Petroceltic reports $19m loss, raises $100m from share placing

Loss comes after a $37m exploration write-off from unsuccessful wells in Egypt, Bulgaria and Russia

Petroceltic chief executive Brian O’Cathain

Petroceltic chief executive Brian O’Cathain


Dublin-based oil and gas explorer Petroceltic has raised $100 million (€72.9 million) from a share placing with a number of institutional investors.

It placed 37.9 million shares at a price of 157 pence (192 cents) each, a premium to the previous day’s closing price.

The additional funds are to be used to fund development opportunities across Petroceltic’s existing portfolio and through new ventures, the firm said.

Investment company Dovenby Capital subscribed for around $50 million (€36.4 million) of the placed shares, giving it an 8.88 per cent stake in Petroceltic once the process is completed.

“The proceeds of this placing will provide the company with the financial flexibility to undertake all its currently planned exploration programmes, continue the current pace of progress on the Isarene PSC pending completion of the second farmout to Sonatrach and to maintain an appropriate balance of debt and equity funding within the business,” said chief executive Brian O’Cathain in a statement.

The group also announced a $19 million (€13.8 million) loss for the year to the end of December following an exploration write-off of $37 million (€26.9 million) from unsuccessful wells in Egypt, Bulgaria and Romania.

Petroceltic reported production of 25.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) with 20.4 million from Egypt and 4.8 million from Bulgaria.

It said it achieved revenues of $197 million from its operations in Egypt and a further $82 million from Bulgaria.

Net debt rose to $246 million from $213 million at the end of 2012.

Davy Research said in a note to investors that despite the $37 million write-off, Petroceltic’s full-year results were in line with expectations.

Davy has left its 2014 and 2015 forecasts for Petroceltic unchanged but did note that first-quarter production levels have been running considerably higher than the full-year guidance.