North Energy ASA (“North Energy” or “Company”) recorded a comprehensive loss of NOK 30.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a comprehensive loss of NOK 55.0 million in the same quarter last year. The loss reported this quarter is mostly driven by a decrease in the market value of the investment in Touchstone Exploration Inc. (“Touchstone Exploration”).
In March 2021, Touchstone Exploration announced preliminary results from formation testing of the Chinook-1 well in the Ortoire license. Although logging from the exploration well had indicated a significant natural gas discovery, the preliminary test results were disappointing compared to pre-test expectations. The Chinook-1 well is now believed to be a possible oil discovery and is currently on an extended production test to determine commerciality.
Touchstone Exploration is currently working on developing the other discoveries in the Ortoire license. Production from the Coho-1 well is expected to start in the second quarter of 2021. Further, the company is planning to bring two Cascadura wells into production towards the end of 2021. The Royston well, which is the last well in phase 1 of the company’s Ortoire exploration program, is planned for drilling in the second quarter of 2021.
The Company’s main industrial investment, Reach Subsea, reported a comprehensive income of NOK 11.4 million in the first quarter of 2021, which is the best first quarter result in the company’s history. High utilization and successful project execution are the main drivers behind the strong results. North Energy consolidates NOK 3.7 million of the result in its financial figures.
At the end of the first quarter 2021, North Energy’s total investment portfolio had a market value NOK 304.0 million, up from NOK 302.8 million last quarter. The portfolio consists of industrial holdings, listed financial investments and other financial investments. The industrial holdings include the Company’s shares in Reach Subsea where North Energy is the major shareholder. During the quarter, North Energy, together with Ferd AS, exercised an option to invest an additional NOK 10 million each in Wind Catching Systems AS which is developing an innovative technology for floating offshore wind systems. The listed financial investments consist of shares in Touchstone Exploration amongst others.
The Company’s cash position as per end of first quarter 2021 is reported at NOK 119.1 million. In April, the General Assembly of North Energy approved a dividend of NOK 0.45 per share, in total NOK 52.8 million. The dividend was paid to shareholders later in April.
The report for the first quarter 2021 is available here.