Small Talk: Wentworth's East Africa connection

Recent oil activity in Uganda has spurred interest from investors

Wentworth Resources became the latest oil and gas business to list on London's junior market last week. The firm, which is focused on East Africa, made its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on Tuesday, supplementing its listing on the Oslo exchange.

The executive chairman, Bob McBean, was keen on playing up the East Africa connection as the shares began trading. This is no surprise given the spurt of activity as oil companies of various stripes seek to gain entry – or extend their influence – into the relatively unexplored region. Recent oil activity in Uganda, along with gas discoveries offshore Mozambique and Tanzania have roused the interest of investors and analysts.

Wentworth's interests are spread across the region. The main asset is in the Mnazi Bay in Tanzania. That is supplemented by interests in the onshore and offshore Rovuma block in Mozambique. It also has a stake in the gas infrastructure and owns a regulated gas-fired power plant in Mnazi Bay.

"Wentworth is an established player in the region and benefits from having exceptional partners with proven track records," Mr McBean said. "Our acreage position is second to none, with production, proven discoveries and significant exploration upside."

The record thus far is certainly encouraging. To date, the company has drilled four wells in Mnazi Bay. Of those, one is currently producing, while "all four wells encountered hydrocarbons and are capable of producing", it said. Over in the Rovuma Bay, gas discoveries reported by the likes of BG and ENI point to the presence of potentially significant resources. Its interests in infrastructure, and the power plant mean Wentworth also draws revenues from natural gas and electricity sales, something which makes it stand out from the crowd of energy companies on Aim. It is also looking at other opportunities to expand such revenues, including a proposed natural gas pipeline from Mtwara in Mnazi Bay to the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam. Wentworth's house broker, FirstEnergy Capital, highlighted these plans in a circular last week.

"The company's geographic positioning within Tanzania and specifically Mnazi Bay offers exposure to a growing gas market," the FirstEnergy analysts said. "Although still at a nascent stage of negotiations, we see as positive a recent Chinese-led proposal to fund not only the construction of an east coast pipeline linking Mnazi Bay to the capital Dar es Salaam but also a recent proposal to build a 300 MW power facility."

Daniel Stewart heads into Middle East

The Aim-listed stock broking firm Daniel Stewart set the stage for a push into the Middle East last week by announcing a joint co-operation agreement, Clarkson Capital Markets, which is based in Dubai, the regional financial hub.

The two businesses have complimentary interests. Daniel Stewart is strong in shipping, which sits well with Clarkson's focus on maritime, oil services and natural resources. "Given the tough global economic conditions, we believe it is important not only to diversify our offering to our clients but also to enhance our geographic footprint," Daniel Stewart's chief executive, Peter Shea, said.

He added: "[Clarkson] is an established, experienced global player headquartered in Dubai... and this agreement gives us access to high quality research and investment banking capabilities in the transport, maritime and energy sectors."

Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments