UPDATE 9-Police consider manslaughter charges over London blaze as thousands evacuated
* Police fear death toll could rise above 79 (Updates number of people affected, adds political reaction)
LONDON, April 7 Hurricane Energy, listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), has tripled its estimate of recoverable oil from its Lancaster field in the North Sea, the company said on Friday.
The statement comes just over a week after the company announced an oil discovery in the Halifax well in the West Shetlands region, which it thinks could be Britain's largest undeveloped oil find.
As part of a day of presentations to analysts and investors, Hurricane said it had upgraded its recoverable resource estimate for the Lancaster field to 593 million barrels from 200 million in a 2013 assessment.
Output from Lancaster is expected to start in the first half of 2019, with a daily production rate of 17,000 barrels expected soon after.
Oil exploration in Britain has declined due to high costs and as explorers focus on less mature basins.
A new generation of specialist exploration firms, such as Hurricane, has started to apply new technologies to tap billions of barrels of oil still left for extraction.
Hurricane specialises in recovering oil using a technique that requires high pressure drilling to fracture a type of rock that is very hard and brittle.
Analysts at Panmure Gordon said the upgrade regarding Lancaster meant Hurricane's total discovered resources from its prospective fields could come close to 1 billion barrels.
Shares in Hurricane, which hit a record 62 pence last week, were down 3 percent at 55p by 0754 GMT. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Holmes)
* Rio no immediate comment (Adds Rio statement, updates share price)
* Crude slumps about 20 pct in first half (Updates to settlement, weekly change)