Bowleven saw its shares soar yesterday after it said it had already made two potentially significant oil discoveries in a well off Cameroon and hoped to find more oil on reaching the well’s target depth.
The company’s AIM-listed shares settled up 69.25p or 34.7% at 268.75p after earlier touching a day’s high of 284p, making it the top percentage gainer in London.
The Edinburgh-based oil and gas explorer, which is focused on West Africa, said its Sapele-1 exploration well in the Douala Basin on the Etinde Permit had found an estimated 40-290million barrels of light condensate at an upper level and an estimated 55-380million barrels of oil at a deeper level, with the initial target still to be drilled
Chief executive Kevin Hart said: “We’re highly encouraged and we’re going to continue drilling this well because we’re only three-quarters of the way down so far.
“We are delighted with the results so far of our drilling and seismic campaigns on Etinde. Through the IE-3 well we have established the presence of oil in the IE field area and have taken a positive step towards the realisation of our strategy to transfer resources to reserves.
“Appraisal activity is continuing and this is likely to include further drilling on the IE and IF fields. The spotlight is now on our exploration strategy and our plans to further evaluate the significant exploration potential of the Douala Basin.
“The momentum is building on our operations in Cameroon. Unlocking a development scheme that exploits the multiple proven hydrocarbon pools and testing the very significant promise of the Douala Basin offers multiple opportunities to create value for shareholders into 2011 and beyond.”
Bowleven also holds a 100% equity interest in the EOV Permit offshore Gabon, which contains an oil discovery awaiting development. The company intends to sell this interest and is forecasting it will have around £72million in cash after Sapele-1 drilling and the EOV disposal, making it well-positioned to fund its current work programme.
Bowleven, which has no revenue from production yet, yesterday reported pre-tax profits of £12.18million for the year to June 30, helped by finance income gains of £19.92million, compared to pre-tax losses of £6.36million the year before.
Desire Petroleum, the oil and gas explorer focused 100% on the North Falkland Basin, said yesterday it was preparing to drill the Rachel North prospect after plugging and abandoning its first well on Rachel.
It said the Rachel North well would be drilled about a mile from the earlier Rachel sidetrack.