Oil explorer Rockhopper raises £50m to develop a new find in the Falklands

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH oil explorer Rockhopper yesterday raised £48.5m to allow it to drill larger-than-expected reserves at its Sea Lion well in the Falklands.

The Sea Lion exploration well find has sparked renewed tensions between Britain and Argentina, who fought a war over the islands’ sovereignty nearly 30 years ago.

Rockhopper said it will also use the cash to develop a second Ernest Prospect site.

The explorer issued just over 17m shares, or 10 per cent of shares currently in issue, at 280p per share. This represents a 3.5 per cent discount to the stock’s closing price on Monday of 290.25p.

Shares in Rockhopper soared over 50 per cent on Friday after it told the market that Sea Lion had discovered 242m barrels of recoverable reserves, more than the original estimate of 170m barrels, and at a higher quality too. It added that further upgrades were possible.

Rockhopper was the first of the trio of oil firms drilling in the Falklands to discover oil.