Parkmead goes exploring for oil after raising $66m

A Parkmead drill ship in the North Sea. Picture: Contributed
A Parkmead drill ship in the North Sea. Picture: Contributed
Share this article
Have your say

North Sea driller Parkmead has vowed to accelerate its exploration activities and hunt for more acquisitions after raising about $66 million (£40m) through a share placing.

The Aberdeen-based firm, run by Dana Petroleum founder Tom Cross, said the funds also gave it the firepower to drill a new well at the Athena oil field in the Outer Moray Firth, which produced an average of 9,000 barrels a day during the second quarter of 2013. Parkmead last month struck an $11.2m deal with German outfit EWE to treble its stake in Athena to 30 per cent, and Cross said yesterday that an extra well could add about 1,100 barrels a day to the firm’s output.

He added: “2013 was an excellent year for Parkmead, with significant growth through its asset base and in its production profile.

“This important, oversubscribed placing with major institutional investors will place Parkmead in a strong position, with over $66m of firepower to accelerate its growth.”

The placing was priced at 255p a share and is subject to shareholder approval at a meeting to be held next month. Parkmead’s shares closed up 17.1p, or 6.6 per cent, at 275.1p.

Cross, pictured, who has been building up Parkmead through a series of acquisitions since selling Dana to Korea National Oil Corporation for £1.87 billion in 2010, is keen to add more assets to Parkmead’s portfolio, which includes a stake in the Platypus gas field in the southern North Sea.

The company, which saw its revenues grow 38 per cent to £4.1m last year, was recently awarded five extra blocks in the southern North Sea through the second tranche of the UK government’s 27th licensing round. It has started preparations for the current round, launched by energy minister Michael Fallon on Friday.

Applications for the 28th licensing round have to be submitted to the government by 25 April.