Petrel eyes up 2018 Irish drilling round

Petrel Resources is actively eyeing up more prospects in Ireland and elsewhere and is planning drilling activity on existing Irish acreage in the next three to four years.

Petrel eyes up 2018 Irish drilling round

The AIM-listed exploration firm is chaired by whiskey, minerals and oil entrepreneur John Teeling.

The Dublin-headquartered company yesterday reported a pre-tax loss of €2.96m, for 2014, considerably up on the €526,783 loss incurred in the preceding year; and driven by asset impairment charges of more than €2.5m.

Despite this, administrative costs were cut by over €70,000 to just over €430,000.

Speaking on the back of the figures, Petrel managing director, David Horgan said the company remains debt free and fully carried on all operational costs by project partners.

Regarding Ireland, Mr Horgan said after seismic activity is undertaken on existing acreage, drilling could get underway in 2018.

Petrel has two licences here off the west coast in partnership with Australian firm Woodside Energy.

He said the company is also eyeing a couple of new Irish prospects in the Atlantic Margin licensing round, on which it will spend around €1m on seismic activity in the next couple of years if successful with its application. He said Petrel is also considering additional assets in other locations.

In his results commentary, Mr Teeling bemoaned the ongoing lack of investor interest in junior exploration firms and said Petrel has sufficient cash — at present expenditure levels — to continue for two or three years.

“We continue to evaluate possible opportunities in emerging frontier exploration areas,” he said.

Petrel remains active in Ghana and Iraq and on the former, management remains surprisingly upbeat despite a legal case resolution over disputed acreage still awaiting government approval and implementation.

Mr Horgan says it could still come up trumps for the firm.

“Ongoing talks have led to further settlement proposals which, as yet, are not acceptable to the consortium.

“What is happening in Ghana is regrettable. The country is a good place in which to work. The rule of law applies and title was thought to be good. Having very reluctantly commenced litigation, Petrel and partners will see it through.”

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