Elaine Maslin, 7th June 2012
Independent oil and gas exploration firm Trapoil said today it is looking for opportunities to become an operator and grow its exploration portfolio after announcing a £4.3million share placing.
The Alternative Investment Market-listed firm said it was already in talks with French independent Perenco over taking a share and operatorship of a southern North Sea gas discovery.
It said it had also put in eight bids for licenses in the 27th offshore licensing round and would be participating in six exploration wells by the end of the year.
The firm, which listed on AIM in March 2011 raising £60million, bought Banchory-based Reach Oil and Gas for £30million and in March this year bought a 15% stake in Ithaca’s Athena development from Dyas UK for £34.5million, giving it production.
Mark Groves-Gidney, its chief executive, said: “The net proceeds from this conditional fundraising will allow the company to pursue opportunities where we can become an operator, but also to grow and enhance our exploration portfolio via potential investment in new licence awards from the 27th round.”
Trapoil is in talks to buy a 33.3% stake and take operatorship of the Trent East gas discovery in the southern North Sea from French operator Perenco in return for drilling an appraisal well in 2013.
Linked to this deal, Trapoil said it could also farm in to a 30% stake in two adjacent blocks, which could then be built into a core area – estimated by Trapoil to contain recoverable resources of 35-60 billion cubic feet of gas – in partnership with an unnamed “major utility”.
This could be tied back to Perenco’s Trent platform and could be producing from 2014, said Trapoil. The firm has also applied for a licence near Trent East.
Trapoil also said production from the Lybster onshore field in Caithness, 35% owned by Trapoil, was averaging 500 barrels of oil per day since coming on stream on May 2.
Trapoil has six wells lined up for the rest of 2012 – including the Romeo prospect, operated by Suncor, the Scotney well, also operated by Suncor, Magnolia, operated by Dana, and Crazy Horse, operated by Noreco.
It also had two with Caithness Petroleum.