- Mongolia-focused oil company Petro Matad reported a narrower first-half loss after it cut back on expenses amid a drop in crude prices.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to $2.4m, compared to losses of $4.4m on-year.

The company said a licence application for block XX continued to progress through the government's approval processes.

A key component was approval of a reserve report for the Heron 1 oil discovery.

'The report has been reviewed by auditors appointed by the Ministry of Mining and Heavy Industry and forwarded for final review and approval to the Mineral Resource Professional Council,' Petro Matad said.

'We are pushing for the council to meet and we are hopeful that it will do so before the end of the third quarter.'

The exploration licence award process also required the development area to be agreed with industry regulator Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority, and then a development plan must be reviewed and approved, too.

'The plan of development has been completed save for any minor modifications which may result from the ongoing review of the reserves report and it will be submitted to the relevant bodies as soon as the reserves report approval is in hand,' the company said.

'The Covid-19 pandemic combined with the Mongolian parliamentary election which was held in June 2020 have caused some delays in the exploration licence approval processes but the previously announced one-year moratorium obtained for Block XX ensures that the PSC remains in good standing as the exploration licence award process progresses.'

At 10:05am: [LON:MATD] Petro Matad Ltd share price was -0.2p at 2.65p

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