- Oil and gas firm Rockhopper Exploration has signed an agreement with Premier Oil Exploration and Production and Navitas Petroleum for a 30% stake in the Sea Lion oilfield project.

In addition, Rockhopper and Premier have agreed certain amendments to their existing commercial arrangements.

The deal will add strength to the Sea Lion joint venture, Rockhopper said, increasing the likelihood of a successful senior debt project financing for the first phase of the development.

It will also ensure greater alignment and simplified commercial arrangements across the joint venture, the company said.

Up to $48m worth of contingent consideration is payable to Rockhopper by Premier and Navitas, related to future phases of development in the North Falkland Basin site.

Finalisation of a sale and purchase agreement is expected during Q1 2020.

Samuel Moody, CEO of Rockhopper, said: 'This is a very important milestone both for the Sea Lion project as a whole and Rockhopper itself.

'We will be delighted to welcome Navitas to the Sea Lion project and regard their joining as an important catalyst as well as industry endorsement of Sea Lion's scale and potential.

'Navitas adds valuable offshore experience from their Gulf of Mexico projects and hugely successful prior personal involvement in Israel's offshore sector.

'They also materially strengthen and enhance the prospects for a successful project financing, as clearly demonstrated by their success in funding other similar developments elsewhere in the world and with proven access to capital markets.'

At 10:07am:

[LON:PMO] Premier Oil PLC share price was +13.9p at 115.35p

[LON:RKH] Rockhopper Exploration PLC share price was +4.82p at 19.82p

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