Petroceltic bullish about Italian job despite timeline questions

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SHARES in oil and gas company Petroceltic International dipped yesterday after it flagged possible changes to the timing of work on a well in north-west Italy.

The firm, which merged with Edinburgh-based Melrose Resources earlier this year, said that partner Eni had asked the Italian government to suspend the current timescale for its proposals on the Carisio permit.

It said Eni was seeking suspension until the completion of the environmental approval process for the Carpignano Sesia-1 well.
Petroceltic said the current phase of the process was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. Shares in the company closed down 0.2p, or 2.8 per cent, at 7p, having touched 6.9p earlier.

“Further clarity on the timing of the drilling of the well is expected on completion of this current permitting phase,”
Petroceltic said.

“The company continues to support Eni’s engagement with local and national stakeholders to ensure a successful outcome to this permitting process which will facilitate the timely drilling of this exciting prospect.”

Petroceltic and Eni each have a 47.5 per cent stake in the Carisio permit in the Western Po Valley, with Condotte owning the remaining 5 per cent.

Following the merger deal in October, Petroceltic’s shareholders hold 54 per cent of the enlarged company and Melrose shareholders the balance. At the time the deal was announced, the two companies said their activities would complement each other and that the combined group would be well capitalised with a £190 million loan facility.