Slick result for Teeling in oil exploration row

Petrel Resources and Clontarf Energy believed they were awarded a licence . . .

John Teeling: veteran warhorse of the Irish exploration industry. Photograph: Dave Meehan

John Teeling: veteran warhorse of the Irish exploration industry. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Companies connected to John Teeling, the veteran warhorse of the Irish exploration industry, are close to sealing a peace treaty with authorities in the global exploration hotspot of Ghana.

Petrel Resources and Clontarf Energy believed they were awarded a licence four years ago to hunt for oil in the Tano offshore block, and spent $2 million on preparatory work. Recently, the Ghanaian authorities awarded another licence covering part of the same block to a US company, Camac, run by a well-connected US-Nigerian businessman, Kase Lawal. The Irish investors were understandably upset at the encroachment.

Cue a big row. David Horgan, the Robin to Teeling’s Batman, has spent much of his time recently in the African country trying to sort it all out.

Kawal should be familiar to those brave souls who watch the Irish exploration industry. He was once a backer of the ill-fated Irish outfit Tuskar Resources, which went into liquidation in 2001 after a dispute over a Nigerian oil well. Teeling was a shareholder in Tuskar too. Small world.

Camac’s board is stuffed with heavy hitters, including former US energy secretary Hazel O’Leary and former Shell Oil president John Hofmeister.

Kawal also has links to Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa.

Teeling’s companies have struck a bargain with the Ghanaian authorities to end a court case aimed at stopping the Camac deal, in return for a redrafting of Tano’s boundaries to accommodate them on an adjacent piece of territory.

Camac will keep its piece of the pie. Petrel and Clontarf will just move up in the bed a little to make room for it. “It’ll be a good settlement, if everyone sticks to it,” said a hopeful Teeling. The measure still needs parliamentary approval.

Meanwhile, a measly two independent shareholders showed up yesterday at the agm of another Teeling outfit, Connemara Mining. “And one of them turns up at every agm in town,” laughed Teeling.

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