Saturday 27 May 2017

Petroceltic receives €79m from sale of stake in gas field

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

PETROCELTIC International, a Dublin-based company that looks for oil in Algeria, Italy and Kurdistan, said it has now received $103m (€78.6m) from the sale of a stake in a gas field in southern Algeria.

Petroceltic sold an 18.3pc stake in the Ain Tsila gas field to Italy's ENEL. The farm-out deal was announced last April and was completed early this month.

Petroceltic saw shares decline last year as doubts mounted about the sale.

Petroceltic later borrowed $30m from Macquarie Bank to ensure that the company had enough money to fund further drilling. That debt has since been fully repaid, Petroceltic said yesterday.

Balance sheet

"The early payment of cash and consequent debt retirement completely removes all balance-sheet issues for Petroceltic," Davy Stockbrokers said yesterday in a note to clients.

Shares advanced one cent, or 11pc, to 10c in Dublin yesterday to give the company a market capitalisation of €247m.

Petroceltic may receive further payments worth as much as €75m later this year under the arrangement.

The Dublin-based company remains operator of the permit with a 57pc stake. Algerian state oil company Sonatrach owns 25pc.

The completed deal "ensures that Petroceltic is fully funded beyond the end of the current year", Goodbody Stockbrokers said yesterday.

Irish Independent

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