Petroceltic International, an oil and gas explorer and producer, has secured a US$500mn loan for expansion into Egypt, Bulgaria and Algeria.

The lead arrangers of the finance are the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and HSBC. The IFC has provided a direct loan of US$100mn, while the additional capital comes from commercial lenders and is guaranteed by the IFC. Both tranches of the loan have tenors of five years.

The loan replaces a US$300mn bridging facility the company secured around the time of its merger with Melrose Resources last year.

Petroceltic will use the loan to promote the development of cleaner-burning natural gas for domestic use and export in the aforementioned three markets.