Echo Energy plc is a listed South and Central American focused gas company. We discuss the company’s pursuit of a high value piped onshore gas strategy across South and Central America with Malcolm Graham-Wood, Oil Analyst & Malcy’s Blog and the CEO of Echo Energy Fiona MacAulay.
Fiona took up the position of CEO at Echo Energy on the 5th of July. 5 months on and they have covered a lot of ground. They have spent a good deal of time screening opportunities and areas of focus to deliver the LatAm exploration focus gas business and open the position for themselves to be the leading LatAm small cap player. With strong ambitions to moving to the mid cap ground in a reasonable time frame.
A part of the screening process undertaken at the start of her tenure was decided on the entry levels of countries and where to focus their efforts. Argentina has been a prime location and very amenable to business opportunities. A lot of money has been invested upstream in the country by multi-national oil companies which gives stabilisation to that whole sector of the market. Echo Energy will be amongst the first to move over to that newly opening economy. The imbalance in supply and demand in Argentinian gas is very key.
They have entered in to a farm-in deal with little known company CGC. CGC are the energy division of Corporación América. They in turn are one of the largest conglomerates in Argentina. It is the kind of large company that has a great strategic network. This allows Echo Energy a strong strategic partnership to enter the market with a fully formed framework around them.
Initially Echo Energy was set up purely for exploration purposes; however they have now diversified in to appraisal and production. Fiona tell’s us that this is for the purpose of risk diversification. They have the scale of exploration that they would have originally focused on. However now they have a variety of other elements underpinning the exploratory side.
Production & Reserves
The area that the licenses they have cover around 11,500 square kilometers. The size of Qatar! In terms of immediate production, as a net position Echo Energy will have around 1000 barrels of oil equivalent (1/3 oil, 2/3 gas). Reserves and resources they will have acquired 7 million barrels of Oil equivalent. Prospective upside they have up to 25 TCF of gas across the portfolio.
Also covered in the interview:
Infrastructure in Argentina
Eventual Gas Markets
Seismic Re-Processing programme
Cost of the rigs and availability in country
Financial structure of the deal
The performance of Echo in Bolivia
Other potential deals
12 month plan