Exploration company Petroceltic has today successfully raised $100m through a share placing.

The company said the net proceeds of the placing will be used for "financial flexibility" to pursue growth opportunities across its existing portfolio and also through new centures.

Petroceltic said that a total of 37,940,000 new ordinary shares were conditionally placed in relation to the placing at a price of 157 pence each, a premium to yesterday's closing price.

As part of the measure, Dovenby Capital Ltd - which is led by Malaysian oil and gas industry specialist Dato' Ahmad Fuad - invested $50m by subscribing for shares.

Earlier, the company reported a loss of $19m for last year on the back of a write-off of £37m due to unsuccessful wells in Egypt, Bulgaria and Romania.

It reported revenues of $197m for the year to the end of December, which it said supported a capital programme of €161m across six countries.

Petroceltic said it plans further exploration in its Kurdistan and Romania wells this year, while "front end engineering and design" will start at its most significant asset, the Ain Tsila gas condensate field in Algeria.

The company's chairman, Robert Adair, said Petroceltic's move to the main markets of the Irish and London stock exchanges has broadened the range of current and potential investors in the company. 

"The proceeds of the proposed equity placing will allow us to continue to enhance the value of our existing portfolio and evaluate appropriate growth opportunities as they arise," Mr Adair said.