Annual gas output sinks at Ascent's Slovenian assets
Gas output from Ascent Resources' Slovenian concession dropped yr/yr to 1.5mn m3 in 2021, from 1.9mn m3 in 2020, as the London-listed independent suffered from local regulations that prevent it from completing fracturing wells at its production area.
The data was revealed in Ascent's full-year financial and operational update for last year. Ascent's Petisovci project in Slovenia, which produces currently from the PG-10 and PG-11A wells, also yielded 52,196 litres in condensate throughout 2021, up marginally from 48,148 litres in 2020. All gas and condensate output is sold to Slovenian buyers.
Ascent was denied a fracturing permit for Petisovci that would have seen it re-entering and deepening nine existing wells, and building a new processing plant for injecting gas into the Slovenian gas grid.
Ascent Resources is challenging the decision in international courts, using the scope of the UK's bilateral investment treaty with Slovenia. It now says it has secured a "no-win, no-fee" funding package to carry out its legal challenge.
Difficulties ramping gas output in Slovenia led Ascent to rack up a £1.97mn ($2.4mn) full-year loss in 2021, though the deficit narrowed considerably from £2.8mn in the previous year. Ascent is turning its attention to other mining markets globally, having recently announced a joint venture to enter Peru's metal extraction industry. The new focus on Peru is aligned with Ascent's ESG objectives, and the South American country also contains 5.5 trillion ft3 of prospective gas resource potential which could be targeted by Ascent at some stage.
Ascent Resources is hopeful Peru will provide sufficient upside and, as such, has decided not to pursue its previous option to conduct Cuban upstream oil activities. The business acquired 100% equity in Cuba-focused explorer Energetical Ltd. in April 2020, buying exclusive rights to take a production sharing contract in an onshore Cuban oil licence.