Elaine Maslin, 11th June 2012
A new independent oil and gas explorer focused on the Celtic Sea and Africa has been admitted to London’s Alternative Investment Market.
Fastnet Oil & Gas started trading this morning after raising £10million, before expenses, in a share placing.
The firm was founded and is being led by a team of executives from Cove Energy, currently the subject of a bidding war between energy giant Shell and Thailand’s state oil firm PTT Exploration and Production.
It will be led by chief executive Steve Staley, also a non-executive director of Cove Energy, who said its focus would be on finding early stage exploration and production opportunities in the Celtic Sea and Africa.
He said: “The launch of Fastnet as a new independent exploration and production player comes at a very opportune time; with interest re-ignited in the Celtic Sea and the prospectivity of many areas of Africa confirmed.
“We feel that Fastnet is in a good position to take advantage of the opportunities in these areas.”
Originally named Terra Energy, Terra completed a reverse takeover of the AIM shell Sterling Green Group in May 2012 and was renamed Fastnet Oil and Gas.
Fastnet’s current assets include an interest in a net profit bonus arrangement relating to the Connemara prospects offshore Ireland.
Fastnet has made applications for three offshore 18-month licensing options in the Celtic Sea (Fastnet basin, Molly Malone basin and Mizzen basin).
According to the firm’s website, Fastnet’s original strategy, when it was founded as Terra Energy in 2008, was to explore and develop unconventional oil and gas in Ireland.
It said it still has a 100% interest in 13 prospecting licenses covering approximately 175 sq miles within the Connacht coal field.
However, it also said the board does not consider these as core assets to the group’s development and that the licenses would likely be relinquished at the appropriate time.
Amongst the founders and shareholders of Fastnet are Michael Nolan, finance director of Cove Energy.
John Craven, chief executive of Cove Energy, is also a founding shareholder and an adviser to the company.