Wednesday 21 March 2018

Petrel pins hopes on Irish exploration as it makes €148,000 operating loss

Chairman John Teeling
Chairman John Teeling

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish oil and gas firm Petrel Resources has said that its immediate future is tied to exploration off the Irish coast as losses narrowed slightly in the six months to the end of June.

In an interim statement published yesterday, the AIM-listed company saw operating losses narrow to €148,000 compared to €229,000 during the same period last year.

Costs during the two periods were entirely made up of operating expenses. Losses per share also narrowed slightly from 23 cent per share in the first six months of 2014 to 15 cent per share.

Petrel made an operating loss of just under €3m last year. Most of this was attributable to a €2.5m impairment charge booked against the company's assets in Iraq, the value of which the firm decided to reduce to nil due to the political instability in the country.

Although it has interests in both Ghana and Iraq, Petrel is unlikely to make headway with development in either location in the immediate future.

This is due to instability in Iraq and an ongoing court case in Ghana regarding a disputed exploration licence. The company is now firmly focusing on developing its Irish assets.

The firm has a 15pc interest in two offshore Irish blocks in the Porcupine Basin and is carried by its partner in the venture, Australian company Woodside Energy, through the initial exploration programmes.

Woodside is expected to undertake a 3D seismic acquisition programme in 2016 to better identify possible resources. Petrel has also applied for three packages of acreage in the Atlantic Margin Licensing Round which closed earlier this month.

Chairman John Teeling said: "The immediate future for Petrel is tied to offshore Ireland. Our current partner is likely to be active in the Atlantic over the next two years." Petrel shares were flat in London trading yesterday at 2.50 pence a share.

Irish Independent

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