Providence Resources is once again looking for fresh money, saying it is “considering its funding options” as it only has sufficient working capital to cover its costs through to the end of next month.
The oil and gas exploration company tapped shareholders for €3.4m last year to fund itself into the early part of this year.
That move - which it referred to as “the unthinkable” - followed a failure by Chinese consortium APEC Energy to produce €8m in promised project funding for the flagship Barryroe field off the Cork coast. APEC was Providence’s development partner at Barryroe.
Providence has since embarked on a severe cost cutting round and replaced long-standing chief executive Tony O’Reilly Jr with industry veteran Alan Linn.
Providence has now formally begun the legal process of assigning APEC’s 50% stake in Barryroe back to the original owners, meaning Providence will regain an 80% shareholding, with Lansdowne Oil and Gas owning 20%.
A fresh farm-out deal - aimed at bringing in a new development and funding partner for Barryroe - is now being sought. Providence said that “a number of companies” are actively assessing field data at Barryroe.
Providence has brought attention to Barryroe’s “considerable” gas resource and said “several additional companies” that had not initially been sniffing around the field have expressed interest in its gas potential.
Providence said its short-to-medium term focus remains on Barryroe, which will need at least two appraisal wells drilled to remove lingering uncertainties.
“In other words, is Barryroe a large oil field with a gas cap, or a large gas field with an oil rim?” said Davy analyst Job Langbroek.
“These uncertain elements have always been understood, but the gas potential is now also being emphasised following interest from several industry groups examining the data. In the context of the new climate action environment, this interest is welcome,” Mr Langbroek said.
Providence is also looking to find a farm out partner for its Dunquin South prospect, located off the south-west coast, after Italian explorer Eni said it was pulling out.