Oil and gas explorer Bowleven said yesterday it was raising new funds to pursue an aggressive exploration programme offshore Cameroon.
It said it was placing up to 22million new shares, representing about 11% of its issued share capital, with institutional investors to raise about £72million.
The company earlier this month announced two potentially significant finds with its Sapele-1 exploration well in the Douala Basin offshore Cameroon and this week revealed a third find, giving it total net pay of up to 140ft of hydrocarbons, with deeper targets to be drilled.
It said it believed its best strategy was to pursue an extensive exploration and appraisal drilling campaign focused on transferring resources to reserves and further investigating the potential of its acreage through high-impact wells.
Bowleven said the Douala Basin was relatively under-explored. A significant proportion of its portfolio in Cameroon is within the basin, including the onshore Bomono Permit and blocks in the offshore shallow-water Etinde Permit.
It said it believed Douala had the potential to become a major hydrocarbon producing area, and added that it was considering contracting a second rig so that a continuous drilling operation could be undertaken on Etinde for a substantial part of 2011. This is expected to comprise up to five appraisal/exploration wells.
Mexico will kick off its first auction in decades of oilfield operation rights in February; a tentative step towards opening up an energy sector that was nationalised in 1938.
State oil company Pemex will offer three blocks of mature fields it hopes can be redeveloped with modern technology and know-how to maximise the recovery of oil still locked in the earth.