|The action is about to start: With 90-95% of the required equipment on site, GSS Energy is getting close to the start of drilling for oil in its concession in Central Java.
One can infer that, barring technical issues, it could recognise first oil revenue from the Trembul Operation Area in the 4Q of this year.
The concession has a track record of oil production, which was cut short during the World War II.
"No doubt about it, the oil is there. We just need to go in and drill. This is low-hanging fruit," said Mr Bambang Mulyadi, President Director of PT Sarana GSS Trembul, the JV which won the contract, in Nov 2016. (see: GSS ENERGY: New oil field contract is "low-hanging fruit").
The initial estimated 2P (proven and probable) reserves stand at 24 million barrels of oil, at a depth of 800 metres. Lots of upside for the reserve estimate is expected to materialise as more wells are drilled and at greater depths.
In a neigbouring concession, ExxonMobil is delivering about 200,000 barrels a day in its current second year of production.
GSS Energy plans, after the first well is drilled, to get its contractor to deploy its rig to a second site, so by the end of this year, two oil wells could be producing oil.
This would mark the start of a possibly lucrative business for GSS Energy: Cost of production is estimated at US$12-14 a barrel while the market price of oil stands at around US$50 a barrel.
Under an agreement with Indonesia's state-owned oil company Pertamina, revenue from the guaranteed oil sale to Pertamina will first be used to pay for the capex and the cost of production before profits are split between the JV partners.
These "recoverable expenses" are currently parked in GSS Energy's balance sheet (under "Other receivables and deposits") and does not affect its profit & loss statement.
The venture has a long time to run: In Nov 2016, Pertamina awarded a 15-year contract to the JV comprising PT Sarana Pembangunan Jawa Tengah and a subsidiary of GSS Energy, respectively.
The former is a commercial vehicle wholly-owned by the provincial government of Central Java which holds stakes in various large-scale infrastructure projects in Indonesia.
GSS Energy has an 89% economic interest in the JV.
|Further out, when its oil business has achieved a level of significance, GSS Energy plans to spin-off its precision engineering business for a separate listing.
This business has done admirably in 1H2017, with revenue up 27.3% to S$44.7 million.
Net profit after tax surged 57% y-o-y to S$3.90 million (1H2016: S$2.48 million), excluding one-offs arising from land compensation in China.
To value an oil & gas business, the industry practice is to refer to the 2P reserves which, in the case of GSS Energy, amount to 24 million barrels (base case).
Take 10-15% of the market price of oil and then, conservatively, multiply it by 15 million barrels (the low case) and one gets about US$75 million as the market value of the reserves.
For more on the precision engineering business, see press release.