BP-backed oil explorer lines up Aim float

HURRICANE Energy, a North Sea explorer backed by oil giant BP, has hired Cenkos Securities to help it join the Alternative Investment Market (Aim).

Papers released ahead of the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) earlier this month revealed that placing agency Hawkwood is also assisting with the flotation.

Reports over the weekend suggested that Hurricane – which has its head office in Surrey but its operations base in Aberdeen – could be valued at as much as £400 million if it joins Aim. But analysts said recent share volatility among oil and gas firms on the junior market could mean that its valuation is closer to £350m.

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Hurricane chairman John Hogan told investors at the AGM: “This is a tough time to be raising capital. It is also why it is taking us longer than you might have expected to conclude the initial public offering.

“Our objective is to raise sufficient funds to support a programme that will see us drill in 2013 and in 2014, and commence work on early stage field development planning.”

Hurricane raised £31.4m in March to fund its Lancaster well in the North Sea, with BP among the investors joining the ranks of its shareholders.