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FINN(COM) Daily Record: Wednesday, 07 December 2005

FINN(COM) DAILY RECORD: WEDNESDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2005

 

Also covering 06 December 2005

 

Compiled by J. Brock (FINN)

 

 

CONTENTS:

 

Section 1:  Hydrocarbons News

 

Section 2:  Committee News

 

Section 3:  Announcements

 

 

Note:

 

Regular service will begin again on 09 December 2005.  There will be partial service on 26 and 27 December and 2 January 2006.

 

 

 

 

Section 1:

 

HYDROCARBONS NEWS

 

 

 

Rockhopper Exploration plc: 06 December 2005

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

For immediate release: 6 December 2005 Rockhopper Exploration plc Interim results

 

Highlights:

 

   •Successful placing and listing on AIM, raising £15m before expenses

   •Award of two further licences in the North Falkland Basin, making Rockhopper the largest acreage holder in the North Falkland Basin

   •2D seismic survey commissioned on our 100% owned acreage

   •Agreement signed with Desire Petroleum to farm-in to 7.5% of two licences adjacent to Rockhopper owned acreage

   •Management team strengthened

Commenting on the results, Chairman Pierre Jungels said: 'Our strategy in the Falklands is to mature a number of high quality drillable prospects on our 100% held acreage and to be ready for a substantial drilling campaign once the availability and cost of drilling units are more favourable'. Managing Director, Sam Moody said 'The steps we have taken over the last six months have laid the groundwork for the long-term future of the company'.

 

Contacts:

Rockhopper Exploration plc

Sam Moody, Managing Director 01722 414 419

Peter Dixon-Clarke, Finance Director

Aquila Financial Limited -

rockhopper@aquila-financial.com

Peter Reilly 020 7849 3319

Yvonne Fraser 020 7849 3320

www.rockhopperexploration.co.uk

 

The Rockhopper Group started trading in February 2004 to invest in and carry out an offshore oil exploration programme to the north of the Falkland Islands. The Group, which floated on AIM in August 2005, is currently the largest licence holder in the North Falkland Basin and owns a 100 per cent. interest in four offshore production licences which cover approximately 5,800 sq. km. These licences have been granted by the Falkland Islands government. In total, the Board and its Consultant, the Falklands expert David Bodecott, have over 120 years experience in the oil industry, with specific expertise in the field of exploration and in the region itself.

 

Chairman's report:

 

This interim report for the six months ended 30 September 2005, is the first report following our successful placing and listing on AIM on 15th August 2005. As expected the Group incurred a loss for the period. The net proceeds of the placing of £13.9 million are on interest bearing deposits along with funding already in the Group and will be drawn down as required in line with our plans for the business.

 

Rockhopper Exploration is currently the largest acreage holder in the North Falkland Basin with 100% interests in four offshore production licences (PL023, PL024, PL032 and PL033) which cover approximately 5,800 sq. km. In addition the Group has agreed to farm-in for 7.5% in Desire Petroleum plc's licences PL03 and PL04 where Desire expect to drill three exploration wells.

 

PL023 and PL024 were awarded in November 2004 and cover an area of 4,200 sq. km in water depths of less than 200 metres. The licences are close to the Falkland Islands themselves and their southern-most edge is located only 25 km from the Islands. PL023 and PL024 are already covered by 1832 km of 2D seismic data. The Group has signed a contract with Geophysical Service Incorporated (GSI) to undertake a new 2D seismic survey over approximately 900 line kilometers. The survey should be completed early in 2006, with processing and interpretation of the data thereafter.

 

PL032 and PL033 were awarded in June 2005 and cover an area of 1,620 sq. km in water depths of between 350 and 500 metres, they are already covered by 1546km of 2D and 368 km2 of 3D seismic data. Two wells have been drilled previously on these licences in 1998 by Shell when the oil price was approximately $10 per barrel and both demonstrated the presence of hydrocarbons, one flowing live oil to the surface. A new and significant 3D seismic programme has been designed to cover this acreage.

 

Prospects and leads: Rockhopper's exploration team has reinterpreted the existing 2D and 3D seismic data covering its licences and has identified a number of prospects and leads which have the potential to contain significant deposits of hydrocarbons. These will be better defined following the planned acquisition of new 2D and 3D seismic data.  PL03 and PL04 are operated by Desire Petroleum plc. Rockhopper will earn an interest of 7.5% of these licences by contributing 15% of the dry hole cost of the expected 3 well exploration programme. The recently acquired 3D seismic data on these licences is very encouraging and we look forward to the commencement of drilling operations once Desire secures a suitable rig. In summary, Rockhopper has a very exciting and prospective exploration portfolio in relatively shallow water, at a time that the oil industry is fiercely competing for access to that very type of opportunity.

 

Our strategy in the Falklands is to mature a number of high quality drillable prospects on our 100% held acreage and to be ready for a substantial drilling campaign once the availability and cost of drilling units are more favourable.

 

Pierre Jungels

Chairman

5 December, 2005

 

GROUP PROFIT & LOSS ACCOUNT

For the six months ended 30 September 2005

                                    Notes     6 months     6 months     Period

                                                 ended        ended      ended

                                              30.09.05     30.09.04   31.03.05

                                             Unaudited    Unaudited    Audited

                                                  £000         £000       £000

Administrative expenses                           (466)          (3)      (228)

                                               ---------    ---------   --------

Operating loss                                    (466)          (3)      (228)

Interest receivable                                 88            -          5

                                               ---------    ---------   --------

Loss on ordinary activities before

taxation                                          (378)          (3)      (223)

Taxation                                5            -            -          -

                                               ---------    ---------   --------

Loss on ordinary activities after

taxation                                          (378)          (3)      (223)

                                               =========    =========   ========

Loss per share (pence): Basic           6        (0.84p)      (0.01p)    (3.27p)

Loss per share (pence): Diluted                  (0.84p)      (0.01p)    (3.27p)



GROUP BALANCE SHEET

30 September 2005

                                       Notes       As at       As at      As at

                                                30.09.05    30.09.04   31.03.05

                                               Unaudited   Unaudited    Audited

                                                    £000        £000       £000

Fixed assets

Intangible assets                                    259          19        236

Tangible assets                                        8           -          2

                                                 ---------   ---------   --------

                                                     267          19        238

                                                 ---------   ---------   --------

Current assets

Debtors                                              128          70         38

Cash at bank                                      14,908           -      1,190

                                                 ---------   ---------   --------

                                                  15,036          70      1,228

Creditors: amounts due within one year              (407)        (22)      (106)

                                                 ---------   ---------   --------

Net current assets                                14,629          48      1,122

                                                 ---------   ---------   --------

Total assets less current liabilities             14,896          67      1,360

                                                 =========   =========   ========

Capital & reserves

Called up share capital                    4         718           -        361

Share premium account                      3      14,919          70      1,362

Merger reserve                             3        (140)          -       (140)

Profit & loss account                      3        (601)         (3)      (223)

                                                 ---------   ---------   --------

Equity shareholders' funds                 3      14,896          67      1,360

                                                 =========   =========   ========

 

GROUP CASHFLOW STATEMENT

for the six months ended 30 September 2005

                                            Notes    6 months    6 months     Period

                                                        ended       ended      ended

                                                     30.09.05    30.09.04   31.03.05

                                                    Unaudited   Unaudited    Audited

                                                         £000        £000       £000

Net cash outflow from operating

activities                                               (557)          -       (147)

Returns on investment and servicing of

finance

Interest received                                          88           -          5

 

Capital expenditure and financial

investment

Purchase of intangible fixed assets                       (23)          -       (236)

Purchase of tangible fixed assets                          (8)          -         (2)

                                                       --------    --------    -------

Net cash outflow before financing                        (500)          -       (380)

Financing

Issue of share capital                                 15,000           -        595

Share issue costs                               2        (782)          -          -

Issue of loan stock                                         -           -        975

                                                       --------    --------    -------

 

                                                       --------    --------    -------

Movement in net cash                                   13,718           -      1,190

                                                       ========    ========    =======

Reconciliation of operating loss to net

cash outflow from operating activities

Operating loss                                           (466)         (3)      (228)

Increase in debtors                                       (90)          -        (38)

(Decrease)/increase in creditors                           (3)          3        106

Depreciation                                                2           -          -

Shares issued in lieu of fees                               -           -         13

                                                       --------    --------    -------

Net cash outflow from operating

activities                                               (557)          -       (147)

                                                       ========    ========    =======

 

1 Basis of preparation:

 

The interim financial information has been prepared on the basis of the accounting policies set out in the accounts for the year ended 31 March 2005. The interim financial information is unaudited but has been reviewed by the Auditors. The financial information does not constitute statutory accounts as defined by section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. Comparative figures for the period ended 31 March 2005 are extracts from the non-statutory accounts for that financial period. Those accounts upon which the auditor issued an unqualified opinion, did not include a statement under sections 237(2) or 237(3) of the Companies Act 1985.

 

2 Share issue costs                       6 months   6 months   Period

                                             ended      ended      ended

                                          30.09.05   30.09.04   31.03.05

                                              £000       £000       £000

Share issue costs                            1,086          -          -

Issue costs not yet paid and

included in creditors                        (304)          -          -

                                           --------    --------   --------

                                              782           -          -

                                           ========    ========   ========

3 Note on reserves and reconciliation of movement in shareholders' funds

                                             Share                Profit

                                 Share     prem



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