Moody, in the oil firm’s interim results statement, said: "Good progress has been made on a range of commercial, fiscal, regulatory and financing matters associated with the Sea Lion project.
“The primary focus for the remainder of 2017 will be to further progress funding proposals with the aim of being in a position to sanction the project during 2018.”
In the statement, Rockhopper told investors that talks have begun with the UK's export credit agency, UK Export Finance, over a proposed US$800mln senior debt financing for Sea Lion.
Talks are also progressing with potential contractors for the project, for US$400mln of financing and Rockhopper said non-binding proposals have been received for a significant proportion of funds and further proposals are expected in the coming weeks.
The first phase of Sea Lion has an estimated capex bill of US$1.5bn, reduced from US$1.8bn.
In terms of its results, Rockhopper reported a material increase in production with the group’s output averaging 1.200 barrels of oil per day, up from 600 boepd in the same period of last year.
Revenue in the six months ended June 30 amounted to US$5.1mln, up 74%, it had negative cash flow of US$6.95mln and ended the period with US$63mln of cash at the end of the period.