18 May 2018
Rockhopper Exploration plc
("Rockhopper" or the "Company")
Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the oil and gas exploration and production company with key interests in the North Falkland Basin and the Greater Mediterranean region, will hold its Annual General Meeting ("AGM") in London later today.
David McManus, Chairman of Rockhopper, will make the following statement at the AGM:
"Over the course of 2017, Rockhopper has continued to balance the progression of its world-class Sea Lion project in the North Falkland Basin with building a material production base in the Greater Mediterranean, and with an ongoing focus on cost control.
"2018 has the potential to be transformational with all efforts focused on securing the funding required to sanction the Sea Lion project and move into the development phase.
"The selection of the main contractors for the project, and finalising letters of intent to underpin the contractual arrangements and the provision of vendor funding for $400 million, is near completion. Following a comprehensive commercial bank market engagement process, with a number of banks expressing a desire to support the project, a pathfinder bank will be appointed imminently to assist with the arrangement of senior debt facilities for the project.
"With Brent oil prices currently above US$75 per barrel, combined with the cost efficiencies secured through FEED and engagement with the contractors, the economics for the Sea Lion project are highly attractive.
"Our Greater Mediterranean portfolio continues to meet its primary objective, namely to provide a production and cash flow base to fund our corporate and operating costs and protect our balance sheet. Balance sheet cash is preserved for capital investment, primarily in the Falkland Islands.
"Looking forward, we have an exciting four-well drilling campaign in Egypt, expected to commence in mid-2018, with a combination of infill development and exploration across our Abu Sennan and El Qa'a Plain interests.
"In March 2017, we commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Italy in relation to the Ombrina Mare field. The hearing has been scheduled for early February 2019 with an outcome expected in mid-2019. Rockhopper believes it has strong prospects of recovering very significant monetary damages - on the basis of lost profits - as a result of the Republic of Italy's breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty. All costs associated with the arbitration are funded on a non-recourse ("no win - no fee") basis from a specialist arbitration funder.
"We look forward to providing further updates as we progress through this exciting phase for the Company."
Rockhopper Exploration plc
Sam Moody - Chief Executive
Stewart MacDonald - Chief Financial Officer
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7830 9704 (via Vigo Communications)
Canaccord Genuity Limited (NOMAD and Joint Broker)
Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor/James Asensio
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7523 8000
Peel Hunt LLP (Joint Broker)
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7418 8900
Patrick d'Ancona/Ben Simons
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7830 9704
This information is provided by RNS