Tuesday 19 September 2017

Circle Oil assets sold as it enters administration

Circle Oil has no employees in Ireland, with the majority of the company's staff operating in the UK, Egypt and Morocco. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Circle Oil has no employees in Ireland, with the majority of the company's staff operating in the UK, Egypt and Morocco. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sean Duffy

Irish-registered oil and gas firm Circle oil has been placed into administration with the company's remaining €28m ($30m) in assets to be sold to SDX Energy.

PwC will oversee the administration process with the company's debt thought to be well in excess of the €30m figure.

A strategic review undertaken last year found that Circle had little chance of turning around its prospects after the fall in oil prices and problems with securing payment from an Egyptian partner.

The company was suspended from trading on the Alternative Investment Index in June of last year and was delisted in September.

"The group has suffered significant financial difficulties for some time in circumstances where the resource available to the company under its borrowing facilities was reducing, compounded by the declining production profile from a maturing asset base, continued late payments from EGPC and the continued low oil price environment," Circle Oil said in a statement.

EGPC is the state-owned Egyptian oil company that Circle had been supplying. Sources with knowledge of the situation told the Irish Independent that securing payment from EGPC had become increasingly difficult at a time when depressed oil prices were already putting pressure on the company's balance sheet.

Circle Oil has no employees in Ireland, with the majority of the company's staff operating in the UK, Egypt and Morocco.

The company has outstanding debts of $57.5m to IFC bank under a secured loan agreement and $20m is owed to KGL bank which is unsecured.

Staff in Egypt and Morocco will be retained by the new owner.

Irish Independent

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