WEST of Shetland-focused Hurricane Energy has generated around $20 million cash from its oil production operations in the latest month following a period in which it has faced big challenges.

Hurricane made promising finds in an area in which there had been relatively little drilling but subsequently slashed estimates of the size of the discoveries.

The company said yesterday that it had produced an average of around 11,500 barrels oil daily in August from the one find it has brought onstream, Lancaster.

Hurricane had $144m free cash at August 31 compared with $122m at the end of July.

The company used some of the cash this month to reduce its debt mountain. Last week it struck a deal to buy back more than a third of $230 million of outstanding bonds at a discounted price, for an outlay of $62m.

Chief executive Antony Maris has noted the effect of the deal will be to save the company approximately $22m of future obligations to bondholders in capital and interest.

READ MORE: Shetland oil firm faces uncertainty after High Court ruling

In June the High Court blocked a plan for a proposed debt-for-equity swap that would have left bondholders with 95 per cent of the shares in Hurricane. Shareholders had opposed the plan but Hurricane directors had said it was the only realistic option open to the company.

Hurricane said yesterday that PKF Littlejohn has been appointed as its new external auditor.

At the company’s general meeting in June the resolution to re-appoint Deloitte as Hurricane’s auditors was not passed.

Hurricane Energy shares closed up 10 per cent, 0.32p, at 3.4p. yesterday

They sold for 60p in 2019 after the company started production from the Lancaster field.

READ MORE: West of Shetland field start up provides vindication for oil pioneer

Surrey-based Hurricane was founded by geologist Robert Trice to focus on a layer of granite known as the fractured basement. Mr Trice resigned as chief executive in June last year.