XCITE Energy, the Aberdeen-based driller, has received a higher price than it expected for oil from its giant Bentley field in the North Sea.
BP sold 135,000 barrels of oil on behalf of the Aim-quoted company, which is one of the most hotly-traded stocks among private investors, to a “major refining participant in the European market”.
Xcite said the price it had received was less than 12 per cent lower than the price of Brent crude, beating the company’s expectations.
The company is currently carrying out tests to determine how many barrels of oil can be extracted from the Bentley field.
Rupert Cole, the recently-installed chief executive at Xcite Energy, said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress of the flow test and the substantial amounts of data and information that is being gathered.
“We have also had a great outcome with the sale of this first cargo of Bentley crude, which has been priced at a comparable value to the expected full field production. BP has again provided us with excellent support in its role as marketing and offtake partner for the Bentley field.”
Sam Wahab, an oil and gas research analyst at Seymour Pierce, said: “This is clearly an encouraging update for the company.
“The shares have rallied in recent weeks as the market anticipates a potential farm-in partner on the back of encouraging flow test data.
“This announcement highlights the attractiveness of the Bentley field. On this basis, we expect the shares to strengthen.”
Shares in Xcite closed up 3 per cent or 3.5p at 118p, valuing the firm at about £340 million.
Richard Smith, one of the entrepreneurs who founded Xcite to develop the Bentley field, announced his retirement last month. He was replaced by Cole, another of its founders, who had been serving as finance director.
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