Fastnet prepared to drill maiden well off the coast of Morocco next year

Irish exploration firm, Fastnet Oil & Gas is set to drill its maiden well — off the coast of Morocco — at the tail-end of next year.

Last month, the firm raised over €18m in a heavily oversubscribed share placing, in order to fund the Moroccan drilling programme.

Some of the proceeds were also earmarked for the company’s 3D seismic survey in the Celtic Sea, also scheduled for 2013.

Cathal Friel, Fastnet’s executive chairman, said yesterday that the last six months had been “a transformational period” for the company and its shareholders; adding the foundations of an oil and gas exploration firm had successfully been built.

“The company is now focused on delivering the next stage in the value- creating cycle through the drill bit,” he said.

The company should drill its first exploration well at its Foum Assaka asset, offshore Morocco in the fourth quarter of next year.

Yesterday saw the publication of Fastnet’s half-year results, for the six months to the end of September; showing a net loss of £1.5m (€1.84m); a figure largely seen as irrelevant at this early stage of the company’s life, by analysts.

“Of greater interest is the net cash position of £8.4m. We assumed net cash of £8.3m as of September and a full year outcome of £7.7m.

“Last month, however, Fastnet raised £15m by way of a placing and as a result is fully funded to meet all current licence commitments and obligations in both Morocco and Ireland,” noted Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Meanwhile, Dublin- based Petroneft Resources has updated on drilling activity at its Arbuzovskoye field in the Tomsk region of Russia. It said the fourth production well of a scheduled ten well programme has yielded an initial flow rate of 150 barrels of oil per day.

Current production at the company’s Licence 61 is running at 2,800 barrels of oil per day; compared to 2,500 last month.

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