Rockhopper Exploration said yesterday it had raised £48.5million before expenses in a share placing.
The oil and gas explorer, which last week announced an increase in prospective recoverable reserves at its Sea Lion find in the North Falkland Basin by 72million barrels to 242million, said the funds would be used to continue its drilling campaign in the south Atlantic.
It said the cash would also fund flow tests on Sea Lion, expected to cost around £21million.
Chairman Pierre Jungels said: “We see this as a significant vote of confidence from investors in our work on the drilling campaign to date and in our plans for the rest of this year.
“Rockhopper has grown rapidly over the last 12 months and is well placed to achieve substantial further growth during the next phase of its development.
“The board will consider whether the main market of the London Stock Exchange would be the most appropriate platform for improving the company’s profile as well as enabling wider investor access to Rockhopper’s shares.”
Aim-listed Rockhopper is participating in a drilling campaign off the north of the Falklands using Diamond Offshore Drilling’s Ocean Guardian rig.
To date, drilling has been completed on two prospects in the North Falkland Basin: the Liz exploration well drilled by Desire Petroleum, in which Rockhopper has a 7.5% interest, and the Sea Lion exploration well in which Rockhopper has a 100% interest.
The Liz well was plugged and abandoned as a gas discovery.
During the next few months the Ocean Guardian will be used for drilling around the Falklands by several oil and gas explorers, including Rockhopper and Desire.
Rockhopper’s next prospect is Ernest, and Desire has lined up Rachel, which it says has potential recoverable reserves of 318million barrels of oil.