The Great Hack: Documentary reflects on data abuse and privacy boundaries

Courtesy : Netflix

The new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, delves into the story behind the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, which involved the misuse of 87 million US Facebook users’ personal data. The revelations took down Cambridge Analytica, a British data intelligence company working on hefty political campaigns all over the world, and forced Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in court.

The film follows the experience of US college professor David Carroll, who enters a legal battle to recover his personal data from Cambridge Analytica after the scandal breaks. Led by Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica was headquartered in London, and throughout its existence worked on political campaigns in many countries using its data expertise to target voters.

The storyline encompasses one of the greatest challenges of this day and age and calls into question the power of big tech companies, as well as their lack of accountability in harmful data abuse cases. The business model of social media companies like Facebook, where access and services seem to be free at the point of use, is actually a cash cow leveraging on information about its users that can be commercialised to anyone willing to pay the right price.

Cambridge Analytica claimed to have created a profile for virtually every voter in the US, each one containing 5,000 data points. As these data points were collated from information gathered via Facebook user interactions, the main question emerging is: are users aware of how their data is exploited?

While judgements on the conduct of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix and the ‘propaganda machine’ deployed by his team require further reflections, the documentary plainly shows the wide array of data that technology companies have access to, and the dearth of ethical protocol around how they intend to use it. It confronts us with the uncomfortable realisation that we are constantly being watched, and that our own behaviour can be used to manipulate our decisions.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal marked a turning point in the history of big tech: before the scandal, the big tech companies had an image of being cool, made by young people who enable connectivity and free information to billions. Since the revelations, however, this feeling of awe has started to dissipate, alongside a general realisation that the alleged free services provided by social media and technology companies actually come at a price. If, on the one hand, hyper-connectivity can bring us closer and provide fast and unpaid access to information, a quick flip of the coin shows us the other side, where users feel cheated and violated.

The scandal prompted a wake-up call for users and authorities alike, raising questions over the kind of regulations needed in a time when data has become the most valuable asset on the planet. The real question arising from the scandal was about how much information people are giving away to social media and technology companies without their consent or even knowledge.

Still, despite the important message it endeavours to get across, the documentary neither offers us real solutions towards finding justice, nor suggests any alternative with which to fight the big tech companies that have invaded every aspect of our lives. There is a clear urgency in recognising data rights, establishing boundaries between public and private, and clarifying terms and conditions for users so that, when using social media, they can be fully aware of the information they would be giving away.

If nothing else, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has highlighted the need to set up an inclusive, comprehensive and global regulatory framework to regulate uses of data and establish stricter privacy rules.

“Data protection is a structural problem. We don’t have effective ways to hold companies accountable and to enforce when they commit data crimes because we don’t even have a way to define, let alone prosecute, these data crimes. We can see that the existing tools we have are not succeeding at what they’re supposed to do,” said professor Carroll in an interview for Business Insider on the documentary and the aim of raising awareness about the blurred lines between privacy and use of social media.

The reality is indeed worrying and the clock is ticking. The debate about data rights, privacy and accountability is long overdue.

John Marshall, CEO of World Ethical Data Forum (WEDF), the only platform to embrace the full range of interrelated issues around the use and future of data, commented : “We’re fortunate such excellent work has been done since the outcry over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to bring the issues around data and privacy to public awareness. The civil liberties implications of the new data technologies are very serious, and rightly or wrongly Cambridge has come to symbolise a tendency we may have caught just in time. But these questions go deep. We need to explore the ethical and practical questions arising from the uses and control of information quite generally too. It’s very easy to overlook the fact that we’re still struggling with the ethical implications of even apparently very basic technology, such as the press, let alone what Zuboff calls ‘behavioural futures markets.’ How we decide these questions will define our epoch.”

By addressing these concerns and encouraging the collaboration of apparently competing worlds, from technology and big business, government and security agencies, policy makers and the media, to human rights lawyers, whistleblowers, and privacy and transparency advocates, the World Ethical Data Forum offers a unique and crucial perspective for the future.

GDPR: The ground-breaking data regulation

The European Union is a pioneer in establishing data regulations. The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 sparked a global conversation about data ownership, consent and use, as the ruling imposes a number of obligations on individuals and entities collecting personal data from EU residents. The GDPR, even in its early days, has established itself as an exemplary set of regulations and a good place to start a serious conversation about protecting user privacy.

“In the charter of human rights that founded the EU, data protection rights are listed as a fundamental right that’s equivalent to freedom of speech, freedom to marry, all these other basic human rights. That’s why Europe has a 20-year lead on creating the infrastructure for businesses to provide for these rights,” said Carroll, highlighting the lack of protections in the US, for example, where the major technology companies are headquartered.

The first-year of GDPR reports show that many companies have problems handling data in a responsible manner. In a nine-month summary of the effects of GDPR, the European Data Protection Board said that as of March 2019, there were 206,326 complaints raised, of which nearly 100,000 related to data privacy. GDPR supervisory agencies in 11 countries issued fines, totalling €55,955,871 (over $6.3 million). The Netherlands recorded the most data breach reports per capita, followed by Ireland and Denmark. The biggest European economies — UK, Germany and France — rank tenth, eleventh and twenty-first respectively. Greece, Italy and Romania have reported the fewest breaches per capita.

Despite the regulation being new, compliance has been a problem, which can lead to breaches and damage to users. One year after its implementation, a survey by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) shows that more than half of all companies are still not GDPR compliant, while 20 percent said they did not believe full compliance was even possible.

If you are interested in the next WEDF event taking place in London next July 2020, please get in touch with us at: Cassiopeia@worldethicaldata.org

The Great Hack: Documentary reflects on data abuse and privacy boundaries

Courtesy : Netflix

The new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, delves into the story behind the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, which involved the misuse of 87 million US Facebook users’ personal data. The revelations took down Cambridge Analytica, a British data intelligence company working on hefty political campaigns all over the world, and forced Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in court.

The film follows the experience of US college professor David Carroll, who enters a legal battle to recover his personal data from Cambridge Analytica after the scandal breaks. Led by Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica was headquartered in London, and throughout its existence worked on political campaigns in many countries using its data expertise to target voters.

The storyline encompasses one of the greatest challenges of this day and age and calls into question the power of big tech companies, as well as their lack of accountability in harmful data abuse cases. The business model of social media companies like Facebook, where access and services seem to be free at the point of use, is actually a cash cow leveraging on information about its users that can be commercialised to anyone willing to pay the right price.

Cambridge Analytica claimed to have created a profile for virtually every voter in the US, each one containing 5,000 data points. As these data points were collated from information gathered via Facebook user interactions, the main question emerging is: are users aware of how their data is exploited?

While judgements on the conduct of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix and the ‘propaganda machine’ deployed by his team require further reflections, the documentary plainly shows the wide array of data that technology companies have access to, and the dearth of ethical protocol around how they intend to use it. It confronts us with the uncomfortable realisation that we are constantly being watched, and that our own behaviour can be used to manipulate our decisions.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal marked a turning point in the history of big tech: before the scandal, the big tech companies had an image of being cool, made by young people who enable connectivity and free information to billions. Since the revelations, however, this feeling of awe has started to dissipate, alongside a general realisation that the alleged free services provided by social media and technology companies actually come at a price. If, on the one hand, hyper-connectivity can bring us closer and provide fast and unpaid access to information, a quick flip of the coin shows us the other side, where users feel cheated and violated.

The scandal prompted a wake-up call for users and authorities alike, raising questions over the kind of regulations needed in a time when data has become the most valuable asset on the planet. The real question arising from the scandal was about how much information people are giving away to social media and technology companies without their consent or even knowledge.

Still, despite the important message it endeavours to get across, the documentary neither offers us real solutions towards finding justice, nor suggests any alternative with which to fight the big tech companies that have invaded every aspect of our lives. There is a clear urgency in recognising data rights, establishing boundaries between public and private, and clarifying terms and conditions for users so that, when using social media, they can be fully aware of the information they would be giving away.

If nothing else, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has highlighted the need to set up an inclusive, comprehensive and global regulatory framework to regulate uses of data and establish stricter privacy rules.

“Data protection is a structural problem. We don’t have effective ways to hold companies accountable and to enforce when they commit data crimes because we don’t even have a way to define, let alone prosecute, these data crimes. We can see that the existing tools we have are not succeeding at what they’re supposed to do,” said professor Carroll in an interview for Business Insider on the documentary and the aim of raising awareness about the blurred lines between privacy and use of social media.

The reality is indeed worrying and the clock is ticking. The debate about data rights, privacy and accountability is long overdue.

John Marshall, CEO of World Ethical Data Forum (WEDF), the only platform to embrace the full range of interrelated issues around the use and future of data, commented : “We’re fortunate such excellent work has been done since the outcry over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to bring the issues around data and privacy to public awareness. The civil liberties implications of the new data technologies are very serious, and rightly or wrongly Cambridge has come to symbolise a tendency we may have caught just in time. But these questions go deep. We need to explore the ethical and practical questions arising from the uses and control of information quite generally too. It’s very easy to overlook the fact that we’re still struggling with the ethical implications of even apparently very basic technology, such as the press, let alone what Zuboff calls ‘behavioural futures markets.’ How we decide these questions will define our epoch.”

By addressing these concerns and encouraging the collaboration of apparently competing worlds, from technology and big business, government and security agencies, policy makers and the media, to human rights lawyers, whistleblowers, and privacy and transparency advocates, the World Ethical Data Forum offers a unique and crucial perspective for the future.

GDPR: The ground-breaking data regulation

The European Union is a pioneer in establishing data regulations. The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 sparked a global conversation about data ownership, consent and use, as the ruling imposes a number of obligations on individuals and entities collecting personal data from EU residents. The GDPR, even in its early days, has established itself as an exemplary set of regulations and a good place to start a serious conversation about protecting user privacy.

“In the charter of human rights that founded the EU, data protection rights are listed as a fundamental right that’s equivalent to freedom of speech, freedom to marry, all these other basic human rights. That’s why Europe has a 20-year lead on creating the infrastructure for businesses to provide for these rights,” said Carroll, highlighting the lack of protections in the US, for example, where the major technology companies are headquartered.

The first-year of GDPR reports show that many companies have problems handling data in a responsible manner. In a nine-month summary of the effects of GDPR, the European Data Protection Board said that as of March 2019, there were 206,326 complaints raised, of which nearly 100,000 related to data privacy. GDPR supervisory agencies in 11 countries issued fines, totalling €55,955,871 (over $6.3 million). The Netherlands recorded the most data breach reports per capita, followed by Ireland and Denmark. The biggest European economies — UK, Germany and France — rank tenth, eleventh and twenty-first respectively. Greece, Italy and Romania have reported the fewest breaches per capita.

Despite the regulation being new, compliance has been a problem, which can lead to breaches and damage to users. One year after its implementation, a survey by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) shows that more than half of all companies are still not GDPR compliant, while 20 percent said they did not believe full compliance was even possible.

If you are interested in the next WEDF event taking place in London next July 2020, please get in touch with us at: Cassiopeia@worldethicaldata.org

India on track as the next big digital payment market

The Indian market is growing more attractive by the day: that’s what the fintech numbers show. The digital payment scene in India is dynamic and exciting for technology enthusiasts, as new channels pave fresh avenues for smart solutions, creating opportunities and carving out room for growth.

Over the last few years, India has witnessed impressive growth in its financial inclusion rate. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2011 40% of adult Indians had a bank account; seven years later in 2018, almost 80% of adult Indians had one. However, the bulk of this inclusion has taken place in urban centers, with a great deal of the rural areas starting to access financial services at a slower rate.

In 2016, the launch of the United Payments Interface, UPI, by India’s NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) became a game-changer in the digital payment space. The UPI allowed account-based payments to become widespread, prompting a move away from traditional cards and wallets towards more sophisticated methods.

One the greatest benefits is that the UPI has an open architecture that has allowed different players to enter the market, such as the giants Google and Facebook but also local services like PhonePe, which was later acquired by Walmart.

The Indian P2P payments market is without a doubt among the most exciting and fastest-growing globally, poised to increase at an impressive overall average annual growth rate of over 72%, expected to reach US$159.2bn in 2022, according to the 2019 Statista Fintech Report.

The growth is spurred as more people in rural areas gain access to easy and affordable financial services via their smartphones. A study by BCG reports that the next 1 billion users for digital services will be from Asia, with India leading the pack.

India will see the fastest growth in digital payment transaction value between 2019 and 2023, with predictions that digital payments will more than double by 2023.

Despite having one the most tech-savvy populations in the world, mobile payments are not so much of a reality in India yet. According to Business Insider, only 14% of Indian consumers make mobile payments on a weekly basis, which highlights the large scope of opportunity and growth in one of the largest countries in the world.

Even though the US and Europe tended to be pioneers in the development of new technologies, the Asia-Pacific region is already the leader in use of mobile payment services: mainly thanks to China, which is by far the largest Alternative Finance market globally. With the projected growth in India, the region could take an even bigger leap in the area.

US and China fight for leading position in India

Eyeing the massive opportunity in India with a market yet to mature, Chinese and American investors are moving quickly to conquer customers in this market. “Everyone is coming to that market, and trying to see if they become big,” said Neha Singh, co-founder of data provider Tracxn, to the FT.

The battle between the two biggest economies in the world over the Indian market is indeed a weighty one: India has double the number of mobile users than in the United States — a figure which keeps growing, as about half of the country’s population is below the age of 25.

At the moment, there is strong evidence of Chinese efforts to dominate the market and tap into the opportunities. Tracxn revealed that last year, Chinese investors injected $3.5bn into the Indian technology sector, as well as taking part in nearly twice as many funding rounds than in 2017.

However, the American big tech names are not giving up without a fight. As announced in July, Facebook’s WhatsApp is gearing up to enter the market with a bang later this year — the app is very popular in India, where it has around 400 million users. The market leader Paytm with 350 million users, which is backed by Alibaba, could expect its position to be challenged by tough competition coming from WhatsApp.

“Indians love WhatsApp, and will love the convenience of transacting through the app. I foresee a trend wherein entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises start embracing and using WhatsApp Pay,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.

On the emergence of WhatsApp pay services, Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted: “After failing to win war against India’s open internet with cheap tricks of free basics, Facebook is again in play,” Sharma had tweeted.

Nevertheless, there are doubts over whether Indians will trust WhatsApp as a payment system, given Facebook’s long-lasting history with user data misuse.

The Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) welcome private and international ventures that contribute to the growth of the tech sector. The Digital India strategy is a national flagship programme aiming to transform India into a ‘digitally empowered society and knowledge economy’ by boosting the country’s digital capacities.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s Information Technology Minister, said during the 2018 G20 meeting in Argentina: “India’s digital story is a story of hope and growth, of opportunities and profits. But above all it is a story of digital inclusion and empowerment. Digital India is a mass movement today touching the lives of a billion people.”

Follow us on twitter for more such informative content : @cassiopeia_ltd / @_FinancialFox

Fashion companies focused on Supply Chain Transparency and Blockchain

Transparency is a pressing issue in the fashion industry today. As a solution to this hot topic, blockchain in the fashion industry is being increasingly used to not only increase intellectual property protection for designers and companies but also to rapidly trace the entire journey of the finished product as it travels through the distribution chain right from the initial raw material stage up until it reaches the consumer, thereby giving rise to greater clarity about its origins for both brands and consumers alike. Companies are thus steadily working towards ensuring greater visibility and transparency of the workers in supply chains, the business relationships therein and publicly communicating about the initiatives they are taking to ensure sustainability across the supply chain.

In 2019, 200 fashion brands and retailers took part in the Fashion Transparency Index study which showed that sportwear and outdoor brands were leading the way on the transparency front. The 5 brands who scored the highest on their supply chain transparency are Adidas, Reebok, Patagonia, each scoring 64%, Esprit with 62%, and fast-fashion clothing chain H&M scoring 61%.

As of 2019, only 10 brands are disclosing information regarding where and who are they getting their supply of raw materials like viscose, wool, etc. The brands are:

ASOS

C&A

Esprit

Lululemon

Marks & Spencer

Patagonia

The North Face (VF Corporation)

Timberland (VF Corporation)

Vans (VF Corporation)

Wrangler (VF Corporation)

Brands who have shown the highest improvement since 2018 in their level of disclosure of supplier lists overall to the public are Dior (up by 22%), Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing (up by 21%), Nike (up by 21%), New Balance (up by 18%), and Marc Jacobs (up by 17%).

This statistic shows the willingness of consumers to buy sustainable fashion worldwide in 2018. In 2018, 60 percent of respondents stated that they would buy sustainable fashion if it were the same price as normal fashion.

A blockchain software company named Provenance collaborated with London-based designer Martine Jarlgaard to produce, using blockchain technology, the world’s first tracked garment. Consumers in store, after scanning the label on the clothing items, could witness the history of the product and be certain about the sustainability of the raw material sources.

Courtesy : KPMG

Luxury brands, for example LVMH which is the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, are also embracing this technology to track luxury goods and prove their authenticity. Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior are the first two brands to go on board with LVMH’s blockchain platform called ‘Aura.’

Courtesy : Louis Vuitton

In the highly competitive luxury fashion sphere, the main role of blockchain is to help brands and retailers connect with each other who wouldn’t otherwise disclose information to their rivals.

In the diamond industry too, brands like De Beers and small start-ups like Taylor & Hart are making use of blockchain ‘to help trace their supply chains from mine to shop floor.’ While De Beers developed Tracr, an open-source blockchain platform by collaborating with five other diamond manufacturers, Taylor & Hart united with blockchain start-up Everledger to validate the provenance of its diamonds.

Also, built upon blockchain technology in the form of a peer-to-peer ecosystem is Fashion Coin, which is designed in such a way that allows a consumer to directly get in touch with any member involved in the garment creation process like the designer, model, stylist, etc. and be a part of the journey and invest in the early stages of product designing, while being incentivized via a specially built token.

As a defense to fakery, e-commerce giant Alibaba as well is developing a blockchain application which allows buyers to trace the journey of the product from the factory to their front door by scanning it, thus knowing if it is an original piece or not. Similarly, very recently the payments giant, Mastercard, announced about its new blockchain-based product tracking solution which, it says, would ‘provide a clear record of traceability’ as it is ‘designed to contribute to consumer confidence and trust by creating awareness of the authenticity of the product.’

The impact that blockchain is set to have on the fashion industry is huge but for that to materialize, considerable investment is required to construct the systems to support it. The real-time access to streamlined product information that blockchain technology provides will inevitably enable retailers to scrutinize stock status as well as customer feedback. Eventually, because of the surge in the blockchain-based platforms, deals struck with middlemen can be expected to slowly come to a halt as there will be more transparent communication between manufacturers, brands and the consumers.

As technologies are becoming more and more advanced and data privacy issues becoming a sensational topic, growing concerns about the revelations of personal data and its subsequent use for marketing purposes, are but rampant. Thus, secure and guarded technology platforms should be built and consumers should be given extensive insights into the workings of blockchain to ensure its success in the future.

For more such engaging content, please follow us on Twitter @Cassiopeia_ltd @_FinancialFox and subscribe to our YouTube channel: Cassiopeia Services PLC

Fashion companies focused on Supply Chain Transparency and Blockchain

Transparency is a pressing issue in the fashion industry today. As a solution to this hot topic, blockchain in the fashion industry is being increasingly used to not only increase intellectual property protection for designers and companies but also to rapidly trace the entire journey of the finished product as it travels through the distribution chain right from the initial raw material stage up until it reaches the consumer, thereby giving rise to greater clarity about its origins for both brands and consumers alike. Companies are thus steadily working towards ensuring greater visibility and transparency of the workers in supply chains, the business relationships therein and publicly communicating about the initiatives they are taking to ensure sustainability across the supply chain.

In 2019, 200 fashion brands and retailers took part in the Fashion Transparency Index study which showed that sportwear and outdoor brands were leading the way on the transparency front. The 5 brands who scored the highest on their supply chain transparency are Adidas, Reebok, Patagonia, each scoring 64%, Esprit with 62%, and fast-fashion clothing chain H&M scoring 61%.

As of 2019, only 10 brands are disclosing information regarding where and who are they getting their supply of raw materials like viscose, wool, etc. The brands are:

ASOS

C&A

Esprit

Lululemon

Marks & Spencer

Patagonia

The North Face (VF Corporation)

Timberland (VF Corporation)

Vans (VF Corporation)

Wrangler (VF Corporation)

Brands who have shown the highest improvement since 2018 in their level of disclosure of supplier lists overall to the public are Dior (up by 22%), Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing (up by 21%), Nike (up by 21%), New Balance (up by 18%), and Marc Jacobs (up by 17%).

This statistic shows the willingness of consumers to buy sustainable fashion worldwide in 2018. In 2018, 60 percent of respondents stated that they would buy sustainable fashion if it were the same price as normal fashion.

A blockchain software company named Provenance collaborated with London-based designer Martine Jarlgaard to produce, using blockchain technology, the world’s first tracked garment. Consumers in store, after scanning the label on the clothing items, could witness the history of the product and be certain about the sustainability of the raw material sources.

Courtesy : KPMG

Luxury brands, for example LVMH which is the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, are also embracing this technology to track luxury goods and prove their authenticity. Louis Vuitton and Parfums Christian Dior are the first two brands to go on board with LVMH’s blockchain platform called ‘Aura.’

Courtesy : Louis Vuitton

In the highly competitive luxury fashion sphere, the main role of blockchain is to help brands and retailers connect with each other who wouldn’t otherwise disclose information to their rivals.

In the diamond industry too, brands like De Beers and small start-ups like Taylor & Hart are making use of blockchain ‘to help trace their supply chains from mine to shop floor.’ While De Beers developed Tracr, an open-source blockchain platform by collaborating with five other diamond manufacturers, Taylor & Hart united with blockchain start-up Everledger to validate the provenance of its diamonds.

Also, built upon blockchain technology in the form of a peer-to-peer ecosystem is Fashion Coin, which is designed in such a way that allows a consumer to directly get in touch with any member involved in the garment creation process like the designer, model, stylist, etc. and be a part of the journey and invest in the early stages of product designing, while being incentivized via a specially built token.

As a defense to fakery, e-commerce giant Alibaba as well is developing a blockchain application which allows buyers to trace the journey of the product from the factory to their front door by scanning it, thus knowing if it is an original piece or not. Similarly, very recently the payments giant, Mastercard, announced about its new blockchain-based product tracking solution which, it says, would ‘provide a clear record of traceability’ as it is ‘designed to contribute to consumer confidence and trust by creating awareness of the authenticity of the product.’

The impact that blockchain is set to have on the fashion industry is huge but for that to materialize, considerable investment is required to construct the systems to support it. The real-time access to streamlined product information that blockchain technology provides will inevitably enable retailers to scrutinize stock status as well as customer feedback. Eventually, because of the surge in the blockchain-based platforms, deals struck with middlemen can be expected to slowly come to a halt as there will be more transparent communication between manufacturers, brands and the consumers.

As technologies are becoming more and more advanced and data privacy issues becoming a sensational topic, growing concerns about the revelations of personal data and its subsequent use for marketing purposes, are but rampant. Thus, secure and guarded technology platforms should be built and consumers should be given extensive insights into the workings of blockchain to ensure its success in the future.

For more such engaging content, please follow us on Twitter @Cassiopeia_ltd @_FinancialFox and subscribe to our YouTube channel: Cassiopeia Services PLC

Investment Opportunities in the North Sea, Investors Eye Independent Oil & Gas

“I believe there’s still a great deal of opportunities to be exploited in the North Sea”, says Independent Oil & Gas, CEO Andrew Hockey. Combining a good portfolio of assets, the right partners with a favorable outlook for oil & gas investment, the AIM-listed oil & gas producer and developer looks forward to future plans.

In the latest episode of the Financial Fox, presenter & oil/gas strategist Stefania Barbaglio spoke to Andrew Hockey. The company have been going through an exciting period over the last three months having established a partnership with CalEnergy Resources (CER), to develop IOG’s Core Project and the recent spud of the Harvey Appraisal Well, in the North Sea.

CalEnergy are not only an active oil & gas operating company but the subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway whose founder is the famous American business magnate Mr. Warren Buffett. Andrew Hockey hailed the partnership with CER as a “landmark transaction” for IOG, which he said would “deliver very significant value” for shareholders.

Independent has a strong focus on UK assets, particularly in the Southern North Sea, which encompasses gas assets containing reserves, contingent resources and prospective resources, able to deliver over 600 billion cubic feet of gas.

The portfolio is designed to take IOG from small to mid-cap company status. With the UK importing more than half of its gas, Hockey believes the domestic market represents an attractive opportunity for them.

Rising United Kingdom Oil & Gas Investment

There have been relatively few farm-out deals in the North Sea since the downturn in the oil market in 2014. But now, this trend seems to be turning upwards. The recently signed partnership with CalEnergy is one of two farm-out deals in the North Sea, showing good prospects for natural resources investment in the area.

In 2018, oil production rose to 1.09 million barrels (bbls) per day, an increase of 8.9% from 2017 and the highest UK oil production rate since 2011, according to the UK Oil & Gas Authority. The 2018 production covered 59 percent of the country’s oil and gas demands.

In 2019, UK oil and gas upstream investment is expected to witness a projected 4% increase. Reflecting this increase, this year, O&G exploration in the UK could see drilling of up to 15 new wells, says the 2019 business outlook from Oil and Gas UK.

Sentiment is increasingly positive in other parts of the world, which could signal a boost in the natural resources space. Oil analysts in the US are confident that we may be close to another oil boom over the coming years. “Investors would be wiser to purchase oil assets at a discount in anticipation of a medium-term price boom,” said Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group on CNN Business.

The gas share of the sector also shows positive prospects for investors. Gas production in the UK in 2018 totaled 40.6 billion cubic metres, which maintains the UK’s status as a major gas producing country. Overall in Europe, second behind Norway, where the majority of UK gas imports come from.

In 2018, natural gas represented nearly 40% of UK’s primary energy usage, growing from the previous year. A factor that has increased gas demand is the continued shutting down of coal plants, resulting in a greater reliance on gas for electricity and LNG terminals.

The North Sea opportunity: Harvey Appraisal Well

UK production in the North Sea had a profitable period in the 1980s and 90s. Highest annual production peaked in 1999.

More recently the North Sea continental shelf has become a mix of energy resources, such as fossil fuels, wind and developments in wave power. The UK, along with Norway, are the largest holders of oil reserves in their respective licences.

IOG’s most exciting prospect is the Harvey Appraisal well, located at the heart of their core asset base in the Southern North Sea, with more than a 60% chance of success, results should be known in two months. Harvey has the potential to be the largest gas discovery in the company portfolio and could significantly enhance the economics of IOG’s Southern North Sea business.

About the advantages of exploring in the North Sea, Hockey says, ‘As an area of the North Sea, the Southern North Sea is probably the most benign to operate in. Water depths are relatively shallow therefore decommissioning liabilities are relatively low. You can use jack-up rigs so it’s fairly simple to operate. You are not far from shore. So, you have many things in your favor in terms of minimizing the execution risk of actually getting things done at the Southern gas place.”

Hockey believes that the Harvey well could deliver 85–199 bcf of gas for IOG: “Harvey could be a major catalyst for the business.”

Follow us on @Cassiopeia_ltd and @_FinancialFox for more smart investment tips to come. Stay tuned!

Investment Opportunities in the North Sea, Investors Eye Independent Oil & Gas

“I believe there’s still a great deal of opportunities to be exploited in the North Sea”, says Independent Oil & Gas, CEO Andrew Hockey. Combining a good portfolio of assets, the right partners with a favorable outlook for oil & gas investment, the AIM-listed oil & gas producer and developer looks forward to future plans.

In the latest episode of the Financial Fox, presenter & oil/gas strategist Stefania Barbaglio spoke to Andrew Hockey. The company have been going through an exciting period over the last three months having established a partnership with CalEnergy Resources (CER), to develop IOG’s Core Project and the recent spud of the Harvey Appraisal Well, in the North Sea.

CalEnergy are not only an active oil & gas operating company but the subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway whose founder is the famous American business magnate Mr. Warren Buffett. Andrew Hockey hailed the partnership with CER as a “landmark transaction” for IOG, which he said would “deliver very significant value” for shareholders.

Independent has a strong focus on UK assets, particularly in the Southern North Sea, which encompasses gas assets containing reserves, contingent resources and prospective resources, able to deliver over 600 billion cubic feet of gas.

The portfolio is designed to take IOG from small to mid-cap company status. With the UK importing more than half of its gas, Hockey believes the domestic market represents an attractive opportunity for them.

Rising United Kingdom Oil & Gas Investment

There have been relatively few farm-out deals in the North Sea since the downturn in the oil market in 2014. But now, this trend seems to be turning upwards. The recently signed partnership with CalEnergy is one of two farm-out deals in the North Sea, showing good prospects for natural resources investment in the area.

In 2018, oil production rose to 1.09 million barrels (bbls) per day, an increase of 8.9% from 2017 and the highest UK oil production rate since 2011, according to the UK Oil & Gas Authority. The 2018 production covered 59 percent of the country’s oil and gas demands.

In 2019, UK oil and gas upstream investment is expected to witness a projected 4% increase. Reflecting this increase, this year, O&G exploration in the UK could see drilling of up to 15 new wells, says the 2019 business outlook from Oil and Gas UK.

Sentiment is increasingly positive in other parts of the world, which could signal a boost in the natural resources space. Oil analysts in the US are confident that we may be close to another oil boom over the coming years. “Investors would be wiser to purchase oil assets at a discount in anticipation of a medium-term price boom,” said Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group on CNN Business.

The gas share of the sector also shows positive prospects for investors. Gas production in the UK in 2018 totaled 40.6 billion cubic metres, which maintains the UK’s status as a major gas producing country. Overall in Europe, second behind Norway, where the majority of UK gas imports come from.

In 2018, natural gas represented nearly 40% of UK’s primary energy usage, growing from the previous year. A factor that has increased gas demand is the continued shutting down of coal plants, resulting in a greater reliance on gas for electricity and LNG terminals.

The North Sea opportunity: Harvey Appraisal Well

UK production in the North Sea had a profitable period in the 1980s and 90s. Highest annual production peaked in 1999.

More recently the North Sea continental shelf has become a mix of energy resources, such as fossil fuels, wind and developments in wave power. The UK, along with Norway, are the largest holders of oil reserves in their respective licences.

IOG’s most exciting prospect is the Harvey Appraisal well, located at the heart of their core asset base in the Southern North Sea, with more than a 60% chance of success, results should be known in two months. Harvey has the potential to be the largest gas discovery in the company portfolio and could significantly enhance the economics of IOG’s Southern North Sea business.

About the advantages of exploring in the North Sea, Hockey says, ‘As an area of the North Sea, the Southern North Sea is probably the most benign to operate in. Water depths are relatively shallow therefore decommissioning liabilities are relatively low. You can use jack-up rigs so it’s fairly simple to operate. You are not far from shore. So, you have many things in your favor in terms of minimizing the execution risk of actually getting things done at the Southern gas place.”

Hockey believes that the Harvey well could deliver 85–199 bcf of gas for IOG: “Harvey could be a major catalyst for the business.”

Follow us on @Cassiopeia_ltd and @_FinancialFox for more smart investment tips to come. Stay tuned!

Rockhopper Exploration: Is The ‘Love’ Returning?

Originally published at http://rockhopperexplorationisthelovereturning.home.blog on September 19, 2017.

Rockhopper Exploration is a well-funded AIM listed full-cycle E&P company with its heart in two places: the Falklands islands (RKH 2010 Sea Lion Discovery & Development story with significant upside) and the Greater Med’ (Recent revenue and cash flow story with upside associated)

Share price: 23.50

RKH’s half-year results published last week have been glossed over by investors who still believe nothing is going to happen here anytime soon or before 2018. However, as we all know in investing, the best time to back a company is when the stock is not hot. It would appear that solid, dormant stock can yield big rewards when it wakes up. Sound Energy (SOU) is an example of a re-rate after their Moroccan Discovery, although the re-rate is usually accompanied by lots of news.

The stock fell from 38.50 mid-2016 to 18.50p in August this year and is now back up, trading at over 23p. Bear in mind that it was trading above 150p in 2014 and even higher before, during the Golden Age for Oil. The fall in the share price was clearly correlated to the oil price volatility, which dropped significantly over the last 3/5 years. It’s important to understand the complexities of this fall from grace which was exacerbated by the presence of an institutional seller, which has now been cleared.

https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/CL1:COM

Evident signs of RKH resurrection are all there (see Half year report-Highlight):

  • Material increase in production & revenues
  • operating and general/administrative costs both down
  • Sales of Italian projects and new venture opportunities (corporate activity)

In his recent Presentation at Proactive Oil Capital, CEO and co-founder Sam Moody outlined RKH strategy over the next 12–18 months with priority to progress on the Sea Lion development.

“The Sea Lion project is our primary focus now as we aim to be in a position to sanction the project during 2018.”

The company is focused on progressing Sea Lion in the Falklands, described as “one of the big 5 biggest nondeep water discoveries,” and “a well-appraised and world-class material asset”, which has an expected sanction in 2018. Confidence in the project has increased, particularly with the operator Premier Oil (PMO) — RKH 40% stake & PMO holds 60% — also concentrating on its debt renegotiations and both parties now working on a funding package comprised of senior debt financing from Export Credit Agency (ECA) ($800 million ~£605.5 million) and vendor financing ($400m).

How profitable is Sea Lion?

We must remember that Sea Lion was independently audited by ERCE (May 2016) to contain over half a billion barrels of recoverable oil as best estimate, with upside to 900mmboe in the already discovered reserves base: low-risk upside, and those are recoverable oil numbers. Next door to Sea Lion, in the relatively low-risk near- field exploration prospect, there are between 200,000 or 500,000mln, a clear case of exploration upside.

Let’s not forget that Rockhopper has an excellent track record of finding oil in this space. The company has up to today drilled about 12 wells in the Sea Lion area, 10 of which have been successful. Phase III of which RKH has a greater ownership than Sea Lion also has the potential to be another 1bn barrel discovery, although issues with the blow out preventer on the Eirik Raude rig prevented this from being properly extrapolated into ERCE’s figures.

Developing Sea Lion

The Front-End Engineering Design, (FEED) which is the basic engineering which comes after the Conceptual design or Feasibility study for the Sea Lion Phase 1 project was largely completed in 2016 with expected capex to fall from $1.8 billion to $1.5 billion, with life of field costs now reduced to $35/barrel.

The field will be developed in, at least, 2 phases: the first phase will target 220mmboe recoverable and the second phase at about 300mmboe recoverable. Both Rockhopper and Premier are also in negotiations with the Falklands Islands Government (FIG) regarding the fiscal, environmental and regulatory matters associated with the project. We should hear from them after the general election on 9 November 2017. Those elements would make the project more attractive to potential farm-in partners, which we know is part of the strategy.

Greater Mediterranean pays the bills

Rockhopper’s Med’ portfolio, which comprises interests in Egypt and Italy, has been crucial for the company as it provides operational cash flows which are covering H1 G&A costs.

Egypt (acquired cheaply in mid-2016) has provided stable production and cash flow to continue in H2. Italy has been a slower. The Guendalina field in North Adriatic, ENI operator (320boe/d), which although entering in the decline phase, still provides significant cash flow over the medium term; Civita (130boe/d) will be sold to Cabot Energy (CAB LN) with a deal to be completed towards the end of 2017. Ombrina Mare has been a “pain in the ass, “ and RKH has commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Italian authorities. The arbitration could provide significant value in recovering considerable monetary damages.

The upside in the Italian portfolio is in Monte Grosso in southern Italy, which is the largest undrilled onshore project in Western Europe. The asset could be a potential company maker with a 1 in 4/5 Chance of Success (COS) and 250M barrels of recoverable oil. RKH has a 23% interest with partners ENI and Total.

Strong balance sheet to support growth

Amid a volatile and challenging oil market, the strength of RKH is its strong balance sheet with US$62.5 million cash in the bank and no debt, which can cover H2 capex and give the flexibility to bring in new assets which can add production and enhance cash flow It has been stated that “multiple” material new ventures are also under review and, with the current privileged financial position, RKH is definitely well-positioned to strike a great deal.

Market Guru Zak Mir’s Verdict

Rockhopper (RKH): 35p Broadening Triangle Target

Although the fundamentals of Rockhopper have been testing the patience of investors for quite some time, it would appear that the log jam in terms of the price has finally been broken. This is said not only in the wake of the push back above the main 17p — 20p 2017 support zone, but also above the 200 day moving average now at 22.14p.

The fact that this recovery of the 200 day line has occurred via an unfilled gap to the upside suggested significant positive momentum, and most likely a bear squeeze. All of this could possibly take the stock as high as 35p over the next 3–4 months, which is the top of a broadening triangle that can be drawn in from as long ago as the beginning of the year. Only a weekly close back below 20p would really cast lasting doubt on the recovery argument here at Rockhopper. The gap higher through the 200 day moving average hints that a seller has been cleared.

City Oil Guru Malcolm Graham-Wood from Malcy’s Blog more positive on RKH “Rockhopper has always been a bit of a slow burner regarding recommendation as repeatedly mentioned in justifying bucket list inclusion, but now I do think that things are on the move and, if the current discussions on financing prove successful, then maybe we are closer to pressing the go button.” Peel Hunt upgrade with target price to 40p (from 25p)

Mid Cap City Broker Peel Hunt has recently upgraded its RKH valuation based on the confidence in a funding package secured for the Sea Lion development in the near term, as well on the general reduction of costs and risk. “In our view, the market has not yet fully appreciated how advanced these discussions are and the potential for the project to make meaningful progress over the next 12 months. Therefore, Rockhopper has remained overlooked and we believe the shares represent a significant opportunity at current levels. We upgrade our recommendation to Buy and set our target price at 40p, a 40% discount to Risked NAV. “

The upside at the current trading price of 23p could be significant. Reading Oil Analyst reports, it is clear that Sea Lion is not included in the share price as there is still uncertainty around when Premier will press the button on production. It might be a slow burner, as Malcy said, but when it comes to the boil, all looks highly promising, with share prices likely to rocket.

WATCH THIS SPACE and AWAIT NEWS

Life as a cyborg: Discovering a new reality with artificial senses

Technology is an all-pervasive phenomenon in today’s modern world, and we, as a society, are under its clutches. Since the late 1970s, continuous efforts are being made to come up with innovations in the field of technology that can aid in human functioning. Terms like machine learning and artificial intelligence have become the key jargon of contemporary times, having a huge influence on social evolution and challenge our imagination with ideas that once seemed impossible. One such phenomenon is cyborg art or cyborgism, which has become a reality among us.

The origin of the term ‘cyborg’, which is a shortened version of ‘cybernetic organism’, can be traced back to 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S Kline coined it. It denotes any organism having body parts that are both organic and biomechatronic. The cyborg art movement is one where the artists express themselves through the creation of new senses or extending their senses beyond the human physical boundaries by merging cybernetics with their own organism. By virtue of this artwork taking place inside the body of the cyborg artist, they are the only audience of their art.

The exponential growth of technologies integrated into human bodies is evident when just last month the technological mastermind, Elon Musk, disclosed the first details of an electronic brain implant developed by his company Neuralink, ‘to facilitate direct communications between people and machines.’

To get more insight into this subject, on the latest Cyborg Special episode on Financial Fox, host & presenter Stefania Barbaglio engages in a conversation with Barcelona based perceptual artist, Manel Muñoz, who is best known for developing and installing in his own body a cybernetic sensory organ that allows him to perceive the atmospheric changes from his surroundings. Manel Munoz talks about what inspired him to become a cyborg and an unusual way of feeling things around you and perceiving reality.

Muñoz explains how the process of understanding the relationship between the inputs received from the barometric organ and the actual weather conditions needs continuous learning over time, and for that reason, he calls these acquired senses as ‘artificial senses.’

Artificial senses are quite different than artificial intelligence, but they share the root of in-building technology into a process that is primarily human. The Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas led Cyborg Foundation created in 2010 clarifies the difference between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Artificial Senses (AS) in a simpler way, saying that the artificial senses happen when technology gathers the stimuli but the human creates the intelligence- as opposed to Artificial Intelligence where the machine itself creates the intelligence.

Cyborg Munoz says he can feel changes in the weather because of his artificial senses: ‘If the organ was giving me the weather forecast, this would be artificial intelligence, because I don’t need to think about what the forecast will be. But, in my case, I am using or I am having artificial sense because this is giving me like a new input that, maybe with experience, I will learn how the atmospheric pressure works and I will be able to learn and predict the weather,’

Harbisson and Ribas further explain how by designing new senses, our experience of reality becomes much deeper as it is through our senses itself that we perceive the world. That is why the Cyborg Foundation aims for Revealed Reality, and not Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality.

Unlike virtual reality, where things and scenarios are a projection and represent an unreal situation, revealed reality encompasses the perception of new dimensions and flows of energy that co-exist in our reality.

Thus, what the cybernetic organs and senses do is they help the cyborg artists in grasping an already existent reality around humans that is otherwise not possible to perceive because of the limitations of the biological body.

Applying this to his own case, Muñoz explains, ‘I am not inventing this atmospheric pressure around me. That already exists around me. But before having this new organ, I wasn’t able to perceive it in this way. So, I am just augmenting the boundaries of my body to be able to perceive more things that are already happening me. I am just reviewing my reality through this organ. Over time, I will be able to better interpret the inputs from my organs and ultimately fully develop a new sense. It is a learning progress also for me. Technology is helping me, it is not giving me answers.’

With technology growing through such massive leaps and bounds, and human beings getting increasingly attached to the idea of connecting everything to the internet, we can only sit back and wait to see what more the future has in store for us.

Follow us on @Cassiopeia_ltd and @_FinancialFox for more intriguing interviews. Stay tuned!

Rockhopper Exploration: Is The ‘Love’ Returning?

<head><title>Rockhopper Exploration: Is The ‘Love’ Returning? </title></head>

<div class=”entry-meta”><a class=”entry-date published”>September 19, 2017</a></div>

Rockhopper Exploration is a well-funded AIM listed full-cycle E&P company with its heart in two places: the Falklands islands (RKH 2010 Sea Lion Discovery & Development story with significant upside) and the Greater Med’ (Recent revenue and cash flow story with upside associated)

Market Cap: £107.39m

Share price: 23.50

RKH’s half-year results published last week have been glossed over by investors who still believe nothing is going to happen here anytime soon or before 2018. However, as we all know in investing, the best time to back a company is when the stock is not hot. It would appear that solid, dormant stock can yield big rewards when it wakes up. Sound Energy (SOU) is an example of a re-rate after their Moroccan Discovery, although the re-rate is usually accompanied by lots of news.

The stock fell from 38.50 mid-2016 to 18.50p in August this year and is now back up, trading at over 23p. Bear in mind that it was trading above 150p in 2014 and even higher before, during the Golden Age for Oil. The fall in the share price was clearly correlated to the oil price volatility, which dropped significantly over the last 3/5 years. It’s important to understand the complexities of this fall from grace which was exacerbated by the presence of an institutional seller, which has now been cleared.

Evident signs of RKH resurrection are all there (see Half year report-Highlight):

* Material increase in production & revenues

* operating and general/administrative costs both down

* Sales of Italian projects and new venture opportunities (corporate activity)

In his recent Presentation at Proactive Oil Capital, CEO and co-founder Sam Moody outlined RKH strategy over the next 12–18 months with priority to progress on the Sea Lion development.

“The Sea Lion project is our primary focus now as we aim to be in a position to sanction the project during 2018.”

The company is focused on progressing Sea Lion in the Falklands, described as “one of the big 5 biggest nondeep water discoveries,” and “a well-appraised and world-class material asset”, which has an expected sanction in 2018. Confidence in the project has increased, particularly with the operator Premier Oil (PMO) — RKH 40% stake & PMO holds 60% — also concentrating on its debt renegotiations and both parties now working on a funding package comprised of senior debt financing from Export Credit Agency (ECA) ($800 million ~£605.5 million) and vendor financing ($400m).

How profitable is Sea Lion?

We must remember that Sea Lion was independently audited by ERCE (May 2016) to contain over half a billion barrels of recoverable oil as best estimate, with upside to 900mmboe in the already discovered reserves base: low-risk upside, and those are recoverable oil numbers. Next door to Sea Lion, in the relatively low-risk near- field exploration prospect, there are between 200,000 or 500,000mln, a clear case of exploration upside.

Let’s not forget that Rockhopper has an excellent track record of finding oil in this space. The company has up to today drilled about 12 wells in the Sea Lion area, 10 of which have been successful. Phase III of which RKH has a greater ownership than Sea Lion also has the potential to be another 1bn barrel discovery, although issues with the blow out preventer on the Eirik Raude rig prevented this from being properly extrapolated into ERCE’s figures.

Developing Sea Lion

The Front-End Engineering Design, (FEED) which is the basic engineering which comes after the Conceptual design or Feasibility study for the Sea Lion Phase 1 project was largely completed in 2016 with expected capex to fall from $1.8 billion to $1.5 billion, with life of field costs now reduced to $35/barrel.

The field will be developed in, at least, 2 phases: the first phase will target 220mmboe recoverable and the second phase at about 300mmboe recoverable. Both Rockhopper and Premier are also in negotiations with the Falklands Islands Government (FIG) regarding the fiscal, environmental and regulatory matters associated with the project. We should hear from them after the general election on 9 November 2017. Those elements would make the project more attractive to potential farm-in partners, which we know is part of the strategy.

Greater Mediterranean pays the bills

Rockhopper’s Med’ portfolio, which comprises interests in Egypt and Italy, has been crucial for the company as it provides operational cash flows which are covering H1 G&A costs.

Egypt (acquired cheaply in mid-2016) has provided stable production and cash flow to continue in H2. Italy has been a slower. The Guendalina field in North Adriatic, ENI operator (320boe/d), which although entering in the decline phase, still provides significant cash flow over the medium term; Civita (130boe/d) will be sold to Cabot Energy (CAB LN) with a deal to be completed towards the end of 2017. Ombrina Mare has been a “pain in the ass, “ and RKH has commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Italian authorities. The arbitration could provide significant value in recovering considerable monetary damages.

The upside in the Italian portfolio is in Monte Grosso in southern Italy, which is the largest undrilled onshore project in Western Europe. The asset could be a potential company maker with a 1 in 4/5 Chance of Success (COS) and 250M barrels of recoverable oil. RKH has a 23% interest with partners ENI and Total.

Strong balance sheet to support growth

Amid a volatile and challenging oil market, the strength of RKH is its strong balance sheet with US$62.5 million cash in the bank and no debt, which can cover H2 capex and give the flexibility to bring in new assets which can add production and enhance cash flow It has been stated that “multiple” material new ventures are also under review and, with the current privileged financial position, RKH is definitely well-positioned to strike a great deal.

Market Guru Zak Mir’s Verdict

Rockhopper (RKH): 35p Broadening Triangle Target

Although the fundamentals of Rockhopper have been testing the patience of investors for quite some time, it would appear that the log jam in terms of the price has finally been broken. This is said not only in the wake of the push back above the main 17p — 20p 2017 support zone, but also above the 200 day moving average now at 22.14p.

The fact that this recovery of the 200 day line has occurred via an unfilled gap to the upside suggested significant positive momentum, and most likely a bear squeeze. All of this could possibly take the stock as high as 35p over the next 3–4 months, which is the top of a broadening triangle that can be drawn in from as long ago as the beginning of the year. Only a weekly close back below 20p would really cast lasting doubt on the recovery argument here at Rockhopper. The gap higher through the 200 day moving average hints that a seller has been cleared.

City Oil Guru Malcolm Graham-Wood from Malcy’s Blog more positive on RKH

“Rockhopper has always been a bit of a slow burner regarding recommendation as repeatedly mentioned in justifying bucket list inclusion, but now I do think that things are on the move and, if the current discussions on financing prove successful, then maybe we are closer to pressing the go button.”

Peel Hunt upgrade with target price to 40p (from 25p)

Mid Cap City Broker Peel Hunt has recently upgraded its RKH valuation based on the confidence in a funding package secured for the Sea Lion development in the near term, as well on the general reduction of costs and risk. “In our view, the market has not yet fully appreciated how advanced these discussions are and the potential for the project to make meaningful progress over the next 12 months. Therefore, Rockhopper has remained overlooked and we believe the shares represent a significant opportunity at current levels. We upgrade our recommendation to Buy and set our target price at 40p, a 40% discount to Risked NAV. “

The upside at the current trading price of 23p could be significant. Reading Oil Analyst reports, it is clear that Sea Lion is not included in the share price as there is still uncertainty around when Premier will press the button on production. It might be a slow burner, as Malcy said, but when it comes to the boil, all looks highly promising, with share prices likely to rocket.

WATCH THIS SPACE and AWAIT NEWS

Originally published at https://github.com.