Oil explorer Xcite Energy has unveiled its long-awaited banking deal, worth $155 million (£100m), to fund the next stage of the development of its Bentley field in the North Sea.
Five lenders have agreed to a five-year loan, which is dependent on results from the appraisal well currently being drilled.
Royal Bank of Scotland is acting as the lead lender, with support from Britannic Strategies, which is part of BP, General Electric Energy Financial Services, Nedbank and Societe Generale.
Chief financial officer Rupert Cole said: “We are very pleased to have secured the facility from such a high-quality consortium.
“The process to secure the facility has involved a further rigorous, independent technical assessment of the Bentley field, the company’s field development plan for the Bentley field and the route to market for the Bentley crude.
“Having secured the facility in the current, difficult banking and financial market conditions, the company has demonstrated a further substantial de-risking of the Bentley field and its proposed development plan.”
Aberdeen-based Xcite already has a deal in place with BP to market the oil from the field and, earlier this month, the oil giant gave further backing to Bentley by agreeing to provide up to $40m in working capital in the development stages and $5m in financing.
Sam Wahab and Dougie Youngson, oil and gas research analysts at stockbroker Seymour Pierce, said: “We see this as positive news for Xcite as it adds further clarification to the company’s potential financing in the event of a satisfactory first-phase development programme.”
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