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Dublin-based independent Petroceltic is hoping to stave off another shareholder revolt with plans to award the key engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its Algerian Ain Tsila wet gas development by the end of the year. The company has been working hard to buck the trend of Algerian project delays, but its reliance on the 2.1 tcf project has attracted strong criticism from activist shareholder Worldview Capital.
In its latest salvo, 29% shareholder Worldview, in a 20 August letter to the Petroceltic board, seeks “clarification... in respect of certain allegations which have recently appeared in the public domain relating to alleged fraud and corruption which may have taken place in the management of Petroceltic’s Algerian project. These public allegations contend that Mr Geoff Stevenson, Petroceltic’s Project Director for the Algerian development, as well as members of his family, may have allegedly been beneficiaries of a scheme designed to defraud the Company primarily by hiring contractors via a company called Petroplan, allegedly using overstated invoices for contractor services and that Petroceltic allegedly may have awarded contracts, such as the Front End Engineering Design (‘FEED’) contract, on a questionable basis.”
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