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Petroceltic plan new bond offer for 2016


Brian O'Cathain

Brian O'Cathain

Brian O'Cathain

Irish oil and gas explorer Petroceltic, which yesterday launched a $175m bond issue to help fund its flagship $2bn project in Algeria, is expecting to launch a second, larger funding round late next year.

The Dublin-based company yesterday announced that it had made a loss of $282m (€254m) for the year to the end of December, up significantly from the loss of $19m the previous year. The bulk of the losses mainly related to exploration write-off of $183m due to unsuccessful wells in Kurdistan, Romania and Egypt and an impairment charge of $86m relating to the company's interests in Egypt.

The company also announced plans for a $175m bond issue which will mainly be used to fund its share of capital spending at its Ain Tsila gas project in Algeria. Capital expenditure is set to hit $2bn over the lifetime of the project.

While acknowledging he was disappointed with both the impairment and the write-offs, chief executive Brian O'Cathain pointed out that both had been flagged to the markets in advance of yesterday's announcement.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said that the bond issue went live yesterday and he expects it to be fully subscribed before the end of next month.

"We would expect to announce the bond closing before mid-July. That will get us towards the end of 2016 and then we will have to refinance again [via bond issue]," he said. "I can't say how much we will raise, it will depend, but it is fairly safe to assume that it will be a higher amount [than the current bond issue]."

Irish Independent