The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from CNW Group

Porto Energy Corp. Reports Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Porto Energy Corp. Reports Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2014

18:15 EST Wednesday, January 29, 2014

THE WOODLANDS, TX, Jan. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Porto Energy Corp., ("Porto" or the "Company") (TSXV:PEC), a company focused on oil and gas exploration, appraisal and development in Portugal, today announced its financial results for the quarter ended November 30, 2013. All amounts are stated in US dollars unless otherwise noted by C$ for Canadian dollars or € for Euros.

Selected Recent Highlights

During the first fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2013 the Company:

  • Launched a non-brokered private placement of up to 150 Units (the "Offering") of the Company at a price of CDN$10,000 per Unit to raise gross proceeds of up to CDN$1,500,000 on a reasonable commercial best efforts basis.

Subsequent to quarter end, the Company announced:

  • Agreement to terms under an arrangement with Norway-based TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (OSLO: TGS) for the licensing and marketing of four sets of survey data including one 3D offshore survey spanning approximately 1,100 square kilometers, two 3D onshore surveys totaling 358 square kilometers, and one 24,000 square kilometer aeromagnetic survey which could bring in up to $1.5 million net to Porto.

"We are optimistic that future seismic data sales as a result of the pending TGS-NOPEC agreement will provide us with sufficient working capital in the near term to continue our marketing efforts with interested parties that we are currently in discussions with," said Joseph Ash, President and CEO of Porto Energy Corp. "We are actively working to conserve capital in an effort to provide enough time to bring these current investment opportunities to a successful conclusion."

Financial Review

Three Months Ended November 30, 2013 compared with the Three Months Ended November 30, 2012

Revenues

Revenue during the three months ended November 30, 2013, was $25 compared with $410 for the corresponding period ended November 30, 2012. Revenue consists primarily of interest income from cash on hand.  The Company has not yet established commercial oil and gas production from its Concessions and as a result, its sources of revenue are not of a recurring consistent nature.

General and Administrative Expense ("G&A")

G&A expense decreased by $628,675 from $1,209,774 for the three months ended November 30, 2012 to $581,099 for the corresponding period in 2013.  The decrease in G&A expense for the three months ended November 30, 2013 was primarily a result of decreased salaries and wages, consulting and professional fees, partially offset by increased travel expenses.

Share-based Compensation

Share-based payments expense for the three months ended November 30, 2013 was $4,023, compared with $35,393 for the three months ended November 30, 2012.  Share-based payment expense during the three month period ended November 30, 2013 was due to the graded vesting of the October 2011 grant of 900,000 options to acquire common shares of the Company to certain contract personnel hired on full time and the August 2012 vesting of the 1,000,000 options to acquire common shares that were previously granted to a consultant of the Company.

Share-based payment expense during the three month period ended November 30, 2012 was due to the graded vesting of the October 2011 grant of 900,000 options to acquire common shares of the Company to certain contract personnel hired on full time, the graded vesting of the 3,110,000 stock options granted in December 2011 (one-half of which vested immediately), and the August 2012 vesting of the 1,000,000 options to acquire common shares that were previously granted to a consultant of the Company.

Finance Cost

Finance cost for the three months ended November 30, 2013, was $nil compared with $518 for the comparative period in 2012.  Finance expense includes the non-cash accretion of decommissioning obligations for future abandonment costs for prior wells drilled in Portugal for the period.

Interest Expense

Interest expense for the three months ended November 30, 2013, was $nil compared with $3,033 for the comparative period in 2012.  Interest expense primarily reflects the interest incurred on outstanding payables.

Foreign Currency Translation

Foreign currency translation gains for the three months ended November 30, 2013, were $55,879 in comparison to translation losses of $128,799 in the comparative period of 2012.  The foreign currency unrealized gains and losses reflect the changing value of the Canadian dollar/Euro versus the US dollar in which the Company maintains its accounts at the respective period ends.

Depreciation

Depreciation expense of $9,052 was recorded during the three month periods ended November 30, 2013 and 2012.  These amounts are primarily due to the depreciation of furniture and fixtures.

Impairment on Exploration and Evaluation Assets

Impairments of $641,594 were recorded during the three month period ended November 30, 2013, as a result of an impairment review on the carrying value of the exploration and evaluation assets. The impairment amount was based on comparing the carrying value of the assets using the greater of their value in use or the fair market value. The value in use was determined based on a third party evaluation report of Porto's resources using a discount rate of 26%. The value in use was significantly impacted due to the increased risks associated with the funding requirements necessary to realize and generate future cash flows from all of the Cash Generating Units ("CGU's") within the exploration and evaluation assets. The fair market value of the assets was based on the Company's closing market price of its common stock as of November 30, 2013, adjusted for net working capital items. As a result, it was determined that under fair market value, there was an impairment on the carrying value of all of the CGU's which was recorded against the Onshore Gas CGU.

Impairments of $20,535,000 were recorded during the three month period ended November 30, 2012, as a result of an impairment review on the carrying value of the exploration and evaluation assets. The impairment amount was based on the methodology as described above. The value in use was determined based on a third party evaluation report of Porto's our resources using a discount rate of 26% and the fair market value of the assets was based on the Company's closing market price of its common stock as of November 30, 2012, adjusted for net working capital items. As a result, it was determined that under fair market value, there was an impairment on the carrying value of all of the CGU's which was recorded against each CGU proportionately.

Net Loss Before Income Taxes

The Company recorded net losses before income taxes for the three months ended November 30, 2013 of $1,179,864, compared with $21,921,159 for the comparative period in 2012.  As the Company is in the exploration phase of operations, there are currently no oil and natural gas producing properties generating revenues.  The net loss for the 2012 period was primarily due to the impairment of exploration and evaluation assets. The Company's net losses for these periods were additionally impacted by general and administrative expenses including salaries, office costs and travel costs in addition to professional fees and share-based payments.  The fair value of the share-based payments was a non-cash expense in these periods.

Income Taxes

The Company recorded an income tax expense of $676 on a net loss before income tax of $1,179,864 for the three months ended November 30, 2013. During the corresponding period ended November 30, 2012, the Company recorded an income tax benefit of $8,148,175, on a net loss before income tax of $21,921,159. The income tax benefit during the three months ended November 30, 2012 is primarily due to the impairment loss of $20,535,000 which reduced the book value of the Company's assets below the associated tax book value. As a result, the associated deferred tax liability pool is reversed as the presumption of future taxable income being generated from these assets is no longer valid. The difference between the effective tax rate recognized and the blended statutory rates of its various taxing jurisdictions in which the Company operates is primarily due to it applying a valuation allowance for the full amount of its gross future tax asset as it believes, based on the weight of available evidence, that it is more likely than not that the future tax asset will not be realized prior to the expiration of net operating loss carryforwards in various amounts at 2026 through 2032.  Net operating loss carry forwards as of November 30, 2013 were approximately $38.6 million.

Comprehensive Income (Loss)

The Company recorded a comprehensive loss for the three months ended November 30, 2013 of $1,180,540, compared with a comprehensive loss of $13,772,984 for the corresponding period ended November 30, 2012.  The difference between net loss and comprehensive loss between the periods is primarily due to the impairment on the exploration and evaluation assets recorded during the three months ended November 30, 2012.

Operational Review and Outlook

Although Porto has continued to refine its data models over the basin, it has not drilled a well since the ALC-1 which was declared non-economic during the second fiscal quarter ended February 28, 2013.  In June 2013 the Company received approval of its original 2013 work program from Divisão para a Pesquisa e Exploração de Petróleo ("DPEP") which constituted the fulfillment of the Company's 2012 work program commitments by the Portuguese government.  However, as of the date of this filing, the Company continues to work with DPEP to renegotiate the original work to be performed under its initial 2013 work program commitments as well as to extend the due date of those commitments to the end of 2014.  See "2014 Work Program" section below.

TGS Seismic Data Sales Contract

In January 2014, the Company agreed to terms under an arrangement with Norway-based TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (OSLO:TGS) for the licensing and marketing of four sets of survey data including one 3D offshore survey spanning approximately 1,100 square kilometers, two 3D onshore surveys totaling 358 square kilometers, and one 24,000 square kilometer aeromagnetic survey.  Each single license for the entire data set has the potential to bring in up to $1.5 million net to Porto, which would provide enough funding for the Company to meet its working capital obligations for 12 months or more while it continues to market its assets to interested parties.  A draft agreement is currently being reviewed by the Portugese Ministério da Economia e da Inovação Direcção Geral de Energia e Geologia ("DGEG").  Once approved by DGEG, Porto anticipates signing the final agreement shortly thereafter.

$1.5 Million Non-brokered Private Placement

In November 2013, the Company launched a non-brokered private placement of up to 150 Units (the "Offering") of the Company at a price of CDN$10,000 per Unit to raise gross proceeds of up to CDN$1,500,000 on a reasonable commercial best efforts basis. As of the date of this filing, the Company continues to market the Offering.  Porto anticipates completing its marketing by the end of the first calendar quarter of 2014.

Drilling Operations

Porto has suspended ground operations in Portugal to help conserve capital. As a result, it has not drilled a well since the ALC-1 well mentioned above.

Drilling Outlook

2014 Work Program

Porto is in discussions with the DPEP to amend the original 2013 work program commitments to concentrate on environmental studies necessary before the Company begins its Lias development plan and to extend the completion deadline to the end of 2014.  The original 2013 well program, consisted of drilling one deep well (terminal depth greater than 3,000 metres) and possibly one horizontal well, contingent upon the results of the deep well, both within the Lias interval; drilling up to seven stratigraphic wells to advance the exploration and development of the Lias stratigraphic interval; the acquisition of 150 km2 of 2-D  seismic data on shore that may also partially benefit the offshore prospects; and further acquisition and analysis of geologic data to expand the Company's understanding of the basin in general.  The original 2013 work program was approved by DPEP in June 2013, successfully concluding the Company's 2012 drilling program requirements.  Based on the working interests of the Company and the obligations of its joint venture partner as set out in the farm-out agreement and governed by the joint operating agreement, the Company anticipated its portion of the costs to be between $7.1 million and $11.2 million depending on the results of the initial Presalt well and whether or not the drilling of a horizontal well is warranted.

As of the date of this filing, the Company continues to negotiate the details of the amended work program going forward with DPEP and expects a successful conclusion to these discussions during the second calendar quarter 2014.  The amended work program is expected to significantly reduce the Company's capital commitments in 2014.  Until financing is sourced, it will allow the Company to continue to carry out operational activities that fulfill its future work program commitments with limited funding. The amended program is expected to be funded through seismic data sales, joint venturing efforts or private debt and/or equity.

To view the Company's three month period ended November 30, 2013 Consolidated Financial Statements, related Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, and Management's Discussion and Analysis, please see the Company's filings which will be available on www.sedar.com and at www.portoenergy.com.

About Porto Energy Corp.

Porto Energy Corp. is an international oil and gas company engaged in the exploration of crude oil and natural gas in Portugal, including the appraisal of a gas discovery.  Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mohave Oil And Gas Corporation (a Texas corporation with branch offices in Portugal), the Company holds working interests in seven concessions in Portugal's Lusitanian Basin totaling 1.6 million net acres. Through its exploration efforts to date, the Company has identified seven major exploration trends over its concessions and generated more than 45 prospects and leads. Porto Energy's shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol "PEC". For more information on Porto Energy visit www.portoenergy.com.

Cautionary Statements

No proved, probable or possible reserves have been assigned by the Company at this time. Undiscovered resources are those quantities of oil and gas estimated on a given date to be contained in accumulations yet to be discovered. Estimates of resources always involve uncertainty, and the degree of uncertainty can vary widely between accumulations/projects and over the life of a project. There is no certainty that it will be commercially viable to produce any portion of the resources.

Estimates with respect to resources that may be developed and produced in the future are often based upon volumetric calculations, probabilistic methods and upon analogy to similar types of resources, rather than upon actual production history. Estimates based on these methods generally are less reliable than those based on actual production history. Subsequent evaluation of the same resources based upon production history will result in variations, which may be material, in the estimated resources. Resource estimates may require revision based on actual production experience.

Prospective resources are those quantities of petroleum estimated, as of a given date, to be potentially recoverable from undiscovered accumulations by application of future development projects.

Best Estimate is considered to be the best estimate of the quantity that will actually be recovered. It is equally likely that the actual remaining quantities recovered will be greater or less than the best estimate. Using probabilistic methods, there should be at least a 50 percent probability (P50) that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the best estimate.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements.  These statements relate to future events or the Company's future performance.  All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements.  The use of any of the words "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "predict" and "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  These 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. No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon.  These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained in this press release, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE Porto Energy Corp.

For further information:

Heath Cleaver - Chief Financial Officer

Phone: 1-713-975-1725

Products
  • Globe Unlimited

    Digital all access pass across devices. subscribe

  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper

    Newspaper delivered to your doorstep. subscribe

  • Globe2Go

    The digital replica of our newspaper. subscribe

  • Globe eBooks

    A collection of articles by the Globe. subscribe

See all Globe Products

Advertise with us

GlobeLink.ca

Your number one partner for reaching Canada's Influential Achievers. learn more

The Globe at your Workplace
Our Company
Customer Service
Globe Recognition
Mobile Apps
NEWS APP
INVESTING APP
Other Sections