Market Report: Shares in fracking firm IGas Energy have run out of steam


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The Independent Online

Shares in fracking firm IGas Energy have run out of steam.

The AIM-listed company’s shale gas ambitions were punctured when local authorities in Lancashire rejected privately-owned peer Cuadrilla’s fracking plans.

Extracting first gas in the UK using the controversial extraction process now looks an even more distant prospect than before.

Cuadrilla, which is now weighing an appeal, said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the verdict.

It is also a blow to Prime Minister David Cameron, who pledged to go “all out for shale gas” in January 2014 despite vocal opposition from green campaigners.

IGas, down 4.25p at 26.5p, has lost 80 per cent of its value over the past year.

Last week, it revealed it racked up an £18.5m loss in 2014 as lower oil prices hit sales from its conventional wells – those which do not require fracking.

AIM oil and gas explorer Egdon Resources, which also has shale gas hopes, dropped 1.75p to 14.5p.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index tanked 133.22 points or 2 per cent to 6,620.48 after talks broke down between debt-laden Greece and its creditors and restrictions were imposed on cash withdrawals.

Last week’s Tunisian terror attack which killed 39 tourists at a beach hit shares in Thomson and First Choice owner Tui, down 79p at 1,034p, and Thomas Cook, down 5.4p at 138.8p. Tui said it had around 6,400 customers in Tunisia at the time of the attack.

British Airways owner IAG, down 21.3p to 493.2p, and budget rival Easyjet, down 33p to 1,544p, also fell out of favour.

Demand for safe-haven assets helped gold producer Randgold Resources, up 26p to 4,400p, and silver miner Fresnillo, up 2.5p to 700.5p.

The Falkland Islands oil drillers fell after a federal judge in Argentina ordered their assets to be seized. Tensions have flared up between the UK and Argentina in recent years since the discovery of oil on the South Atlantic islands, and rhetoric is heating up ahead of the Argentinian elections in October. Premier Oil tumbled 1.7p to 151.3p, Rockhopper Exploration fell 3p to 69p, while Falkland Oil & Gas shed 1.25p to 27p.