- Operating losses at oil and gas explorer Bahamas Petroleum Co fell to $3.1m in the six months to the end of June - down from $4.6m a year ago.

The basic and diluted loss per share fell to 0.25c - down from 0.41c last time.

The company said that during the period it had received a letter from the government of the Bahamas which confirmed that all fees due had been paid and company had complied with the terms of the licences.

Chief executive Simon Potter said: "The first half of 2012 has been a busy period for both the company and the Bahamian people who have seen a new government elected to power.

"The company continues to work closely with the new government especially on the environmental front as we progress our plans to drill an exploratory well in Bahamian waters.

"The company has made considerable progress in further de-risking of prospects within its southern licences with the receipt of initial 'fast track' results from its 3D survey completed in 2011.

"Sufficient confidence was derived from these data to commission an initial front end engineering design (FEED) to construct a well plan for the drilling of a 22,500' deep exploration well.

"Incorporation of all government input and the quality of the data will ensure that the company remains consistent with the government mandate that all oil exploration and production be regulated by the highest standard of health, safety and environmental protection.

"Completion of the current work plan will place the company in a position where drilling can commence at the earliest possibility."

At 9:09am: [LON:BPC] share price was -0.1p at 4.66p

Story provided by