Petrel Resources plans to expand exploration on several fronts
PETREL Resources, the Irish exploration firm chaired by entrepreneur John Teeling, expects the pace of activity at its operations in Ireland, Iraq and Ghana to accelerate next year.
Releasing an interim report yesterday, Petrel said steps were being taken to expedite licences at onshore and offshore exploration blocks in Ghana, while the company is continuing to process data from offshore blocks in Ireland to identify further targets for analysis.
"The last 10 months have been a period of rapid progress and share-price appreciation for Petrel Resources," said Mr Teeling.
"We now have momentum, good partners in Ireland and Iraq and plans to drive forward."
Petrel has been steadily increasing its exposure to Iraq. It acquired a 20pc stake in Amira Hydrocarbons Wasit, a company which owns a 25pc stake in oil and gas exploration licences in the Wasit province of central Iraq. The ultimate operator and funder of the Wasit work programme is Canada's Oryx Petroleum.
"This strategic partnership strengthens Petrel's position in Iraq, where it has had a presence since 1999, and allows it to benefit from Amira Industries' reputation and local capability," said Petrel.
Australia's largest gas exporter, Woodside, has farmed in to Petrel's acreage in the Porcupine Basin off the west coast of Ireland. Woodside will become the operator and 85pc owner of the blocks.
Petrel said the work programme required under its two existing licences in the Irish Atlantic Margin was completed in July. It said those conclusions were "encouraging".
"The seismic database has responded well to analysis and further reprocessing and a more detailed programme of fresh 3D seismic is now technically justified," said Petrel.
The company made a pre-tax loss of €247,000 in the first half of the year, virtually unchanged compared to the first six months of 2012.
Its shares closed down over 7pc in London yesterday.