MEO Australia Limited has successfully raised additional capital to further its Cuban exploration opportunity.

The company recently announced that it had accepted commitments to raise approximately $1.69 million through a placement of approximately 46.9 million shares at $0.036 per share to qualified institutional and sophisticated investors.

MEO said the placement received strog support from a number of existing shareholders while a number of “high quality new investors” have now come on to its share register.

The Placement price of $0.036 per share represents a ~17 per cent discount to MEO’s volume weighted average price for the 10 business days up to and including August 16, 2016.

MEO managing director and CEO, Peter Strickland, said the proceeds from the placement will be used to accelerate MEO’s onshore exploration activities on Block 9 in Cuba, including the preparation of a drilling programme for up to two wells in Block 9 and for additional working capital purposes.

The company recently reported that it expects to complete the preliminary stage of an assessment of the Upper Sheet and Shallow Tertiary plays in Block 9 in the fourth quarter of 2016. It has already completed an assessment of the resource potential of the Lower Sheet play in the Cuban PSC.

MEO has also commenced the work required to accelerate the potential for early drilling in Block 9. It has identified a target named the A2 Lead and a follow up to the Marti-5 oil recovery as targets which could potentially be drilled on existing data.

The company said it is aiming to finalise a drilling plan by the first quarter of 2017 for up to two wells in Block 9.

To support its plans, MEO has opened a representative office in Havana and appointed former Cupet Exploration Director Dr Rafael Tenreyro as its representative in Cuba.