- PetroNeft Resources [LON:PTR] - 50% owner and operator of Licences 61 and 67 in the Tomsk Oblast, Russian Federation - was the sector's biggest riser after reporting record output.

The company announced the completion of a successful three well initial development programme on the southern extension of Arbuzovskoye in Licence 61 and the addition of a fourth well based on the positive results.

Current gross production from Licence 61 increased to about 3,500 bopd (1,750 bopd net to PetroNeft). The company said the increase due to three strongly performing new wells at Arbuzovskoye. This is an all-time record high production for the licence area.

Chief executive Dennis Francis said: "Licence 61 production has achieved a record rate of 3,500 bopd due to the successful programme at South Arbuzovskoye. Also, in light of this success, we have added one further well to the programme that is not yet on production. The production reflects both the good reservoir properties at South Arbuzovskoye and our ability to target the most productive parts of the reservoir with horizontal wells. This exceptional technology will help us to economically and efficiently develop the significant reserve base and exploration potential of Licence 61.

"In the near term we look forward to completion of the A-216 well at South Arbuzovskoye which will add production and the S-374 delineation well at Sibkrayevskoye which will further define the field with the objective of moving P3 to P2 reserves."

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Ascent Resources [LON:AST] has issued an update on the status of the legal agreements required to progress its alternative route to market.

On 1 June it reported that there were two legal agreements required to progress the alternative route to market, one of which was in agreed form and the second was at an advanced stage.

Ascent says the first agreement has now been agreed and is ready for signing

All of the significant commercial issues in the second contract have now been agreed by the project group and the process of obtaining approval from the respective boards has begun. The intention is to sign both agreements together and provide a further update to shareholders at that time.

Ascent says: "Despite the delays in achieving formal sign off we are confident that the Company remains on track to produce gas by the end of the year."

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Regal Petroleum [LON:RPT] has confirmed the acquisition of LLC Prom-Enerho Produkt (PEP), and also the proposed termination of its security arrangements relating to its banking facilities with PJSC Unex Bank (Unex) in Ukraine.

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Chariot Oil & Gas [LON:CHAR] remains financially robust, fully funded for its work programmes - the seismic programmes in Mohammedia being the only remaining licence commitments - but will continue to guard its cash, shareholders at the annual general meeting were told.

Chief executive Larry Bottomley will say: "The past year has continued to pose challenges for the whole oil and gas sector but Chariot has made further progress within this environment, notably securing a drilling partner in Eni for the Rabat Deep licence in Morocco, signing Exploration Permits over the Mohammedia licence, also in Morocco, and acquiring substantial 3D seismic programmes in both Brazil and Namibia. Capital discipline has also continued to be a focus for the Company and this was reflected in the corporate restructuring announced in May, reducing the payroll by approximately a third. The Company remains financially robust and fully funded for its work programmes.

"The partnering agreement with Eni for the drilling of the JP-1 prospect (which will be drilled by the RD-1 well) was a significant milestone in delivering on the strategy. To secure a partner with a world-class reputation in exploration was a strong endorsement of Chariot's technical view of the asset and the team looks forward to the opportunity of drilling this prospect alongside Eni, Woodside and ONHYM, which is expected to occur next year.

"The signing of the Exploration permits in Mohammedia, the licence adjacent to Rabat Deep where the RD-1 well is to be drilled, demonstrates Chariot's intent to secure and develop other prospectivity within its portfolio. As Operator with a 75% interest, Chariot will now plan and undertake 2D and 3D seismic programmes to enhance the description of the JP-2 and LKP targets in this acreage. A successful result from the RD-1 well will further de-risk the prospects here so this offers significant follow-on potential.

"Securing partners through major investment phases is key to managing risk and allocation of capital and careful portfolio management ensures that the Company retains the ability to pursue assets that will yield drilling opportunities. Chariot announced in June 2016 that it had elected not to enter into the next phase for the C-19 licence in Mauritania. This decision was taken in line with its stated strategy as the Company was unable to move into this phase without a definitive partner in place. Whilst this was disappointing, Chariot has to adhere to strict discipline in the current environment and despite not attracting funding for a well, substantially achieved zero-cost exploration here.

"Chariot has been one of the few exploration companies which has conducted sizeable 3D seismic programmes in the past few months and these were completed in Q1 both in Namibia and Brazil. Throughout the year, many oil and gas companies have continued to cut capex and exploration budgets which has resulted in a significant fall in service costs, and Chariot has been able to capitalise on these reductions. The data acquired is currently being processed and will be interpreted in-house. In Brazil, this programme covered Chariot's entire licence acreage and in Namibia the programme focused on the north western flank of the licence to mature leads identified by its previous 2D survey.

"As announced in the Corporate Update released in May 2016, Matthew Taylor is retiring by rotation as a Director of the Board of Chariot today. Matthew has been an important member of the team and Board for many years, integral to the Company's portfolio development and technical excellence, and Chariot is very pleased that he will continue to play a key consulting role going forward.

"Chariot remains financially robust, fully funded for its work programmes (the seismic programmes in Mohammedia being the only remaining licence commitments) but will continue to guard its cash. Chariot's asset potential is still highly prospective in the current environment but there is an ongoing need to weather the 'lower for longer' oil price and position the Company for success accordingly. The Company looks forward to the potential for transformational drilling in 2017."

Chariot confirmed that all resolutions proposed at its annual general meeting were passed.

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The biggest faller was Nighthawk Energy [LON:HAWK] - down by more than 10.6% in last trading.

At 4:14pm:

[LON:AST] Ascent Resources PLC share price was +0.1p at 0.78p

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining PLC share price was 0p at 0.9p

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was +0.01p at 1.88p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was -0.14p at 5.83p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was -1.5p at 31.75p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was +0.33p at 4.35p

[LON:GPX] Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was 0p at 3.13p

[LON:HAWK] Nighthawk Energy PLC share price was -0.1p at 0.86p

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was -2.5p at 210p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was -0.38p at 6.75p

[LON:PTR] Petroneft Resources PLC share price was +0.38p at 2.35p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was -1.62p at 34.13p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was 0p at 4.3p

[LON:XEL] Xcite Energy Ltd share price was +0.09p at 8.46p

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