Irish based exploration and production firm Providence Resources narrowed its losses by around €4million last year as it looks to start a number of projects in 2017.
The firm’s chief executive Tony O’Reilly said there were a number of talks ongoing with potential partners over “new commercial opportunities”.
In addition the company is also looking to start drilling to target the multi-billion barrel potential of both the Druid and Drombeg exploration prospects.
The Stena IceMAX drill-ship is contracted for the job and operations are expected to start in June, subject to the normal regulatory consents.
Providence said “increased industry interest” in the west of Ireland offshore areas has also allowed it to announce a farm-in by Cairn into the drilling programme.
This is expected to half the cost exposure to Providence.
O’Reilly said: “2016 was a year of significant operational and financial progress for Providence. With drilling set to commence at Druid and Drombeg, fast growing interest in offshore Ireland from global majors, ongoing commercial discussions and renewed financial strength, 2017 looks set to be another significant year in our company’s development.
“With the support of existing and new investors, we successfully raised new funds in July 2016 which allowed us to restructure our balance sheet, repay all of our debt, and with some recovery in the oil price, we are pleased to report that farm-in activity has increased. This has enabled us to enter into discussions regarding new commercial opportunities, which are ongoing.”
O’Reilly said the further appraisal and potential development of Barryroe, south of Cork, remains another key objective for Providence.
He added: “With this in mind, we are commencing various pre-permitting activities in anticipation of future drilling.
“As the most active player in the region, with 20 years’ operational experience generally and specifically some 14 years since we first licenced acreage in the Porcupine Basin, we will continue to seek to capitalise on this enhanced interest for the benefit of Providence’s shareholders.”
Providence’s operating loss for 2016 was €18.844 million versus €13.080 million in 2015.
At December 31, 2016 total cash and cash equivalents were €31.403 million versus €6.518 million in the same period in 2015.
In June, £53.712 million was raised through Placing 447.607 million shares at £0.12 pence per share and €1.516 million was raised through the issuance of 9.975 million shares at €0.152 cents per share
This allowed the company to wipe out its debt of €18.289 million.