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Breaking my rule for Pan Orient

One of the rules that I try to follow is not to add to a stock that has fallen below my purchase price. I have been burnt a number of times by doing this.  I have ended up trapped in the position, and further averaging down only adds to the problem.

The rule, like all rules, is not of the steadfast sort, and so I do break it from time to time.  But when I break it, I do so tentatively, I think about the consequences, and make extra sure that my decision makes sense.

I broke the rule with Pan Orient on Tuesday.

I had a fairly small position in Pan Orient and had been waiting for something of a correction before I added to that position.  I didn’t expect the extent of the correction that occured, but after some reflection I decided to add to the stock.

The news that sent the stock down was this news release. What sent the market scurrying was twofold; news that the L44 block exploration was not finding economic oil, and probably more importantly the news that the L53 block was experiencing a relatively high water cut.

In particular, in the news release the company said that the L53-DST3 well had been producing at 540 bbl/d of oil with a 60% water before it was shut-in and cased to perform a sidetrack of a deeper zone.    In the February 27th news release the L53-DST3 well was producing at 1,200bbl/d of oil with no water cut.

This is potentially negative news, but its really anybody’s guess at this point just how negative it is.  Since the reservoir is high porosity / high permeability it could be water from coning.  It could also be that the perforated interval extended down below the oil/water contact or that it partially perforated a water zone.  There are also plenty of examples of fields that successfully produce at high water cuts for years.  The downside is that the watercut may be creeping into the oil zone and continue to increase with time until the well is uneconomic.  Only time will tell.

The market neglected to put any value on the good news from the release.  The L53-DST3 well tested a slightly lower sandstone zone (1,179m TVD versus 1,142 to 1,163m m TVD for the previous 2 zones) and that zone was flowing at 400 bbl/d.

In the L53-D2 well, Pan Orient tested the 5 zones that it had previously not tested but had referred to in the original news release of the L53-D2.  In that January news release the company said:

Pan Orient is pleased to announce that the L53-D2 exploration well is currently on 90 day production test flowing 27 API degree oil at a rate of 1,015 barrels per day through 17.8 meters of perforations between 1110.8 meters to 1154.7 meters measured depth (860 to 890 meters true vertical depth), within one of six conventional sandstone reservoir intervals interpreted as oil bearing based on oil shows while drilling and open hole log and pressure data analysis.

The news release on Tuesday told us that 5 untested zones have now all been tested and all 5 were found to be oil producing.  One zone tested at 929 bbl/d of oil while two others tested above 500 bbl/d.  These zones are in addition to the originally tested zone from the January news release that tested at 1,1015 bbl/d and produced 40,917 bbl in the first quarter, which if you assume it was flowing for the full 90 day period means that the well flowed at an average rate of 454 bbl/d for that period.

The bottom line for me is that Pan Orient is finding a lot of oil zones and even if a couple of them don’t work out to be as wonderful as say Coastal’s Bua Ban, they are still going to produce a lot of oil and book a lot of reserves from them.

At this point it comes down to valuation.

Thailand production averaged 2,725 BOPD in the month of March, of which 1,702 BOPD was produced from Concession L53 and a combined 1,023 BOPD from Concessions L44, L33 and SW1. Production in the first quarter of 2012 averaged 2,541 BOPD.  Based on the March production number and the basic shares outstanding of 56.7M, Pan Orient is valued at $52,000 per flowing barrel.

According to slide 5 of Pan Orient’s January 9th presentation, yearly cash flow at 2,500 bopd and at $100/bbl WTI should be around $60M, and at 3,000bopd it should be $68M.  Again, with 56.7M shares oustanding, that puts the valuation at around 2.5x cash flow.

The company has cash and working capital on hand of $58.5M according to their January 9th presentation.  So about $1 of the current shares price is attributable to cash.

Capital expenditures are expected to be $37M for the year so 2,000 bbl/d of cash flow more than covers capital expenditures.  With the cash on hand in addition to the cash flow Pan Orient has a CAPEX cover that is rarely seen in the oil and gas junior industry.

I just think this looks over done.  I wish now that I had waited another day to buy, as the stock trades at $2.50 whereas I added at $2.76.  But I didn’t want to wait too long.  The company will be releasing a reserves update on the L53 structure within a week or two and I think that could be a catalyst for the market realizing it has overdone the downside.


One Comment Post a comment
  1. good post and outline of the pros/cons of the PR. agree that the sell-off looks overdone and the upside potential vs. downside risks seem very much in the former’s favor.

    April 19, 2012

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