The Star Malaysia - StarBiz
Velesto buoyed by new Hess contract
PETALING JAYA: Velesto Energy Bhd has plenty of work lined up for next year after winning a new contract last week, while it still renegotiates its two-year umbrella contract daily charter rate (DCR) with PETRONAS.
Velesto last week won a new contract from Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia BV worth Us$135mil (Rm619mil), which will bode well for the group.
The work lined up for next year could help it achieve a minimum utilisation rate of 70% to 80% if all the available days are filled.
It is also seen as a potential re-rating catalyst with strong upcoming third quarter 2022 (3Q22) and 4Q22 financial results, said CGSCIMB Research.
The new contract from Hess is for an integrated rig, drilling and completion (I-RDC) work scope for Hess’s North Malay Basin Full Field Development Campaign, in offshore Terengganu.
Velesto will use the Naga 5 jack-up rig (JU) for the drilling portion of the contract, which CGSCIMB Research expects to last one-and-a-half years from late-october 2022 to late-april 2024. The I-RDC contract is significant for Velesto for three reasons, said CGS-CIMB Research.
The JU contract is its first long-term contract since the three-year Carigali-hess contract in 2019.
The rate being paid for the daily charter is significantly ahead of its own average. The contract is the first for Velesto where it is taking on the role of project manager to manage other contractors, in addition to Velesto’s own drilling services for those 14 wells, it said.
Based on the developments, the house raised its core net profit forecasts on higher utilisation and DCR rate assumptions for the immediate and also for the long term.
CGS-CIMB Research also retains its “add” call with a higher discounted cash flow-based target price of 17 sen per share as it expects Velesto to secure more drilling contracts and at a higher DCR in the coming months.
However, the downside risks cited include Velesto’s operating cost inflation could accelerate in the quarters ahead as rig utilisation in Malaysia, South-east Asia, Middle East and India increases and the shortage of trained crew members becomes more acute.