Hurricane Energy has narrowed its annual loss as it aims for first oil from Lancaster in 2019

Courtney Goldsmith
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Transocean's Development Driller III pla
It's a rainy day for Hurricane's shares (Source: Getty)

Shares in Hurricane Energy dipped today despite the oil firm narrowing its losses over 2016.

The figures

For the year to the end of December, Hurricane's pre-tax losses were £4.7m compared with a loss of £5.5m the previous year.

Hurricane said it ended the year with £82.2m in cash compared with just £9.9m the year before.

Shares were down 2.87 per cent to 60.95p in morning trading.

Why it's interesting

The oil explorer said in March it had found the "biggest undeveloped" oil find so far in the UK's waters.

The Lancaster field, which will produce around 17,000 barrels of oil per day, is now proceeding to the first phase of development, and first oil is expected in the first half of 2019.

Hurricane also announced a warrant issue of 25m ordinary shares, which will give it more financial flexibility and working capital.

Sam Wahab, oil and gas researcher at Cantor Fitzgerald, said Hurricane is in a position of strength following a long period of drilling success.

Read more: Recoverable oil at Hurricane Energy's Lancaster field tops 500m barrels

What Hurricane said

Dr Robert Trice, chief executive, said: "2016 was a transformational year during which we were able to raise the funds necessary to take advantage of low oil field services rates and the availability of the Transocean Spitsbergen rig to start a drilling campaign that would last 265 days. The continuous drilling operations were highly successful.

"Looking ahead, the funding of the EPS will be a significant moment in 2017. We continue to progress a range of financing discussions with a view to securing the best returns to shareholders. Our recently published [competent person's report] on Lancaster reinforces the scale of the resource we have and we look forward to updating the market further."

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