DESIRE Petroleum, the oil exploration company in which many Falkland Islanders are shareholders, has said it is hopeful of making a discovery, despite posting a £2.5 million pre-tax loss for the year ending December 31 2009.
The company still has a strong cash position, with some £57 million remaining of the £62 million raised to fund its oil drilling programme.
Share prices in Desire Petroleum, which had peaked earlier this year at 134p, plummeted after disappointing results from a first round of drilling. They currently stand at around 47p.
However, as well as locating some oil, there was an as yet unquantified and untested natural gas discovery at the Liz well.
Stephen Phipps, chairman of Desire, said: “It has been an exciting year for Desire and the company has made much progress in the period.
“Further detailed analysis on the Liz well is currently being carried out and we look forward to updating shareholders on the results when the analysis is completed within the next couple of months.
“We remain upbeat about the resource potential within the North Falkland Basin and look forward to recommencing drilling later this year.”
As a cost-cutting measure, but also to allow them more time to consider the data from the first well before proceeding, Desire has subcontracted the Ocean Guardian rig, first to Rockhopper Exploration and later to FOGL and global exploration giant BHP Billiton.