the exploration and development of these permits.
As reported by Beach FY2016 gross oil production was up 8% from FY2015. Production benefited from commissioning of new facilities at the Stunsail and Pennington fields, new wells brought online and various production initiatives, including variable speed pump installations at the Chiton, Kalladeina and Sceale fields. Three wells were drilled within the permit area, including two successful appraisal wells in Bauer Field.
Beach plan to conduct an active exploration program and a broad suite of development activities on their Cooper Basin-Western Flank oil permits in order to balance the need for both replacement and development of 2P reserves. These exploration activities will target reserve additions through near-field drilling located close to existing infrastructure, thus enabling timely connection and commencement of production in the event of exploration success. Exploration drilling will test extensions of existing reservoirs, as well as new play types such as the Birkhead and Patchawarra formations in ex-PEL 91. If successful, these new play types will provide significant opportunity for follow-on drilling. Beach also plan to systematically replenish its exploration prospects through the acquisition of approximately 300km2 of 3D seismic, inversion of approximately 1,700km2 of 3D seismic, and acquisition of approximately 200km of 2D seismic.
Broad ranging development activities will be taken to mitigate natural field decline and accelerate production where appropriate. Activities include up to four development wells expansion of the Bauer facility to 120,000 barrels of fluid per day (+60% / 45,000 barrels), additional artificial lift and various other initiatives. Commissioning of the Bauer facility expansion is expected early in Beach's Q3 2017.
Gross gas and gas liquids production was down 24% from FY2015. Production was impacted by natural field decline and repair and maintenance works in Beach's Q4 2016 at the Middleton gas separator. Work continued on the Middleton compression project and connection of two new wells occurred at year end. These two new wells have resulted in a near doubling of production in the month of July 2016. Two exploration wells were drilled within the permit area with one success.
The FY2017 exploration program on ex-PEL 106 is mainly focused on reserve additions and the Middleton compression project which aims to achieve maximum production capacity; commissioning of the Middleton compression project is expected early in Beach's Q3 2017. Other activities will include well connections and testing of prior year exploration wells. Planned exploration activities include up to three wells on ex-PEL 106 which will test near-field and step-out extensions of the proven gas and gas-liquids fairway. These wells will be located proximal to existing infrastructure thus enabling timely connection and commencement of production in the event of exploration success.
Acquisition of approximately 250km2 of 3D seismic will be undertaken in the underexplored ex-PEL 107 permit area to assess a possible southern extension of the ex-PEL 106 fairway.
Beach report that three wells were drilled on their combined ex-PEL 513/632 permit areas, including two successful exploration wells and one successful appraisal well. Ex-PEL 632 is subject to the Company's 2.5% gross overriding royalty.
For further information contact:
Ian Rozier, Director and Chief Executive Officer
+1 604 685 6851
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this news release.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
This news release, which contains certain forward-looking statements, is intended to provide readers with a reasonable basis for assessing the financial performance of the Company. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "believe", "should", "could", "expect", "anticipate", "contemplate", "target", "plan", "intends", "continue", "budget", "estimate", "may", "will", "schedule" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements pertain to assumptions regarding the price of oil, fluctuations in currency markets (specifically the Australian dollar and the U.S. dollar), the future funding of the Company's projects, and the future development of the Company's projects. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, which considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the risk of fluctuations in the assumed exchange rates of currencies that directly impact the Company, such as the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar and U.S. dollar, the risk of fluctuations in the assumed prices of oil, the risk of changes in government legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments in Canada, the United States, Australia or other countries in which the Company carries or may carry on business in the future, risks associated with developmental activities, the speculative nature of exploration and development, including the risk of obtaining necessary licences and permits, and assumed quantities or grades of reserves. Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can affect the Company's actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the Company. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those acknowledged in such statements.
The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable laws.