Pantheon Resources Plc Strikes Oil But Are Amerisur Resources plc And Enquest Plc Better Buys?

Pantheon Resources (LSE: PANR) is surging this morning after the company announced another set of encouraging drilling results from its US prospects. 

Specifically, the company announced this morning that drilling operations at its VOS# well 1 have encountered an oil and gas bearing zone at a depth of around 12,600 feet. This zone is actually independent of the wells’ primary and secondary objectives — great news for the company and its shareholders. 

Windfall find

What’s more, this particular zone, which Pantheon hadn’t been expecting to discover, is known to be present in a well south of the VOS#1 prospect, and has been a substantial producer. Nonetheless, Pantheon’s drilling program will continue until the company reaches the main targeted regions. Management estimates that it will take an additional 14 days of drilling to reach the targeted zone. 

All in all, the discovery of this pay zone at Pantheon’s VOS#1 prospect is a windfall find for the company, and builds on the company’s existing successes. Pantheon revealed at the end of October that its first well, VOBM#1, can produce 1,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day gross.

Initial flow rates also indicated that the well could exceed the pre-drill P50 prospective resource estimate of 1.4 million barrels of oil equivalent. Although, as of yet, the test results haven’t confirmed this, but Pantheon is pushing ahead, and the shares could be a great investment for any resource investor.

Less successful

Unfortunately, Amerisur Resources’ (LSE: AMER) drilling program has not had the same success as Pantheon’s.  Earlier this year Amerisur acquired Petro Dorado South America SA, a subsidiary of Petro Dorado Energy Ltd, for $6m. At the time, the acquisition looked highly attractive.

However, initial drill results for the CPO-5 block, acquired as part of the deal, show that while there is oil in place, there’s an issue with the mobility of the oil. It will take some time for Amerisur to determine whether or not the well is economically viable. 

Still, even if the well has to be abandoned, Amerisur’s acquisition of Petro Dorado South America SA will never be a total failure.  As part of the same transaction, Amerisur also acquired a 49.5% working interest in the Tacacho contract, located in the Caguan-Putumayo basin, together with tax losses of approximately $57m, representing a potential tax benefit to the company of up to around $20m.

Overall, Amerisur might be worth a second look.

Ramping up production 

North Sea producer Enquest (LSE: ENQ) is not taking “no” for an answer, and the company continues to ramp up production in the face of falling oil prices. Enquest’s production increased by 17% in the first six months of 2015 and looks set to rise further throughout the year.

Indeed, at the end of October the company announced that it has begun producing oil at the Alma field, the first North Sea field ever to come on stream in 1975. The field was closed during 2005 as costs soared, but Enquest believes that it can get 20,000 barrels of oil per day out of the prospect using new technology. 

Sadly, while Enquest’s production is rising, City analysts expect the company to report a pre-tax loss of $41m this year and a loss of $41m for 2016. So, investors might want to avoid Enquest for the time being.

Difficult to find 

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Rupert Hargreaves owns shares of Amerisur Resources. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.