limerick-based exploration company Circle Oil said first-half sales jumped 13pc but profits fell.
Sales for the six months to the end of June rose to $47.8m (€36.4m) from $42.3m but profits fell 36pc to $9.4m. Sales rose as the company sold more oil to Egypt and more gas in Morocco.
Circle recently announced a 100 million barrel discovery in Tunisia, which boosted the share price by 40pc. It said the fine was a "potentially game-changing" event in the company's development. Circle said it is now drilling its second well in Morocco, which could boost reserves and revenues in the country. It plans to drill 10 more.
"Recently completed operations offshore Tunisia and forthcoming operations in both Oman and onshore Tunisia have the potential to further enhance our asset base. Circle will endeavour to grow the business, in the MENA region, both through the drill bit and with carefully selected, value-driven operations and acquisitions," the company said in its results statement.
"An exciting period is ahead of us with the second half of the year including new drilling in both Morocco and onshore Oman," chief executive Chris Green added.