Explorer ‘on course’ to meet targets despite fall

British-based exploration firm Europa Oil and Gas — which has interests off the west coast of Ireland — expects to meet annual production targets this year, despite suffering a 4.5% year-on-year drop in first-half revenues and a near 4% decline in production.

The London-based explorer, which has interests in two highly-anticipated prospects in the south Porcupine Basin off the coast of Kerry, said yesterday it still expects to achieve full-year production levels of 165 barrels of oil equivalent per day in its current financial year, which runs to the end of July.

Via its latest trading update, Europa said that the six months to the end of January saw it suffer a slight dip in first-half revenue, from £2.2m (€2.64m) to £2.1m, with production dropping from 177 boepd to 170 boepd.

It said that foreign exchange movements negatively impacted first-half revenue by 1%, but that the company’s cash balance — at its halfway point — amounted to £4.8m, as opposed to £800,000 for the same period last year.

Europa’s chief executive, Hugh Mackay called it “encouraging” that the firm remains on course to meet annual production targets, for what would be the third consecutive year.

He added that proceeds from the company’s recent fundraising of nearly $5m will go towards advancing its high-impact onshore and offshore projects in Britain, Ireland, and France.

The company is due to drill one of its onshore prospects in the UK in the coming months.

While drilling activity at its Irish interests is unlikely until sometime next year, initial results from the 3D seismic studies of its Irish prospects are expected before the end of March.

Last year, US explorer, Kosmos Energy, farmed into an 85% holding in Europa’s two Irish licensing options. The prospects have a mean total resource potential of around 2bn barrels of oil.

Europa is also expected to show significant interest when the Government opens its next offshore licensing round sometime after March.


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