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Co. Starts Drilling Horizontal Well in Egypt

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Results from this asset could catalyze the stock of this Canadian oil and gas company, on the verge of significant potential growth. Read on to learn more.

TAG Oil Ltd. (TAO:TSX.V; TAOIF:OTCQX) began drilling the 1,000-meter pay zone section of the BED4-T100 horizontal well in Egypt's Badr oil field (BED-1), noted a news release.

It should take approximately three weeks to finish the drilling and to apply the completion technology, the company said. Once done, it will start hydraulic fracture stimulation of the Abu Roash "F" (ARF) formation in the BED-1.

"The growth and value creation potential, should the horizontal multi-frack well work, is very high," Adam Gill, an analyst at Echelon Capital Markets, wrote in a February 26 initiation report on TAG Oil.

Company Primed for Growth

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, TAG Oil is developing the unconventional heavy oil ARF that potentially contains an estimated 500,000,000-plus barrels (500+ MMbbl) of oil in place.

"We are targeting a large international oil play that has substantial upside," the company said. "While we may include exploration in our strategy in the future, our primary focus for now will be on producing oil and generating cash flow off of bigger, more complex assets."

To "unlock new resource potential" in the ARF, Gill reported, the company is employing a "horizontal multi-frac drilling/completion design." This technology, novel to Egypt, and has rarely been done there, but TAG successfully pulled it off in the ARF with the BED1-7 vertical well.

"The growth and value creation potential, should the horizontal multi-frack well work, is very high," Adam Gill, an analyst at Echelon Capital Markets, wrote in a February 26 initiation report on TAG Oil.

Within the BED-1 concession, TAG Oil has identified 20 prospective well locations, Gill noted. Over those, multifracking could deliver 1,000−1,500 barrels per day (1−1.5 Mbbl/d) initial production wells and provide recoverable resources of 27 Mbbl/d, according to independent estimates.

The energy company is looking to expand its portfolio and continues to evaluate later-life conventional assets for acquisition as well as potential joint ventures, primarily in Egypt and the broader Middle East/North Africa region.

As for its balance sheet, TAG has no debt and US$13−14 million in cash, with which it can fully fund the development of the first horizontal well in the ARF, Haywood Securities reported on January 24.

Also of note, TAG Oil has two gross over-riding royalties on previously owned assets, Gill pointed out. One is 2.5% of gross revenue produced from the New Zealand assets. The other is 3% on gross potential future gas production at the Australian asset.

Oil Poised for a Breakout

Worldwide demand for oil and oil prices are expected to rise this year, and the near-term outlook for oil stocks is favorable, according to the experts.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts growth this year in global petroleum consumption of 1.2 MMbbl/d, as indicated in its February 2024 Oil Market Report.

Regarding the oil market, Technical Analyst Clive Maund asserted in a January note that it appeared to have completed a bottom and a breakout was imminent, an uptrend that could be "surprisingly strong." Oil stocks, he added, looked "very well placed to start higher again."

Echelon Wealth Partners initiated research coverage on TAG Oil on February 28 with a Speculative Buy rating and a target price implying a 129% return for investors.

As for the oil price, the Fitch Ratings, in a December 2023 note, estimated the Brent crude oil price will average US$80 per barrel this year. This is an increase from Fitch's previous assumption of US$75/bbl, which the credit agency revised, it wrote, to reflect "OPEC+'s continuing tight control oversupply."

The EIA's 2024 forecast for the Brent oil price is an average of US$82 per barrel.

With respect to Egypt, oil is a major contributor to its economy, but the country is now a net importer of crude oil, Echelon's Gill pointed out. As such, Egypt would like to see greater domestic production.

"Should TAG be successful, we would expect to see the energy ministry grant the company additional opportunities," the analyst added.

The Catalyst: Well Outcome

Next, from TAG Oil, investors can expect results of drilling the BED4-T100 horizontal well and of fracking the ARF, events that could potentially advance the company's share price.

Echelon Wealth Partners initiated research coverage on TAG Oil on February 28 with a Speculative Buy rating and a target price implying a 129% return for investors. Gill highlighted the company's "very attractive risk-reward proposition" and its solid financial position.

"Taking into account successful results and assuming a 1 Mbbl/d initial production on the horizontal development, we see solid upside potential in the stock," the analyst commented.

Similarly, Haywood Securities wrote in a January 24 note that TAG's market cap and unrisked net present value discounted at 10% "present considerable upside potential." 

Ownership and Share Structure

streetwise book logoStreetwise Ownership Overview*


*Share Structure as of 2/6/2024

Refinitiv provided a breakdown of the company's ownership and share structure, where management and insiders own approximately 4.05% of the company. According to Refinitiv, CEO Toby Robert Pierce owns 1.03% of the company with 1.64 million shares, COO Suneel Gupta owns 0.99% of the company with 1.59 million shares, CFO Barry MacNeil owns 0.85% of the company with 1.36 million shares, Director Gavin Hugh Lothian Wilson owns 0.72% of the company with 1.15 million shares, Director Keith C. Hill owns 0.25% of the company with 0.40 million shares, Director Thomas Hickey owns 0.17% of the company with 0.26 million shares, and Corporate Secretary Giuseppe Perone owns 0.04% of the company with 0.06 million shares.

Refinitiv reports that institutions own approximately 2.95% of the company, as Purpose Investments Inc. owns 2.09% of the company with 3.33 million shares, Novum Asset Management A.G. owns 0.64% of the company with 1.02 million shares, and Palos Management Inc. owns 0.22% of the company with 0.35 million shares.

According to Refinitiv, there are 159.74 million shares outstanding and 98.79 million free float traded shares, while the company has a market cap of CA$45.1 million shares and trades in the 52-week period between CA$0.34 and CA$0.78.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. Tag Oil Ltd. is a billboard sponsor of Streetwise Reports and pays SWR a monthly sponsorship fee between US$4,000 and US$5,000. 
  2. Doresa Banning wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor.
  3.  This article does not constitute investment advice and is not a solicitation for any investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her personal financial adviser and perform their own comprehensive investment research. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company. 

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