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Image courtesy of Max Petroleum.

UK-based independent Max Petroleum said Wednesday it reduced its pretax loss for the first half of the year but is still struggling to repay $82.8 million in loan obligations.

Max recorded a $764,000 pretax loss during the first half of 2014, an improvement over the company’s $3.4 million pretax loss during the same period last year.

Sales during the first half of 2014 jumped 17 percent over last year from 640,000 barrels to 751,000 barrels.

In August, Max inked a deal with AGR Energy, owned by the Assaubayev family, for a $58.19 million cash subscription in exchange for a 51 percent stake in the company.

The deal has been approved by Max’s shareholders but is still waiting for the greenlight from Kazakhstan’s ministry of energy and Sberbank, Max’s lender.

Max is working with Sberbank to restructure its debt but cautioned that it may have trouble meeting its repayment obligations if the AGR deal is held up by regulators, Alliance News said.

The company is asking for a moratorium on principle payments owed to Sberbank in 2015 and is also seeking an extension for the maturity date of its loan that is currently set at November 2017.