Petroceltic is facing legal proceedings in the High Court in Ireland as its dispute with activist investor Worldview Capital rumbles on.
Petroceltic continues its focus on North Africa with the Council of Ministers in Algeria approving the transfer of its interest in the Isarene production sharing contract to its wholly owned subsidiary Petroceltic Ain Tsila.
Petroceltic has said calls by investor Worldview Capital to hold an emergency meeting regarding its $175 million fundraising bid are a "waste of time".
A bitter boardroom dispute entered a new phase today as investor Worldview Capital called on shareholders to block a $175million fundraising limit for Irish oil firm Petroceltic.
Petroceltic has hit back at Worldview Capital, after the majority shareholder accused it of squandering the "company's crown jewel".
Irish oil producer Petroceltic International said it sold its Romanian unit to GVC Investment BV as it exits high-risk exploration ventures.
Petroceltic has awarded a contract to drill development wells at the Ain Tsila gas and condensate field in Algeria to Sinopec Petroleum Service. The 1500 horse power rig, which is now built and ready to ship, will drill up to 24 new development wells. The company said the first 12 drilling locations – all in the northern region of the field – have been selected and approved.
Petroceltic and Hess have withdrawn from the Dinarta licence in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The move comes after a review into drilling operations on the Shireen-1 exploration well which faced "significant operational challenges" last year. A spokesman said the decision was made following the change in oil price, as well as lack of conclusive well results to date and the limited time remiaing within the Production Sharing Contract (PSC).
Petroceltic International has made a number of changes to the board of its company. Neeve Billis has been appointed as senior independent director and has joined the audit, nominations and remunerations committee. Meanwhile Nicholas Gray has been made chairman of the audit committee and has also joined the nominations committee.
Shareholders of Petroceltic have voted against the removal of its chief executive Brian O’Cathain at an extraordinary general meeting. Other candidates put forward by its largest shareholder Worldview Capital Management were rejected. The company had called for a meeting to remove the boss after Worldview blamed him for what they called the “failure of the company”. It previously said the leadership of Petroceltic had under-performed and was overpaid.
Petroceltic International said it plans to take a step back from certain exploration projects as oil prices remain low. The company plans to focus on improving volumes and costs at its core production assets instead. Petroceltic said the current climate would have a limited impact on its daily business as a large chunk of the gas it produces would be sold under Egyptianfixed-price contracts or contracts that were linked to the cross-price of gas into Bulgaria from Russia.
Worldview Capital Management has called for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Petroceltic International in a bid to remove its chief executive from the company’s board. The company wants to replace Brian O’Cathain from his position and appoint Maurice Dijols and Angelo Moskov. Worldview said it was proposing these changes following a series of “strategic and corporate governance failures” last year after the companies entered in an agreement in June last year. The deal had included provision for the board, following the appointment of new non-executive directors on July 7, to undertake and complete a strategic operational review of the company.
Petroceltic has responded to claims it breached a corporate governance agreement. Worldview Capital Management launched a legal bid earlier this week and called for the immediate resignation of Petroceltic's chief executive Brian O’Cathain. The move was made after the two entered into an agreement in June this year. A spokesman for the Irish independent company said the legal proceedings were “totally without merit and misconceived”.
Worldview Capital Management, one of the biggest shareholders in Petroceltic, has taken legal action against the company for an alleged breach of its corporate governance agreement. The company has also called for the immediate resignation of its chief executive Brian O’Cathain. The move was taken after the two entered in an agreement in June this year.
Dragon Oil has ditched its £492million takeover bid for Petroceltic. The move would have seen the company potentially benefit from Petroceltic assets in North Africa and Kurdistan. However, Dragon Oil said it no longer intends to make an offer on the back of “prevailing market conditions”.