Touchstone up 74% on Trinidad oil discovery

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Touchstone Exploration Inc. [TSP-TSX, LSE] shares jumped 74% in heavy trading Monday December 16 as investors reacted to news of what the company described as a significant onshore crude oil discovery in Trinidad and Tobago.

The company said the discovery was made on the Casadura-1ST1 well on the Ortoire exploration block, where case hold wireline logs have indicated significant prospective oil pay totaling 1,037 feet from 1,374 feet of gross sand.

Other highlights include 80 net feet of oil pay, which was encountered in the regional Lower Cruse sands at measured depths between 1,030 and 2,134 feet.

Touchstone is a Calgary-based company which is currently active on onshore properties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In Trinidad, the company’s interests in approximately 90,000 gross acres of exploration and development rights make Touchstone one of the largest independent onshore oil producers in Trinidad.

Touchstone holds over 8,700 working interest acres of onshore producing properties that have known crude oil reserves as well as over 55,000 exploration and undeveloped working interest acres that are being evaluated.

Its core focus is on developing production on its four onshore lease operatorship properties (Coora Block 1&2, WD-4 & WD-8) and its Fyzabad onshore property.

Touchstone shares rallied on the news of the Casadura oil find, jumping 74.5% or 17.5 cents to 41 cents on volume of 4.3 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 17.5 cents and 33.5 cents.

“The well results far exceed any pre-drill expectations,” said Touchstone President and CEO. Paul Baay. “This well is not only a significant discovery and milestone for Touchstone, but we believe it also establishes a new development stage for onshore drilling in Trinidad,” he said.

“In the new year, we expect to test each zone independently in order to better understand the economic potential of the prospective oil sands, and if the findings are positive, it will set up an expansive development drilling program in the area.”

As previously reported, the Cascadura-1ST1 exploration well (Touchstone is the operator and holds an 80% working interest. Heritage Petroleum Co. Ltd. holds a 20% working interest) was spud on October 4, 2019 using Well Services Petroleum Ltd. Rig #80. Heritage Petroleum is a Trinidad and Tobago stage-owned oil and gas company.

After encountering mechanical issues with the drilling rig, the well was sidetracked beneath surface casing and was drilled to a total measured depth of 6,350 feet (6,100 feet true vertical depth) on December 9, 2019.

The Cascadura 1ST1 well is the second of four minimum commitment earning exploration wells under Touchstone’s Ortoire Exploration and Production License.

The company expects to complete and test the Cascadura-1ST1 well in the first quarter of 2020.


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