Jadestone cashed up and looking to new horizons

INTERNATIONAL oil producer Jadestone Energy has a record-amount of cash in the bank and little debt following its 2020 cost-saving program.
Jadestone cashed up and looking to new horizons Jadestone cashed up and looking to new horizons Jadestone cashed up and looking to new horizons Jadestone cashed up and looking to new horizons Jadestone cashed up and looking to new horizons

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

Jadestone Energy, which operates the Stag and Montara oil fields offshore Western Australia, has realised more than US$38 million in savings after cutting its capital expenditure over the last 12 months. 

On Monday, Jadestone chief executive Paul Blakeley said the company would be debt free by the end of March and was now looking to an "exciting suite of investment" ahead. 

Over the 2020 calendar year full production averaged 11,438bopd with an average price of US$44.75/bbl. 

Revenue was US$217.9 million and capital spending just US$26 million. 

The company has just US$7.4 million in gross debt outstanding - money owed for its acquisition of the Montara field from PTTEP three years ago. 

It has also more than doubled its cash on hand year-on-year, to US$89.4 million. 

"Early in 2020, we responded to the combined impact of a drop in benchmark oil prices and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic," Blakeley said. 

"Our primary focus was to preserve our balance sheet in the face of enormous uncertainty."

Jadestone was one of the first to take drastic cost-cutting measures when the benchmark Brent price fell below US$20/bbl.

It hacked capital expenditure by 50%, shaved salaries, delayed its Vietnam gas development, delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange, and pushed back an infill drilling program in Australia. 

Last year it also informed offshore workers of a permanent 10% paycut so the company could better pursue acquistions.

This allowed the company to escape relatively unscathed, financially. Now, Jadestone management is looking to new growth projects. 

In December it closed a $12 million acquisition of the high-value Lemang gas project onshore South Sumatra, Indonesia. 

Lemang includes a 90% stake in the Akatara gas field, which was originally developed as an oil project. 

On Monday, Blakeley said the company had begun integration work at the asset. He did not say when he expected to produce first sales gas or whether the company had signed any offtake agreements yet. 

The company also anticipates its New Zealand acquisition to complete in the coming months. 

Jadestone is buying OMV's operational 69% interest in the Maari and Manaia fields. The deal is expected to close in the first half and provide immediate revenue as it is already producing. 

Blakeley noted there were "several additional opportunities" in the Asia Pacific region under consideration but did not elaborate.