Oil and gas business Rockhopper Exploration said on Thursday that its primary focus for the remainder of the financial year was to further progress funding proposals aimed at sanctioning its Sea Lion field project in the Falkland Islands by the end of 2018.
The firm swung to a pre-tax loss of US$7m over the six months leading to 30 June from a US$104.3m profit at the same time a year earlier, as the previous year's mark-up of the 'fair value' of the assets acquired from Falklands Oil & Gas failed to repeat.
Revenues were higher by 74% to US$5.1m, contributing to a small gross profit of US$728,000.
The firm said discussions with British export credit agency UK Export Finance were already underway over a proposed £800m in senior debt financing for Sea Lion, talks with potential contractors for the project were also said to be moving ahead as it had received non-binding proposals for much of the proposed finance with more expected to arrive in the near future.
Significantly, the outfit revised lower the estimated capex bill for the first phase of the project to £1.5bn, down from an initial projection of US$1.8bn.
In terms of production, Rockhopper doubled its oil production, moving from 0.6 thousand barrels of oil equivalents per day (kboepd) to 1.2 kboepd. Despite that, earnings per share sank further into the red, with the company reporting a 0.91p loss versus EPS of 23.77p at the end of the first half of 2016.