Hans Lovejoy & Chris Dobney
More than half a million shares in Metgasco held by its CEO, Peter Henderson, have been cancelled in what appears to be yet another blow for the beleaguered would-be gas miner.
In an announcement to the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange), the junior CSG explorer said 2,572,161 ordinary shares held by the CEO are ‘subject to a trading lock and performance hurdles.’
A total of 645,161 ordinary shares have been cancelled, and as for the ‘nature of the change’, ASX says the shares, ‘lapsed under the company’s employee and officers’ equity plan.’
With the company’s northern rivers CSG and tight-sands gas assets effectively mothballed, it appears the CEO failed to meet the necessary performance targets.
Following the cancellation, Mr Hendserson will continue to hold about two million shares in Metgasco, or slightly less than half of one per cent of the company.
Metgasco’s 444,000,000 shares were worth just four cents each as of January 15. They reached a peak in June 2008 at $1.277.
The price remains relatively flat despite Metgasco merging with Elk Petroleum on December 22 last year, giving the merged company a swag of shale-oil assets in the US.
At the time Metgasco promoted the diversification out of its northern rivers base as a boon for investors but the profitability of shale oil has been dramatically impacted by the world crash in oil prices orchestrated by OPEC.
As a result, critics have argued that Metgasco has simply saddled itself with more stranded assets.
Metgasco’s contentious Bentley exploration licence remains suspended despite the state government’s recent green light for its Casino CSG wells and Richmond Valley power plant projects.