- Antrim Energy's [LON:AEY] were down by more than 2% in late afternoon trading after an update highlighting how the pace of its activity in the UK North Sea continued to grow.

The company - which also has interests Ireland and Tanzania - says highlights include:

* Completion of the water injector to increase production from the Causeway field which is currently producing 4,500 barrels of oil per day (1,600 bopd net to Antrim)

* Resumption of production from Cormorant East field following a precautionary shutdown of the Cormorant Alpha platform and Brent Pipeline System - currently performing production diagnostic testing

* Submission of the draft field development plan for Fyne field to Department of Energy and Climate Change. Approval is expected by the second quartr

* Antrim election to not participate in further development work on the Fionn field. Antrim retains a 35.5% interest in the remainder of P201 Block 211/22a South East Area

President and chief executive Stephen Greer said: "The pace of Antrim's activity in the UK North Sea continues to grow. The completion of the water injector is an important step towards enhancing production rates and recovering the optimum reserves from the Causeway field.

"On the adjacent licence, the initial flow rates and pressure data from the Cormorant East field suggest the possibility of further appraisal and development drilling, and may open up the possibility of further exploration and appraisal work in adjacent fault compartments and in the area of the 2007 Kerloch oil discovery.

"Antrim's decision to opt out of further development work on the Fionn Field allows the company to focus on the more attractive Cormorant East and Fyne developments.

"Antrim's commitment to growth in the UK North Sea was recently underscored by the option to lease the Hummingbird FPSO, breaking the log jam created by the lack of available production infrastructure in the Fyne area.

"Antrim will continue to fast track this development, which is expected to receive government approval in Q2 2013 with first production scheduled for late 2014.

"As Fyne is 100% owned by Antrim, this will represent a significant step change in the profile of the company and we look forward to further establishing ourselves as a quality North Sea operator."

Sterling Energy [LON:SEY] said 2D seismic data from the Sangaw North PSC in Kurdistan indicated the remaining potential was insufficient to justify drilling a second exploration well in the area.

The company said it had therefore elected to withdraw from the Sangaw North PSC, effective from Jan. 29, 2013.

"While we are naturally very disappointed to have been unsuccessful in our exploration efforts in Kurdistan, we now look forward to focusing on, and adding to, our remaining high potential exploration interests in Africa," said CEO Angus MacAskill.

The sector's biggest risers were Haike Chemcial [LON:HAIK] and Gold Oil [LON:GOO] - up by nearly 10% and almost 9% respectively. The biggest fallers were Xtract Energy [LON:XTR] and Lee Resources [LON:LDP] - down by more than 11% and more than 7% respectively.

At 3:59pm:

[LON:AEY] Antrim Energy Inc share price was -1p at 32.75p

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining share price was 0p at 3.5p

[LON:BOR] share price was -0.5p at 26.5p

[LON:CHAR] share price was +0.13p at 31.38p

[LON:DES] Desire Petroleum share price was 0p at 19p

[LON:DGO] Dragon Oil share price was +10.75p at 578.75p

[LON:ENQ] share price was +0.9p at 130.1p

[LON:FOGL] Falkland Oil and Gas Limited share price was -0.12p at 31.63p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +9p at 213.75p

[LON:GPX] share price was +0.5p at 107.5p

[LON:HAIK] share price was +1.75p at 19.5p

[LON:INDI] share price was -5p at 950p

[LON:LDP] share price was -0.01p at 0.19p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources share price was -0.13p at 20.25p

[LON:RKH] share price was +3.5p at 159.75p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum share price was +0.01p at 30.38p

[LON:SEY] Sterling Energy share price was -1.12p at 37.13p

[LON:XEL] share price was +0.38p at 101.38p

[LON:XTR] share price was -0.02p at 0.16p

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