Petroceltic drilling in Algeria to recommence

Development drilling is set to recommence at Petroceltic’s headline asset, the Ain Tsila gas field in Algeria, in the first quarter of next year, with the field expected to come on stream in 2018.

Petroceltic drilling in Algeria to recommence

Addressing shareholders at the Irish explorer’s AGM yesterday, chief executive Brian O’Cathain said the company is well positioned for growth, with activity planned across all of its main territories over the coming year.

Petroceltic is also considering further farm-out agreements over the medium-term at assets in Italy and Egypt. It is considering lowering its stake in the onshore Carisio Permit, in Italy from 47.5% to around 20% and lowering its 75% hold of a block in Egypt to around 50%. The company will also look over new blocks up for grabs offshore Ireland, but is unlikely to apply for any licences here.

Petroceltic’s contentious €100m share placing was approved at a separate EGM yesterday. The shake-up of its board — a condition agreed upon with main independent shareholder Swiss investment firm, Worldview Capital Management, in return for its backing of the raise — is expected to materialise short-term.

Petroceltic is also set to follow through on its previously stated aim of upping its London share listing from AIM to the main LSE exchange before the end of the year.

Updating shareholders further, Mr O’Cathain said that first payment from the firm’s second farm-out at Ain Tsila (Petroceltic now owns around 38% of the field) is due shortly.

The only resolution not to be passed at the AGM was the motion to remove shareholder pre-emption rights, which allow for newly issued shares to be offered to existing investors ahead of new ones.

While the motion received over 58% backing, it required a 75% approval rate to be passed.

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