CALGARY, ALBERTA-(Marketwired - April 27, 2015) - In 2014, PetroMaroc Corporation plc (TSX VENTURE:PMA) (the “Company” or “PetroMaroc”) drilled the Kamar-1 exploration well on the Sidi Moktar exploration licence in Morocco (”Sidi Moktar”), encountering substantial natural gas resource potential. Subsequent to the drilling of the Kamar-1 exploration well in 2014, and the Koba-1 exploration well drilled in 2013, an independent evaluation of the Undiscovered Petroleum Initially in Place (“UPIIP”) and prospective resources of the Kechoula structure was completed by GLJ Petroleum Consultants, confirming significant natural gas potential.
In November 2014, PetroMaroc commenced its assessment of a series of strategic and financial options available to the Company, with the ultimate view of maximizing shareholder value. The Company has been reviewing alternatives to address its capital structure with focus on debt reduction and alternatives for the Company’s Cdn$9.7 million principal amount of debentures (the “Debentures”). In November 2014, Dundee Capital Markets (Dundee Securities Europe LLP) was appointed as financial adviser to evaluate a series of strategic and financial alternatives including, but are not limited to, farm-out of Sidi Moktar, the sale of the Company, merger or other business combination, recapitalization, sale of all or a portion of the Company’s assets, or any combination thereof, as well as continued execution of its business plan, among all other alternatives. There can be no assurance, however, that these initiatives will lead to a qualified partner being located or the timing of any transaction taking place or at all.
PetroMaroc exited 2014 with cash of US$1.4 million and a working capital surplus as at December 31, 2014 of US$0.9 million (including US$3.1 million restricted cash); however, the Company has commitments due in less than twelve months of approximately US$5.0 million, which will require additional capital. In order to fund current operational commitments and to fund additional evaluation of Sidi Moktar, PetroMaroc will be required to complete additional financings and/or incur additional debt in the future. These factors represent a material uncertainty that may cast a significant doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.
PetroMaroc is required to make quarterly interest payments on the Debentures on each of March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31 until April 10, 2016. The Company has 30 days within which to pay the interest under the Debentures before triggering an event of default. Failure to pay the interest within this time period would allow the Debenture holders to declare the Cdn$9.7 million principal amount and all accrued interest on the Debentures immediately due and payable and to begin proceedings to realize upon the security held in connection with the Debentures.
In addition, the Company has been in discussions with its Sidi Moktar creditors to defer payment of the remaining unpaid costs in respect to the Sidi Moktar drilling campaign. The deferral is a necessary measure required to pursue the Company’s efforts to secure additional funding, to honour PetroMaroc’s financial obligations and to advance Sidi Moktar.
PetroMaroc today filed its annual financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014, together with its Management’s Discussion and Analysis in respect of the Company’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2014. These documents are available on the PetroMaroc website at www.petromaroc.co or under the Company profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
- Cash position as at December 31, 2014, of US$1.4 million (US$12.7 million as at December 31, 2013; US$4.5 million as at September 30, 2014).
- Working capital surplus as at December 31, 2014, of US$0.9 million [includes US$3.1 million restricted cash] (US$3.9 million working capital surplus as at December 31, 2013; US$0.1 million working capital deficit as at September 30, 2014).
- PetroMaroc completed the Debenture financing of Cdn $9.7 million in April 2014.
- The Company closed a private placement in November 2014, raising gross proceeds of Cdn $3 million.
- Subsequent to the year-end, the Company entered into a Debenture amending agreement (the “Debenture Amending Agreement”) with the holders of the Debentures to amend the terms of the Debentures in respect to the Q4 2014 interest payment (the “Q4 2014 Interest Payment”), pursuant to which, the Company issued an aggregate of 4,074,887 common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares”) at a price of Cdn $0.06 per Common Share in satisfaction of making a cash payment in the amount of Cdn $244,493, which was due and payable on December 31, 2014. In addition, in consideration of entering into the Debenture Amending Agreement, the Company paid the holders of the Debentures a cash fee in the amount of Cdn $24,449, representing 10 percent of the Q4 2014 Interest Payment.
- Subsequent to the year-end, PetroMaroc commenced discussions with the holders of the Debentures to amend the terms of the Debentures, in respect to the Q1 2015 interest payment (the “Q1 2015 Interest Payment”), which discussions are ongoing.
- Subsequent to the year-end, the Company has continued in its effort to secure immediate capital for monthly ongoing costs.
- Sidi Moktar onshore:
- Following the drilling of the Koba-1 and the Kamar-1 wells, and the independent evaluation of the UPIIP and prospective resources of the Kechoula structure, the Company outlined plans to appraise the potential of Sidi Moktar. These initiatives are subject to successful financing and will address a testing and completion program for the Koba-1 and Kamar-1 wells.
- The Company is currently requesting to have the Kamar-1 well satisfy the minimum work commitment of the Second Extension period of Sidi Moktar.
- Foum Draa offshore:
- The joint partners on the licence are reviewing the forward programme following the FD 11-Alpha-1 exploration well drilled in late 2013, which successfully completed the minimum work commitments of the First Extension Period of the exploration licence under the petroleum agreement, subject to completing end of well studies.
- The joint partners have the option to advance to the Second Extension Period of the exploration licence, or withdraw from the exploration licence.
- Following a detailed technical review of the exploration well drilled in Q4 2013, capitalised exploration costs of US$1.5 million were impaired in Q4 2014 to US$nil.
- Zag onshore:
- The Company had committed to its percentage share of further geophysical studies and the drilling of one exploratory well, subject to receiving and approving satisfactory proposals from the operator as per the association contract. The operator, however, failed to complete these commitments within the required licence period, and PetroMaroc may be subject to a penalty of US$1.2 million (these costs have been accrued). The US$0.6 million of restricted cash will be available to offset this estimated potential penalty.
- Following a detailed technical review of the licence, capitalised exploration costs of US$2.2 million were impaired in Q4 2014 to US$nil.
- Sidi Moussa offshore:
- In Q3 2014, the Company entered into formal discussions with the operator and partners to transfer its 1.5 percent working interest in the Sidi Moussa licence prior to the Nour-1 well reaching the primary target Middle Jurassic platform carbonate unit and secondary target Upper Jurassic reefal carbonates.
- During Q3 2014, the Company successfully executed a binding letter agreement with one of the partners on the licence to transfer its 1.5 percent working interest, following which the net cost to the Company for the Nour-1 well will be nil. This transfer of interest remains subject to approval by the Moroccan authorities (joint Ministerial orders).
- The Company notes the announcement by the operator and partners in November 2014 that the Nour-1 well is being plugged and abandoned. This announcement will have no additional impact on the Company.
- Capitalised exploration costs of US$0.1 million were impaired in Q2 2014.
- Tarfaya onshore:
- During Q2 2014, the Company successfully transferred its 22.5 percent working interest to the operator of this licence, following which the Company will not be liable for the US$1.5 million penalty that followed the operator’s decision not to drill one exploration commitment well by April 2014.
- In Q4 2014, this transfer received final approvals from the Moroccan authorities (joint Ministerial orders).
PetroMaroc is an independent oil and gas company focused on its significant land position in Morocco. The Company has a 50 percent operated interest in the Sidi Moktar licence area covering 2,683 square kilometres and is working closely with Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) as a committed long-term partner to unlock the hydrocarbon potential of the region. Morocco offers a politically stable environment to work within and has favourable fiscal terms to energy producers. PetroMaroc is a public company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “PMA”.
Special Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements relate to future events or the Company’s future performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “predict”, “project”, “potential”, “targeting”, “intend”, “could”, “might”, “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar terms. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the recruitment of a partner to develop Sidi Moktar, proving the commercial viability of Sidi Moktar, the ability of the Company to secure immediate capital in the near term to advance operations to remain a going concern, the Company’s ability to make the quarterly interest payments under the Debentures, the ability of the Company to successfully negotiate with the holders of the Debentures to amend the terms of the Debentures in respect of the Q1 2015 Interest Payment, the ability of the Company to successfully negotiate with its trade creditors to continue to agree to deferral of monthly partial payments of invoices in respect to the Sidi Moktar drilling campaign, the ability of the Company to access $2.5 million of restricted cash in the time periods indicated, the ability of the Company to receive ONHYM’s consent to having the Kamar well satisfy the minimum work commitment of the second Extension period of Sidi Moktar, drilling additional wells of Sidi Moktar, the completion of evaluations and processing and interpretation of data, the performance characteristics of the Company’s oil and gas properties, capital expenditure programmes, supply and demand for oil, gas and commodities, prices for oil and gas, drilling plans, and realization of the anticipated benefits of acquisitions.
Forward-looking statements are only predictions. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Some of the risks and other factors which could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions in Canada, the Kingdom of Morocco and globally; industry conditions, including fluctuations in the price of oil and gas, governmental regulation of the oil and gas industry, including environmental regulation; fluctuation in foreign exchange or interest rates; risks inherent in oil and gas operations; political risk, including geological, technical, drilling and processing problems; unanticipated operating events which could cause commencement of drilling and production to be delayed; the need to obtain consents and approvals from industry partners, regulatory authorities and other third-parties; stock market volatility and market valuations; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions of reserves, undeveloped land and skilled personnel; incorrect assessments of the value of acquisitions or resource estimates; any future inability to obtain additional funding, when required, on acceptable terms or at all; credit risk; changes in legislation; any unanticipated disputes or deficiencies related to title matters; dependence on management and key personnel; and risks associated with operating in and being part of a joint venture.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon factors and assumptions which management of the Company believes to be reasonable, the Company cannot assure that actual results will be consistent with its expectations and assumptions. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements contained in this news release as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as expressly required by applicable securities laws.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of PetroMaroc in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (the “U.S. Securities Act”) or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons (as defined in the U.S. Securities Act) unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws, or an exemption from such registration is available.
PetroMaroc Corporation plc
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +1 403 474 2775
Chief Financial Officer and Secretary
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3137 7756
Dundee Capital Markets (Dundee Securities Europe LLP)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3440 6885