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May 14, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – New exploration opens in Australia – Falklands project suspended

By Matthew Farmer

14 May

The Government of Queensland in Australia has opened an additional 6700km2 area for gas exploration. The move is an effort to revive the state economy as part of the impact of Covid-19. The government opened 12 prospective parcels of land for tender across the Bowen and Surat basins, between Blackwater and Goondiwindi.

Premier Oil has suspended its Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands, off the southern coast of South America. In a statement the company said it aims to reduce costs due to the current downturn. It also postponed drilling programmes in prospective exploration acreage indefinitely. The company has a capital liquidity of around $160m of cash, with $330m of undrawn facilities.

The annual net loss of UAE-based oil rig construction business Lamprell more than doubled in 2019 to $183.5m. In 2018, the company reported a net loss of $70.7m. Lamprell has also withdrawn its full-year 2020 revenue guidance and announced it has taken a series of measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on its business.

Shelf Drilling has registered a net loss of $184.9m in the first quarter of this year after it booked a non-cash impairment charge of $188m on long-lived assets. The company’s cash and cash equivalents balance stood at $69m at the end of March. Shelf Drilling’s statement added that it has taken steps to preserve liquidity.

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