Oil and gas explorer United Oil & Gas has successfully raised £3m and completed a reverse takeover of Senterra Energy.

The Sunday Independent understands the fundraising was oversubscribed and the shares will return to market, having been suspended pending the completion of the deal, within weeks.

United Oil & Gas – run by Tullow Oil and Providence Resources veteran Brian Larkin – declined to comment.

The company has an interest in the Waddock Cross field at Essex in the UK. The field was previously in production and United is mulling opportunities to re-start production on foot of new data.

It also recently agreed a deal to take a stake in an exploration project in Italy.

In May, Larkin told the Sunday Independent that the company was looking to build its portfolio and evaluating options in a number of regions.

“We wouldn’t rule out Africa or South America, we have experience there. Our model is to identify low-cost, low-risk licenses which have near-term activity. At present, the most attractive assets have been in the UK and Europe,” he said.

“We’d like to build an oil company with a range of assets, production, development and exploration. But, our job is to deliver value, if at some stage, an offer came along that made sense to monetise a single license or sell the whole company, then ultimately you have to look at that,” Larkin said.

United was set up by Larkin, who has held production, development and exploration roles at Tullow Oil and commercial and finance positions at Providence Resources, and technical director Jonathan Leather, who has worked for Tullow and Shell.

A note circulated by Optiva Securities, which becomes broker to United Oil & Gas on completion of the Senterra deal, said Optiva analysts “believe that United is poised to accelerate significantly the development of an exciting European-focused oil and gas business”.

“Further expansion of the company will likely focus on assets within stable political and fiscal regimes and management is keen to leverage off its contacts within the industry to gain access to early divestment opportunities and avoid auctioned transactions.”

In relation to Waddock Cross, the analysts said “reassessment of existing 3D seismic data has indicated that two wells to probe the crest of the field…have the potential to boost production significantly by 2018/9”.

 

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