Ramco Energy said yesterday it had enjoyed a tremendous start to the year, focusing on its strategy to gain a foothold in both alternative energy and Iraq.
Steve Remp, chairman of the Aberdeen energy-investment company, said: “We have achieved both of these goals and are beginning to build a presence in both arenas.
“To have managed both with a small team is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the individuals involved.
“Ramco is positioning itself as an energy-opportunity company. Through our first-mover advantage we are at the forefront of two of the most exciting aspects of the diversified energy industry.”
Mr Remp was speaking as Ramco reported results for 2008 with pre-tax losses of £3.28million compared with profits of £602,000 the year before, when gains were attributable to the sale of a considerable part of its shareholding in Irish explorer Lansdowne Oil and Gas.
The losses reflected seven months of overheads at subsidiary SeaEnergy Renewables – launched only last year – in which Ramco has an 80% stake.
Ramco said it had established joint ventures with Scottish and Southern Energy and RWE npower renewables to bid in the first Scottish offshore-wind round, and had gained two sites, securing 456 megawatts (MW) of potential offshore wind net to SeaEnergy. One site is at the Beatrice offshore windfarm in the inner Moray Firth and the other at Inch Cape in the outer Tay estuary.
Another joint venture was set up with EDP Renewables and bids were submitted in the UK third round for sites to build windfarms, with results of the round expected by the end of 2009.
Also a highlight of 2008 was the signing of a joint venture between Meso-potamia Petroleum Company, in which Ramco has a 32.67% stake, and the state-owned Iraqi Drilling Company to create Iraqi Oilfield Service Company (Iosco), which will offer oilfield services as Iraq rebuilds its oil industry.
Iosco has submitted two tender bids for the drilling of 60 wells and provision of other oilfield services.
Mr Remp said that, at first glance, shareholders and investors might question the logic of being in both renewables and oil and gas. He said: “While issues around energy supply and consumption are increasingly understood by the public at large, it is important to understand that the skill-base that will support the development of a global offshore wind industry will come from the offshore oil and gas industry.
“Ramco, together with the SeaEnergy team, is one of the few companies that combine that expertise and understanding.”
Shares in Ramco closed last night up 3% at 67p.