Irish exploration company United Oil and Gas is “aggressively” looking at new investment opportunities and is targeting a “game-changing” acquisition during 2019.

The company is active in the UK, Italy, and Jamaica.

It said it is eyeing a wider acquisition that “really moves the market cap for the company”.

United has a market cap of around £14m (€15.5m) and has seen the net present value of its licence portfolio balloon from $6m-$7m to $80m in the past 12 months.

“Our approach for 2019 is dual focused — develop the existing assets as efficiently and effectively as we can and create as much value from them whilst also looking for a game-changing acquisition and advancing the game-changing acquisitions that we potentially have in the pipeline right now,” said chief executive Brian Larkin.

He said United was close to completing a deal in October, having reached agreement only to pull out at the 11th hour upon deciding it wasn’t the right transaction.

“The reason we were comfortable withdrawing from it was because of the fact we had so many opportunities lined up and we are advancing those,” he said, adding that the company expects a busy newsflow period in the early part of 2019.

United has previously said that it is eyeing opportunities in Eastern Europe as it looks to grow its licence portfolio. Its short-to-medium-term focus has been on gaining new ground in the UK, mainland Europe, South America, and Africa.

Outside of future acquisitions, the company is awaiting response from the Italian authorities regarding its development plan for the highly rated Podere Gallina gas exploration licence in northern Italy.

Additionally, drilling at the equally highly rated offshore Colter oil field, in the south of England, is planned for next month.

United is a junior partner in the project and a commercial find of note could prove transformational for the company.

 

Irish Examiner