StockMarketWire.com - North Celtic Sea-focussed Lansdowne Oil & Gas [LON:LOGP] was the sector's biggest riser after announcing that it expects drilling on the Midleton prospect to start in August.

It said PSE Seven Heads, the operator of SEL 4/07, and a wholly owned subsidiary of PSE Kinsale Energy Limited has entered into a contract with Diamond Offshore Drilling (UK) Limited for the 'Ocean Guardian' drilling rig to drill a well on the Midleton prospect.

Lansdowne says the 'Ocean Guardian' is expected to drill the Midleton well during August

The well site survey has been completed over the Midleton location using the survey vessel 'Polar Surveyor'.

Kinsale Energy holds an 80% interest in SEL 4/07, with Lansdowne holding the remaining 20%.

Through the farm-in agreement previously announced, Kinsale Energy will fund 100% of the costs of drilling a well (including the site survey work) on the Midleton prospect.

Kinsale Energy is continuing work on well planning and further announcements will be made in due course. Lansdowne chief executive Steve Boldy said: "We are pleased with the rapid progress Kinsale Energy has made since taking over as operator and look forward to the drilling of the Midleton well later this year."

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Egdon Resources [LON:EDR] has reached agreement in respect of a further farm-out of licence PEDL253 to Union Jack Oil.

Union Jack originally farmed-in to the licence in March 2013.

Under the terms of this new farm-out, Union Jack will earn an additional 1.2% interest in PEDL253 from Egdon in return for paying 2.4% of the costs of the planned Biscathorpe-2 exploration well.

Union Jack has also agreed terms with Montrose Industries Limited to earn a further 0.8% interest in PEDL253 in return for paying 1.6% of the well costs.

On completion of these new farm-outs the interests in PEDL253 will be:

- Egdon Resources U.K. Limited 52.8% (Operator)

- Montrose Industries Limited 35.2%

- Union Jack Oil plc 12.0%

Egdon managing director Mark Abbott said: "While this is only a relatively small scale additional farm-out, we are encouraged by Union Jack's continued confidence in the prospectivity of the Biscathorpe structure, which we plan to test later in 2015 with the Biscathorpe-2 well."

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Cadogan Petroleum [LON:CAD] has announced that Bertrand des Pallieres has submitted his resignation as chief executive officer in order to focus on the company's increasingly active oil and gas trading business.

Mr des Pallieres will remain an executive director of the company which expects to announce the appointment of a new CEO after its AGM later in the week.

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Tullow Oil [LON:TLW] has settled its Capital Gains Tax (CGT) dispute with the Government of Uganda and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) with regard to its farm-downs to CNOOC and Total in 2012.

Following constructive discussions with the Government of Uganda and the URA, Tullow has agreed to pay $250 million in full and final settlement of its CGT liability.

This sum comprises $142 million that Tullow paid in 2012 and $108 million to be paid in three equal installments of $36 million. The first of these was paid upon settlement and the remainder will be paid in 2016 and 2017.

Tullow disputed the URA's assessment of $473 million of CGT payable following the farm-downs and appealed against the assessment before the Uganda Tax Appeals Tribunal ('TAT') and commenced an International Arbitration in September 2013.

In July 2014, the TAT rejected Tullow's appeal and assessed Tullow's CGT liability for the farm-downs at $407 million less $142 million previously paid.

In its 2014 accounts, Tullow recorded a contingent liability of $265 million in relation to the dispute. Tullow subsequently appealed the TAT ruling to the Ugandan High Court and continued with its International Arbitration claim. Following this settlement, both these legal proceedings have been withdrawn.

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Bahamas Petroleum [LON:BPC] will hold its annual general meeting at IOMA House, Hope Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1AP, on 23 July at midday.

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Antrim Energy's [LON:AEY] UK subsidiary, Antrim Energy (Ventures), has entered into a contract with Offshore Installation Services to permanently plug and abandon Antrim's four suspended subsea wells in the Central North Sea.

United Kingdom Seaward Licences require licensees to permanently abandon all suspended wells prior to licence expiry.

The contract includes the permanent abandonment of the three suspended wells on the Fyne Licence (P077, Block 21/28a) and the one suspended well on the Erne Licence (P1875, Block 21/29d).

The contract is expected to be executed as part of a 10-well abandonment campaign including six Central North Sea wells from another operator. This multi-client campaign allows the operators to share certain common costs offering significant cost savings.

The estimated total gross cost for abandonment of Antrim's four wells is £4.75m, with the estimated net cost to Antrim totalling £1.80m. The planned mobilisation date for the campaign is currently 8 July and the 10 well campaign is scheduled to take approximately 45 days to complete.

Antrim's chief executive Anthony Potter said: "Should the campaign be successful the company will have met its remaining obligations under the licences in a timely and responsible manner and removed uncertainty as to its financial position going forward with respect to any future corporate opportunities. In this regard the company continues to assess opportunities based on, amongst other criteria, strategic fit, focus on near term appraisal/development, use of funds and transformative potential."

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Providence Resources [LON:PVR] said new 2D seismic data confirms the presence of the large Newgrange Cretaceous four-way dip closure. Newgrange is also known as Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 6/14.

Providence Resources (80%) operates FEL 6/14 on behalf of its partner Sosina Exploration (20%) which lies in c. 1,000 metre water depth in the Goban Spur Basin and is c. 260 km off the south west coast of Ireland.

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Afren [LON:AFR] is seeking shareholder approval for a debt restructuring and refinancing package which includes an open offer and the recovery of $148m by restructuring its outstanding loan notes.

And it warned that it the resolution was not approved existing shareholders had no prospect of any value.

Chairman Egbert Imomoh said: "Afren Shareholders have been through an incredibly difficult period in the life of the business, and the next steps, whilst complex, are essential if we want to successfully emerge from this period on a value growth trajectory."

Imomoh added: "The only viable course of action for the business is to progress through the proposed refinancing process; it offers the only secure route to relieve the unsustainable debt burden, and support Afren's recovery."

The restructuring comprises the implementation of a scheme of arrangement in respect of the existing notes, including:

- the issue of approximately US$369m of new high yield notes due 2017 to refinance and repay the bridge securities and to provide an additional US$148m in net cash proceeds to the group

- the conversion of approximately US$234m of the existing notes (representing 25% of the 2016, the 2019 and the 2020 notes) into new ordinary shares in the company, representing 80% of the existing issued share capital

- the remainder of the existing notes to be cancelled and reissued in equal amounts of approximately US$350m each of new notes due December 2019 and December 2020 respectively, with an annual interest rate of 9.1%

- the issue of additional new ordinary shares, equal to 50% of the issued share capital of the company following the debt for equity swap, to holders of the new senior notes

- the issue of up to £49.2 million (approximately US$75 million) of new Ordinary Shares by way of an open offer to Shareholders at 1 pence per Open Offer Share;

· the issue of new ordinary shares, equal to 10% of the fully diluted share capital of the company following the completion of the open offer, to holders of the new senior notes in order of priority of their agreement to subscribe for the new senior notes

- the issue of new ordinary shares, equal to 5% of the fully diluted share capital of the company following the completion of the open offer, to the holders of the Bridge Securities in partial repayment of the bridge securities;

- the entry into an amended term facility with the Ebok lenders, including to extend the period for repayment of the US$300m Ebok facility until June 2019

- the entry into an amended loan agreement with the Okwok/OML 113 lender, including to extend the period for repayment of the US$50m Okwok/OML 113 Facility until June 2019

Afren said that if shareholders do not approve the resolution, existing shareholders have no prospect of any value. Upon a 'No' vote:

- The restructuring will still proceed without delay

- The amount of debt will increase by approximately US$266 million immediately as compared to a Yes vote and the interest rates on the Group's new debt will cause outstanding debt to increase significantly. There is no value for shareholders unless and until all of this debt is repaid

- Holders of the new senior notes will have security over all of the Group's operating subsidiaries

- The Company will be required to have entered into an agreement by no later than 31 December 2016 to sell all of its assets. These assets can be sold to any party, including the noteholders, and can be completed with or without shareholder approval

Chief executive Alan Linn said: "I believe Afren has significant potential within its core Nigerian portfolio which will enable us to successfully emerge from this period and provide growth to all shareholders. The recommended restructuring, combined with the open offer, is the only viable opportunity for our shareholders to realise any value from their investment in the company. I urge all Afren shareholders to recognise this fact and vote to retain their active interest in the company by voting in favour of the proposed debt restructuring and refinancing."

The company has launched a dedicated microsite to provide information for shareholders at: www.afrenegmvote.com









At 3:59pm:

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining PLC share price was +0.01p at 1.38p

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was -0.25p at 5p

[LON:BPC] Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC share price was +0.01p at 2.34p

[LON:CAD] Cadogan Petroleum PLC share price was +0.25p at 13p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was -0.19p at 9.75p

[LON:DGO] Dragon Oil PLC share price was -0.5p at 724.5p

[LON:EDR] Egdon Resources PLC share price was +0.38p at 15p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was +0.5p at 47.5p

[LON:FOGL] Falkland Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.75p at 28.25p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was 0p at 32.75p

[LON:GPX] Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was +0.88p at 10.5p

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was -5.5p at 114p

[LON:LOGP] Lansdowne Oil Gas PLC share price was +1.63p at 6.88p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was 0p at 3p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was 0p at 68.75p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was +0.97p at 5p

[LON:TLW] Tullow Oil PLC share price was +3.9p at 365.3p

[LON:XEL] Xcite Energy Ltd share price was -0.25p at 33.75p



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