Solo Oil (LON: SOLO), a gas-focused production and development company targeting attractive growth opportunities within the European gas market, hereby issues a joint statement with AMINEX PLC to clarify the situation regarding the firm and contingent budgets designed to fulfil remaining work commitments and to progress development of the Ntorya gas field (which sits within the Ruvuma PSA), which were approved by all partners at an operating committee meeting on 24 September 2019.
Both parties are encouraged by recent positive movements within Tanzania in relation to the progression of licence activity and are keen to move matters forward for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The joint venture partners have agreed the following 2020 Work Programme and Budget which remains subject to approval by the relevant Tanzanian authorities.
The firm approved budget for 2020 is US$1.447 million (gross), principally relating to licence maintenance and planning activity.
The contingent budget for 2020, which would be subject to confirmation by the joint venture partners in accordance with the Ruvuma joint operating agreement prior to being committed, is US$41.425 million (gross) and relates primarily to the drilling of Chikumbi-1 and the acquisition of extensive 3D and 2D seismic surveys. These budget elements are contingent, inter alia, on the Mtwara licence extension for the drilling of the Chikumbi-1 well and the granting of the Ntorya development licence for the seismic programmes.
Both parties are keen to expedite progress on the licence and will consider committing to accelerating certain preparatory works in a pro-active manner at the appropriate time.
Solo Oil also announced the further strengthening of its Board of Directors, with the appointment of Mr Don Nicolson as an Independent Non-Executive Director, effective immediately.
Mr Nicolson is a senior business leader with over 35 years’ experience in the oil, gas, mining and natural stone sectors. He has held multiple Board and senior executive roles both in the UK and internationally.
This included 26 years with BP where he ran oil and gas businesses in the UK, United States and Canada. Key roles included Director North Sea where he was accountable for a multi-billion-US dollar turnover and a workforce of c.2000; Chief of Staff to BP’s CEO (E&P); Vice President BP Alaska and Vice President BP Canada.
Don has significant relevant experience of managing gas production and infrastructure assets. During his time with BP, he was accountable for the management of multiple gas fields in Western Canada, the United States, the UK North Sea and the CATS Gas Pipeline System, which at the time shipped around 10% of the UK’s gas production.
In addition to his oil & gas roles, he has Board level and senior executive experience in publicly listed and private companies in both coal and natural stone sectors. This included CEO of Scottish Resources Group, which at the time was the UK’s largest surface mining coal producer with multiple mines and a workforce of c.1,000. He has fundraising experience in both the equity and debt markets.
Most recently, Don was Chairman and interim CEO of the natural stone company, Levantina, headquartered in Spain. The company operates multiple mines including El Coto, believed to be the world’s largest Crema Marfil mine, as well as processing factories and global distribution centres.
He currently is an E&P Steering Group member for Scottish & Southern Energy plc, a FTSE 100 company, which has gas assets in the Southern North Sea and West of Shetland, and is also Senior Adviser and Vice Chairman-designate for AIM-quoted, Fox Marble Holdings plc.
Subject to completion of the proposed reverse takeover transaction announced by the Company on 9 October 2019, Scirocco’s Board will be comprised of six Directors – a CEO, CFO, COO and three Non-Executive Directors. It is intended Don will Chair the Audit Committee, and be a member of the Remuneration Committee, at Scirocco.
Commenting on the appointment, Alastair Ferguson, Solo Oil Non-Executive Chairman, said:
“As Chairman, it is my pleasure to welcome Don to the Board in this transformational period for the Company. His extensive skillset and experience further strengthens the Board and will provide invaluable contribution as we look at additional growth opportunities to establish the company as a mid-cap gas producer and developer in the European gas market. In particular, his experience at BP will be highly beneficial to the Company as we further develop the Dutch North Sea assets that we are in the process of acquiring and continue to assess further value accretive acquisitions. We look forward to working with Don as the Company continues to deliver on our strategic objectives.”