Petrel Resources eyes opportunities in Iraq

Explorer focusing on offshore Ireland plans, Ghana deal and rebuilding Iraqi presence

Petrel Resources executive chairman John Teeling. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Petrel Resources executive chairman John Teeling. Photograph: Dave Meehan


Losses at Irish oil explorer Petrel Resources widened in the first half of the year, as the exploration group led by John Teeling welcomed on board a group of “substantial investors”.

In the six months to June 30th, the group reported no revenue, and a loss before tax of some €115,000, a little more than the €104,000 loss reported in the same period in 2018.

According to the company, its main focus in the period under review was on rebuilding its Iraqi presence, the Ghanaian Tano 2A block petroleum agreement, and the Irish Atlantic Porcupine Basin.

During the first six months of the year, Petrel brought on board an “influential group of substantial investors” for an initial 29.99 per cent of the enlarged share capital of the company, in order to strengthen its balance sheet. The net proceeds will be utilised to acquire and develop assets in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, and North Africa, while the group of new investors will nominate two directors with significant financial and hydrocarbon experience in the MENA region. These directors “may inject additional capital and projects on agreed terms,” Petrel said.

Private Member’s Bill

In Ireland, Petrel said that its anticipated multi-well drilling programme in the Irish Atlantic was delayed by a Private Member’s Bill hoping to ban future licence rounds and extensions. The Bill was subsequently rejected by the Government,“but there is no guarantee that a future government would not adopt a different approach,” Petrel said.

In Iraq, the company noted that the security situation had “dramatically improved since 2018”, and while “challenges remain”, the Iraqi government encourages international investors with Iraqi operating experience.

Petrel said that, along with its partners, in Ghana it is making “slow progress” with the authorities, although the company has now entered into discussions with prospective partners, whose resources may expedite the process.