Energy Voice | Rockhopper boss: ‘all efforts focused’ on Sea Lion project funding for 2018

Chairman of Rockhopper Exploration, David McManus, will tell shareholders at the company’s AGM today that “all efforts” are focused on securing funding to get the Sea Lion project sanctioned in 2018.

Mr McManus announced last month that Rockhopper was working towards a final investment decision on its Sea Lion development by the end of 2018.

The firm’s boss confirmed that principal terms of service and financing has been agreed with the selected preferred contractors and that Letters of Intent had been signed.

London-listed Rockhopper said that a joint venture had been introduced focusing on securing the £280million of vendor financing required from the preferred contractors.

Rockhopper has a 40% working interest in the project, having farmed out 60% to Premier Oil in 2012.

Mr McManus will tell shareholders today: “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 £280 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 key interests in the North Falkland Basin and the Greater Mediterranean region, Rockhopper’s boss will also outline the company’s drilling plans Egypt.

Mr McManus will tell the AGM crowd: “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.”

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