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Central Petroleum raises $10.6m

SHARES in Kardinya-based Central Petroleum Ltd began trading on the Australian Stock Exchange this week at lower than the initial offer price of 20 cents. The petroleum explorer opened on Tuesday at 17.5 cents, closing at 16.5 cents on its first day of trading. The company said it raised more than $10.6 million in the initial public offering, with about 650 local and overseas institutional investors on the register. Central’s managing director John Heugh said the capital raised from the IPO would provide the company with an initial drilling program of two wells, targeting about 200 million barrels of potential recoverable resources in the Pedirka and Amadeus Basins in the Northern Territory. He said further capital raisings or farm-out deals would be required to complete the company’s envisaged six-well program, which included four prospects in Amadeus and two in Pedirka. “Central is in discussion with several potential farm-in partners inclusive of Australian-based companies and an overseas major,” Mr Heugh said. Last month, as a pre-listing requirement, Central Petroleum completed transactions to buy 100 per cent of the issue capital of Helium Australia Pty Ltd, Ordiv Petroleum Pty Ltd and Frontier Oil and Gas Pty Ltd. These companies control a large proportion of the exploration permits and applications in the Amadeus Basin. Mr Heugh said the deal delivered more than 80,000 square kilometres of prospective ground surrounding the Santos/Magellan Joint Venture, the Mereenie and Palm Valley fields in the Amadeus Basin. The company changed its name from Merlin Petroleum Ltd to Central Petroleum Ltd on February 4 last year. Central was admitted to the official list of the ASX last Thursday with Martin Place Securities as underwriter to the IPO.

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