Falcon Oil & Gas starts next shale well in Australia

Falcon Oil & Gas's (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) drill program in Australia has moved on to the second of nine planned wells.

The Amungee NW-1 well, in the Beetaloo basin, has now spudded and the company aims to follow up the initial success of Kalala S-1, which encountered more than 500 metres of shale gas with a net pay of 150 metres.

Like Kalala, Amungee is targeting the Middle Velkerri shale formation. It will be drilled down to a target depth of 2,700 metres, and the program is expected to take between 35 and 50 days.

Falcon has a 30% stake in the Beetaloo assets, though as a result of partnership agreements its share of costs are 'carried' by Origin Resources and Sasol, which own 35% each.

"This second well is designed to once again penetrate and acquire further data from the Middle Velkerri formation," said chief executive Philip O'Quigley.

"We're currently evaluating the extensive sidewall core and wireline data and the geochemical analysis of cuttings acquired from Kalala- S1 and look forward to reporting our findings in the near future."

Sam Wahab, at broker Cantor repeats a 'buy' recommendation and 21p price target on the shares, which are unchanged at 7.25p.

"In our view, shareholders will be encouraged by the pace of Falcon’s operations in Australia alongside its significant partners in Origin Energy and Sasol.

"The company is carried on a nine well program in total, with its partners paying for the full cost of completing the first five wells, estimated at A$64m, in addition to any cost overruns."

He believes that in the long-term, Origin and Sasol offer many potential options for the monetisation of natural gas discovered on the permits.

The broker's price target is broken down into a valuation of 16p a share for the oil group's Australia assets, 4p a share for its South African acreage and 1p per share to financial items.

It's not just in Australia, where Falcon has assets. It has around 12.3 million acres in three major exploration projects in Australia, South Africa and Hungary.

Source: proactiveinvestors.com