Rockhopper jumps again as it ramps up Falklands project

Marion Dakers
ROCKHOPPER Exploration yesterday agreed a deal to give it greater exposure to its oil find in the Falkland Islands, and said it has received interest from potential partners for a major expansion.

Rockhopper, which this week lifted its oil estimates for the Sea Lion field by 20 per cent, said it will acquire a 52.5 per cent extra stake in part of a licence controlled by another UK explorer, Desire Petroleum.

Rockhopper will in return pay for a well to be drilled on the licence. The firm’s shares jumped 10.8 per cent yesterday.

The group will fund the plan with a share placing, run by Canaccord Genuity and Merrill Lynch, which yesterday raised £46.5m from institutional investors and employees.

The firm added that it had been approached by industry partners looking to co-invest with it in a $2bn project to develop pipelines and a floating production system needed to get oil pumping from its Sea Lion discovery, to be funded by a combination of partner financing and debt.

Rockhopper plans to open up an online data room towards the end of the year to allow interested parties to learn more.