Newly-floated exploration company United Oil and Gas (UOG) will consider acquiring licences offshore Ireland in the medium-term, after building cash reserves and executing a near-term expansion plan in mainland Europe.

Shares in the Dublin-based company — headed by former Tullow Oil executives Brian Larkin and Jonathan Leather — grew by 20% in initial trading yesterday as the company was readmitted to the London Stock Exchange following UOG’s recent reverse takeover of formerly quoted explorer Senterra Energy. That valued the company at around £6m (€6.7m), with it also raising an additional £3m through a stock placing.

UOG’s takeover of Senterra gave it a 20% stake in the Podere Gallina licence in the prolific gas region of northern Italy.

Operated by Australian explorer Po Valley Energy, drilling there begins at the end of October. UOG is also confident of drilling starting at one of its UK licences early next year and has its eyes fixed on growing its asset reach across mainland Europe.

“We’re actively looking at farm-in opportunities around Europe and hope to announce at least one more deal in the coming months. We will continue to grow by acquisition and farm-ins,” said Mr Larkin.

However, while UOG is chiefly focused on acquiring non-core/low capital expenditure requirement oil and gas licences from larger companies, Mr Larkin said the company hasn’t ruled out looking at Irish offshore opportunities, saying that UOG will start considering Irish assets in the medium-term, roughly meaning within around five years from now. He added that UOG is now fully-funded for the next 18 months.

VIEW SOURCE