StockMarketWire.com - Bahamas Petroleum Co's [LON:BPC] shares jumped after it said it was pleased to announce that the Petroleum Bill and associated regulations, as well as a Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill, have been passed by the Bahamian Senate.

The Governor General will now receive the Bills for signature and following gazettal they will pass into law; after which they will be known as the Petroleum Act and the Sovereign Wealth Fund Act.

The company says the new legislation provides an upgraded and modernised framework for petroleum exploration operations in The Bahamas and are set to guide and govern the next phase of safe and responsible hydrocarbon exploration. The establishment of a sovereign wealth fund is a step forward in ensuring that accrued wealth from exploration success and subsequent development may be optimally invested, managed and conserved for the benefit of this and future generations of Bahamians.

In addition, establishing this new legislative framework will more readily enable the discharge of the Company's obligation to the Government of The Bahamas in achieving its goal of drilling the first modern oil exploration well in The Bahamas since those previously completed in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Faroe Petroleum's [LON:FPM] total average economic production for 2015 was at the upper end of guidance at approximately 10,530 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which approximately 58% was liquids and 42% gas.

The main fields in Faroe's portfolio performed above expectations in 2015, which led to the upward adjustment of production guidance announced in November 2015

Faroe says 2015 was another year of growth and good progress for the company despite a backdrop of significantly lower commodity prices.

Chief executive Graham Stewart says: "e delivered our exploration drilling programme safely and under budget, adding further 2C resources, and we doubled our 2P reserves in high quality assets. Our diverse North Sea production portfolio also outperformed expectation, averaging 10,530 boepd with low unit operating costs, and we ended the year with a significant cash position of over GBP90m and a largely undrawn debt facility. "Looking ahead at 2016, we are well prepared to face the challenges of a continuing period of low commodity prices, while seeking to capitalise on our strong financial position to pursue consolidation opportunities in our core areas on the UK and Norwegian continental shelves."

Production:

- Two new infill wells in Brage (Faroe 14.26%) were successfully brought on stream adding new production capacity and contributing to a reduction in unit operating costs. The next drilling campaign at the Brage field is expected to commence in 2017

- The acquisition of interests in the Blane and Enoch fields was completed in November 2015 and boosted oil production and improved tax efficiency by accelerating the utilisation of carried forward tax losses

- In January 2016, Faroe produced on average approximately 10,000 boepd. Average full year 2016 production is forecast to be in the range of 7,000-9,000 boepd from all fields, which includes production from the Njord and Hyme fields until the end of May 2016, in accordance with plans for the Njord Future Project. Production in 2016 is expected to be split approximately 55% liquids and 45% gas

- Average opex per boe in 2015 was approximately $23/boe. Opex per boe in 2016 expected to be $27/boe reflecting lower average production levels

- Faroe continues to seek suitable value-enhancing production acquisitions, taking advantage of consolidation opportunities

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Petro Matad [LON:MATD] said all resolutions put to its annual general meeting today were passed.

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BG Group's [LON:BG.] full year results were hit by lower commodity prices with upstream EBITDA down 35% at $4,167m and LNG EBITDA down 46% at $1,456m.

Revenue and other operating income decreased 16% to $16 419 million, reflecting the significant fall in realised sales prices impacting both the Upstream and LNG Shipping & Marketing segments. The impact of lower prices was partly offset by higher volumes in both segments, the start-up of liquefaction operations at QCLNG and weather-related gains in North America in the LNG Shipping & Marketing segment. E&P production volumes were up 16% and LNG delivered volumes were up 63%. EBIT decreased by $3 948 million to $2 429 million, reflecting the reduction in EBITDA combined with increased DD&A charges, which resulted from higher E&P production volumes and the start-up of QCLNG.

Net finance costs of $260 million included foreign exchange gains of $nil (2014 net finance costs of $109 million included realised foreign exchange hedge gains of $28 million and other foreign exchange gains of $21 million). Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, net finance costs increased by $102 million to $260 million, reflecting the reduction in the amount of interest on borrowings that can be capitalised against assets under construction following the start-up of QCLNG.

The tax charge for the full year reduced to $472 million and reflects the lower profit before tax and the reduction in the Group's full year effective tax rate (excluding BG Group's share of joint ventures and associates' results and tax) to 24.0% (2014 36.9%), and includes the impact of further changes in the Group's mix of profits and revisions to certain tax positions.

Group earnings of $1 697 million and EPS of 49.7 cents both decreased 58%, with the reduction in EBIT and higher net finance costs only partially offset by the reduction in the Group's tax charge.

Chief executive Helge Lund said: "We are pleased to have delivered an excellent operational performance in 2015 with results in line with, or ahead of, our guidance for the year. The ramp up of both LNG trains at our QCLNG project in Australia and the ramp up in Brazil, including the start-up of our sixth FPSO, drove a strong E&P operational performance. Our LNG Shipping & Marketing business delivered 282 cargoes, an increase of 58% on 2014, in difficult market conditions.

"The addition of new low cash cost volumes in Brazil and Australia and delivery of our operating and capital cost savings has helped to partly mitigate the impact of lower commodity prices.

"This strong operational performance is the result of the capability and commitment of our teams across the organisation and we will deliver a high-performing business into the Combination with Shell."

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The sector's biggest riser was Circle Oil [LON:COP] - up by more than 42.8% in late trading - while the biggest faller was Oilex [LON:OEX] - down by 10%.



At 4:10pm:

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining PLC share price was 0p at 0.75p

[LON:BG.] BG Group PLC share price was +8.5p at 1066p

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was +0.01p at 2.28p

[LON:BPC] Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC share price was +0.46p at 2.11p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.25p at 5p

[LON:COP] Circle Oil PLC share price was +1.13p at 3.75p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was +0.88p at 15.38p

[LON:FPM] Faroe Petroleum PLC share price was +4.25p at 58.25p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +0.25p at 16.75p

[LON:GPX] Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was 0p at 3.38p

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was -1.12p at 109.38p

[LON:MATD] Petro Matad Ltd share price was +0.13p at 2.38p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was +0.01p at 3.13p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was +0.63p at 30.38p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was +0.28p at 2.93p

[LON:XEL] Xcite Energy Ltd share price was -0.37p at 15.13p



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