SMALL CAP MOVERS: Irish oil and gas industry shares slump
SMALL CAP MOVERS: Irish oil and gas firms knocked over by government minister shutting down exploration bid
Irish oil and gas developers were hit hard on AIM this week after Ireland’s Green Party stifled plans for an offshore Cork project.
Barryroe Offshore Energy shed 32 per cent to 1.2p while Lansdowne Oil and Gas lost 21 per cent to 0.16p.
Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications of Ireland’s coalition government sent a letter to the partners in the Barryroe venture stating he is ‘not satisfied with the financial capability of the applicants.’
According to the Irish government, the companies now have no rights over the asset.
The licence expired in July 2021 and Barryroe and Lansdowne, which have invested US$20million into the project, had been seeking for it to be extended or renewed.
If successful, a new project could have moved into the appraisal and development phase.
Steve Boldy, chief executive of Lansdowne, said it will now ‘resort to legal proceedings in relation to our investment.’
‘We believe we have a very strong claim against the Irish government and the company will be resolute in defending and protecting the rights and investment of our shareholders,’ Boldy added.
Across the broader market, the AIM-All Share Index fell 2.4 per cent to 792. London’s blue chip companies on the FTSE 100 didn’t fare much better, shedding 2.1 per cent to 7,587, while the FTSE 250 slipped 2.4 per cent to 18,811.
It wasn’t all bad news for oil and gas firms across London’s junior market, however.
Corcel added around 8 per cent to 0.32p this week after it struck a deal to buy onshore oil assets in Angola.
The firm agreed to buy a 90 per cent stake in Atlas Petroleum Exploration Worldwide, which has interests of between 20 per cent and 35 per cent in a total of seven oil fields in Angola.
Consideration for the deal is pitched at £800,000, paid in shares at a premium price of 0.4p each – which will be ‘locked up’ preventing the vendors selling for 18 months.
Active Energy rocketed 34 per cent to 6.2p after the firm, which develops biomass fuels, said Player Design received a permit for the construction and operation of a CoalSwitch facility in the US.
CoalSwitch, according to the company, is a biomass fuel that can replace the traditional coal fired-power industry.
Sticking with positive news and Phoenix Copper told investors it is edging closer to production at the Empire copper mine, which sent shares climbing 21 per cent to 27.4p.
The US-focused precious metals exploration and production company added it is also seeking funding for first production at minimum additional dilution to shareholders.
Byotrol, the infection prevention and control company, surged 40 per cent to 2.1p after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the virucidal claims for its 24-hour germ kill surface sanitizer Byotrol 24.
Onto some fallers, and Pressure Technologies certainly felt the squeeze as shares slipped 4 per cent to 42p.
The industrial valve manufacturing company published results which showed an operating loss of £2.6million in the year to 1 October 2022.
The AIM-quoted firm had told investors in November it made a loss of £1.4million, but had to recalculate the figures as a result of a historic accounting error.
Another engineering group to make losses in London this week was 600 Group, tumbling 15 per cent to 7.5p.
Specialising in industrial laser systems, the group warned it expects to make an operating loss for the full-year due to the delivery of unprofitable customer contracts.
Shares in Physiomics, the company that uses mathematical models to develop cancer treatments, warned that total income for the year will fall short of guidance.
Shares fell 25 per cent to 2p after telling investors it expects income to be £660,000 this year, down on previous guidance of £750,000.