Final Results

White Nile Limited 22 December 2005 White Nile Ltd / Ticker: WNL / Index: AIM / Sector: Oil & Gas 22nd December 2005 White Nile Ltd ('White Nile' or 'the Company') Final Results White Nile Ltd, the AIM listed oil and gas exploration company, announces its results for the period ended 30 June 2005. Chairman's Statement These are the maiden set of results for your Company and I am happy to report that we are making good progress in achieving our objectives of developing White Nile Limited into an oil and gas exploration and production company focussed in Southern Sudan and the surrounding region. The reporting period is up to 30 June 2005. However we have achieved much since that date, including the commencement of a seismic programme on Block Ba in Southern Sudan. In this statement I will provide a full update to the present and outline the progress we have made, working closely with our partners, the new Government and people of Southern Sudan. The Transaction White Nile was admitted to trading on AIM on 10 February 2005 having raised over £9 million from investors prior to admission. On 16 February 2005 we announced that a deal had been concluded with the Government of Southern Sudan ('GOSS') and its national oil company Nile Petroleum Corporation Limited ('Nile Pet'). In return for a 60% interest in Block Ba, White Nile agreed to issue Nile Pet with 155,000,000 ordinary shares equivalent to a 50% interest in the Enlarged Company. Nile Pet was also given the right to appoint two representatives to the Board of White Nile which was effected on 14 July 2005 with the appointment of Dr Lual Acuek Deng and Mr Edward Abyei Lino. The Directors recognised that the Acquisition was sufficiently large relative to the size of the Company and that it was not appropriate to allow the Company's shares to continue trading until full information on the Acquisition had been published. Accordingly, on 16 February 2005 the Company requested a suspension of trading pending such publication. The Company's shares remained suspended until the new Admission Document was completed by the Board and its advisors. There were a number of items that needed to be included in the document all of which are highlighted in the Admission Document. These included the signing on 25 April 2005 of an Exploration and Production Licensing Agreement in respect of Block Ba for an initial period of ten years which can be extended on achieving certain minimum exploration obligations. The production agreement covers an initial 25 years on identifying commercial reserves, which can again be extended. Further clarification on the geology and prospectivity of the block was also provided. Block Ba and Southern Sudan As stated in our listing document, Block Ba covers an area of approximately 67,000 sq. km, equivalent to some 328 UK North Sea blocks or 11 UK North Sea quadrants. Southern Sudan is an established world class petroleum producing area. It contains a large part of the continent-wide Cretaceous rift basin system that has proved petroliferous in Chad and Niger as well as Sudan. Current production in Sudan is about 500,000 bopd and this is expected to increase as more oilfield discoveries come on stream to circa 600,000 bopd in 2006. Current proven reserves are 1.2 billion bbls and original oil-in-place is estimated at over 10 billion bbls in the explored part of the Muglad Basin. The main productive trend is that of the Muglad Basin where the biggest oilfields so far discovered, Unity and Heglig have proven reserves of 250 and 200 million bbls respectively. It can be demonstrated that the production fairway of the Muglad Basin extends into western Block Ba. This fairway has been mapped by geophysical methods extending south-eastwards from the Heglig-Unity area through Block 5A, where the Thar Jath discovery was made by Lundin in 1999 and the Mala discovery made by Petronas in 2003, and through the highly prospective Block 5B. The area of the main part of the Muglad Basin i.e. the most prospective part, in Block Ba could be at least 6,000 sq. km (i.e. the area of a UK North Sea quadrant). The eastern part of Block Ba also contains the southerly extension of the Melut Basin which is also productive in Block 3 to the north. In addition, geophysics have delineated other prospective basinal areas in Block Ba. Our consultants have informed us that the area is highly prospective and can be expected to have the same level of reserves as the productive parts of the Muglad Basin to the northwest. In global terms Block Ba can be geologically categorised as low risk/high reward. Seismic Contract On 17 June 2005 we awarded Terra Seis Geophysical Limited ('Terra Seis'), a wholly owned subsidiary of Terra Seis International, the contract to conduct an extensive seismic evaluation programme of Block Ba. They were commissioned to acquire 2,000 km of high resolution geophysical data focussed on a high definition seismic programme. Canadian registered Terra Seis, founded in 1999, specialises in implementing and managing seismic programmes across the world. It has worked extensively in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America and most recently in Tanzania, Nigeria, Trinidad and Guatemala, carrying out seismic programmes for a broad range of international and national oil companies across a spread of terrains. Terra Seis is now on the ground in Southern Sudan. A camp has been established at Padak, 2km from the airstrip in the western section of Block Ba north of Bor, where the seismic will be focussing initially on the extension of the Muglad Basin. Terra Seis's team has started the seismic programme in order to gather the relevant information to help define drill targets. We have invested heavily in equipment including survey and drill equipment, explosives, ARGO's, airboats, generators, accommodation and trucks. Additionally a forward camp has been established at Panyong north of Padak for drilling activities. This is on the back of the identification of a prospective location in the concession and we anticipate drilling a well in early 2006. To coordinate activities and provide logistical assistance we have moved our head office from Johannesburg to Nairobi and we are in the process of opening an office in Juba. Additionally a local education programme has been initiated at Padak as part of White Nile's commitment to the social development of Southern Sudan. Ethiopia On 8 July 2005 we agreed terms with the Ministry of Mines of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for a Joint Study Agreement ('the Agreement') covering the area of southern Ethiopia known as the 'Southern Rift Basins'. The approximate 70,000 sq km area is adjacent to Petronas' Gambela Block in the north and borders Southern Sudan and Kenya to the south. The Agreement is over a two-year period during which White Nile, in collaboration with the Petroleum Operations Department of the Ministry of Mines, will conduct geological and geophysical studies aimed at evaluating the prospective nature of the area for oil. At the conclusion of the Agreement period, or at any time before that, the terms allow the Company to enter exclusive negotiations with the Ministry of Mines for an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement. Exploration in the area is based on the geological concept that the petroliferous Cretaceous and Early Tertiary basins of Southern Sudan extend south-eastwards beneath the younger and less prospective East African rifts. The Company, which has an initial cash commitment of US$ 450,000, plans to begin geophysical operations in early 2006 with magneto-telluric and gravity surveys. Funding We initially raised over £9 million from US and UK institutional investors and directors of the Company. On 28 June 2005 we raised an additional £7 million from both existing and new institutional shareholders through the issue of 7,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each at £1.00 per share. Appointments As previously mentioned we appointed Dr Lual Acuek Deng and Mr. Edward Abyei Lino as Non Executive Directors to the Board. Dr Deng, a US citizen, is currently State Minister for Finance and has been heavily involved in the political and economic development of Southern Sudan. Mr. Lino is currently a Director of Nile Petroleum Corporation Limited the Southern Sudanese national oil company. He is also Director of Security for the Regional Development Corporation of Southern Sudan. On 7 November 2005 we appointed Mr. Philip Ward as Chief Operations Officer. He has over 25 years executive experience within the oil and gas industry and has spent considerable time in Sudan, Libya and Singapore. Mr. Ward has worked with major companies and industry consultants including Repsol, AGIP, Lasmo, Lundin, Petronas and Tecknica on oil & gas exploration, production and financial projects. From 2001-2005 he worked extensively on Block 5a which is an extension of the production fairway in the north of the Muglad Basin. The block is currently run by a consortium between Petronas, ONGC and SudaPet and is expected to be on stream in 2006. Mr. Ward's in-depth experience of the oil and gas industry will be invaluable to the Company, in particular, the experience he has gained whilst working in Southern Sudan. Politics Notwithstanding the terrible tragedy of the death of John Garang, much progress has been made in Southern Sudan following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord on 9 January 2005. The First Vice President of the Government of National Unity and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, and his ministers have worked hard to create an inclusive and cohesive Southern Sudan. Legal and fiscal systems have been implemented which have culminated in the new constitution for Southern Sudan being signed in Juba, the South's administrative capital, on 5 December 2005. As shareholders will already know there is a competing claim on Block Ba from French oil company Total. We believe we have security of tenure. Therefore, we have been working very closely with our partners, Nile Pet, local government and the people of Southern Sudan to progress the project. Our investors are committed to backing our development programme and we are looking forward to rewarding all parties by creating a Southern Sudan focussed oil company with the full support of the Government of Southern Sudan. Results We are currently an exploration company and are not yet in a position to generate revenue. For the period under review we recorded a loss of £394,039. We have raised circa £16 million to date which will be utilised for working capital and to develop our activities in Southern Sudan and the immediate region. Conclusion White Nile aims to become an independent oil and gas producer focussed in Southern Sudan and the surrounding region. We have been very active in developing international and local partners to secure and develop our assets. We have started the 2,000km seismic programme and are now fully operational in Southern Sudan. With an equity stake in White Nile, the Government of Southern Sudan has a substantial interest in its own assets. We continue to develop our interests in the region and look forward to an exciting year in 2006. Phil Edmonds Chairman PROFIT & LOSS ACCOUNT For the period ended 30 June 2005 Notes Period ended 30 June 2005 £ TURNOVER - AIM admission costs (215,186) Operating expenses (322,025) OPERATING LOSS (537,211) Interest receivable 143,172 LOSS ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES BEFORE TAXATION (394,039) Taxation - LOSS ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES AFTER TAXATION (394,039) LOSS PER ORDINARY SHARE Basic and diluted 3 (0.273p) The operating loss for the period arises from the Company's continuing operations. No separate statement of Total Recognised Gains and Losses has been presented as all such gains and losses have been dealt with in the profit and loss account. BALANCE SHEET 30 June 2005 Notes 2005 £ FIXED ASSETS Intangible assets 10,029,688 Tangible assets 42,182 10,071,870 CURRENT ASSETS Cash at bank and in hand 14,790,959 CREDITORS: Amounts falling due within one year (857,933) NET CURRENT ASSETS 13,933,026 NET ASSETS 24,004,896 CAPITAL AND RESERVES Called up share capital 310,000 Share premium account 17,088,935 Shares to be issued 7,000,000 Profit and loss account (394,039) SHAREHOLDERS' FUNDS 4 24,004,896 CASH FLOW STATEMENT for the period ended 30 June 2005 Notes Period ended 30 June 2005 £ Cash inflow from operating activities 5a 326,748 Returns on investments and servicing of finance 5b 143,172 Capital expenditure and financial investment 5b (1,012,896) CASH OUTFLOW BEFORE USE OF LIQUID RESOURCES AND FINANCING (542,976) Management of liquid resources 5b (14,525,153) Financing 5b 15,333,935 INCREASE IN CASH IN THE PERIOD 265,806 RECONCILIATION OF NET CASH FLOW TO MOVEMENT IN NET FUNDS Period ended 30 June 2005 £ Increase in cash in the period 265,806 Cash outflow from increase in liquid resources 14,525,153 NET FUNDS AT 30 JUNE 2005 5c 14,790,959 NOTES for the period ended 30 June 2005 1 FINANCIAL INFORMATION The financial information for the period ended 30 June 2005 has been extracted from the Company's audited accounts. The Financial Information does not constitute the Company's statutory financial statements. The figures for the period ended 30 June 2005 have been extracted from the annual accounts on which the auditors have issued an unqualified report. 2 BASIS OF PREPARATION The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and in accordance with applicable accounting standards. 3 LOSS PER ORDINARY SHARE The calculation of basic and diluted loss per ordinary share is based on the following loss and number of shares. Period ended 30 June 2005 £ Loss for the financial period 394,039 2005 No. of shares Weighted average number of shares 144,342,105 Due to the loss incurred in the period, there is no dilutive effect from the issue of share options. 4 RECONCILIATION OF MOVEMENT IN SHAREHOLDERS' FUNDS 2005 £ Loss for the financial period (394,039) Issue of shares during the period 18,130,000 Issue costs (731,065) Shares to be issued 7,000,000 Net addition to shareholders' funds 24,004,896 Opening shareholders' funds - Closing shareholders' funds 24,004,896 5 CASH FLOWS 2005 £ a Reconciliation of operating loss to net cash inflow from operating activities Operating loss (537,211) Depreciation 6,026 Increase in creditors 857,933 Net cash inflow from operating activities 326,748 b Analysis of cash flows for headings netted in the cash flow 2005 £ Returns on investments and servicing of finance Interest received 143,172 Net cash inflow from returns on investments and servicing of finance 143,172 Capital expenditure and financial investment Purchase of intangible fixed assets (964,688) Purchase of tangible fixed assets (48,208) Net cash outflow from capital expenditure and financial investment (1,012,896) Management of liquid resources Cash on deposit (14,525,153) Net cash outflow from management of liquid resources (14,525,153) Financing Proceeds from issue of share capital 9,065,000 Share issue costs (731,065) Proceeds from shares to be issued 7,000,000 Net cash inflow from financing 15,333,935 Cash- At 30 June 2005 flow £ c Analysis of net funds £ Cash at bank and in hand 265,806 265,806 Cash on deposit 14,525,153 14,525,153 14,790,959 14,790,959 6 POST BALANCE SHEET EVENTS On 4 July 2005 the Company issued 7,000,000 ordinary shares of 0.1p for a cash consideration of £1 per share. The gross cash proceeds of £7,000,000 were received prior to 30 June 2005 under the terms of the applicable subscription agreements and have been included in these financial statements as shares to be issued. Copies of the Report and Accounts for the period ended 30 June 2005 are being sent to shareholders. Further copies will be available from the Company Secretary's office, which is Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London, EC4V 4AJ. This information is provided by RNS The company news service from the London Stock Exchange