Limerick company literally sitting on billions

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A LIMERICK based exploration company has indicated it could be sitting on over $10billion worth of oil off the north African coast.

Circle oil has published results from exploratory drilling in Tunisia that outlines over 100million barrels located offshore.

A spokesman for the company said that the market value of the find would be diluted by the cost of getting the oil out of the ground, although added that it was too early to say how much extraction costs would be, or how long it would take.

The results published indicate that the find is at a preliminary at this stage, but that did not stop the company’s stock rising by almost 25 per cent to a price of 21.75p a share.

Investec said that the Tunisian result “is a significant step forward for Circle” and that results are “potentially transformational”, and predicted that the company’s value could climb as high as 80p per share on the news if management estimates of the results are correct.

The site, El Meiouni-1, in the Mahdia Permit off the coast of Tunisia, is located around 120 kilometres off shore from the eastern port of Sousse in water depths of 240 metres.

Chief executive Professor Chris Green noted some difficulties during the dig despite the prosperous find stating: “We are extremely pleased to add this potential large discovery to our portfolio in Tunisia. It is unfortunate that the hole conditions became untenable so quickly and we were unable to conduct a full log appraisal effort forward on the Mahdia Permit.”

In 2012, Circle Oil made an profit of $28.2 million (€21.4 million) which was a 41 per cent increase on the previous year.