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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added 43 cents to $54.93 on the New York Merc, while Brent for October added four cents to $58.57 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.40 to WTI, up from a discount of $12.70. Natural gas for September lost one cent to $2.11. The TSX energy index lost 1.58 points to close at 125.15.
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. (EOG) shot up 69 cents to $1.83 on 2.8 million shares, after trumpeting a sizable oil discovery at its 15-per-cent-owned Orinduik block off the coast of Guyana. The Jethro-1 exploration well, a joint venture with Tullow Oil (60 per cent) and France's Total (25 per cent) -- with indirect involvement by Africa Oil Corp. (AOI: $1.17) as an 18.8-per-cent shareholder of Eco -- has hit 180.5 feet of net oil pay. The well has now been cased ahead of appraisal activities.
Eco's chief executive officer and co-founder, Gil Holzman, could scarcely contain his joy, cheering the "exceptionally exciting discovery" as a "revolutionary moment" that will help create "exceptional stakeholder value for our shareholders and the people of Guyana." Fellow co-founder Colin Kinley, Eco's chief operating officer, got in on the act of praising the "fantastic find," while explaining that the Jethro-1 well confirms the extension of the petroleum system discovered by Eco's nearest neighbour, Exxon. Exxon has made 13 discoveries off the coast of Guyana since 2015. Eco follows these discoveries closely; a presentation on its website tracks the date of discovery and the net pay result of each well. These pay results have ranged from 65 feet to 305 feet. The Jethro-1 well's result of 180.5 feet stacks up nicely and shows that Exxon is not the only one that can make headline-grabbing discoveries. Exxon is, of course, much further down the path of making money from its discoveries. It is hoping to start production -- Guyana's first-ever production -- in early 2020.
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