Having great gas with exploration firm’s name

T5 Oil & Gas, the new African-focused exploration company backed by a number of senior Irish industry executives, is close to completing its €5 million fund raising. So what’s with the name?

It is, of course, a nod to the alma mater of its five founders, who were all previously at Tullow Oil in various capacities. The Tullow Five, geddit?

Pat Plunkett was, of course, previously the Tullow chairman, while Matt O'Donoghue, Steve McTiernan, Andrew Windham and Gerry Sheehan were all also previously senior executives with Ireland's most successful ever exploration outfit.

Word is that at one stage, the famous five considered calling the company T2, as in Tullow 2, but that was considered “too close to the bone” by some of those involved.


They had a tongue in cheek back-up explanation for the name, in case anyone anywhere gave them heat about the nod to Tullow – they considered telling people that they all regularly met in Terminal 5 (T5) at Heathrow airport. That excuse would never fly.

The fund-raising is being co-ordinated by Cathal Friel's Raglan Capital. Friel is, of course, chairman of Fastnet Oil & Gas, which held an informative media briefing on Wednesday about its plans for its assets in Morocco and the Celtic Sea offshore Ireland.

The most entertaining part of the briefing, conducted over a posh lunch in the Westbury, was the light-hearted Punch and Judy show that ensued between the smooth-talking financier Friel and the rather spikier Paul Griffiths, Fastnet's respected managing director and a proper exploration wonk.

They delighted in repeatedly chiming in on each other during the presentation. Friel, tongue in cheek of course, reckoned they sounded a bit like the two lads from Only Fools and Horses.

So, which of them is Del Boy, and who is Rodney?

Answers on a postcard to Fastnet’s head office.