- Rockhopper [LON:RKH] has swung to an impressive $131.3m pre-tax profit for its first half, from a year-earlier loss of $5.1m.

Chairman David McManus said: "We continue to make very good progress in advancing the Sea Lion development, taking advantage of the current industry backdrop to reduce costs and the break-even oil price required to sanction.

"The results of the highly successful exploration campaign and the subsequent independent resource audit further supports Rockhopper's view that the North Falkland Basin has the potential to deliver multiple future phases of development and, ultimately, a billion barrels of recoverable oil.

"As a result of the recently concluded acquisition of Beach Egypt, our production for the remainder of 2016 is estimated to be approximately 1,500 boepd, with operating cash flows expected to broadly cover the Group's overheads going forward."

* * *

Chariot Oil & Gas [LON:CHAR] posts a a loss of US$5.4 million for the six months ended 30 June compared to US$4.4 million for the six months ended 30 June 2015.

The increase in loss is primarily due to the relinquishment of the C-19 licence in Mauritania resulting in a US$5.2 million impairment against previously capitalised costs.

This was partly offset by a reduction in other administrative expenses and, included within finance income, an unrealised foreign exchange gain, due to the strengthening of the Brazilian Real, on cash held as security against licence work commitments.

Other administrative expenses of US$2.0 million, which includes the costs of reducing head count announced in May 2016, are lower than last year (30 June 2015: US$2.5 million) mainly due to the 50% reduction in Board remuneration from May 2015 combined with other cost savings.

Share-based payments charges of US$0.4 million are lower than the US$0.6 million incurred for the six months ended 30 June 2015 due to the vesting of historic awards of employee deferred shares.

Net cash outflow from operating activities before changes in working capital of US$2.0 million is lower than the US$2.3 million for the six months ended 30 June 2015 due to cost savings in other administrative expenses.

Chief executive Larry Bottomley said: "Chariot continues to pursue its strategy of acquiring frontier acreage, maturing the portfolio and partnering to drill to create transformational value for shareholders through the discovery of material reserves.

"In the reporting period, we have secured the Mohammedia exploration permits in Morocco, matured the portfolio in those permits and the Southern blocks of Namibia, acquired extensive 3D seismic programmes in Namibia and Brazil, and successfully secured a drilling partner with Eni in the Rabat Deep permits in Morocco.

"Capital discipline is an ongoing focus and the strength of our approach to this, which has enabled the ongoing development of our asset base, is reflected in our cash balance. "Our technical work over the last few years has laid the foundations of a strong company with a portfolio of assets capable of delivering transformational growth. The next phase across our portfolio is to create value with the drill bit and our aim is to partner with a target of drilling three wells within the next two years."

* * *

The sector's biggest risers were Northern Petroleum [LON:NOP] and Bahamas Petroleum [LON:BPC] - up more than 8.3% and over 6.4% respectivbely in late trading. The biggest fallers were Ascent Resources [LON:AST] and Frontera Resources [LON:FRR] - down by more than 8.6% and over 8.5% respectively.

At 4:24pm:

[LON:AST] Ascent Resources PLC share price was -0.13p at 1.33p

[LON:AUR] Aurum Mining PLC share price was 0p at 1.05p

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was 0p at 1.8p

[LON:BPC] Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC share price was +0.09p at 1.41p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.14p at 5.96p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was +0.13p at 28.13p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was -0.01p at 2.06p

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

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was +2.38p at 429.88p

[LON:NOP] Northern Petroleum PLC share price was +0.25p at 3.25p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was -0.13p at 7.13p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was +1.38p at 28.38p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was -0.25p at 2.75p

[LON:XEL] Xcite Energy Ltd share price was +0.13p at 2.61p

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