We are here today with Tosan Omatsola, President & CEO of Westbridge Energy Corp. (TSX:V.WEB, Stock Forum).
Can you tell us about Westbridge and how it was formed?
The current management team and board of Westbridge assumed responsibility for the company in 2011. Upon taking the helm, our team leveraged our strong relationships in Africa to consolidate an asset position offshore Namibia, in the heart of an emerging oil play with billion barrel potential. Fast forward several years, our team has again reshaped the company with a recently completed acquisition of multiple US oil and gas projects, and an option to participate in targets generated from 100,000 linear miles of 2D seismic licensed from ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM
, Stock Forum
Together, Westbridge is now an exploration and production company with a diverse portfolio of assets and underpinned by a massive amount of drill targets and a management with experience at major oil companies and leading advisory and investment firms.
You signed an agreement with Black Pearl Holdings, LLC in the last quarter of 2013, tell us about it and how it fits into your business strategy moving forward?
The recent transaction with Black Pearl provides the company a strong foothold in the US, one of the hottest energy markets in the world with significant pools of capital available to further advance projects. It’s not a very well-kept secret that the valuations of Canadian E&P companies are dismal in comparison to their US peers. This is the reason why Westbridge has secured an asset position in the US and intends to complete a US listing to arbitrage these valuations, once sufficient scale and production have been achieve.
This presents a considerable opportunity for an investor to gain access to an aggressive production and reserve growth plan at a discounted valuation, and arbitrage the valuation differences between capital markets. I think people are going to be really impressed to watch our team execute this strategy. We have the right assets and the right skill sets to make it happen.
What differentiates Westbridge from other oil and gas exploration and production companies?
I am generally a conservative person, but I am going to make a bold statement. I firmly believe Westbridge is one of the most unique and undervalued oil and gas investment opportunities in the market today.
I say this for several reasons - 1) we have an option to participate in over 500 drill targets generated from data leased from the largest oil and gas company in the world, ExxonMobil – I challenge anyone to show me a junior E&P company with anything close, 2) we have a truly balanced portfolio of assets spanning proven producing, proven non-producing, advanced stage exploration and early stage exploration – I firmly believe our share appreciation potential vastly surpasses our share depreciation potential due to the diversification of risk and preservation of production and discovery upside, and 3) our board, management team and technical partners have the perfect combination of expertise to build a large oil and gas company – this includes extensive oil and gas experience in the specific regions where we hold acreage and corporate financial experience enabling us to structure, finance and execute transactions.
Tell us about your flagship project and what do you think you can do with your projects over time? What would the goals for them be?
I wouldn’t say we have one flagship project. What we do have is a diverse portfolio of oil and gas assets with different risk and return profiles.
We have the potential to considerably increase production and reserves from multiple assets in the near and long term. Specifically, we think Bivens Field has the potential to produce upwards of 4,000 boepd at full production, Wharton Field has the potential to produce upwards of 1,500 boped at full production, the Lavaca County Project has the potential to open a completely new play trend with the ability to reshape the landscape of oil & gas production in the Gulf Coast states, and offshore Namibia has billion barrel discovery potential.
It is really quite an impressive proposition when you take a step back and consider the potential. Ultimately, our goal is to sell individuals assets at the time our objectives have been accomplished or the company, subject to the liquidity event and plan that will generate the greatest return for shareholders.
What are the catalysts for Westbridge to move forward?
We have many catalysts that we believe will move the stock including: the increase of production at Bivens Field due to the reworking existing wells, spudding and completion of a well at Wharton Field, acquisition of leases at the Lavaca County Project and completion of a resource report, the merger with Black Pearl Holdings, and the farm-down of our Namibian assets. Suffice it to say, we have a lot happening in the next 6 months or so.
Who are the key members of your team? Can you give us a sense of their background in the oil and gas sector?
We have a really great combination of skill sets at Westbridge, both technical and financial. We also have a very active board and US technical partners. Instead of listing everyone, I’ll give your readers a high level overview. The team has been involved in billions of barrels of oil discoveries in the Gulf Coast and internationally as well as completed billions of dollars of M&A and financing transactions. Certain members of our team were also involved with UNX Energy, which was sold to a group out of Brazil for $730m. A lot of people made a lot of money on that deal. At the end of the day, I believe that you will be surprised by our market cap if you take the bios of our team and lay them on a table.
Tosan Omatsola, President and CEO
Tosan Omatsola is President and CEO of Westbridge. Mr. Omatsola is an exploration and development Geoscientist and has over 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He has extensive international technical experience with Ivanhoe Energy, Rowena Energy, British Petroleum, Texaco (now Chevron) and United Oil and Gas Ltd. Mr. Omatsola holds a bachelor's degree from the Colorado School of Mines in Geological Engineering and a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma in Geology.
Disclosure: Westbridge Energy Corp. is a Stockhouse client.