WEST of Shetland-focused Hurricane Energy increased its cash balances by $7 million (£5m) in the latest quarter during which a court blocked a controversial restructuring that would have left creditors in control of the firm.

Hurricane said it had net free cash of $134m at June 30, up from $127m at March 31.

The increase reflected the benefit of $69m revenues earned on production from the flagship Lancaster oil field.

The news follows a turbulent period for Hurricane, which made finds during a pioneering exploration drive West of Shetland.

The firm saw its valuation soar to £1.2bn after starting production from Lancaster in 2019.

However, the valuation plunged after the company suffered production reverses on Lancaster and went on to slash estimates of the size of the field and other finds.

The company has $230m bonds due for repayment next year.

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Directors proposed the company complete a debt-for-equity swap to help manage its debt burden.

The proposed restructuring would have left bondholders with 95% of the shares in Hurricane, but directors said it was the only realistic option open to the company.

However, last month the High Court declined to approve the plan on the grounds that it would have deprived shareholders of all but a fraction of their equity and appeared to be premature.

Hurricane’s chairman Steve McTiernan and four non-executive directors resigned in the wake of the decision.

Two industry veterans nominated by dissident investor Crystal Amber Fund were appointed to the board. Chief executive Antony Maris and chief financial officer Ricard Chaffe were confirmed in post after shareholder votes in their favour.

The new board has not proposed an alternative to the restructuring plan blocked by the court as yet.

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The company noted yesterday that the increase in cash in the latest quarter followed the payment of $4m interest charges to bondholders.

Production from Lancaster was reduced temporarily in June following problems with a pump, which have been rectified.

The company said the production vessel on Lancaster is undergoing its scheduled annual shutdown, which is expected to last for approximately two weeks.

Shares in the firm closed down 0.02p, at 3.23p, leaving it with a stock market capitalisation of around £65m.

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After selling for 60p in 2019, the shares fell to a low of 0.66p in May of this year.