Fastnet swaps oil sector for health after losses of €35m

Fastnet, the one-time oil and gas exploration company, has confirmed its move away from its traditional area of business as conditions in the industry worsen, in favour of what it sees as the more lucrative healthcare sector.

The company yesterday announced full-year results which detailed losses of close to $40m (€35.98m), of which almost €33m related to impairment costs arising from its decision to abandon its oil and gas exploration assets.

Fastnet said a number of factors pointed towards a change of direction being the best option for the company, including persistent low oil prices; an inability to farm out assets; its significantly depressed share price below cash value; and disappointing exploration results.

A comprehensive asset review suggested that the recovery of its expenditure on activities off the coasts of Ireland and Morocco was unlikely and as such the decision was made to write them off.

The company is now called Fastnet Equity. It is to focus its efforts on the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industry instead.

Shareholders last week voted to approve the switch of focus to the healthcare sector and the change of name.

The asset review also concluded that economic conditions in the oil and gas sector fostered an environment which despite the company’s best efforts meant it was unable to find partners to carry some or all exploration costs on its oil and gas assets on acceptable terms.

The company confirmed it was considering spinning out its Celtic Sea Assets into a standalone entity. It had cash reserves of €14.3m at the end of July. Fastnet also said it had cut general and administration costs by more than 40% to €1.7m since december of last year.


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