Oil exploration company Providence Resources has reported a loss for last year of €26.853m, compared to a loss for 2018 of €4.78m.

The 2019 loss includes a net impairment charge of €21.2m on its main exploration and evaluation assets, following the decision to relinquish a number of West of Ireland offshore licences.

It follows a challenging year for the company which saw a planned farm-out agreement with Chinese company APEC over the Barryroe prospect fail to materialise.

In September it also had to raise €3.4m from shareholders to support working capital requirements into this year and fund a restructure of the firm.

This involved a number of staff members, including CEO Tony O'Reilly jr and a number of non-executive directors, leaving the company.

Mr O'Reilly received a settlement payment of €448,500 for the early termination of his contract.

In January Alan Linn was appointed CEO and he is now executing the new strategy, including prioritising the farm out of the Barryroe project.

The company has entered a period of exclusive negotiations with SpotOn Energy until October in relation to the Barryroe farm out, following its investment of £500,000 in Providence.

Providence says it has also submitted a number of licence withdrawal applications to the Government as the projects are unlikely to progress in the mid-term because of the ban on new oil exploration.

Last year the Irish Government introduced gas only exploration licences for new projects, although existing permits remain unchanged.

A further €3m was raised by Providence in April of this year by way of a placing and subscription to provide funding through to the same time next year.

The company said that at the end of last year it had cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet of €710,000 compared to €7.617m a the same point a year earlier.

It was not, however, carrying any debt.

Providence Resources will hold its AGM on July 20.