88 Energy (AIM & ASX 88E OTC EEENF ) announced another operational update. There are three highlights: encouraging evidence of oil in down hole samples is being investigated in the laboratory; additional fluorescence has been recorded at previously unidentified depths; and final payment of vendors in stock is being made. Costs associated with the Merlin-1 well have now been largely finalised and 88 Energy 's net share of well costs is estimated to be around the $9 million mark. Helping preserve the cash balance, though, discussions with vendors of services provided to 88E during Merlin-1 operations have resulted in further willingness to accept partial payment for their invoices in 88E stock in lieu of cash and the company will now issue 345,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of A$0.025 per share (total A$8,625,000) in order to finalise these payments. 88 Energy says this will leave it in a strong financial position ahead of next winter's exploration program.