Fastnet raises over €18m for Moroccan drilling programme

Fastnet Oil & Gas has managed to raise about £15m (€18.6m) in fresh funding via a heavily oversubscribed share placing.

The Dublin-head-quartered exploration firm — which is dually listed in London and Dublin and has assets in the Celtic Sea and off the coast of Morocco — had initially been hopeful of raising between £10m and £12m through a placing of shares at around 17p.

However, high demand has seen the company raise £15m through a placing of 68m shares — to a mix of existing and new investors — at a price of 22p per share. The placing boosts Fastnet’s market capitalisation from £51m to £60.3m.

Of the new share buyers, about 60% are new investors. The company has targeted investors with specific knowledge of its sector and the new investors include one Boston-based $1.6bn oil and gas fund making its first investment in an Irish firm, and at least one Swiss- based fund.

Most of the new proceeds will be used by Fastnet to fund its Moroccan drilling programme, planned for the second half of next year.

However, some money is likely to go towards its planned 3D seismic survey for the Celtic Sea; a farm-in partner for which is due to be unveiled early next year. Fastnet is currently talking to two potential partners for the record-sized 2,500sq km survey.

Fastnet’s chairman, Cathal Friel, said the success of the placing is a testament to the company’s asset portfolio, management team, and progress since floating last June. He said with the new money, Fastnet will be able to execute its strategy of maturing its enlarged licence areas “to a point at which it can secure shareholder value through the support of future potential farm-in partners”.

Meanwhile, Irish mining company Ormonde updated on progress at its headline Barruecopardo tungsten mine in Spain; saying it has received indicative joint- venture offers for the project from “potential industry partners”.

The company has also said project financing terms have progressed.

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