Tullow Oil raises £440m to develop new finds

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The Independent Online

The oil explorer Tullow Oil announced a £440m share placement yesterday as it seeks to develop new oil finds.

The placing, which is equal to about 9 per cent of the issued shares, will enable the group to continue its drilling programmes in Ghana and Uganda where it found oil in 17 of 22 wells tested last year. The company believes that it has the potential to extract 1.8 billion barrels from its Ugandan project alone.

“Tullow has had an outstanding year in 2008 and in recent weeks has announced major exploration and appraisal success in both Ghana and Uganda. Further potentially transformational wells will be drilled in 2009 in both locations,” its chief executive, Aiden Heavey, said.

The group also issued a trading statement yesterday saying that its planned debt refinancing programme is “on schedule” with 60 per cent of approvals already granted by lending banks. Tullow’s shares closed up 4.2 per cent last night, at 625.5p.