Business Irish

Thursday 12 December 2019

Skellig oil block owner targeted in €8m takeover

There could be 1.1bn barrels of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas at the Skellig block.
There could be 1.1bn barrels of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas at the Skellig block.
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Canadian oil firm Antrim Energy, which owns 25pc of an offshore exploration block in Ireland that's predicted to hold as much as 1.1bn barrels of oil, is being targeted in a takeover offer by UK-based Sound Oil.

AIM-listed Sound Oil is tabling a £6.3m (€8m) offer for Antrim Energy, whose market capitalisation has fallen below its net cash position.

Sound Oil maintained that this has created a situation where Antrim is incurring ongoing costs that represent a "disproportionate and unsustainable share" of Antrim's market capitalisation, and "reduced appeal and credibility" for Antrim as a standalone investment proposition.

It also insisted that there is a "geographic disconnect" between Antrim's Calgary-based management team and its European assets.

Antrim Energy owns 25pc of the Skellig exploration block off the south-west of Ireland. US-based Kosmos Enery owns the remainder.

Results of a 3D survey of the area released during the summer showed that, on the most optimistic forecast, there could be 1.1bn barrels of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas at the Skellig block.

Even on a "best estimate" basis, it's reckoned there could be 260m barrels of oil and 4.7 trillion cubic feet of gas.

By comparison, the Corrib field has about one trillion cubic feet of gas. It's due to be operational next year.

Irish Independent

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