Sound Oil’s Christmas Presents to Shareholders

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Three days before Christmas and Sound Oil plc (LSE:SOU) gave its shareholders its own version of presents, the capital markets way.

Whilst today’s announcement is not as explosive as finding a new reservoir of oil or gas within its many licences across Italy, it sure does give investors a boost to look forward to in the coming months – a good feeling just before the world celebrates one of the most popular holidays in the year.

There is something good about being able to provide your shareholders and potential investors on the seemingly little things that happen within your company. Sound Oil’s Chief Executive, James Parsons, is apparently aware of that and he understands that these (again, seemingly) little things push the company up, even only at a slow pace….for now.

By noon, London time, over 16 million shares of AIM-listed Sound Oil were traded, as they gained 5.7% to 0.925 pence. Sound Oil shares have historically traded heavily while getting modest gains, if you look at the nominal value. But that’s precisely why the stock is a favourite amongst investors.

But what exactly did Sound Oil say today?

In its flagship project, the company basically told the market ministry approval for the drilling of the Nervesa appraisal well is forthcoming and that it expects the well to be drilled by end of January.

However, a little teaser was added: “it has decided to maintain a 100% ownership position for the moment on this licence, despite recently having received various approaches and one firm (and attractive) offer.”

I am not about to speculate or give my two-cent’s worth of opinion that a feeling of a certain form of mind conditioning exists. But I got to hand it to whoever drafted the announcement. In customer service, that’s what you call added value.

On the Laura appraisal well, Sound Oil plans to drill an offshore reservoir through an onshore site, prompting the company to apply for an onshore licence to be combined with the existing offshore permit. I thought I haven’t heard anything like that. Has anyone has?

Sound Oil also said that the regional authorities granted exemption for an Environmental Impact Assessment approval for its Santa Maria Golleti Licence, fast tracking the awarding of permit by the first quarter of 2013.

“Santa Maria Goretti is one of the hidden gems in our portfolio and we are pleased that the Ministry has agreed to an accelerated award of this material exploration permit,” Mr. Parsons said.

Lastly, for its Rapagnano project, everything is still in place for first gas by the middle of January, despite some error in the language of the licence.

All four projects are wholly operated by Sound Oil.


Did those updates sound like they were seemingly little things? The answer will always be, “it depends”. As no one will ever know what will happen in the future, these statements from Sound Oil hold for now.

Now, I have to clearly state I neither promote the stock nor own shares in the company.  What I am merely trying to say is that, in the sensitive aspect of corporate communications, as well as good investor relations, it pays to let your shareholders know what progress has been achieved so they are made aware of the state of the company they own, at least for a tiny piece.

If these are not superseded before Christmas and Boxing Day, consider them Sound Oil’s holiday tidings. If none is released between that time and the New Year, then these become the New Year prediction:

“The first quarter of 2013 promises to be an exciting period in our company’s evolution.” – James Parsons, Chief Executive, Sound Oil plc

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