Africa Oil Corp.
TSX : AOI
OMX : AOI

Africa Oil Corp.

February 26, 2015 17:30 ET

Africa Oil 2014 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial and Operating Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 26, 2015) - Africa Oil Corp. (TSX:AOI)(OMX:AOI) ("Africa Oil" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its 2014 financial and operating results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2014.

On the back of the successful exploration activities in Kenya during 2012 and 2013, the Company and its partners ramped up its exploration and appraisal program in Kenya and Ethiopia. Entering 2014, the Company and its partners had seven drilling rigs operating in the region. Four Tullow-Africa Oil joint venture rigs were operating through 2014 in Northern Kenya in Blocks 10BB, 10BA and 13T, one of which was a testing and completions unit. Three additional drilling rigs completed drilling operations during 2014 in Block 9 (Kenya), South Omo Block (Ethiopia) and Blocks 7/8 (Ethiopia) and were released. The Company entered 2015 with four rigs operating in Kenya. Due to the changing focus of the 2015 work program to appraisal and development of the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, the Africa Oil - Tullow partnership has released one of its four rigs operating in Kenya and plans to release two additional rigs by the end of the second quarter of 2015.

The focus of the work program in 2014 was drilling out the remaining prospect inventory in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, appraising existing discoveries, drilling new basin opening wells and progressing the development studies towards project sanction for the discovered basin in Northern Kenya. During 2014, the Company participated in 23 wells of which 17 wells were exploration and appraisal wells in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, 1 was an appraisal well in the Cretaceous Anza rift, and 5 were exploring new basins in Kenya and Ethiopia.

In light of the current and forecast short term oil price environment, the Company has worked closely with Tullow to focus the 2015 work program and budget on advancing the discovered basin development in Blocks 10BB and 13T (Kenya) by undertaking activities aimed at increasing resource certainty and progressing development studies with the intent of submitting a Field Development Plan ("FDP") around the end of 2015. The 2015 work program will include multiple appraisal and exploration wells in the discovered basin, Extended Well Tests ("EWT's") in the Amosing and Ngamia fields and reservoir and engineering studies (including extensive core analysis). In addition, the Africa Oil - Tullow joint venture will continue to work closely with the Government of Kenya and the Uganda Upstream partners to advance the regional oil export pipeline.

Outside of the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, the Africa Oil - Tullow joint venture new basin opening exploration program includes the Engomo-1 well in Block 10BA (Kenya) currently drilling and potentially the Cheptuket well in Block 12A (Kenya), a PSC commitment well that needs to be drilled before September 2016. Outside of the Africa Oil - Tullow joint venture blocks, the 2015 work program is focused on the Rift Basin Area Block in Ethiopia where a 2D seismic program of a minimum 400 kilometer land and lake survey has just commenced acquisition.

Africa Oil entered the fourth quarter of 2014 with US$273 million in cash and US$149 million of net working capital. At December 31, 2014, the Company had cash of $161 million and net working capital of $11 million. Subsequent to year end, the Company completed a brokered private placement issuing an aggregate of 57,020,270 common shares at a price of SEK 18.50 per share for gross proceeds of SEK 1,054,874,995 (approximately $125 million equivalent on the date the private placement was announced). An agent's fee of 4% of gross proceeds was paid to the bookrunners.

The Company has completed the following significant exploration activities and transactions in, and subsequent to, the fourth quarter of 2014;

  • In October, the Company announced the results of the Kodos-1 basin opening exploration well drilled in the Kerio Basin in Block 10BB (Kenya). The well encountered hydrocarbon shows, which indicates the presence of an active petroleum system. This is the first well in the Kerio basin, northeast of the discovered basin in Kenya, and it appears to have been drilled in an area of unfavorable reservoir development, near the basin bounding fault. Due to the encouraging hydrocarbon shows, consideration is being given to drilling an additional exploration well in the basin during 2015.
  • In October, the Company announced the results of the Ekosowan-1 exploration well located in Block 10BB, 12 kilometers southeast and updip of the Amosing oil discovery. The well encountered a 900 meter column of near continuous oil shows throughout an interval of tight sands which also appear to be as a result of drilling too close to the basin bounding fault. A downdip appraisal well between the Amosing field and this potential updip sealing location is being planned for 2015.
  • In October, the Company drilled the Ngamia-4 appraisal well located 1.1 kilometers west of the Ngamia-1 discovery. The well encountered up to 120 meters of hydrocarbon pay, of which up to 80 meters was oil. This well has been suspended for use in future appraisal and development activities. Four additional appraisal wells are planned in the Ngamia field area, including the Ngamia-5 well, which is currently drilling.
  • In October, the Company announced the results of the Sala-2 appraisal well, which was drilled updip from the Sala-1 well. Sala-2 failed to find significant hydrocarbons as there appears to be a stratigraphic or structural separation between the two wells. The Company is reviewing additional potential appraisal targets as well as on trend prospects in the block which has proven oil and gas generation.
  • In November 2014, the Company drilled the Ngamia-5 appraisal well located 500 meters northeast of the Ngamia-1 discovery well in a different fault compartment and encountered 160 to 200 meters net oil pay.
  • In December 2014, the Company drilled the Ngamia-6 appraisal well located 800 meters north of Ngamia-1 and in the same fault compartment as Ngamia-5 and encountered up to 135 meters net oil pay. Pressure data from the Ngamia-1, 3, 5 and 6 wells demonstrates connectivity between the wells at multiple reservoir horizons, which will be further tested with the Ngamia EWT.
  • In December 2014, the Company announced the results of the Epir-1 basin opening exploration well drilled in the North Kerio Basin in Block 10BB. The well encountered a 100 meter interval of wet hydrocarbon gas shows with florescence indicating the presence of an active petroleum system. The hydrocarbon shows were encountered primarily in rocks not of reservoir quality. Technical work in the basin will now focus on identifying a prospect in the basin where there is a high chance of trapping hydrocarbons in reservoir quality rock.
  • In January 2015, the Company drilled the Amosing-3 appraisal well located 1 kilometer northwest of the Amosing-1 discovery well. The well encountered up to 140 meters net oil pay and proved an extension of the field. Pressure data from Amosing-3 indicated connectivity in some reservoir horizons encountered in the Amosing-1, 2 and 2A wells. Multi-zone completions were installed in December 2014 and January 2015 in the Amosing-1 and 2A wells and EWT operations on the field have commenced.
  • The Company, as operator, and its partner have recently commenced acquiring a minimum 400 kilometer 2D seismic program over the Rift Basin Area. The Rift Basin Area is located north of the South Omo Block and is on trend with highly prospective blocks in the Tertiary rift valley including the South Omo Block in Ethiopia, and Kenyan Blocks 10BA, 10BB, 13T, and 12A.
  • During 2014, the Company and its partners continued to actively acquire and process seismic data in Blocks 12A, 10BA, 10BB and 13T in Kenya. In Block 12A, a 674 kilometer 2D seismic program was completed in the first quarter 2014. In Block 10BB, a 750 kilometer North Kerio Basin 2D seismic program was completed in the first quarter 2014. In Blocks 10BA, 10BB and 13T a 600 kilometer 2D seismic program over the North Lokichar and Turkwell basins was completed in the fourth quarter 2014. In Blocks 10BB and 13T, the acquisition of a 951 square kilometer 3D seismic survey over the series of significant discoveries along the western basin bounding fault in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya completed in the fourth quarter 2014 and the full fast track processed data set is available. Initial evaluation of the 3D seismic indicates significantly improved structural and stratigraphic definition and additional prospectivity not evident on the 2D seismic.
  • The Africa Oil - Tullow partnership has acquired over 1,100 meters of whole core from the discovered basin wells and an extensive program of detailed core analysis is ongoing that will provide results from the first quarter of 2015 onwards.
  • Due to the delays in acquiring the 3D seismic survey in Blocks 10BB and 13T the Government of Kenya has approved a one year extension to the PSC exploration terms for both blocks, and as a result, the final exploration periods will expire in July 2017 and September 2017, respectively.
  • The Company has informed the Ethiopian Government and its partners that it intends to withdraw from the Adigala Block and Blocks 7 and 8, both in Ethiopia.
  • The Company, through its 44.6% ownership in Horn Petroleum Corporation, has informed the Government of Puntland (Somalia) that the Company will be significantly reducing its presence in Bosaso, Puntland and will refrain from any operational activity and associated expenditures pending a resolution of the political situation between the Regional Government of Puntland and the Federal Government of Somalia regarding the legitimacy of oil concession contracts. Given the considerable efforts taken by the Company to date in Puntland (Somalia), the Company has requested a two year extension to the current exploration period from the Government of Puntland to allow time for these political challenges to be resolved.

Keith Hill, President and CEO of Africa Oil, commented, "We are very encouraged by the excellent well results from our recent appraisal program at Ngamia and Amosing and we have recently commenced operations that will facilitate the initiation of EWT's at both fields, which should further improve reservoir definition. With the recent closing of our brokered private placement and no debt, we are well positioned to weather the current downturn in oil prices. Our goal in 2015 will be to keep the project moving forward while being financially conservative until oil prices show signs of recovery. The Company has worked closely with its partners to focus 2015 work program and budgets on advancing the discovered basin development by undertaking activities aimed at increasing resource certainty and progressing development studies with the intent of submitting a FDP around the end of 2015. In addition, the Company and its partner will continue to work closely with the Government of Kenya and the Uganda Upstream partners to advance the regional oil export pipeline."

2014 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results

Results of Operations
(Thousands of United States Dollars)
Three months Three months Year Year
ended ended ended ended
December 31, December 31, December 31, December 31,
(thousands) 2014 2013 2014 2013
Salaries and benefits $ 1,625 $ 3,528 $ 3,005 $ 5,040
Stock-based compensation 2,398 2,114 17,951 12,746
Travel 379 420 1,623 1,588
Office and general 646 325 1,396 1,160
Donation - 1,051 2,035 1,151
Depreciation 17 15 67 55
Professional fees 306 462 835 786
Stock exchange and filing fees 187 310 1,584 969
Impairment of intangible exploration assets 96,878 22,874 128,180 22,874
Operating expenses $ 102,436 $ 31,099 $ 156,676 $ 46,369

Operating expenses increased $110.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to the same period in the prior year. During 2014, the Company recorded a $90.6 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in the Dharoor and Nugaal exploration blocks in Puntland (Somalia), a $5.8 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in the Adigala Block in Ethiopia, and a $31.3 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in Blocks 7/8 in Ethiopia. During 2013, the Company recorded to a $22.9 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in Block 10A in Kenya. The $5.2 million increase in stock-based compensation is mainly the result of an increase in the fair value of each stock option granted in 2014 compared to those granted in 2013. The increase in the fair market value is primarily attributable to the exercise price being higher for the options granted in the 2014 compared to those granted in 2013, which under the Black-Scholes option pricing model results in an increase in the cost of each option granted. The decrease in salary related costs is the result of a decrease in annual bonus incentives granted to officers, employees and consultants of the Company in 2014 compared to 2013. The Company made $2.0 million and $1.1 million of donations to the Lundin Foundation in 2014 and 2013, respectively, resulting in a $0.9 million increase in operating expenses. Stock exchange and filing fees increased $0.6 million as a result of costs associated with the graduation to the TSX in Canada and Nasdaq Stockholm.

Operating expenses increased $71.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2014 compared to the same period in the prior year. During the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company recorded a $90.6 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in the Dharoor and Nugaal exploration blocks in Puntland (Somalia) and a $5.8 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in the Adigala Block in Ethiopia. During the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company recorded to a $22.9 million impairment of intangible exploration assets in Block 10A in Kenya. The decrease in salary related costs is the result of a decrease in annual bonus incentives granted to officers, employees and consultants of the Company in 2014 compared to 2013. A $1.0 million donation was made to the Lundin Foundation in the fourth quarter of 2013 versus nil in the fourth quarter of 2014. Office and general costs increased in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 due to increased conference costs and advisory fees.

Financial income and expense is made up of the following items:

(Thousands of United States Dollars)

Three months Three months Year Year
ended ended ended ended
December 31, December 31, December 31, December 31,
2014 2013 2014 2013
Fair value adjustment - warrants $ - $ 28 $ 1 $ 3,115
Interest and other income 157 184 1,267 1,026
Bank charges - (6 ) (13 ) (24 )
Foreign exchange loss (7 ) (7,661 ) (289 ) (9,186 )
Finance income $ 157 $ (7,667 ) $ 1,268 $ 4,141
Finance expense $ (7 ) $ 212 $ (302 ) $ (9,210 )

At December 31, 2014, nil warrants were outstanding in AOC and Horn. In June 2014, all of the remaining 9,546,248 Horn warrants expired unexercised. The Company recorded a $0.001 million gain on the revaluation of warrants for the year ended December 31, 2014 as the Horn warrants expired unexercised.

During October of 2013, the Company entered into an economic hedge in an effort to mitigate exposure to fluctuations in the US dollar versus the Swedish Krona exchange rate between the date a private placement was announced and the date the private placement closed, in which the Company issued shares for Swedish Krona. As a result, the Company incurred foreign exchange losses on the foreign currency instrument of $7.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The remaining foreign exchange gains and losses in 2013 and 2014 are primarily related to changes in the value of the Canadian dollar in comparison to the US dollar.

Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Thousands United States Dollars)
December 31, December 31,
2014 2013
ASSETS
Current assets
Cash and cash equivalents $ 161,162 $ 493,209
Accounts receivable 1,633 3,195
Prepaid expenses 1,276 1,379
164,071 497,783
Long-term assets
Restricted cash 1,250 1,250
Property and equipment 50 103
Intangible exploration assets 785,177 488,688
786,477 490,041
Total assets $ 950,548 $ 987,824
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
Current liabilities
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 153,502 $ 57,976
Current portion of warrants - 1
153,502 57,977
Total liabilities 153,502 57,977
Equity attributable to common shareholders
Share capital 1,014,772 1,007,414
Contributed surplus 39,947 24,396
Deficit (257,673 ) (150,736 )
797,046 881,074
Non-controlling interest - 48,773
Total equity 797,046 929,847
Total liabilities and equity $ 950,548 $ 987,824

The Company continues to invest in its oil and gas properties in East Africa. Africa Oil consumed $332 million of cash during the year. Intangible exploration assets increased during 2014 by $296 million as a result of incurring $438 million of expenditures which were offset by $128 million of impairment charges and $14 million of farmout proceeds received during the year. The Company continues to finance its activities primarily through equity. The Company is debt free.

Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
(Thousands United States Dollars)
December 31, December 31,
2014 2013
Cash flows provided by (used in):
Operations:
Net loss and comprehensive loss for the year $ (155,710 ) $ (51,438 )
Items not affecting cash:
Stock-based compensation 17,951 12,746
Depreciation 67 55
Impairment of intangible exploration assets 128,180 22,874
Fair value adjustment - warrants (1 ) (3,115 )
Foreign exchange loss related to financing - 7,396
Unrealized foreign exchange loss 289 25
Changes in non-cash operating working capital (636 ) (756 )
(9,860 ) (12,213 )
Investing:
Property and equipment expenditures (14 ) (76 )
Intangible exploration expenditures (437,876 ) (229,453 )
Farmout proceeds 13,207 -
Changes in non-cash investing working capital 97,827 21,942
(326,856 ) (207,587 )
Financing:
Common shares issued 4,958 448,386
Foreign exchange loss related to financing - (7,396 )
Deposit of cash for bank guarantee (450 ) (1,250 )
Release of bank guarantee 450 1,119
4,958 440,859
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and
cash equivalents denominated in foreign currency (289 ) (25 )
Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents (332,047 ) 221,034
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year $ 493,209 $ 272,175
Cash and cash equivalents, end of year $ 161,162 $ 493,209

Investing activities related to the Company's oil and gas activities in East Africa accounted for approximately 97% of the 2014 cash consumption of the Company. Cash used in operating activities decreased to $10 million during 2014.

The following table breaks down the material components of intangible exploration expenditures for the year ended December 31, 2014:

For the years ended December 31, 2014 December 31, 2013
(thousands) Kenya Ethiopia Puntland Total Kenya Ethiopia Puntland Total
Drilling and completion $ 269,806 $ 41,533 $ 79 $ 311,418 $ 115,603 $ 43,604 $ 374 $ 159,581
Development studies 51,756 - - 51,756 5,580 - - 5,580
Exploration surveys and studies 44,249 1,382 36 45,667 25,754 10,094 28 35,876
PSA and G&A related 22,251 5,697 1,087 29,035 21,377 5,375 1,664 28,416
Total $ 388,062 $ 48,612 $ 1,202 $ 437,876 $ 168,314 $ 59,073 $ 2,066 $ 229,453

The focus of the work program in 2014 was drilling out the remaining prospect inventory in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, appraising existing discoveries, drilling new basin opening wells and progressing the development studies towards project sanction for the discovered basin in Northern Kenya. During 2014, the Company participated in 23 wells of which 17 wells were exploration and appraisal wells in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, 1 was an appraisal well in the Cretaceous Anza rift, and 5 were exploring new basins in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The following table breaks down the material components of intangible exploration expenditures for the three months ended December 31, 2014:

For the three months ended December 31, 2014 December 31, 2013
(thousands) Kenya Ethiopia Puntland Total Kenya Ethiopia Puntland Total
Drilling and completion $ 98,649 $ (323 ) $ - $ 98,326 $ 37,732 $ 13,753 $ (170 ) $ 51,315
Development studies 20,218 - - 20,218 3,326 - - 3,326
Exploration surveys and studies 7,995 208 12 8,215 5,477 1,967 2 7,446
PSA and G&A related 8,183 873 101 9,157 8,734 877 287 9,898
Total $ 135,045 $ 758 $ 113 $ 135,916 $ 55,269 $ 16,597 $ 119 $ 71,985

The focus of the work program in the fourth quarter of 2014 was appraising existing discoveries in the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, drilling new basin opening wells in the Kerio and North Kerio basins, and progressing the development studies towards project sanction for the discovered basin in Northern Kenya.

Consolidated Statement of Equity
(Thousands United States Dollars)
December 31, December 31,
2014 2013
Share capital:
Balance, beginning of year $ 1,007,414 $ 558,555
Private placement, net - 447,355
Exercise of options 7,358 1,504
Balance, end of year 1,014,772 1,007,414
Contributed surplus:
Balance, beginning of year $ 24,396 $ 12,123
Stock based compensation 17,951 12,746
Exercise of options (2,400 ) (473 )
Balance, end of year 39,947 24,396
Deficit:
Balance, beginning of year $ (150,736 ) $ (98,076 )
Net loss and comprehensive loss attributable to common shareholders (106,937 ) (52,660 )
Balance, end of year (257,673 ) (150,736 )
Total equity attributable to common shareholders $ 797,046 881,074
Non-controlling interest:
Balance, beginning of year $ 48,773 $ 47,551
Net income (loss) and comprehensive income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest (48,773 ) 1,222
Balance, end of year - 48,773
Total equity $ 797,046 $ 929,847

The Company's consolidated financial statements, notes to the financial statements, management's discussion and analysis for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, and the 2014 Annual Information Form have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are available on the Company's website (www.africaoilcorp.com).

Outlook

In light of the current and forecast short term oil price environment, the Company has worked closely with Tullow to focus the 2015 work program and budget on advancing the discovered basin development in Blocks 10BB and 13T (Kenya) by undertaking activities aimed at increasing resource certainty and progressing development studies with the intent of submitting a FDP around the end of 2015. The 2015 work program will include multiple appraisal and exploration wells in the discovered basin, EWT's in the Amosing and Ngamia fields and reservoir and engineering studies (including extensive core analysis). In addition, the Africa Oil - Tullow joint venture will continue to work closely with the Government of Kenya and the Uganda Upstream partners to advance the regional oil export pipeline.

Outside of the discovered basin in Northern Kenya, the Africa Oil - Tullow joint venture new basin opening exploration program includes the Engomo-1 well in Block 10BA (Kenya) currently drilling and potentially the Cheptuket well in Block 12A (Kenya), a PSC commitment well that needs to be drilled before September 2016. Outside of the Africa Oil - Tullow joint venture blocks, the 2015 work program is focused on the Rift Basin Area Block in Ethiopia where a 2D seismic program of a minimum 400 kilometer land and lake survey has just commenced acquisition.

Africa Oil Corp. is a Canadian oil and gas company with assets in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as Puntland (Somalia) through its 45% equity interest in Horn Petroleum Corporation. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and on Nasdaq Stockholm under the symbol "AOI".

FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION

Certain statements made and information contained herein constitute "forward-looking information" (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation). Such statements and information (together, "forward looking statements") relate to future events or the Company's future performance, business prospects or opportunities. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to estimates of reserves and or resources, future production levels, future capital expenditures and their allocation to exploration and development activities, future drilling and other exploration and development activities, ultimate recovery of reserves or resources and dates by which certain areas will be explored, developed or reach expected operating capacity, that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management.

All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements. Statements concerning proven and probable reserves and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements and reflect conclusions that are based on certain assumptions that the reserves and resources can be economically exploited. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect, "may", "will", "project", "predict", "potential", "targeting", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements". 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. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties relating to, among other things, changes in oil prices, results of exploration and development activities, uninsured risks, regulatory changes, defects in title, availability of materials and equipment, timeliness of government or other regulatory approvals, actual performance of facilities, availability of financing on reasonable terms, availability of third party service providers, equipment and processes relative to specifications and expectations and unanticipated environmental impacts on operations. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Keith C. Hill, President and CEO

Africa Oil's Certified Advisor on Nasdaq Stockholm is Pareto Öhman AB.

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