- Bahamas Petroleum Company's total operating loss for the year to the end of December was $3.8m - down 20% on last time and 10% on the six month period to June 2016 when compared on an annualised basis.

The company said the results reflected its efforts to constrain costs over the last few years to those only strictly necessary.

It said that the total loss for the year was made up of approximately 15% executive and board compensation (on a cash basis, this item was projected to fall to below 10% for 2017 as a whole), 25% in country operations costs, 25% non-cash items and 35% corporate and business running costs.

Chief executive Simon Potter said: "The company and board believes it has a world-class asset.

"Published independent analysis from a leading international petroleum consultant (Wood Mackenzie) identified the company's anticipated exploration well as being ranked in the top 10 'Drilling and Future Wells by Prospect Size' (as measured by their estimate of pre-drill volumes - mmboe).

"On the global front, there has been a general improvement in oil market sentiment, and the company has noticed a distinct upturn in the level of interest, and pace of progress, with potential partners.

"In The Bahamas there is a new government in place keen to grow the economy, the new Petroleum Act and associated Regulations have been fully enacted, and the company's licences have been renewed and the work obligation and timing clarified.

"I and the Board continue to be committed to the task in hand.

"This is self-evident given our continued undertaking to defer and commute our salaries and fees to stock, ultimately only to be remunerated if we are successful in achieving the financing necessary to commence an exploration well, and our expression of interest in participating in the recently announced placing once the close period trading rules allow us to do so.

"Farm-in discussions remain ongoing with a number of parties, and with a recently strengthened balance sheet and negotiating position the company remains confident that it will succeed in securing the required investment for drilling of an initial exploration well, on acceptable terms and within the required timeframe."

At 8:03am: [LON:BPC] Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC share price was +0.06p at 1.15p

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