StockMarketWire.com - Rockhopper Exploration's [LON:RKH] shares were up in late trading after it issued an update on its Sea Lion development.

Timing and Project Highlights:

- Pre-FEED work for Phase 1a of the Sea Lion development recently completed

- Project entering FEED with the award of FPSO FEED contract to SBM Offshore ("SBM")

- Preferred contractors selected for the provision of the various subsea system facilities - subsea FEED contract awards expected during Q1 2016

- Significant technical and cost improvements and efficiencies have been identified to materially enhance overall project economics

- Draft Field Development Plan prepared and submitted to the Falkland Island Government

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Aminex [LON:AEX] has executed a fully-termed gas sales agreement with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation for the Kiliwani North gas field, which moves the company into its much anticipated production phase.

Participants in the Kiliwani North Development Licence are: Ndovu Resources Ltd (Aminex) 55.575% (operator), RAK Gas LLC 23.75%, Bounty Oil & Gas NL 9.5%, Solo Oil plc 6.175% and TPDC 5%.

The Kiliwani North GSA allows for the expected depletion of production from the field over time. In each contract year TPDC will be required to purchase, take delivery of or pay for a pre-determined volume of gas. In the event that TPDC elects not to take delivery of the pre-determined volume, it will pay for the equivalent of 85% of the agreed commercial rate of gas to be supplied, adjusted each year in accordance with the terms of the GSA. Gas from Kiliwani North will be supplied to the recently completed Songo Songo gas processing plant.

Final well preparations, which are currently ongoing, are being completed prior to testing and commissioning of the new plant. During this phase production rates will be varied to optimise well life and establish commercial rates. During the testing and commissioning phase, the TPDC will be invoiced for gas produced at the end of each month and will be required to pay on invoice.

The start of commercial operations will be mutually agreed between the TPDC and the Company after testing and commissioning has been completed. Each month, the TPDC will be required to pay one month's revenues in advance, secured with a letter of credit issued by the Tanzania Investment Bank. Monthly revenues will be calculated based on actual production, and adjustments will be made at the end of each month for any discrepancy between estimated and actual throughput.

Gas will be sold at USD3.00 per mmbtu (approximately USD3.07 per mcf) and the price will be adjusted annually by applying an agreed United States Consumer Price Index. The gas price is not linked to any commodity price so is unaffected by current commodity market conditions.

Gas revenues will be invoiced and payable in US dollars and the gas delivery point will be at the outlet flange of the Kiliwani North wellhead. By selling the gas at the wellhead, the joint venture partners will not be responsible for pipeline transportation and processing fees.

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Xtract Resources [LON:XTR] said work recommended at the Chepica Gold and Copper mine in Chile has been completed on schedule and the processing plant is ready to resume operations. But now more has been recommended.

The processing plant was closed following a probe by the Inspector of Mines until certain recommendations had been implemented.

The Mine was subsequently visited by the Inspector of Works and certain additional recommendations have been proposed, none of which will have a material impact on operations at the Mine and can be implemented in a relatively short time frame.

The Company is in discussions with the Inspector of Mines and the Inspector of Works to establish what further proposals are to be implemented.

The Company currently expects the Inspector of Mines to grant final approval for the re-start of the processing plant by no later than 20 January 2016.

Underground mining recommenced at the Mine on schedule on 29 December 2015 and blasting continues without interruption, with the ore mined continuing to be stockpiled.

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Falkland Islands Holdings [LON:FKL] has purchased the fractional entitlements of small shareholders those with less than 1 consolidated share following its share consolidation. FIH bought 297.505 consolidated shares at 231.95p apiece.

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Premier Oil [LON:PMO] has agreed to acquire E.ON's UK North Sea assets for USD120 million plus working capital adjustments.

The proposed acquisition, which will be funded from existing cash resources, adds immediate cash generative production, realises tax synergies on Premier's current c.USD3.5bn UK tax loss position and is accretive to lending covenants. The assets being acquired are located in the Central North Sea, West of Shetlands and the Southern Gas Basin and add stable UK gas revenues to the portfolio rebalancing Premier's commodity exposure.

Chief executive Tony Durrant said: "We are pleased to have agreed this value accretive deal as we continue to execute our strategy of focusing the portfolio on our core regions. Having recently completed the sale of our Norwegian assets for USD120 million, this transaction allows us to further consolidate our interests in the UK North Sea where any acquisitions are immediately value enhancing as a result of our existing UK tax position.

"Premier has historically been able to capture long term value through acquisitions in low oil price environments. The material increase in low cost production and cash flow generation in 2016 and 2017, is materially covenant accretive and strengthens Premier's financial position in the current environment."

Premier also issued a trading and operations update ahead of its 2015 full year results which will be announced on 25 February.

Premier said production for 2015 averaged 57.6 kboepd; 2016 guidance of 65-70 kboepd, including the proposed acquisition.

Other highlights:

- Progress continues on Solan commissioning; platform occupation achieved but first oil now expected in February due to unprecedented weather conditions;

- The Catcher project remains on schedule and on budget; ongoing development drilling results encouraging

- Sea Lion Phase 1a project scope modified with lower break-even oil price; new contractual arrangements agreed with Sea Lion partner, and FPSO F - Cost reductions of over 25% delivered for 2015 in operating costs and G&A spend; further cuts forecast for 2016

- Significant liquidity with cash and undrawn bank facilities of USD1.2 billion; year-end covenant headroom in excess of USD900 million; E.ON acquisition will be materially covenant accretive Durrant said: "In this challenging macro environment, maximising production whilst cutting costs is critical; both were achieved in 2015 and will continue in 2016. Selling our cash negative Norwegian business and re-investing in cash positive UK assets through the proposed E.ON acquisition, is value accretive and materially improves both our current and future financial position."

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The sector's biggest risers were LGO Energy [LON:LGO] and Falkland Oil and Gas [LON:FOGL] - up by more than 34.2% and over 16.4% respectively - while the biggest fallers were Hardy Oil & Gas [LON:HDY] and Nighthawk Energy [LON:HAWK] - down by 20% and more than 14.2% respectively.





At 3:57pm:

[LON:AEX] Aminex PLC share price was +0.2p at 1.7p

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining PLC share price was +0.01p at 0.63p

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was -0.25p at 1.93p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.31p at 5.68p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was -0.37p at 14.13p

[LON:FOGL] Falkland Oil Gas Ltd share price was +1.37p at 9.12p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +0.25p at 12.75p

[LON:GPX] Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was -0.13p at 3.5p

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was +8p at 126p

[LON:LGO] LGO Energy PLC share price was +0.07p at 0.26p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was -0.13p at 3p

[LON:PMO] Premier Oil PLC share price was 0p at 19p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was +3.63p at 30.63p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was +0.5p at 3.8p

[LON:XEL] Xcite Energy Ltd share price was -0.25p at 15.25p

[LON:XTR] Xtract Resources Plc share price was +0.01p at 0.21p



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