Losses grow wider at Regal

REGAL PETROLEUM, the oil and gas group, reported a widening first-half net loss yesterday, but said it was expecting improved earnings for the next year as funding problems at the group have been resolved.<br /><br />The firm reported a net loss for the six months to the end of June of $7.57m (&pound;4.59m) compared with $5.26m last year.<br /><br />It added that it expects to increase production to over 3,000 barrels of oil equivalent&nbsp; per day (boepd) by the end of 2009 from an average of 1,170 boepd in the first half. <br /><br />The company said the outlook for its second half is encouraging, as funding uncertainty was &ldquo;a significant contributor to the share price decline&rdquo; in the first half. <br /><br />Regal raised $105m in a share sale in June after talks to raise debt failed.<br /><br />Chief executive David Greer said the group was &ldquo;very grateful&rdquo; to the investors who had stuck with the group, and said they would soon be rewarded with a financial return.<br /><br />He added that the group was not looking to make acquisitions with its new &ldquo;healthy cash position,&rdquo; but would not rule out discussions if there was an opportunity to merge with companies &ldquo;with a similar ideology&rdquo;. He added: &ldquo;But we are very much focused on seeking out new potential in the Ukraine.&rdquo;<br /><br />He said that the falling price of oil made it a tough time for the industry, but that Regal was in &ldquo;a position to grow&rdquo;.