North Sea oil firm Hurricane Energy is set to make a £272million floatation on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM as it closes in on drilling for hundreds of millions of hard-to-reach oil reservoirs off Shetland.


The company, which is focused on fractured basement reservoirs, in the West of Shetland, said it was looking for admission to the alternative market early next month.

The move comes as the company, which expects to raise £49.4million from the initial public offering and pre-IPO warrant which will fuld the drilling of the Lancaster discover west of Shetland.

“We are delighted to be proceeding with an IPO of Hurricane in what is a difficult market for new issues in our sector,” said Hurricane chief executive Robert Trice.

“We believe that the investor support we have received is a strong endorsement of our story and the Hurricane team, and of course the potential for basement reservoirs in the UK.

“Hurricane has built a high quality asset base and, with the forthcoming drilling of the horizontal appraisal well on our Lancaster discovery, we believe we will rapidly advance our understanding of the potential productivity and ultimate scale of the Lancaster field’s recoverable reserves.”

The firm, founded by Trice in 2005, is focused on exploring the naturally fractured reservoirs formed after tectonic forces, where oil is found in the cracks between the hard and brittle rock formations.

Hurricane is targeting more than 200million barrels of oil from the Lancaster basement, with the money raised from the IPO funding drilling work on the prospect.

Lancaster said it had struck a deal with Talisman Sinopec and Transocean to use the Sedco 712 semi-submersible rig to drill the discovery during the second quarter of the year.

SPD will provide well construction and project management for the drilling.

Lancaster also has licences in the Whirlwind, Lincoln, Typhoon and Strathmore discoveries located around the region, which sit south of the Shiehallion and Foinaven fields, which the company believes could yield hundreds of millions of barrels in fractured basement reservoirs.