Scottish oil and gas explorer Cairn Energy saw its shares edge ahead early after posting significantly reduced first-half losses.
The Edinburgh-headquartered firm generated a loss after tax of $38 million in the six months to June 30, a massive improvement on the $230m loss of a year previous.
The company is progressing operations in multiple locations and in the six month period completed four successful appraisal wells off Senegal and a dual target exploration well in the Greater Catcher Area of the North Sea.
It said the Catcher and Kraken developments on the UK Continental Shelf were expected to produce first oil in the early part of next year.
Combined output from the fields to Cairn is expected to be in the region of 25,500 barrels per day at peak .
However, the firm’s focus has long been on developing new prospects off the coast of Senegal where its evaluation programme has identified a resource estimated at 2.7 billion barrels gross.
The projected recoverable element is is estimated at around 1.7bn barrels.
Chief executive Simon Thomson said the firm had strong upside prospects.
“Drilling is scheduled to re-commence in Senegal shortly, benefiting from lower costs across the sector,” Mr Thomson said.
“The programme contains options for multiple wells and in addition to ongoing appraisal of the SNE field, the joint venture continues to assess optimal locations for further exploration drilling on the acreage.
“Cairn’s exploration and appraisal focus in Senegal is balanced with development assets in the UK, with first oil targeted from both Kraken and Catcher during 2017 and in the meantime Cairn remains fully-funded in respect of all of its capital commitments.”
Cairn shares closed up 4.62% at 204p.