The company jumped as much as 6.1 percent, the most since April 17, in London trading, to 128.9 pence and traded 2.7 percent up at 124.8 pence. The stock has risen 45 percent this year, valuing the company at 1.34 billion pounds ($2.2 billion).
Drilling found “excellent quality reservoir sands” at the offshore well with 370 vertical feet of potentially produceable oil, London-based Afren said in a statement today. The company, in partnership with Oriental Energy Resources Ltd., began drilling in April, reaching a total depth of 4,320 feet (1,316 meters). Exploration was targeting an area to the north of the company’s main Ebok field, which is already producing oil.
“The proximity of Ebok North Fault Block to existing infrastructure at the main Ebok field-production hub means that we can quickly monetize these newly discovered volumes,” Chief Executive Officer Osman Shahenshah said in the statement.
Data collected during the drilling suggest the well may contain “in excess of 100 million barrels of oil, toward the upper end of Afren’s pre-drill expectations,” Afren said. Drilling will be suspended while the partners determine development plans.