- Hardy Oil and Gas [LON:HDY] was the sector's biggest riser despite pre-tax losses rising to $12.7m in the year to the end of December - up from $4.6m last time.

Hardy has cash and short-term investments of $29.1m at the end of December, compared with $36.5m a year ago, and no debt.

Chairman Alasdair Locke said: "In 2013, our primary objectives will be to build on current momentum by securing key stakeholders' approvals and initiating activity to take us closer to realising production from our D3, PY-3 and GS-01 blocks.

"We have clear deliverables for each asset in 2013 and management has built positive momentum going into an important year for Hardy."

Iofina [LON:IOF] was another riser following an operational update.

The company said the IOsorb iodine production process was proving successful, with 80-95% recovery of iodine contained in iodine rich brine streams.

It said production at IO#2 plant was in line with expectations and further optimisation was planned.

President and chief executive Lance Baller said: "We are excited about our WET®IOsorb and the opportunity they afford to the group. Iofina remains focused on becoming a world leader in the production of Iodine and Iodine derivatives and the Board looks forward to what it anticipates to be a fourth consecutive year of record revenues in 2013."

Gasol [LON:GAS], the West African energy development company, has executed a multi-tranche, unsecured bond instrument.

The bond has an interest rate of 10% per annum and a maturity of 3 years. Interest is payable twice yearly.

The board is also pleased to announce that the first bond tranche of US$20m has been placed with institutional investors. The Bond has a maximum issue size of US$100m and any subsequent tranches will be subject to investor appetite.

The net proceeds from the initial tranche of the bond will be used to support initial development work and scoping studies for the development of the company's liquefied natural gas (LNG) import project, which is to be situated in Benin, West Africa.

The intention will be to supply gas into the 678km West African Gas Pipeline for delivery to customers in Benin, Togo and Ghana, where significant gas shortages exist.

Chief operating officer Alan Buxton said: "It is a very strong endorsement of the Company's business strategy that we are able to raise this level of funds in a tight credit market and receive this support from the institutional investment community. Gasol is well funded and positioned to move ahead with its outlined strategy."

Circle Oil [LON:COP] has issued an update regarding the Al Amir SE and the Geyad fields.

Circle said infill production well AASE-14X ST, located centrally in the field midway between AASE-1X ST and AASE-12X ST, encountered 20 ft MD of gross oil-bearing Shagar sand (9,610-9,630 ft MD) with 16 ft MD net pay, plus 15 ft MD of gross oil-bearing Rahmi sand (9,680-9,695 ft MD) with 13 ft MD net pay, with a total depth of 10,000 ft MD.

The well has been completed as a Rahmi producer and the initial test rate was 3,486 bopd and 3.18 MMscf/d through a 48/64" choke. The well has been put on production and the stabilised rate on 5 March 2013 was 1,333 bopd and 1.359 MMscf/d through a 28/64-inch choke.

The rig has been released from this well and moved to commence drilling AASE-16X, a water injector located in the central western area of the field.

Gross production from the AASE and Geyad fields is currently 9,600 bopd and 10 MMscf/d (11,420 boepd). Cumulative production from the NW Gemsa Concession has now exceeded 10.7 million barrels of 42 degree API Crude oil.

The NW Gemsa concession, containing the Al Amir and Geyad development leases, covering an area of over 260 square kilometres, lies about 300 kilometres southeast of Cairo in a partially unexplored area of the Gulf of Suez Basin.

The concession agreement includes the right of conversion to a production licence of 20 years, plus extensions, in the event of commercial discoveries.

The NW Gemsa concession partners include: Vegas Oil and Gas (50% interest and operator); Circle Oil (40%) and Sea Dragon Energy (10%).

Circle chief executive Prof Chris Green said: "Circle is very pleased with the positive flow rates from the Rahmi sands of the AASE-14X ST well, where the upside of the Shagar sands remains a target for future production. The rig has been moved to drill the AASE-16X water injector well, which was spud in early March."

The sector's biggest fallers were Maple Energy [LON:MPLE], Aminex [LON:AEX], Frontera Resources [LON:FRR] and Sefton Resources [LON:SER].

At 4:01pm:

[LON:AEX] Aminex share price was -0.3p at 5.5p

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining share price was 0p at 3p

[LON:BOR] share price was +1p at 23p

[LON:CHAR] share price was -0.62p at 21.88p

[LON:COP] Circle Oil share price was -0.12p at 17.63p

[LON:DES] Desire Petroleum share price was -0.12p at 17.13p

[LON:DGO] Dragon Oil share price was -3.75p at 623.75p

[LON:ENQ] share price was -0.45p at 135.55p

[LON:FOGL] Falkland Oil and Gas Limited share price was -0.37p at 28.38p

[LON:GAS] share price was +0.88p at 23.63p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +3.25p at 198.25p

[LON:GPX] share price was -0.25p at 104.25p

[LON:HDY] share price was +13p at 128p

[LON:INDI] share price was 0p at 955p

[LON:IOF] share price was +7p at 153p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources share price was +0.63p at 16.13p

[LON:RKH] share price was +0.63p at 150.38p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum share price was 0p at 28p

[LON:XEL] share price was +2.13p at 112.13p

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