GE’s North Sea oil financing program expanded

Source:GE Oil & Gas

Trapoil (AIM:TRAP) the independent oil and gas exploration, appraisal and production company focused on the UK Continental Shelf (“UKCS”) region of the North Sea is pleased to announce that on 29 January 2013, it entered into a three-year senior secured borrowing base facility agreement of up to US$20 million with an affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services (“the Facility”) and associated hedging arrangements with Britannic Trading Limited (“Britannic”), a subsidiary of BP International Limited (the “Oil Price Hedging Arrangements”).

The committed Facility is on conventional oil and gas industry borrowing base financing terms linked to the economic performance of the group’s interests in the Athena and Lybster production assets, for a term of up to three years. The Facility is available for immediate draw down in full and is designed to fund certain potential production and development expenditure in relation to, inter alia, the group’s Athena and Crazy Horse assets. Interest accrues on amounts drawn down under the Facility at a rate based on LIBOR plus a fixed percentage and is secured by way of first priority fixed and floating charges over all of the group’s assets. Trapoil is subject to certain industry standard financial, operational and corporate covenants related to the Facility and the documentation contains usual and customary representations and warranties for facilities of this type.

In conjunction with the Facility, Trapoil has entered into certain Oil Price Hedging Arrangements for the duration of the Facility. These arrangements consist of swap agreements, entered into at prices ranging from US$108.51/barrel for 2013 to US$95.50/barrel for 2015 with Britannic to provide greater visibility in respect of future cash flows arising from a significant proportion of the group’s near term forecast production as it continues to build its exploration and appraisal work programmes.

Mark Groves Gidney, Chief Executive Officer of Trapoil, commented:
“I am delighted that we have secured this debt finance from an affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services supported by hedging arrangements with the BP group. The Facility will assist with the further appraisal and development of the promising assets within our existing portfolio and the exploitation of good exploration opportunities alongside our partners where we earn carried interests. We look forward to building on our new relationships with GE and BP.”

GE Energy Financial Services’ Representative commented:
“This Facility for Trapoil further executes on GE Energy Financial Services’ strategic growth initiative to provide financing in the UK North Sea, complementing the traditional focus of its oil and gas team on partnership equity and debt for independent private and public oil and gas operators in US onshore basins and the Gulf of Mexico.”

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