Dear friends and investors,
When I addressed you a year ago the pandemic had just started to sweep the world and we faced unprecedented measures to try to contain it. The year before us was fraught with uncertainty as individuals, businesses and governments tried to cope with the situation. But a year later we can conclude that cope we did; and through hard work, dedication and good fortune Tethys Oil came through the year in much better shape than we could have hoped for. The pandemic, and the extraordinary situation it has caused, is by no means over and we must and will continue to abide by the coronavirus protocols put in place. But there are vaccines being rolled out, the world economy is picking up and oil prices have rebounded so even if the light at the end of the tunnel is faint, there is light!!
But let us now turn to the year in question, 2020, in more detail. Our portfolio developed with one new block added, and both a farm-in and a farm-out agreement announced. Operations on our flagship asset, Blocks 3&4, showed both resilience and robustness. I am extremely pleased and grateful to report that our main targets, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our co-workers and partners while maintaining an operational momentum as close to normal as possible, were successfully reached.
In July we increased our Omani exploration portfolio when we as operator were awarded 100 percent interest in the exploration and production sharing agreement covering Block 58, onshore Oman. This block borders our other operated block, Block 49, and holds some very interesting geological features that we hopefully can upgrade to drillable prospects in the nottoo- distant future. We will, in due time, drill at least two exploration wells, but first we will start with reprocessing of legacy 3D seismic data and later in 2021 conduct a new 3D seismic acquisition.
On Block 49, in November 2020 we entered into a farm-out agreement with EOG Resources Inc, whereby EOG acquired 50 percent interest in the licence in exchange for refunding all historic costs and the Thameen-1 exploration well, up to a combined amount of MUSD 15. The Thameen-1 well, the culmination of three years of preparatory exploration work, started drilling on the last day of the year. In the first quarter 2021, the Thameen-1 well was drilled to its final total depth and a well testing programme was conducted. No flows were recorded at surface, but logs indicated a gross hydrocarbon column of close to 40 metres. That was a slightly smaller step forward then we were hoping for, but the well results so far substantially upgrade the hydrocarbon potential of Block 49. When all the data from the Thameen well has been compiled we will plan the next steps for the well and for Block 49 in general.
The work conducted in 2020 on Block 56 confirmed our enthusiasm for this potentially very prolific block. In the autumn 2020 we took the opportunity to increase our stake in the licence from 20 to 65 percent and also assume operatorship. That Tethys Oil will be operating three blocks onshore the Sultanate of Oman is a great honour and one that comes with a lot of responsibility. But being operator also offers some great opportunities. The strong technical team we have built in Oman over our ten years in the Sultanate will now have a chance to really prove its mettle in leading the partner group in the
While we worked hard on increasing and optimizing our portfolio of Omani exploration assets in 2020, the work on Block 3&4 had to be shifted during the spring. In April 2020, and as a response to the sharp drop in oil prices, increased uncertainty resulting from the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic and production limitations, plans were put in place to significantly reduce or defer expenditure on Blocks 3&4 for the remainder of 2020. The aim of the reductions was to ensure the operations on Blocks 3&4 remained, at minimum, cash flow neutral for the full year at the prevailing market conditions. And these goals were met! We managed to reach a healthy production of 11,336 barrels of oil per day at the same time as investments and operating expenses came down, resulting in a positive cash flow of MUSD 6.7. We report revenues and other income of MUSD 101.1 and our EBITDA amounted to MUSD 50.4, and we ended the year with a strong net cash position of MUSD 55.1.
The reserves on Blocks 3&4 have never been higher than at the end of 2020. For the ninth year in a row Tethys Oil’s Reserve Replacement Ratio exceeded 100 percent, and this despite deferred investments and reduced exploration efforts during the year. At the end of 2020, 2P reserves stood at 26.9 million barrels, with the 2P reserves replacement ratio reaching 120 percent.
So, despite all the challenges, Tethys Oil managed, through hard work, focused action and a cautious attitude by all our co-workers, to turn 2020 into quite a good year. Reflecting the strong operational and financial position of Tethys Oil, the board of directors is proposing an ordinary dividend of SEK 2.00 per share and a further SEK 2.00 through an extraordinary
So stay with us as we continue on the path of growth from our enhanced asset portfolio of promising growth opportunities in the Sultanate of Oman. 2021 should see five exploration/appraisal wells and new seismic studies conducted across our asset portfolio all funded by our profitable production asset while leaving room to continue to fund our growth and our distributions to shareholders.
Stockholm, April 2021