Explorer New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd (NZOG) may have turned a corner as restructuring and asset changes come to a conclusion and it refocuses on offshore exploration options.
For its December half, revenue was down 19% on a year ago, from $19.1 million to $15.4 M and NZOG hauled back its 18 M loss last year to a $700,000 loss.
NZOG's cash war chest grew from $81.1 M to $83.6 M.
Chief executive Andrew Jefferies said the company was focused on growth.
“Having been through an extended period of restructuring, cost reduction and changes in our asset base since the oil price downturn in 2014, we now have a strong balance sheet, and the support from our new major shareholder to refocus on acquisition and growth,” he said.
Multi-billion dollar Ofer Group took a controlling 67.5% stake in NZOG recently, for $84 M, but is not bankrolling any test drilling at any of the company's numerous prospects.
Jefferies said of the offshore Barque and Toroa prospects; to the north and south of Dunedin and Ironbark, an offshore West Australian prospect, the company had “three world class exploration assets,” which were continuing to be assessed.
Cash receipts for the half year were $12.9 M, down from $55.3 M a year ago, mainly because of the sale of NZOG share in the mature Taranaki assets Kupe and Tui.
ASX-listed Cue Energy, in which NZOG has a 50.04% stake, contributed a net profit of $3.6 M to the result, as lower administration costs and a tax benefit offset the impact of reduced production, Jefferies said.
*Simon Hartley is senior business reporter and assistant chief reporter for the Otago Daily Times.