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Desire Raises £42m to Drill for Falklands Oil

Desire Petroleum, the oil and gas company working in the North Basin of the Falklands, has raised £42 million in a 70p per share placing with predominantly new institutional investors.  The move comes ahead of Desire™s plans to begin a drilling programme early next year.  While the company already has US$40 million in the bank to fund two wells in the campaign, it needs the extra cash to fund all four of the wells that it has contracted with the rig operator, Diamond Offshore Drilling (UK).  In addition, the company has now agreed an extra two well option deal, taking its options over further wells to six.  Its partner in the region, Rockhopper Exploration, has now signed an agreement with Desire for the take up of two of those six options.  As well as the placing, Desire is also pushing ahead with plans to raise another £20 million in a 70p per share open offer.