John Robertson, veteran resources specialist at broker Nabarro Wells, is chairman-designate of Aussie-listed Elixir Petroleum, which is raising £7 million on AIM to pursue oil and, it hopes, natural gas opportunities in the North Sea.
John Robertson, veteran resources specialist at broker Nabarro Wells, is chairman-designate of Aussie-listed Elixir Petroleum, which is raising £7 million at 24p on AIM to pursue oil and, it hopes, natural gas opportunities in the North Sea.
Elixir’s managing director Russell Langusch, an Australian oil engineer and former City analyst, says the company’s strategy is to take advantage of the exodus from the North Sea of major groups such as BP and Shell by exploring and, where possible, developing a portfolio of licences. Helped by an experienced team, he says his initial target is to build Elixir, which is advised by Ambrian Partners, into a 20 million barrel business this way and hopes subsequently to increase that fivefold.
Drilling should start in July in the Marquis Block 21/6b in the central North Sea, where Kentucky-based Century Exploration has 70 per cent and 15 per cent is held by the private Granby Alliance (whose key players Martin Whitehead and Richard Moreton, both ex-Enterprise Oil, used to frequent a pub called the Marquis of Granby). Granby does technical work for Elixir, which is involved in several other blocks in the central North Sea in alliance with Granby, and has also been awarded the Jaguar Block in the northern North Sea.
Granby Enterprises has 6.9 per cent of Elixir, where ubiquitous RAB Capital holds 8.3 per cent. Elixir raised £1.3 million seed money Down Under last July at the equivalent of 8p and another £1 million in August at 14.5p, and Langusch argues the present £7 million at 24p should last for two years in the absence of a big find.