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Manas Petroleum Says Total Assets Valued At $23.4 Mln At Quarter-End

Manas Petroleum (CVE:MNP) has total assets, including non-current assets, of $23.4 million - well and above the company's current market capitalization of $9.3 million.

The financial figures were released earlier this week with the oil and gas company's first quarter financial statement.

As of March 31, total current assets were US$11.9 million, with total current liabilities of US$973,709, resulting in net working capital of US$10.9 million. It had cash and equivalents of $1.27 million at the end of the period.

The Central Asia-focused company, which is working toward its transformation from a pure exploration play to both a producer and explorer, is armed with exploration assets in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in the Fergana Basin near producing fields, which together span 4,192 square kilometres and form "one large, connected area". It has already acquired 2D seismic data on 1,960 kilometres.

Drilling on these licenses, with several drill-ready prospects, is planned for the last quarter of this year, with the company waiting on some long-lead items in terms of equipment, as well as the finalization of a drilling contractor agreement and the execution of a partnership to share the costs - for which it says it is in active negotiations with two parties.

The company is targeting more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent from one of the first prospects, known as West Supetau - which has a target depth of 3,500 to 4,000 metres.

In addition, the company owns shares of Petromanas Energy Inc., which is involved in oil and gas activities in Albania, France and Australia, and shares of CJSC South Petroleum Company, which is involved in a project in the Kyrgyz Republic.

For the latest period, the company recorded a net loss of $8.9 million, compared to a profit of almost $14 million in the year ago period, with the decline mainly due to a change in the fair value of its investment in Petromanas.

In the latest first quarter, the company recorded a US$7.15 million unrealized loss on its Petromanas investment, compared with a US$15.77 million unrealized gain a year earlier. Initially, the company said it owned 200 million shares of Petromanas, and since last July, it has sold 100 million of its shares.

On an operating basis, Manas' loss was basically unchanged at $1.76 million, versus $1.8 million in the year ago period.

Manas is in discussions with parties to complete a financing in the next six to eight weeks, which is necessary to close the share purchase agreement that will give it an 80 percent stake in producing oil assets in Tajikistan. The transaction is not expected to be completed before the end of the second quarter.

Late last year, the oil and gas explorer inked a deal to acquire 80 percent of an unnamed Swiss entity with eight producing fields, which hold 2P reserves of 30 plus million barrels of oil and additional gas. Current production is less than 300 barrels of oil per day, but internal evaluations have pegged peak production of more than 3,200 barrels of oil per day.

Manas is looking to rehabilitate the assets and increase production through proper maintenance, including investing in new equipment, appraising and exploring missed extensions and prospects, and selling the oil locally at a price that competes with import crude oil from Kazakhstan.

For the three month period that ended March 31, the company said it incurred exploration costs of US$175,098 as compared to US$277,515 in the year ago period, a result of decreased exploration activity at its project in Mongolia, after two wells were found to be dry last year at the site.

Shares of Manas are trading at 6 cents, with a market cap of $9.3 million.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.