Bahamas Petroleum, an oil and gas exploration company with offshore licence permits in the Bahamas, has reduced its losses for the half year ended June 30th as a result of a decrease of 47 per cent in employee related expenses.
Total operating loss (and total comprehensive losses before tax) for the period came in at $3.1m, down from $4.6m the same period the previous year, while basic and diluted losses per share totalled 0.25 cents per share compared to 0.31 cents in the corresponding prior period. This improvement was the result of lower expenses due to cost rationalisation strategies employed during the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012.
Simon Potter, Chief Executive of Bahamas Petroleum Company, said: "The first half of 2012 has been a busy period for both the company and the Bahamian people who have seen a new government elected to power. The Company continues to work closely with the new government, especially on the environmental front as we progress our plans to drill an exploratory well in Bahamian waters.
"The company has made considerable progress in further de-risking of prospects within its southern licences with the receipt of initial 'fast track' results from its 3D survey completed in 2011. Sufficient confidence was derived from these data to commission an initial front end engineering design (FEED) to construct a well plan for the drilling of a 22,500' deep exploration well.
"Incorporation of all government input and the quality of the data will ensure that the company remains consistent with the government mandate that all oil exploration and production be regulated by the highest standard of health, safety and environmental protection. Completion of the current work plan will place the company in a position where drilling can commence at the earliest possibility."
The firm did warn that it has not been given a date for the referendum that is to be held on the orders of the regional government on an future Bahamian oil exploration drilling before any approvals for drilling can be issued. The firm said that the lack of any date for the referendum means a "material uncertainty exists which may cast doubt on the group's ability to recover its intangible exploration and evaluation assets". However, until the referendum is held, the firm said it believes its capitalised intangible exploration and evaluation assets are not impaired.
"In the event that the referendum results in a decision against future oil exploration drilling, the exploration and evaluation expenditure capitalised in respect of the group's five licences will be subject to impairment testing," it added.
The share price has lost 45% of its value over the past year, equal to almost 4p.