Edinburgh explorer has since reported significant finds offshore Cameroon
OIL exploration firm Bowleven has posted a pre-tax loss of $76.8 million (s48.19 million) largely from unsuccessful exploration costs.
The Edinburgh said the write-off of its Epaemeno prospect offshore Gambon had cost $41.7 million (s26.14 million) and is reporting no revenue for the 2010 year.
The preliminary results, posted today, were largely in line with analyst expectations for the year to June 30, 2010.
The Edinburgh company also reported losses of $22.6 million (s14.16 million) on foreign exchange trading against a gain of $31 million (s19.43 million) a year earlier.
Foreign exchange currency losses arise from International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) being applied to exchange rate movements on funding group companies globally.
Bowleven posted profits of $19.5 million (s12.19 million) last year.
Capital expenditure increased to $85.7 million (s53.5 million) from $39.7 million (s24.83 million) as exploration activity was ramped up.
However Bowleven has made significant new discoveries since its financial year end particularly at its Sapele-3 exploration well in the Douala Basin off the coast of Cameroon.
Test data had shown the find may contain more oil than was originally thought, with the oil reservoir extending considerably beyond the current mapped area.
All four wells drilled in Sapele have struck oil.
Bowleven has increased its P50 oil resources those with a 50 per cent chance of being produced - by 39 per cent to 226 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Chief executive Kevin Hart said: "It has been an exciting year of intense operational activity for Bowleven during which considerable progress has been made across our Cameroon acreage.
"The initial discovery of oil and gas condensate with the Sapele-1 exploration well was a key event for the company.
"The subsequent three Sapele wells drilled all encountered hydrocarbons and we are particularly encouraged that at every location where these intersected the Deep Omicron interval we have encountered oil.
"These results highlight the significant prospectivity and potential of our acreage in the Douala Basin.
"As we continue to successfully explore and appraise our acreage we have been actively progressing integrated development options for the entire Etinde Permit (offshore Cameroon)."
Bowleven plans to drill three appraisal wells on Etinde as well as two exploration wells.
The firm reports it had $96.6 million (s60.39 million) in cash and no debt at the year end, and has sufficient funds in place for the proposed Etinde drilling program.
Bowleven also launched a $124 million (s77.5 million) share placing in October - conditional on shareholder approval which is expected to conclude late November.
Shares in Bowleven rose more than six per cent in early trading.