Mosman Oil acquires interest in Colorado helium play

Mosman Oil and Gas Ltd (AIM:MSMN) has acquired a working interest (WI) in a helium project in Las Animas County, Colorado, in a first move to expand its helium portfolio.Through the deal, Mosman will acquire a 10% stake in an oil and gas project operated by private company Vecta, which will own the remaining 90% WI.The Vecta Helium Project includes around 48,000 leased acres in Colorado, with five identified helium prospects with a well on each of these prospects to be drilled in 2024.

Helium production in Las Animas County includes the historic Model Dome field while Vecta and several other companies are active in the area.Vecta drilled the Sammons exploration well last year in an Area of Mutual Interest (AMI) arrangement with Blue Star Helium and discovered helium and carbon dioxide.

The consideration for the 10% WI is US$500,000 payable by Mosman in monthly instalments and to come from cash and proceeds from the realisation of oil and gas assets, said the statement.Mosman added that it intends to fund its share of the exploration wells, estimated to cost c US$259,000 per well (gross) making its total investment US$ 630,000.

Andy Carroll, Mosman’s chief executive, commented: “We see great potential in helium, as demonstrated by our commitment and progress at EP 145 in Australia. “We reviewed a number of opportunities and selected the Vecta Helium Project due to the proven presence of helium and the low cost of shallow exploration and production wells.”

A closely watched gauge of the UK manufacturing industry indicated that the slow recovery has moved into a new positive phase.  The UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rebounded into positive territory in May, rising to a 22-month high of 51.2 in May from 49.1 in April.Output expanded at the quickest pace in over two years on the back of improved intakes of new work, according to S&P.

Rob Dobson, director at S&P, stated: “May saw a solid revival of activity in the UK manufacturing sector, with levels of production and new business both rising at the quickest rates since early-2022.“The breadth of the recovery was also a positive, with concurrent output and new order growth registered for all of the main sub-industries (consumer, intermediate and investment goods) and all company size categories for the first time in over two years.”

The survey “provided further signs that the sector’s prolonged downturn may have ended”, said EY UK’s chief economist Peter Arnold, though it “only signalled a small upturn in activity”.The feeling from Rob Wood, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, was that the PMI showed manufacturing output has “decisively exited its long recession”.

The forward-looking indicators in the survey suggest the sector will gain further momentum in the next few months, Wood added, noting that expected output growth index over the next 12 months rocketed to 78.8 in May, the best since February 2022, while the new orders index rose into positive territory too.

With input costs increasing at a slightly softer pace than in April, while prices charged inflation rose to its highest rate in a year, Arnold said he does not expect the survey’s higher output price balance to have much impact on official UK headline inflation rate.Wood said that there was a modest boost to sector inflation, which is consistent with core producer output price inflation rising to 1.5% year-over-year.