Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Northern Petroleum chairman Richard Latham looks ahead to new phase of accelerated growth

In his AGM statement, Northern Petroleum (LON:NOP) chairman Richard Latham said the company has embarked upon an "exciting new phase of accelerated growth", with a large asset base, over 100m barrels of independently assessed reserves and new production on-stream in The Netherlands.

On Friday 25th June, Northern Petroleum announced a three pronged plan of action, designed to speed up the pace of development of its substantial positions in Italy and the Netherlands.

For much of the past year, the junior oil company’s focus has been directed at its assets in the Netherlands. Since entering the Netherlands six years ago, Northern has added 42.7 million barrels of oil equivalent of net Proven and Probable reserves, placed four gas fields into production and has two oil fields under development. While this is undoubtedly impressive progress, the company now feels the time is right to expand its balance sheet to accelerate the pace of development of its other assets.

To this end, the company decided to divest of its UK operations, which will be handled by marketing company Envoi Ltd, and also confirmed that it planned to raise additional capital in the debt markets to accelerate development of its other assets. The non-core UK assets include 6.82 million barrels of Proven and probable oil reserves.

On Friday, Northern also confirmed that it had placed approximately 11.765 million shares at 85 pence raising £10 million (gross).  As of June 23, the company had €13.3 million of cash in hand.

"We have initiated a change of strategy to increase activity and greater progress in realising the potential of our assets”, Latham stated. “An emphasis is placed upon drilling prospects in The Netherlands and undertaking a large offshore seismic survey in Italy to de-risk the very high potential value of the licences, making them more attractive for major oil industry players to farm-in and thereby bringing forward the drilling activities.”

Additionally, in Guyane (French Guiana), Northern Petroleum intends to participate, alongside Tullow Oil (LON:TLW), Shell (LON:RDSB) and Total (NYSE:TOT), in drilling of one or more wells in an offshore exploration licence.  The company has a 1.25% interest in the project.

"In summary your company is well capitalised with approximately EUR23 million of cash, and has the prospect of a Netherlands loan facility and potential funds from the sale of UK assets,” Latham added.