Fastnet to expand asset portfolio

Fastnet Oil and Gas has said it is "very possible" it will expand its asset portfolio over the next 12 months, with it currently actively reviewing opportunities in eastern Africa.

Fastnet to expand asset portfolio

The Dublin-based explorer — which has prospects in the Celtic Sea as well as on and offshore Morocco — also said yesterday that its planned farm-out deals for both Celtic Sea and onshore Moroccan assets should be concluded before the end of this year.

Last week Fastnet said that there are nine front-runners in the frame for the projects.

“We have a healthy pipeline of deals that we are continually assessing. Although there are no new asset deals on the immediate horizon, it is very possible that we will acquire another asset in the coming year, with certain niche opportunities being reviewed in onshore East Africa,” Paul Griffiths, Fastnet’s managing director, said yesterday.

He was commenting on the back of the firm’s latest annual results presentation. Those figures showed a marginal increase in net losses — for the 12 months to the end of March — from $2.12m (€1.6m) to just under $2.6m, due mainly to negative foreign exchange patterns and a lowering in finance revenue.

Finance revenue amounted to $201,000 in the year; down from $320,000 in the previous 12 months; while net foreign exchange gain fell from just over $1m to $175,000.

While the company is yet to produce any revenue, its latest full-year figures show a near 17% drop in operating losses to $2.93m.

Pointing to the potential of the 14,500sq km Tendrara-Lakbir onshore gas field in Morocco, alone, where Fastnet hopes to drill two wells next year, executive chairman, Cathal Friel said the year ahead has the potential to be “transformational” for the company.

The Tendrara licence — where Fastnet is well on the way to bringing on board a development partner — is thought to have the capacity of changing Morocco into a near total importer of gas into a credible net exporter in the coming years.

Fastnet’s big two farm-out deals — in Morocco and Ireland — will see it recoup significant drilling and exploration costs, including $22m alone from the Celtic Sea, where a multi-well drilling programme is likely to get underway before the end of 2016.

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