Pre-tax losses widen at Petroceltic

Exploration firm chief executive says H1 drilling limited due to unsuccessful wells

Petroceltic chief executive Brian O’Cathain said exploration drilling activity during the first half of the year was limited to  unsuccessful wells in Bulgaria and Egypt

Petroceltic chief executive Brian O’Cathain said exploration drilling activity during the first half of the year was limited to unsuccessful wells in Bulgaria and Egypt

 

Pre-tax losses at exploration firm Petroceltic International widened to $5 million (€3.79 million) in the first half of the year, despite soaring revenues.

The Dublin-based oil and gas firm lost $5 million in the first half of the year, compared to a loss of $3.2 million in the same period last year.

Revenues meanwhile increased from $291,000 in the first six months of last year to $103.7 million in the first half of this year.

“From an operational perspective, the business performed largely in line with expectations, despite occasionally challenging conditions and political transition in some of our areas of operation,” chief executive Brian O’ Cathain said.

He said exploration drilling activity during the first half of the year was limited to the unsuccessful Kamchia well in Bulgaria and the Mesaha-1 well in Egypt.

However, the second half of the year will see a significant acceleration of activity, with the drilling of some of our most important high-impact prospects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Romania.

“We are now entering a period of potentially transformational exploration activity with high impact drilling campaigns in Kurdistan and Romania,” he said.

The exploration firm has secured $500 million in refinancing in a deal led by HSBC and the IFC.

The money replaces a $300 million (€227 million) 18-month facility provided to the Dublin and London listed firm last year to support the takeover of Melrose Resources.

The loan has a maximum term of seven years, and can be drawn down to support existing business, planned developments and potential acquisitions.

Petroceltic has forecast a production range of 24 to 25.5 thousand barrels of oil equivalents per day for 2013.