Saturday 24 March 2018

Petroceltic suffers $19m loss after write-off

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

EXPLORATION firm Petroceltic lost $19m (€14m) last year after writing off $37m (€27m) due to unsuccessful wells in Egypt, Bulgaria and Romania.

Shares in the London and Dublin-listed company remained stable yesterday as the firm revealed revenue of $197m, which supported a capital programme of $161m across six countries.

Petroceltic also announced plans to raise $100m (€73m) to expand exploration activity in Egypt and Kurdistan by placing 37.9 million shares on the market for new and existing investors.

Chairman Robert Adair said results demonstrated its ability to operate as a full cycle oil and gas company with a balanced portfolio and clear focus.

"We have undertaken a successful refinancing, negotiated our second farm out in Algeria, and secured prospective new acreage," he said in the company's interim statement."

Petroceltic International, which employs 160 full-time staff worldwide, said there will be further drilling in Kurdistan and Romania later this year, and "front-end engineering and design" will commence for its Ain Tsila field in Algeria.

"In addition, the move to the main markets of the London and Irish stock exchanges will broaden the range of current and potential future investors in the company,," Mr Adair added.

Analysts said the equity raise would bridge expenditure until the Algerian farm-out is officially ratified, finance cost over-runs in Kurdistan and Egyptian exploration works.

Irish Independent

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