CAMAC Energy's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

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CAMAC Energy Inc. (CAK) Q3 2012 Earnings Call November 9, 2012 11:00 AM ET


Jason Lee – Corporate Finance Manager

Kase Lukman Lawal – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer


Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Gary Singer – Private Investor

Anthony Elumelu (ph) – Independent Investor


Good morning everyone, and welcome to the CAMAC Energy Third Quarter 2012 Earnings and Operations Conference Call. Just a reminder, today’s call is being recorded.

At this time, for opening remarks and introductions I would like to turn the call over to Jason Lee, Corporate Finance Manager. Please go ahead, sir.

Jason Lee

Thank you very much. Before we get started, I want to highlight that this conference call includes forward-looking statements and estimates of future performance. There are numerous risks associated with forward-looking statements and forward estimates, and there can be no assurance that the statements and estimates will be realized.

A listing of many of the risk factors of future consider as part of material discussed in this conference call has been outlined in our earnings release and in CAMAC Energy’s periodic filings with a Securities and Exchange Commission. And we incorporate these materials by reference for all discussions in this call.

All statements in this conference call relating to oil and gas resources, prospects and potential are not references to proven reserves as defined in their applicable SEC regulation and are not permitted in CAMAC Energy filings with the SEC.

At this time for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the call over to our Chairman and CEO, Dr. Kase Lawal.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Thank you, Jason. Good morning everyone, thank you for joining us today for CAMAC Energy’s third quarter 2012 earnings conference call.

On the call today, I would provide an update on the company’s recent development and near term outlook. I would then turn the call over to our Interim Chief Financial Officer, Earl McNiel to provide the financial review of the quarter. After this remarks, we will open the line for questions.

During the third quarter of 2012, CAMAC Energy made significant progress to all the drilling of Oyo well #7 along side apartment and affiliate Allied Energy PLC. As previously announced, over the past several months our partner Allied have engaged the drilling project manager Axxis, the sea development consultant Halliburton and the subsea engineering consultant Deep Trend is subsidiary of General Electric.

All of three of these experienced and were respected consultant firms are working with CAMAC Energy and Allied personnel to execute the draw objectives of well #7. For triple the rate of productions from the currently producing Pliocene reservoir and to hard reserves by appraising the resource potential in the deeper Miocene reservoir.

As we speak, Axxis is a 16 Allied in the procured of long lead drilling items for manufacturers and other operators. Halliburton has already submitted its feasibility study on the well design and is working with the internal personnel to refine the drilling specifications. And Deep Trend is collaborating with the manufacturer of Wellstream to design or manufacture the subsea production rises and flow lines necessary for completion a hookup of well #7 to the FPSO.

In addition to all these activities, Allied is currently engaged in advanced trilateral negotiations with the National Oil Company and their contracted rig provider to acquire a semi-submersible rig slot in the first quarter of 2013. As part of these negotiations, Allied is also working to secure a rig slot by additional well, Oyo well #8 to be drilled in the fourth quarter of 2013 and we are looking forward to that.

These is significant development, ladies and gentlemen, because it will allow us to actually the 2013 growth exit rate of production in Axxis of 15,000 barrels of oil per day, not including our existing gas production that is in Axxis of 43 million cubic feet today. We expect to announce the resolution of those rig negotiations before the end of 2012.

While our drilling activity has accelerated, CAMAC Energy personnel have also been managing existing operations in the Oyo field. Having stabilized production since assuming operatorship by managing work on well #5, our technical personnel are also attempting an very inexpensive gas fleet that is successful will increase gross production by 10% to 20%.

Speaking of gas, CAMAC Energy’s engineers have also been working with the original top side engineering firm of our FPSO, the Armada Perdana. On a gas monetization plan, we’ll install an open loop heavy oil absorption module on the FPSO. This module uses crude oil as an absorbent, fluid for enhanced natural gas liquid recovery. The crude oil would function as a carrier liquid for recovered natural gas liquids and eliminating heat for their dictator facilities to process store our offload natural gas liquids or Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG.

This process would stabilize the crude production, includes all your crude yields and improve all your crude quality while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions.

As it turns out, our current FPSO is already preconfigured to accommodate such a margin and the contractor NGS technologies are working to refresh with its ability study currently. This project when completed will add significant economic value to the current and future gas production in oil field, which could be in Axxis of 100 million cubic feet a day.

Last, but certainly not least, I am pleased to report that we concluded oil sales from the Oyo field in July and September which helped CAMAC Energy to achieve profitability in the third quarter. CAMAC Energy was also very active in their production side during the third quarter, our technical team submitted and received approval for our work programs, by two blocks in Gambia as well as four blocks in Kenya.

From the respective oil ministries in each countries, both ministries were extremely pleased with this cope and timing of our programs as well as the overall strength of our technical analysis thus far. During the quarter, we’ll also fortunate to host in high level Kenyan delegation including the Kenyan Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi and the members of the Kenyan parliaments NID committee. In Nigeria for a tour of our FPSO operations and meetings with high level of issues, we’ve been in local Nigerian office, the Nigerian Petroleum Resources and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services is subsidiary of the National Petroleum Oil Company.

The tour was covered very favorably in both the Nigeria and Kenyan place, and have strengthened the bonds and potential for collaboration between Nigeria our producer and Kenya at a margin of province. Both governments expressed deep gratitude to CAMAC Energy for its role in facilitating the meetings.

On the operations fund, our technical team continues to secure and evaluate existing data available on each one of our exploration blocks. For our offshore Gambia A2 and A5 our team is currently reinterpreting the existing 2D seismic data and studying the well logs and reports from Chevron, Jammah-1 well, which was drilled in 1979 on Block A2. The Jammah-1 well is extremely important because it is the only well drilled offshore Gambia thus far, and because by encountering gas shows it has confirmed a working hydrocarbon system in the block.

Currently, our plan is to synthesis all the available data in order to delineate and acquire a 3D seismic of both blocks in 2013. We will also be closely watching for the results of drilling of African Petroleum’s 500 million barrel (inaudible) prospect. In the adjacent, block A1 that is right next to our blocks that well is still expected to support in the first quarter of 2013.

In Kenya, we’re working on the understanding of the regional geology and making gravity and seismic programs as well, particularly for our two onshore Blocks L1B and L16, the personnel that Texas Pacific drilled the Hagarasu well on our Lamu Basin Block L1b in 1975. Hagarasu-1 encountered oil and gas shows in Cretaceous rocks confirming a working hydrocarbon system in the block.

Out team is studying the way report and given the technological improvement and relative low cost of onshore drilling, it is considerable that we could be in a position to re-enter that well targeting a deeper horizon within the next 12 months. To expedite this process, we intent to acquire a tight 2d seismic survey around the well location.

As most of you know, our Block L16 is immediately adjacent with the Apache operated offshore Block L8 which was drilled in the third quarter of this year. Apache has covered 52 meters of net gas pay in Mbawa well. And more importantly the acquired new data about the reservoir that has actually strengthened the commitment to the oil that processes in offshore Kenya.

Based on our current understanding of the regional geology, we believe that our Block L16 which is steam board of L8 to be oil prom and we plan to accelerate exploration activities by acquiring a 2D survey on these block in 2013. The Deep water offshore blocks L27 and L28 are continuing to study the surrounding regional geology t o delineate the seismic program.

We will also be watching the results of the two exploration wells that Anadarko intends to drill on their Kenya deep water Blocks L7 and L11A respectively.

Beginning in December of this year, the 11A Block is immediately inboard of our Block L27 like Apache, Anadarko will be targeting an oil prospect. We will keep you updated our base development as well.

While we are engaging in this necessary pre-drilling exploration work, we are also extremely fortunate to be receiving intensive industry in test in partnering with us on our over 40,000 square kilometers of exploration acreage in both west and east Africa.

After speaking at last week’s African oil in Cape Town South Africa, I was busy with interest from other operators throughout African oil and gas ecosystem from the international oil companies with the small regional independence, the performing opportunities in our Gambian and Kenya blocks. Our team is currently making preparations to conduct a formal process with the assistant of their respected farm out advisor, and we expect this process to leave strong and able partnership and favorable commercial terms to CAMAC Energy shareholders in the next several months. We will keep you updated by this discussion is progressed.

Although, we’re entertaining partnership discussions rest are short, CAMAC Energy has not stopped by showing growth opportunities in Africa. Our business development pipeline remains robust and we will continue to take advantage of our relationship to secure highly perspective and after assets in both west and east Africa. By these negotiations are at various stages of maturity, we do have some exciting near term opportunities and we discuss in descriptive terms.

We are imminently close to sign in a production sharing contract and operative land interest in the West African Block assessing both previously discovered reserves and exploration potential immediately adjacent to one of the region’s largest production complexes. In east Africa, as we previously announced, we are signed the memorandum of understanding with ENH to state our company of Mozambique. We jointly bid an acreage Mozambique’s bid round expected to a call in Allied 2013.

These are just two opportunities in our pipeline and we’re making good progress in several other highly perspective basics. We will be updating you on these developments and others in the near future.

After the transformational events of the second quarter, we have formally acquired our exploration blocks in Kenya and Gambia and witness a closing of Allied’s acquisition of ENH interest and OML 120 and OML 121, CAMAC Energy has made steady and consistent progress towards the realization of value in the third quarter.

In OML 120 and OML 121, our drilling program is progressing as planned and is now expected to return oil field production close to a pre-gas collision levels by 2013 with the addition of oil well #8. In Gambia and Kenya we are progressing with our technical evaluation by initiating a competitive farm out process in advance of seismic programs to be conducted in 2013.

On the business development front, we have move negotiations to maturities on to imminent opportunities in west and east Africa, several others progressing towards conclusion.

All of these progress have been extremely encouraging to me. I want to make clear that I continue to believe in and be fully committed to the ultimate success of CAMAC Energy and its shareholders. This year’s Africa Oil Week was the largest one in 19 year history with hundreds of companies attending from the smallest Africa engineer to the largest international oil companies.

In 26 years, never before have I seen the excitement and the pace of oil and gas activities of such a serious piece on the Continent of Africa in evaluating our assets in relation to many of our peers. I’m even more confident that we have already acquired and continue to build a world class portfolio of production, development and exploration asset in Africa.

The unprecedented amount of interest we received in our operations and assets by other attendees only supports my view. Over the next 12 months, CAMAC Energy shareholders would benefit from a huge ramp up in oil production, high impact pre-drilling exploration activity and new partners in our blocks in Gambia, Kenya and Nigeria exploration prospects and the execution of material business development opportunities that we’re pursuing. I am highly confident that all of these events will happen and every single one of them will bring value to our shareholders. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, in my 26 years of doing business in Africa and at this sector, I have never been more excited by the opportunities to force and I have never been more confident in the prospects of CAMAC Energy.

I appreciate all of our shareholders that continue to believe in the company we are building to deliver. And I look forward to walk-in with the rest of CAMAC Energy’s team around the world to execute our plan and realize value for our shareholders.

Now I will turn the call over to Earl for a financial review of the quarter. Over to you, Earl.

Earl McNiel

Thank you, Kase. For the three months ended September 30th we reported net income of $2.0 million or $0.01 per diluted share. For the quarter, our share of average daily net oil production from the Oyo Field was 388 barrels of oil per day.

On July 28, there was a lifting of approximately 315,000 barrels of oil with the realization of approximately $105 per barrel. The July lifting resulted in $5.4 million of revenue consisting of $3.5 million of cost recovery and $1.9 million of profit oil.

On September 25, there was a lifting of approximately 160,000 barrels with a realized price of approximately $111 per barrel. The September lifting resulted in $2.5 million of revenues consisting of $1.5 million of cost recovery and $1.0 million of profit oil.

On the balance sheet, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $5.7 million as of September 30, 2012. Net cash provided by operations was $3.7 million for the third quarter of 2012 as compared to a $7.5 million net cash used for the second quarter of 2012. The increase in net cash provided by operations of $11.2 million was principally due to increased revenue from the two Oyo liftings in the quarter and the net proceeds from the sale of our Chinese assets.

At September 30, the company also had approximately $21 million of undrawn capacity remaining on its revolving credit facility with its affiliate Allied Energy. That capacity, together with cash on hand, resulted in approximately $26 million of liquidity at September 30, 2012.

During the quarter, the company received $5.7 million cash from accounts receivable related to the March lifting. The receivable had been held in escrow pending the close of Allied’s transaction with Oyo-Non. The company also received $2.5 million cash related to the closing of the transaction to divest our interest in China.

The third quarter was a positive quarter for CAMAC Energy financially. Not only did we have two oil liftings in July and September, but we received the proceeds from the March lifting and the cash portion of our sale of the Zijinshan asset to Leyshon Resources. These cash received in combination with the outstanding capacity on our term revolver had put the company in a relatively solid financial position.

We will continue to execute the early stage work on our exploration blocks as we pursue partnerships which will reduce our cost burden and expedite our exploration drilling program. We are still 100% carried on the drilling of the Oyo #7 well, which means we will not be required to come up with any cash for that well.

I want to reiterate that because there seems to be some confusion in the marketplace on this important point. CAMAC Energy will not need to contribute any cash to fund the drilling of Oyo well #7. We do have the option, but not the obligation to participate at 30% in Oyo well #8 later in 2013, but even if we elect not to participate with the expected increase in gross production from the two Oyo wells in 2013, we anticipate that the company will be cash flow positive by the end of 2013.

Any free cash flow will be reinvested in our high return exploration blocks and business development opportunities. As usual, we will continue to evaluate strategic transactions, both third-party and related parties that could add material net asset value and cash flow to the company.

As Dr. Lawal said, all of CAMAC Energy’s management continues to be extremely excited about the unparalleled opportunities before the company and will work day and night to execute on behalf of our shareholders. We look forward to continuing to interact with the current and potential investors on the road and in conferences telling the CAMAC Energy story. We believe the best is yet to come.

Thank you for your time today and now I think we’re ready to take questions. Operator, can you please open the lines?

Question-and-Answer Session


Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) And our first question will come from Mike Robbins of Wells Fargo. Please go ahead.

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Hey fellows, thank you for taking or handling the call. I have a little problem though in that. I could not connect earlier, so I listened to the webcast. Based on the address you gave you in your email to over 26 at web, so I just spent the last half hour of preview of this quarter and didn’t realize it till very end and then dialed the phone and got right through. For how many other people might have has that happened but, so there was an error there obviously the information passed out and I think missed quite a bit in the beginning.

Is there anyway that you can review the first part of the call or have other people experienced this or is there a way to re-listen to what’s going on here?

Earl McNiel

Yeah, we’ll make sure that the webcast is correct and you can get another shot at and listen to it again.

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Well some information go out of how to access this correction on the updated site. Is it relatively quickly and is moving, a lot of people don’t know a lot of it and I need to sort of know what’s going on here.

Earl McNiel

Yeah, well you might give us a little bit of time to make sure the correct information is up but it’ll be the same access site.

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Thank you.

Kase Lukman Lawal

We are well into the webcast partly after this earnings call. And my expectation is that we will, for those that have problems, they will be able to go back and review it in a very short order.

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

It’s kind of a big mistake, so anyway.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Bit too serious, I wonder if anyone has had the same problem that you had around.


Our next question will come from Gary Singer, a private investor. Please go ahead.

Gary Singer – Private Investor

Good afternoon. Dr. Lawal, I did have a problem getting on earlier but managed to connect and listen to most of the call. So it’s a couple of things, I’ve been with you a long time and I want to congratulate you and your team. You guys have compiled a very impressive collection of assets, so in that regard as an investor and a shareholder I’m thrilled with the progress there. I will tell you my concern at this point which I’m sure is a concern of yours, the share price, which continues to go down based on a number of factors out of your control and my worry is, after staying with you for this long that you’re going to frustrated with some markets and the share price and you and Allied at some point just set up and say we’re going to take this thing which probably seeing from these levels is not an ideal situation. And I’m just trying to get an idea of your commitment to for getting that forward in its existing format of public entity.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Well thank you very much first of all for your continued believe in us and support in us and staying with us. Obviously you invested to get a superior return on your investment. And as I said, I personally continue to believe in and committed to the automated success of CAMAC Energy and its shareholders.

Sure, we are very frustrated with the prices where they are. What we are doing, what we have done, what we have been able to accomplish especially in the last 12 months is very significant compared to our peers that are 20 to 30 times develop our shares. Unfortunately, we have no control over what is happening, but I tell you one thing, we will be very intensive quite engaging in telling our stories across the value chain. We will be on the road day and night telling the investors and institutions what we are doing, sharing information with them and letting them see that from those company that are about $8 billion, $9 billion down to about $2 billion that I’m doing the same thing that we are doing, none of them do have a single barrel of production. I share your frustration. I assure you the market is going to pay attention to us henceforth.

And while we can predict where we’re going to be, we can tell you that we continue to add value to what we have and if need be, we will be looking our strategic alternatives in order to mail markets that can provide a significant value that you the shareholders do deserve in our company.

Gary Singer – Private Investor

Well doctor there is a follow-up. I want to thank you again. I know you and your team have putting efforts in and I appreciate and I hope it could pay off for all of us.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Thank you very much and thank you for your patients.


Our next question will come from Anthony Elumelu (ph) independent investor. Please go ahead.

Anthony Elumelu (ph) – Independent Investor

Dr. Lawal, thank you so much for this wonderful report that you gave us today. I can tell you personally the adrenaline is now counting again. I do have one question, vis-à-vis the fourth paragraph that came, that was given today and it concerns Allied Energy is also currently engaging in advanced negotiation with a National Oil Company and its contracted rig provider to acquire semi-reversible rigs lot in the first quarter of 2013. Could you kindly clarify that a little bit because the way I’m looking at it, the way I’m reading it, it seems that we have a slot on another oil company’s rig provider. And I think if that’s true what would the compensation be to the National Oil Company that’s giving up its rig slot by?

Does this tell us that maybe we have a partner here? Thank you doctor, I really appreciate your talk.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Well Anthony, you have been a long time shareholder for our organization and we do appreciate your comments from time-to-time encouraging us in the part that we are taking together. To answer your question more directly, there is no discussions about drilling together with this National Oil Company, they do have a rig and they do a window and we have been discussing with them over the last three months and we have, I’m just pleased actually to let you know that we will not be paying them a dime above what they are paying the major drilling company.

What we were informed by Allied Energy is that they will be paying exactly the same amount of rig per day that the National Oil Company will be paying and that is the basis of their negotiations and they assure us that they expect to wrap this up and be loyal to finish the work that they are working on. So we will not be paying to National Oil Company any extra money. There is nothing in the pipeline that the National Oil Company will be joining us in the drilling of the well.

Allied has assured us we believe them that they have the well fully funded. They are going to be providing the fund themselves that is how much confident they have and they have already ordered the long bid items in excess of $35 million already. They have committed $35 million already to major manufacturers as explained in my speech and in the report of part of McNiel at the press release. So, yes, there is significant commitment that has been made and it is irrevocable and there is no going back.

So that well will be drilled and everything that we have just enumerated to you will be carried out. Again, thank you for your patients and the best share to come of this organization.

Anthony Elumelu (ph) – Independent Investor

Thank you doctor very much.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Thank you, Anthony.


(Operator Instructions) And our next question is a follow-up from Mike Robbins of Wells Fargo. Please go ahead.

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Thanks. And from those couple of questions it sounds like there is some news that I missed. Is there anyway to, there is no questions at the moment, is there a chance you can state a couple of bullet points that I might have missed early on and making excited (inaudible) and exciting.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Mike, we, at the beginning of the earnings call, while I was giving my report, I started out by talking about the imminent drilling of the development well that will responded in the first quarter towards late March based on information from Allied Energy today. And that well is fully funded.

We also mentioned about the commitment that I’ve been made, agreement that I’ve been entered into in terms of consultant from Halliburton to Deep Trend to Axxis, all of which are helping Allied Energy and CAMAC Energy to be able to drill this well successfully and safely.

Thirdly, we talked about another well being drilled in the fourth quarter of 2013. And the rig slots that will be available in March may well be the same rig slot I will be using in the fourth quarter. And together, the gross exit production from well from oil well #7 and #8 included the current production will be well in excess of 15,000 barrels of oil a day.

As we combine, hello Mike?

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Yeah that’s fantastic.

Kase Lukman Lawal

So when you combine that with the current for the 3 million cubic feet that we are producing today of gas, we’re essentially looking at exiting on a gross basis barrel of oil equivalents of approximately 22,000 to 25,000 barrels of oil (inaudible) from the time we drilled well #7 in March. That is the exciting news. That is the transformational news that we were talking about and we are also looking at monetizing the gas that we are producing today in a way that we can eliminate this gas greenhouse emission and be able to stop re-indeterminate into the well without economic benefits to us.

That process is in advanced stages by the initial engineering compare that did the top size of the FPSO. Those combined are the exciting news in addition to company’s interested in signing in into our various properties from the exploration asset that we have in Nigeria that is highly satisfied by the competent process report to Gambia and to Kenya. Now those are the things that are going on with us.

And when I was addressing the last question, I was referring to the frustration that the current share that they are sharing with us by maintaining that we would continue to believe their focus. And as far McNiel said, we are working day and night to continue to earn the confidence of the marketplace that should place more value to where we are today. It just harvesting that where we are and in fact based upon everything that we are trying to achieve here.

Michael Robbins – Wells Fargo

Well thank you very much. I’ve been a long time shareholder as well then my view had a little bit of things that someone might earn $3 a share buyout as well, but nonetheless, thank you very much for reviewing that and keep up the great work and I’m looking forward to the next four months.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Thank you very much Mike.


This concludes our question-and-answer session. I’d like to turn the conference back over to Dr. Lawal for any closing remarks.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Well I guess want to stress what I said at the end of my – from my report. To say that for those of you that I preserve and are being with us, the best of this organization is yet to come. You are frustrated at the levels where our share values are, so are we. But I’d tell you one thing; we are putting every energy within ourselves as management and as staff of CAMAC Energy into these. Allied Energy has been very, very supportive of us. Without them I doubt we’ll be in business today and we’ll continue to support us to make sure that we found interesting around in a very, very short period of time. Thank you very much for supporting our company.

Earl McNiel

I’d like to remind everyone that the webcast is available online at the end of this call.

Kase Lukman Lawal

Fantastic. For those of you missed the same way that Mike Robbins said, please go and read the report. Thank you very much.


Thank you. The conference is now concluded. Thank you for attending today’s presentation. You may now disconnect.

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