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Touchstone agrees $20m loan to develop Ortoire assets in Trinidad

27 May 2020 | by: James Moore

Touchstone Exploration (LSE:TXP) has agreed a seven-year $20 million credit facility to help it develop its natural gas and oil assets in Trinidad.

The senior secure syndicated loan with Republic Bank comes with a fixed interest rate of 7.85% per annum, payable quarterly in arrears.

Access to the facility will help the joint-listed AIM and Toronto Stock Exchange explorer to spin up operations at its highly-rated Ortoire block on the island’s southern coast.

Chief Financial Officer Scott Budua noted: ““We are pleased to be able to source local financing from Republic Bank, the largest lender in Trinidad and the Caribbean. The interest payable on the loan is expected to be tax deductible in Trinidad, equating to an after-tax cost of capital of 3.5%.”

Touchstone added that it would continue to operate under an existing $20m credit facility, including a production payment of 1.33% of petroleum sales from Trinidad land holdings, payable to the lender quarterly until October 2021.

Rapid growth has seen the company add 50% to its share price in the last 30 days. Central to this optimism are its recent successes at the Coho and Cascadura wells.

TXP shares have grown strongly from a 2013 IPO price of 8.5p to hit 44.4p in early Wednesday trading. That represents an all-time high for the Canadian explorer and a sharp recovery beyond previous highs before the stock market crash of mid-March 2020.

In an exclusive interview with ValueTheMarkets.com last month CEO Paul Baay noted the next major steps for development at Ortoire. 

On 5 May 2020 the company signed a landmark framework agreement to sell gas discovered across Ortoire to the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago. In exchange the state-owned firm will build all production pipelines in local gathering systems. 

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This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

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