Straight talking at Clontarf

Cantillon: Unloved exploration minnows need to deliver for shareholders

Clontarf Energy chairman John Teeling. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Clontarf Energy chairman John Teeling. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Clarity is not something that can always be taken for granted when working through the financial results of companies – listed or otherwise. Credit, then, to serial entrepreneur John Teeling.

Publishing figures for London AIM-listed Clontarf Energy showing another year with no revenues to say nothing of profits, Teeling noted that “investors in junior exploration shares have had a tough time in recent years”.

Indeed. He goes on to concede that the lack of buying interest in AIM-listed exploration ventures such as Clontarf has now extended to nine years – since the financial crash.

Still, the irrepressible Teeling is confident the cycle will turn and asserts Clontarf’s focus to be in a position to benefit when that happens. “Investors good enough, or lucky enough, to select the right vehicles will profit handsomely,” he predicts.

Lucky is right. The fortunes of exploration minnows in delivering investor returns in recent years is underwhelming, despite the continuing enthusiasm by Teeling and others for myriad oil, gas and commodity plays in far-flung places.

Clontarf’s main focus is on Ghana. Over the past seven years, progress has been interrupted by “disputes, discussions and resolutions” on a range of issues. Teeling notes that recent elections returned to power the party with which Clontarf has reached accord.

“We have good working relationships with politicians in this party,” he says. He better hope they last the distance.

In Peru, successive delays mean test drilling is unlikely before 2019, while three blocks it inherited in Bolivia have been nationalised and even the ebullient Teeling struggles to provide any grounds for optimism in the medium term.

Clontarf, says Teeling, has “ensured survival by maintaining their exploration interests and by raising new funds when available”.

To date that has worked but the share price is struggling for air. As a result, investors at Clontarf and other industry minnows will heartily endorse Teeling’s conclusion: “We need to reinvigorate the company.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.