Coro Energy (LSE:CORO) sat tight at 3.2p today after updating investors on progress made in its new pan Euro-Asian strategy, adopted at the end of last year. The resources firm said it believes that its Bezzecca gas field in Italy offers ‘incremental production optionality’ that could enable it to strengthen Italian cashflows.
Detailed planning for Coro’s drilling programme at the Bezzecca-2 field is now underway with the aim of exploiting remaining proved and probable reserves. The company will soon initiate a review of the programme with the technical office of Italy’s Department of Mining and Natural Resources, in line with Italian regulations.
Despite the firm reiterating that activity from Bezzecca this year is expected to be limited, it said that performance has so far exceeded forecasts, with the site current producing at around 10,000Mcf of gas a day. However, it added that the field is unlikely to provide a material contribution throughout the remainder of the year as it may shut ahead of planned further development drilling.
Coro said the drilling programme at Bezzecca would support its Asian growth strategy and longer-term objective of becoming an established mid-cap Asian oil & gas player. The business is currently looking for transactions in South East Asia and expects to make progress shortly.
Today’s update is Coro’s first since it formally announced the appointment of Salamander Energy founder James Menzies as its chief executive. Menzies was the latest in a string of high profile appointments announced by Coro in support of its new pan Euro-Asian strategy. The new approach also saw Coro change its name from Saffron Energy, secure £14m of institutional funding and acquire Sound Energy Holdings Italy.
Before joining Coro, Menzies served as chief executive of Salamander before selling it to Ophir Energy in 2015 in a transaction that valued the firm at $850m. He is a qualified geologist with over 30 years of oil and gas industry experience and also sits on the board of Trinity Exploration & Production and Guinness Oil & Gas Exploration. The appointment, first announced in March, will also see current chief executive Sara Edmondson assume the role of deputy chief executive and remain on Coro’s board.
As part of its new strategy, Coro appointed James Parsons, chief executive officer of Sound Energy (LSE:SOU) and chairman of Echo Energy (LSE:ECHO) as its non-executive chairman last December. It also added Fiona MacAulay, chief executive of Echo Energy and Marco Fumagalli, managing director of Continental Investment Partners as non-executive directors.
In January, it hired experienced AIM corporate-financier and investment manager Andrew Dennan as its chief financial officer. Then, in February, it brought Ilham Habibie, a well-known Indonesian businessman and son of the country’s former president, to its board to support its focus on South East Asia.