Clontarf Energy plc, the energy company focused on Australia, Africa and Bolivia, announces its unaudited financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2022:
The principal activities during this period were exploring Australian North West Shelf WG 519-P Block, in which Clontarf Energy holds a 10% Working Interest, and on which the partners drilled the Sasanof-1 well in May/June 2022. While this well did not flow commercial hydrocarbons, it showed that 1,000 metre offshore wells can again be funded. Clontarf's liquidity and international contacts helped attract funding above the then share price.
The spectacular boom in LNG prices, and shipments to Asia, as well as to the rationed European gas market, show that we are in a new boom market for gas discoveries in safe jurisdictions. Evaluation of deeper plays on the North West Shelf WG 519-P Block, as well as nearby offshore and onshore plays, opens up new exploration potential.
Following the C-19 pandemic, Clontarf Energy also restored contacts with the Ghanaian authorities to update the acreage to be explored, and resuscitate the ratification of our signed Petroleum Agreement on Tano 2A Block. Slowness in ratification of signed contracts had constrained the development of Ghana's oil and gas industry. The current Ghanaian government has indicated its determination to recover momentum. Ghanaian fiscal terms are competitive, while West African infrastructure steadily improves.
Financial markets and farm-out interest in petroleum had been depressed since the oil price war starting in 2014, and continuing periodically until 2022. This had constrained our options for early seismic or wells in Ghana or Chad. But recent price surges show that major new investment is required to service global demand. Clontarf plans to participate in the coming boom.
Aside from petroleum, Clontarf advanced its negotiations with international Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) processing experts, and has agreed in principle on a Joint Venture to test brines in medium-sized Bolivian salt-lakes. Our priority has been to maximise throughput without relying on extensive evaporation ponds. At the same time, the rising battery market now requires over 99.5% Lithium content, with minimal impurities, especially Magnesium. It has been a long process, but we now anticipate that high recoveries may be possible with these specifications at a reasonable cost. Nonetheless only full-scale production will confirm performance.
There is rising market and investor interest in DLE, both in Bolivia and elsewhere, due to surging demand for battery-grade lithium salts, both in EVs, grid storage and other "Green Transition" requirements. If laboratory test-work results are satisfactory, we understand that Australian and other funding is available to build an on-site pilot plant to production test the Direct Lithium Extraction process.
Preparatory to this work, Clontarf recently conducted an augering campaign on priority areas of the targeted salt-lakes, subject as always to following strict environmental standards and obtaining the necessary approvals from the Bolivian authorities.
Anticipated lithium salts' demand will be impossible to serve without developing several Bolivian salt-lakes. We expect that the Bolivian Lithium Law will soon be updated to make clear the legal basis for Joint Ventures with the authorities.
In oil and gas, the tightening hydrocarbons' supply-demand balance promises a revival of exploration and the farm-out market. Shortages of piped gas and LNG feedstock have driven prices to record levels. There has rarely been a better time to hold prospective acreage.
The resurgence of interest in African exploration and development may lead to additional proposals in the coming months.
In summary, Clontarf progresses its interests in Bolivia, Australia, Chad and Ghana, maintaining cordial communications with the relevant authorities, and continues to operate efficiently on minimal expenditure.
Subject to technical verification of its exploration projects, and permitting, Clontarf is confident of adequate funding, whether in London or Australia, for near to medium term ongoing activities.