- Rockhopper Exploration said first-half losses deepened as production volumes slipped and operating costs rose.

Losses for the six months through June amounted to $7.4m, compared to losses of $7.0m on-year.

Revenue rose slightly to $5.1m after higher oil and gas prices offset moderately lower production owing to natural field decline.

Cash operating costs, excluding depreciation and impairment charges, rose to $2.2m, up from $1.8m.

Rockhopper said it was ramping up its Sea Lion development in the North Falkland Basin towards project sanction by mid-2019. It would focus in 2018 on securing senior debt for the project.

'We continue to work closely with the operator to progress Sea Lion and, while much work still needs to be done to finalise the funding of the development,' chairman David McManus said.

'With oil prices currently above US$75 per barrel we are focussing all of our efforts on doing everything possible to allow project sanction to take place next year.'

'Notwithstanding the increased activity and spend on Sea Lion, the company continues its ongoing focus on cost control and has maintained a strong balance sheet with cash resources at mid 2018 of $46m and no debt.'

At 8:36am: [LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was +0.28p at 34.28p

Story provided by