StockMarketWire.com - Bahamas Petroleum [LON:BPC] was one of the sector's biggest risers after five licences were renewed for a further three years with an obligation to start drilling an exploration well by April 2015.

The company expects to meet this obligation, subject to financing via a farm-out agreement, with an exploration well in the southern licences anticipated in the second half of 2014.

The licences nominally comprise four three-year terms.

The company said the requirements of the first term, which concluded on 26 April 2012, were all considerably exceeded.

Under the licence renewal terms, the second term of the licence has been extended to 2016 with the requirement to start a second exploration well also extended to April 2017. As part of this renewal, the southern boundaries of the four southern licences are to be adjusted to conform to the maritime boundary between The Bahamas and Cuba, providing tenure over the full extent of the existing mapped structures.

San Leon Energy [LON:SLE] has appointed Piotr Rozwadowski as a non-executive director, with immediate effect. Rozwadowski has over 25 years' experience working in the energy sector in Poland and he was also a former vice-minister of state for the treasury in Poland where he was responsible for energy and telecoms.

Soco International [LON:SIA] has given an operations update.

In Vietnam, the first well drilled in the H5 fault block of the Te Giac Trang field, the TGT-10X exploration well, has encountered approximately 117 metres of net pay section (circa 250 metres gross pay) having reached 4,226 metres Measured Depth ("MD"). The well has drilled into the Oligocene D2 section.

In Republic of Congo, the exploration well on the Lideka East Marine prospect, the LDKEM-1 well, spudded on 20th July 2013. The well is expected to take approximately 30-35 days to reach the target depth.

In Republic of Angola, final preparations are under way at the Dinge 20-6 and Dinge 20-7 well locations prior to the commencement of the two well exploration programme.

Gulf Keystone [LON:GKP] has reached an agreement with M&G Recovery Fund and other major shareholders over the current and future composition of Gulf Keystone's board.

The agreement follows a number of discussions between the Company and its largest shareholders, during which the concerns expressed by the company about the four nominees for independent non-executive directorships proposed by M&G, were fully aired and addressed to the satisfaction of the company's chairman Simon Murray and Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, chairman of the nominations committee.

Both M&G and Capital Research Global Investors have confirmed to the company that they will vote all of their shares to both approve the election of Simon Murray as the independent non-executive chairman and endorse the appointment of two further independent non-executive directors.

The board has agreed with M&G that the size of the board should be limited to a maximum of 12 directors in the future.

The board has therefore decided that it will no longer oppose the candidates proposed by M&G and will endorse the choice to be made by shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on 25 July.

Ali Al-Qabandi and Mehdi Varzi have informed the board that they wish to withdraw their consent to be considered for re-election as directors of thecompany and will retire by rotation with effect from the close of the AGM.

Range Resources [LON:RRL] has drawn shareholders' attention to the announcement released by Citation Resources on the Atzam #4 Well in Guatemala with the following highlights:

- Atzam #4 well producing at an improved flow rate of 140 bopd on the same restricted 8/64ths choke from the Upper C17 carbonate section (2,846-2,853ft);

- Production currently on a restricted 8/64ths choke due to limited onsite storage tank capacity, until off take contracts in place;

- Current flow rate of approximately 140 bopd with a well head flowing pressure of 360 psi, 38° API oil and no water production;

- Operator estimated a flow rate in-excess of 1,000 bopd on an open choke based on flow rates achieved from various choke sizes up to 32/64ths since initial production;

- Limited onsite storage tank capacity of 7,000 barrels, with over 4,000 barrels produced from Atzam #4 ready for immediate sale;

- Negotiations advancing with potential off take parties for current and future Atzam oil production;

- Atzam #4 independent reserve report due shortly- expected upgrade of initial report with Probable Reserve estimate of 2.3m barrels of oil based on logging data;

- Significant upside potential remains in Atzam #4 untested sections-13ft zone in Upper C17 with better logs than current producing zone, and the C13 and C14 carbonate sections- all yet to be perforated and tested, to be done in future well operations;

- Plans advanced for spudding Atzam #5 in September quarter 2013.

Royal Dutch Shell [LON:RDSA] has unveiled plans to boost its deepwater production in Brazil.

Working with its partners, it is aiming to go ahead with two new deepwater projects at Parque das Conchas (BC-10) and the Bijupirá/Salema fields.

"Offshore Brazil is a key part of our plans to grow our deepwater portfolio - a key component of our global strategy," said John Hollowell, Executive Vice-President for Deep Water, Shell Upstream Americas.

"We look forward to continuing the work with our partners in offshore Brazil to develop the resources in a safe and responsible way."

At Parque das Conchas (BC-10), Shell and its partners Petrobras and ONGC, have decided to move forward with phase three of the project, which will include the installation of subsea-infrastructure at the Massa and Argonauta O-South fields.

Once online, this project is expected to reach a peak production of 28,000 barrels of oilequivalent (boe) per day (Shell's share is 50%, Petrobras has 35% and ONGC 15%).

Since coming on-stream in 2009, the BC-10 project has produced more than 70m boe. Phase two of the project, to tie-in the Argonauta O-North field, continues to progress and is expected to come online late this year with a peak production of 35,000 boe per day.

At the Bijupirá/Salema fields, a re-development is underway that includes the drilling of four new production wells. This is expected to boost production from these fields to a peak of 35,000 boe per day by next year (Shell's share is 80% and Petrobras has 20%). The Bijupirá/Salema fields have produced close to 100m boe since startup in 2003.

Ascent Resources has agreed to sell its 100% interest in Ascent Resources Italia to Global Power Sources.

ARI contains the company's Italian exploration assets; being its interests in the exploration permits in Frosinone, Fiume Arrone and Strangolagalli.

The sale and purchase agreement provides that, at closing

(i) GPS will pay Ascent €100,000 cash

(ii) Ascent will issue ARI with new ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each to the value of €300,000 at the average market price of such ordinary shares over the last 15 days before the closing date

(iii) GPS will assume all future work commitments (estimated to be in the region of €7,300,000) and financial liabilities (consisting of a €700,000 bank loan) relating to ARI

(iv) Ascent has written off a capital contribution to ARI of €600,000

Pantheon Resources (LONLPANR) says talks between Vision Gas Resources and interested parties in respect of the restructuring of the Tyler County joint venture continue.

Pantheon says a further announcement will be made when the restructuring has been successfully concluded, following which Vision intends to commit to a suitable rig and then drill the KFH#1 well. Pantheon's 25% working interest in the Tyler County JV will not be affected by the restructuring.

Tower Resources [LON:TRP] was the sector's biggest faller after it revealed it is to plug and abandon the Murombe-1 exploration well, offshore Namibia.

"The result of the Murombe-1 well, although disappointing ... offers further evidence of a working source in the Walvis Basin," said CEO Graeme Thomson in a statement.

"The question remains, to where has the oil from these source rocks migrated?"




At 4:13pm:

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining share price was 0p at 2p

[LON:BOR] share price was 0p at 15.25p

[LON:BPC] share price was +0.43p at 4.18p

[LON:CHAR] share price was -2.12p at 17.13p

[LON:DES] Desire Petroleum share price was +0.13p at 14.13p

[LON:DGO] Dragon Oil share price was -2.75p at 627.75p

[LON:ENQ] share price was +1.95p at 127.55p

[LON:FOGL] Falkland Oil and Gas Limited share price was -0.5p at 28.75p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +5.75p at 178.5p

[LON:GPX] share price was -2.5p at 59.5p

[LON:INDI] share price was +1.5p at 917p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources share price was -0.38p at 14p

[LON:RKH] share price was -1.25p at 129.75p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum share price was -0.12p at 14.88p

[LON:RRL] share price was +0.03p at 2.48p

[LON:SIA] SOCO International share price was +16.6p at 375.5p

[LON:SLE] share price was +0.44p at 5.99p

[LON:XEL] share price was -1.62p at 105.38p



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