Industry

IGas plans for covid-19

IGas

IGas reported today it was working on contingency plans in case its operations were affected by the coronavirus.

In a trading update, the company said staff that could work from home had been doing so since early March.

Nearly 100 of the company’s 148 employees are in operational roles, IGas said. They had been identified by the government as key workers.

But IGas said the covid-19 outbreak did not mean a significant change to their working procedures. Operational sites could be monitored remotely and shutdown automatically if necessary.

The company said it depended on transport companies to gets its oil to UK refineries. But added that transport and refinery contractors were also classed as key workers. It said:

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and act within Government guidelines and to that end we are working up a number of contingency plans should our operations be significantly affected by the coronavirus.”

IGas has interests in 50 licence areas in southern and north west England, the east midlands, and central and northern Scotland. It produces oil and gas from 100 sites across 29 fields.

IGas said it had already reduced its capital spending, following the fall in oil prices, to maintenance, abandonment and projects already underway. The total was expected to be about £6m in 2020.

Cash balances at 29 February 2020 were £8.1m and net debt £5.2m.

Production remained on track at 2,250-2,450 barrels of oil equivalent per day, IGas said. Operating costs in sterling were also in line with plans. The company said it benefitted when the dollar was stronger. With an exchange rate of $1.2 to the pound, it expected annual operating costs to average about $27.5/barrel of oil.

200325 IGas shares

IGas share price over the past 12 months to 25 March 2020. Source: London South East

The statement had no information on the future of the Springs Road shale gas site, at Misson, in north Nottinghamshire.

IGas drilled a well there in January 2019 and in September 2019 described the shale gas as a “world-class resource”.

So far, there has been no publication of results from the well or information on whether IGas would drill a second borehole at Springs Road.

IGas announced yesterday that publication of its company accounts would be delayed, following the request a two-week moratorium from the Financial Conduct Authority.

IGas shares rose today. At the time writing, they were 23.40p. The 52-week low for IGas shares, at 21p, was yesterday (24 March 2020). A year ago, they stood at 73.9p.

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