SHARES in Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration group Bowleven rose 40% today after the firm said its offshore west Africa resources were bigger than estimated.
The AIM-listed firm said its recently drilled Sapele-3 well in the Douala Basin offshore Cameroon had found 36ft of oil and showed the field was larger than originally thought.
This could lead to a “significant upward revision” of estimated volumes in the field, the firm said in an announcement.
It also highlighted the “extensive exploration potential in the basin”.
Gas was also found in an area of “high quality” reservoir drilled by the same well, nearly 10 miles north west of the Sapele-1 well off central west Africa on the Etinde Permit.
Kevin Hart, chief executive at Bowleven and a former Ellon Academy pupil, said: “We are excited with results so far at Sapele-3.
“The Deep Omicron interval continues to deliver and the confirmed presence of oil and good quality reservoir at this location further emphasises the significance of this play within the Douala Basin.
“All Sapele wells drilled have now encountered oil within the Deep Omicron interval, thus reinforcing the geological model and highlighting the overall development and exploration potential of the fairway.
“This well has also now shown that the Deep Omicron interval extends considerably beyond the currently mapped area, which has significant implications in terms of both volumetrics and prospectivity potential.”
Bowleven has now drilled three wells and side track Sapele-1ST, which was found to have commercial flow rates after tests.
Last November, the firm estimated its Sapele-1 well 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.
It then increased this estimate.
However, its share price has suffered from the turbulence in the stock markets in recent months. In the past year its shares have fluctuated between £4.14 and 73p.
In July the group said it had been given an exploration extension for its Etinde prospect.
It also said it had agreed outline terms for the sale of gas to a proposed liquefied natural gas plant in Cameroon.
July also saw its chief operating officer John Morrow quit for personal reasons. Non-executive director Phil Tracy took over on a temporary basis.
Meanwhile, drilling has started on the first of two wells offshore the Republic of Guinea, 23% owned by Aberdeen’s Dana Petroleum.
Operated by New York listed independent Hyperdynamics Corporation, the Sabu-1 well will be drilled by the Jasper Explorer drill ship and managed by AGR Peak Well Management.