- PetroNeft's [LON:PTR] shares were up in late trading after it confirmed that the legal documentation for the first tranche of the proposed US$35m financing for Licence 61 to be provided by Oil India had now been executed. The first tranche relates to the 2016 funding requirement of US$10m.

The funding is provided by way of an unsecured loan from Oil India to WorldAce Investments Limited, the joint venture company that ultimately owns Licence 61. Principal repayments will commence in Q4 2019. The major points of the 2016 work programme are as follows: ยท South Arbuzovskoye Development Plan

* One vertical and up to 3 horizontal wells

ยท Sibkrayevskoye Delineation and Optimisation Studies

* Additional delineation well (S-374) at Sibkrayevskoye to better define south-eastern portion of the field

* Optimisation studies and approvals for Sibkrayevskoye Development which is due to commence in 2017

The planned 2017 work programme which will commence the development of the Sibkrayevskoye oil field is currently budgeted at US$25 million. Oil India has indicated its willingness to fund this with a second loan tranche on similar terms to the one announced today.

The loan is conditional on the current management team remaining in place. Furthermore, should there be a change in management subsequent to the drawdown of the new loan this would constitute an event of default, requiring immediate repayment of amounts advanced and further requiring PetroNeft to provide its 50% share of funding.

Chief executive Dennis Francis said: "We are pleased to complete the legal documentation for the first tranche of the funding that Oil India have agreed to provide for the 2016/17 work programme and look forward to updating shareholders on the outcomes of the programme later in the year. "The fact that Oil India has agreed to provide this loan, providing essential development funds for Licence 61 in a very difficult market, is a strong vote of confidence in the current management team and the potential of Licence 61."

* * *

Ithaca Energy [LON:IAE] posted an after-tax loss of $121m - up from $24.5m - for the year to the end of December after a $203 million post-tax impairment charge arising from lower forecast future oil and gas prices.

The group reports solid cashflow generation despite the material decline in Brent prices over the period with average production of 12,066 barrels of oil equivalent per day above full year guidance (2014: 10,947 boepd).

Cashflow from on-going operations rose to $261 million - a 70% increase on 2014 ($153 million) driven by reduced operating costs and hedging gains.

And it says decisive actions were taken in 2015 to ensure the business is resilient to the lower oil price environment.

Chief executive Les Thomas said: "We are pleased to have delivered such a strong cashflow performance in 2015, driven by consistent production levels and rigorous cost control, all underpinned by a substantial hedging position. Further decisive actions, including sale of the Norwegian business and a premium equity placement, have reduced net debt and strengthened the balance sheet, providing increased flexibility to cope with current commodity price volatility and development of the Greater Stella Area. Good progress on the FPF-1 modifications means we remain on track for first production from Stella during the third quarter of 2016."

* * *

The sector's biggest risers were Roxi Petroleum [LON:RXP] and President Energy [LON:PPC] - up by more than 14.7% and over 6.9% respectively. The biggest fallers were Gulfsands Petroleum [LON:GPX] and Europa Oil & Gas [LON:EOG] - down by more than 18.2% and 9.3% respectively.

At 4:10pm:

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining PLC share price was 0p at 0.95p

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was -0.01p at 1.65p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.05p at 6.05p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was +0.13p at 19.88p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was -0.58p at 7.02p

[LON:GPX] Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was -1.88p at 8.38p

[LON:IAE] Ithaca Energy Inc share price was -0.25p at 32.25p

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was 0p at 129p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was -0.13p at 3.75p

[LON:PPC] President Energy Plc share price was +0.53p at 8.06p

[LON:PTR] Petroneft Resources PLC share price was +0.06p at 2.13p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was -0.37p at 28.88p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was +0.01p at 2.58p

[LON:RXP] Roxi Petroleum PLC share price was +1.63p at 12.63p

[LON:XEL] Xcite Energy Ltd share price was +0.88p at 14.5p

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