New player Prymed to engineer US profits

THE initial public offer prospectus for United States-focused start-up, Pryme Oil & Gas, closes at 5pm Perth time today. The junior is offering 35 million shares at 20c each, aiming to raise $A7 million for initial operations in Louisiana.

Pryme aims to develop conventional oil and natural gas, coalbed methane and shale gas resources throughout North America. Its business plan is reminiscent of the rationales followed by several recent new petroleum players – to raise money in Australia and exploit niche “engineering plays” near good infrastructure in the US.

“Much of the known hydrocarbon resources that remain for development in the US and Canada are not ‘exploratory’ or ‘wildcat’ by their nature,” the company says.

“Such projects are instead ‘engineering plays’ with little reservoir risk in such categories as coalbed methane, gassy organic shales, low-permeability sandstones and ‘dead’ oil-in-place. These sources are relatively widespread in North America, but they all require specialised knowledge in drilling, well completions and production operations.”

The first acquisition that the company proposes to make is the LaSalle Parish Project, situated in the Wilcox Basin in Central Louisiana, an area known for its prolific, long-life oil production, according to Pryme.

The basin’s so-called “stacked sandstones” are typically layered between 1200 feet and 6000 feet from the surface. Many of them have become saturated with oil that has migrated from deeper source rocks.

According to Pryme, the Wilcox Basin offers several advantages:

• an economic rate of exploration and development success;

• relatively shallow, low-risk drilling;

• extensive oil and gas gathering and transportation infrastructure;

• low development costs with short lead time for revenue generation after well completion work;

• a ready market for oil and gas and near the home of one of the main US natural gas hubs, ‘The Henry Hub’;

• additional drilling and development locations; and

• stacked pays or formations behind pipe yet to be developed;

“This production project was chosen based on a balance of engineering risk, price risk, upside potential and project life, making it the logical choice for such an inaugural step,” the company said.

The project, operated by Belle Oil of Natchez, Mississippi, comprises 21 separate oil wells, five formation water disposal wells and associated facilities located in six separate fields with leases covering about 1125 acres. The first well was drilled in 2001 and the project produces a regular, systematic monthly income from oil sold, according to Pryme.

In Phase I, Pryme will acquire interest in the 21 producing oil wells. In Phase II, it will participate in a “large, highly prospective seismic play” in central south Louisiana.

Pryme says its board has a combined experience of more than 40 years of North American oil and gas resource development experience. Two of its directors live in the US and three of the four directors have had direct personal experience and personal investment in the Wilcox Basin for the past four years.

It also claims to have an excellent on-location team including geologists, physicists and operator who are already participants in the play.

Following the first two phases of its US operations, Pryme intends to make further US oil and gas acquisitions and participate in additional early stage 3D seismic, conventional oil and unconventional natural gas projects.

“Planned acquisitions will also extend to engineering projects such as production enhancement of existing fields and development of blanket, low-permeability reservoirs in the US,” the company said.

“These areas may include the Gulf Coast region, the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains.”


A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.


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