Monday 16 July 2018

Irish oil veterans launch pre-IPO roadshow

Oil prices rose yesterday on supply disruption in Canada, falling US crude stocks, uncertainty over Libyan exports and US demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude from November (stock picture)
Oil prices rose yesterday on supply disruption in Canada, falling US crude stocks, uncertainty over Libyan exports and US demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude from November (stock picture)

Gavin McLoughlin, Business News Editor

T5 Oil & Gas has kicked off an investor roadshow ahead of a potential stock market listing in Dublin and London.

The company has had preliminary meetings with a number of potential institutional investors as it seeks to advance towards a flotation later this year.

The company, set up by a group of Tullow Oil veterans, has recently taken a stake in an asset in the central African country of Gabon.

Shareholders had previously been told that the company wanted to invest more than $30m in the asset out of the proceeds of a stock market listing.

The asset is already producing oil and the company will look to ramp up production.

Any additional funds raised may be directed towards acquiring new assets as T5 seeks to achieve its stated ambition of "building a publicly-listed billion-dollar Africa and Middle East E&P [exploration and production] company".

A listing, which T5 has long been looking to achieve, will also give shareholders extra liquidity. The company plans to list on the AIM market in London and on the Enterprise Securities Market in Dublin.

It has also been active in Senegal in west Africa. T5 is led by executive chairman Pat Plunkett, who was the chairman of Tullow Oil between 2000- 2011.

Other ex-Tullow figures involved in setting up the company include Gerry Sheehan, who was previously an international exploration manager at Tullow.

Matthew O'Donoghue, a former director of international operations at Tullow, and Andrew Windham, the former Tullow managing director for Africa, were also involved.

The strategy of focusing on Africa and the Middle East may bear more fruit for T5 then focusing on its home market of Ireland, with industry veteran John Teeling warning recently that "Ireland is no longer welcoming" for oil exploration.

Big companies' interest in investing in Irish oil exploration has waned, and the recent ban on onshore fracking, as well as attempts by the Green Party to ban new offshore exploration licences, were part of a toxic cocktail that put investors off, Mr Teeling warned in an update to investors in London-listed Petrel Resources.

That has not stopped Providence Resources, which is chaired by Mr Plunkett and run by Tony O'Reilly Jnr, from concluding a long-awaited farm-out agreement on its Barryroe prospect. The company is advancing towards drilling after reaching a deal with a Chinese business.

Oil prices rose yesterday on supply disruption in Canada, falling US crude stocks, uncertainty over Libyan exports and US demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude from November.

"Fundamentals still remain favourable for oil prices to rise over the next six months," said BNP Paribas senior oil strategist Harry Tchilinguirian. "We would not be surprised if Brent were to trade once again above $80 a barrel," he added.

The US has told countries to stop importing Iranian oil from November, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on the Islamic Republic.

Trying to make up for disrupted supply, Opec said last week it would increase oil output.

Saudi Arabia plans to pump a record 11 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, up from 10.8 million bpd in June, an industry source familiar with Saudi plans told Reuters on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting Reuters)

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