- Urals Energy's [LON:UEN] oil production totalled 756,690 barrels in 2016 and the board has started to investigate potential partnerships to finance and share risk in the execution of its development plans.

Production excluding almost four months of production from its new subsidiary, Arctic Oil (which was acquired on 5 September), was 716,873 barrels, which represents an increase of 6.1% over the group's total production of 675,317 barrels in 2015.

At the end of 2016, the total volume of commercial crude produced on Kolguev Island was approximately 155,000 barrels.

As announced previously, the company plans to make two cargo deliveries from our Kolguev sea terminal this year, most likely in or around June and during October. It said improvements in the quality of its refined products via the use of new additives and an increased competitiveness of its products in the local market on Sakhalin Island resulted in sales volumes at Sakhalin (in tons) increasing by 12.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016, when compared to the corresponding period in 2015.

Chairman Andrew Shrager said: "With the recovery in the oil price to a range of $50 to $60 per barrel, we believe that now is the right time to start making preparations for a significant step up in the development of our reserves, both those that are long-held and those resulting from our recent acquisitions and new licence awards.

"The Development Plans are the first step in this process and we hope to have these approved during the course of this year.

"We will proceed with caution, keeping sufficient flexibility in the plans to avoid the risk of over expansion in what is likely to remain a volatile oil market."

* * *

Faroe Petroleum [LON:FPM] has been awarded four new prospective exploration licences, including two operatorships, under the 2016 Norwegian Awards in Pre-defined Areas Licence Round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The company has been awarded three new licences in the Norwegian North Sea area. These are:

- Licence PL740 B Brasse extension - Block 31/4 and 31/7: Faroe (50% and operator), Point Resources (50%): The possible northward extension of the Brasse Discovery on the eastern side of the Brage Field.

The work programme is the same as the existing PL740 Brasse licence (Faroe 50%).

- Licence PL870 Pabow - Blocks 25/6, 9, 26/7: Faroe (20%), Statoil (80% and operator). The Pabow Prospect is located on the edge of the Stord Basin, just East of the Shango licence (Faroe 20%).

The main prospect is a large stratigraphic closure of Upper Jurassic Ula reservoir sands.

The work programme consists of G&G studies before a drill or drop decision in 2018.

- Licence PL881 Goanna - Block 33/9: Faroe (30%), Wellesley Petroleum (70% and operator): The Goanna Prospect is located on the Tampen Spur on the north-western margin of the North Viking Graben.

It is a structural and stratigraphic prospect of Upper Jurassic age sandstones, updip of well 33/9-16. The work programme involves the acquisition of 3D data and a drill or drop decision by 2018.

The company has also been awarded one new licence in the Norwegian Sea area:

- Licence PL888 Canela - Blocks 6507/7: Faroe (40% and operator), ConocoPhillips (30%), Wellesley Petroleum (30%).

The license is located on the Revfallet Fault Complex on the Halten Terrace.

The Canela prospect consists of down faulted blocks west of the producing Heidrun Field.

Reservoirs are expected to be the same Fangst group sands as found in the Heidrun Field.

The work programme consists of the acquisition or reprocessing of 3D seismic ahead of a drill or drop decision in 2019.

Chief executive Graham Stewart said: "We are very pleased to announce the award of four important new licences in the latest Norwegian licensing round.

"We have added new exploration plays to our portfolio as well as consolidating our position around the high quality 2016 Brasse discovery which we will be appraising later in 2017.

"We look forward to integrating these new licences into the exploration portfolio. The addition of good quality exploration acreage, our enhanced production portfolio and development pipeline ensures that we continue to expose our shareholders to balanced but high impact growth opportunities."

* * *

The sector's biggest risers were Tower Resources [LON:TRP] and Petro Matad [LON:MATD] - up by more than 23.5% and over 19.6% respectively in late trading.

* * *

The sector's biggest fallers were Nostra Terra Oil & Gas [LON:NTOG] and Independent Resources [LON:IRG] - down by more than 26.9% and over 11.4% respectively.

At 4:09pm:

[LON:BOR] Borders Southern Petroleum PLC share price was +0.32p at 4.52p

[LON:CHAR] Chariot Oil Gas Ltd share price was +0.02p at 8.43p

[LON:ENQ] EnQuest Plc share price was -0.87p at 52.88p

[LON:FPM] Faroe Petroleum PLC share price was -1p at 101.5p

[LON:GKP] Gulf Keystone Petroleum share price was -2.12p at 130.88p

[LON:GPX] Gulfsands Petroleum PLC share price was 0p at 10.25p

[LON:INDI] Indus Gas Ltd share price was +0.13p at 395.13p

[LON:MATD] Petro Matad Ltd share price was +5.38p at 29.5p

[LON:NTOG] Nostra Terra Oil Gas Company PLC share price was -0.93p at 2.6p

[LON:PET] Petrel Resources PLC share price was -0.38p at 5.5p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was -0.5p at 27.5p

[LON:RPT] Regal Petroleum PLC share price was -0.02p at 3.78p

[LON:TRP] Tower Resources PLC share price was +0.5p at 2.63p

[LON:UEN] Urals Energy PLC share price was +0.38p at 4.25p

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