Ramco Secures Extensions for Irish Licenses
Ramco reports that the Irish Authorities have granted extensions to the licensing options over the Company's four Celtic Sea interests until December 31, 2006. Ramco has also placed its Irish exploration assets under the control of a recently established subsidiary, Lansdowne Oil & Gas plc, which has completed a £750,000 fundraising substantially with institutions. These funds will be utilized to complete the work programs on its existing assets and to build Lansdowne's prospect inventory. The Irish Authorities and Lansdowne's partners have approved the asset transfers to Lansdowne.
The Irish exploration assets transferred to Lansdowne are Ramco's 19.25% carried interest in the Frontier Exploration License in the Donegal Basin, and its interests in four Celtic Sea Licensing Options, Midleton (100%), Rosscarbery (77%), East Kinsale (100%) and Seven Heads Oil (74%).
The Lansdowne exploration portfolio provides a balance between the large higher risk Inishbeg prospect, offshore Donegal and the smaller but lower risk gas opportunities in the Celtic Sea, close to existing infrastructure. In addition, the interest in the Seven Heads Oil prospect offers an appraisal opportunity of an existing oil discovery.
Lansdowne's strategy is to focus on shallow water exploration and appraisal opportunities on the Irish continental shelf. Lansdowne is in the process of seeking farm-in partners for those prospects not already subject to farm-out arrangements, with a view to retaining a 15 – 30% non-operated interest through such arrangements. Lansdowne's objective is to progress a multi-well program in 2006 / 2007. Drilling is planned to commence with an exploration well on the Inishbeg prospect in the Donegal Basin, through which Lansdowne is carried, in summer this year.
Dr. Steve Boldy, who has 25 years experience in the industry, will be Lansdowne's Chief Executive Officer. Steve spent almost 19 years at Amerada Hess before joining Ramco in 2003.
The fundraising, which comprised the issue of 900,267 Convertible Preference Shares of 25p each in Lansdowne, has raised £666,000 after costs. On conversion, the holders of the Convertible Preference Shares will hold approximately 4.7 per cent. of the issued share capital of Lansdowne, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. The Convertible Preference Shares have been subscribed primarily by institutions but Stephen Remp, a director of Ramco, and Steven Bertram, a director of both Ramco and Lansdowne, have subscribed for £30,000 and £20,000 of Convertible Preference Shares, respectively.
Change of Nominated Adviser and Broker
Ramco also announces that with immediate effect it has appointed John East & Partners Limited as its Nominated Adviser and Broker.
Steven Bertram, Managing Director of Ramco, said:
"We believe that Lansdowne has considerable potential; it has attractive exploration assets, an established position in Ireland and an experienced management team. There is a mature prospect inventory and the first exploration well is scheduled to be drilled in 2006 on the Donegal acreage, through which Lansdowne is carried."
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