Press releases 2008
19 June 2008
Meridian Petroleum plc Publicly Censured and Fined
Meridian Petroleum plc, an oil and gas exploration and production company, has today been publicly censured and fined £75,000 for breaches of the AIM Rules between August 2004 and February 2007.
The censure under the AIM Rules 10, 11 and 31 relates to Meridian repeatedly failing to:
- take reasonable care to ensure that its announcements disclosed realistic operational deadlines and/or material issues likely to affect the achievability of deadlines;
- make full and accurate statements regarding the progress and status of its Calvin and Orion oil and gas assets;
- disclose price sensitive information to the market without delay regarding operational problems facing the company and consequent drilling and production delays;
- seek the advice of its Nomad and to take advice from its Nomad into account regarding its compliance with the AIM Rules.
Martin Graham, Head of AIM, said:
“AIM is a disclosure based market, so it is crucial that AIM companies accurately disclose price sensitive information to the market without delay and seek advice from their Nomads. Meridian committed significant breaches of the AIM disclosure rules over an extended period of time which is why we have taken this enforcement action today.”
In determining the appropriate sanction, the London Stock Exchange took into account the various factors set out in the censure, including the fact that the number, nature and duration of the breaches over a two and half year period demonstrate a disregard for the AIM Rules and amount to reckless conduct during the relevant period. In deciding the level of the fine, the Exchange also took into account, amongst other things, that Meridian is a small company with limited financial resources and the potential impact of the fine on the company and its shareholders.
Full details of the breach can be found in the Public Censure:
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For further information, please contact:
Patrick Humphris / Fiona Hurst + 44 (0) 20 7797 1222
Notes to editors:
Background to Meridian Petroleum plc
Meridian Petroleum plc floated on AIM on 20 July 2004 and raised £2.3 million. Its principal activity is to invest in and operate oil and gas exploration and production properties in the USA, Australia and elsewhere.
On admission, Meridian Petroleum plc’s largest asset was the Calvin field, located in Louisiana USA, representing over 50% of the company’s Net Present Value. The Orion field, located in Michigan USA, was acquired by the company after admission and was described as a ‘significant shut in gas reserve’.
Relevant Regulatory Provisions
- Under AIM Rule 10, an AIM company must take reasonable care to ensure that any information it notifies is not misleading, false or deceptive and does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.
- Under AIM Rule 11, an AIM company must issue notification without delay of any new developments which are not public knowledge concerning a change in, inter alia, its expectation of its performance, which, if made public, would be likely to lead to a substantial movement in the price of its AIM securities.
- Under AIM Rule 31, an AIM company, inter alia, must ensure that each of its directors seeks advice from its nominated adviser regarding its compliance with these rules whenever appropriate and takes that advice into account.