London South East caught up with Predator oil & Gas CEO Paul Griffiths. Predator was started in 2017, IPO’d in 2018 and have operations in Trinidad, Morocco and Ireland. Paul gave @LondonSouthEast an in-depth update on strategy and current operations. We started by asking him about the CO2 sequestration business in South West Trinidad.
Paul explained that he had been dealing with Leo Koot, Executive Chairman of Columbus and the CERP team. Columbus have just had shareholder approval for an agreed takeover by Bahamas Petroleum. Paul is waiting for legal approval of the deal and hopes to then discuss his proposals for FRAM, the joint venture with CERP. “We have three options on how to proceed and look forward to discussing those with Bahamas. We think that we have made it clear to the market our preference is to be a CO2 EOR services provider and not to take on licences and to be actively producing conventional oil.”.
As Paul explained, CO2 sequestration means taking CO2 from the atmosphere and putting it into the ground to reduce the viscosity of oil and to make it more mobile, and therefore cheaper, faster and easier to get it to the surface and delivering a higher rate of production per well. He added: "We are going to do a production rate test on our test well in Trinidad next month and are just waiting for approval for our production facilities to go on site”. In Morocco the company are waiting for the latest Covid review on August 10th to see if the lockdown there will be lifted. “We hope things will have improved sufficiently to be able to move our rig team from Canada and well service providers from Algeria across borders to be able to drill by October". Paul welcomed the surprise arrival of ConocoPhillips in Morocco in June as 'obviously fantastic news, to have a SuperMajor next door is fantastic, it couldn’t be more positive'.
However, he warned investors not to assume that Conoco would necessarily be looking to do a deal with Predator. “We need to drill a successful well first to derisk it and prove our capability “. Paul made it very clear that if successful, #PRD will put a development plan together and sell out, rather than develop the project with joint venture partners. “Its always best to take your profit and to leave something on the table for somebody else.” Turning to Ireland, Paul describes the Irish market for LNG as ‘very difficult because of the political situation’.
However the Irish 'need security of energy supply' and only have a gas deal with the UK who are are now outside the EU. Although Irish politicians are against gas currently, Paul believes they will 'see sense at some point'. As Paul sees it, an onshore gas scheme taking fracked gas from America “is a no-no in Ireland’ . However he has come up with a proposal for a floating regasification unit, an FRSU to attach to the Kinsale Field pipeline and take LNG ashore to Southern Ireland. “The FRSU supplier will pay for the offshore Capex, the major part of the deal, the regulatory authorities are positive and two potential offtakers for LNG signed up for potential gas in 2023. In six months we got traction on this project”. “We are currently taking a regulatory risk if you like, as Ireland currently sees these fossil fuels as a bad things but we believe pragmatism will come about next year and security of supply will become more important.”