Trapoil remains in red after ‘challenging’ year

North Sea explorer Trapoil today said losses from the sale of assets to former partner Caithness Oil offset a jump in revenues to keep it in the red last year.

The firm posted a pre-tax loss of £10.3 million for the year to the end of December, a slight improvement on the previous year’s £10.9m loss, although revenues surged to £30.3m, up from £1.7m in 2012.

Chief executive Mark Groves-Gidney said Trapoil made a loss of £9.4m on the sale of assets to Caithness, which was in turn bought by shale gas explorer IGas.

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The Caithness deal has also left Trapoil with about 4.1 million shares in IGas, worth £4.4m by the end of 2013 – a year Groves-Gidney described as “challenging”.

He added: “Our goal remains to carefully manage and maximise the group’s cash reserves in order to establish a drilling programme that will afford shareholders exposure to an asset base that is capable of delivering increased value.

“With our existing cash reserves and the in-house technical and operational ability to manage risks and secure carried interest positions, we will aim to deliver this strategy and hope to enhance the group’s position with value-driven new ventures.”