Monday, August 19 10:55:49
Irish oil and gas explorer, Fastnet, today said discussions aimed at bringing in a partner to help develop its assets in the Celtic Sea are likely to conclude before the end of this year.
It reported a net loss of Stg£1.4m for the year to the end of March - its first set of annual results as a public company, adding that the loss is inclusive of the acquisition costs of Pathfinder Hydrocarbon Ventures and reverse takeover of Sterling Green Group.
Fastnet said today that it is in advanced discussions with "several targeted international oil and gas companies" and said farm-out terms would likely involve a "significant" contribution to past costs, including 3D seismic and a contribution to a drilling programme anticipated in 2015.
"The level of any contribution to drilling costs will be dependent on which prospects are sufficiently de-risked for drilling following the preliminary results of the 3D seismic," Fastnet said in a statement accompanying its full-year results.
"It is [our] objective to focus on potential partners that have a preference to help fund early drilling as this is consistent with the board's monetisation strategy for shareholders."
The results for the 12 months to March 31 charted a period of significant progress both in Ireland (where it has amassed the largest exploration acreage in the Celtic Sea owned by an independent) and Morocco, with the Foum Assaka and Tendrara Lakbir licences.
A 2,577 square kilometre 3D seismic survey of Foum Assaka has been completed and processed, de-risking multiple prospects for drilling in 2014.
With just under £21mln in the bank as of the financial year-end, the group has enough cash to meet its licensing phase commitments, it said.
As is normal with an exploration company of Fastnet's ilk the group was loss-making - to the tune of £1.4mln in the period under review.
Chairman Cathal Friel said: "We are very pleased to announce our first set of annual results as a public company.
"This year has been a landmark in the company's development and one in which the team has already delivered shareholder value through the creation of a significant acreage position in Morocco and the Celtic Sea, Ireland.
"Since the period-end we have maintained the pace of progress with an extensive 3D seismic acquisition programme in the Celtic Sea and entry into the prospective Tendrara Lakbir block, onshore Morocco.
"The key driver for shareholder value in the near term will be the execution of the Moroccan drilling programme and ensuring that the company has a material interest in the programme to deliver maximum benefit for shareholders from any future exploration success. With this in mind, the board looks to the future confident that the company remains on track to execute its stated business development strategy."