Explorer Bowleven in positive African update

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SHARES in Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Bowleven rose yesterday after it reported a successful second test at its latest well off the coast of Cameroon.

The Edinburgh-based firm said its IM-5 well had shown combined maximum flow rates of more than 17,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Chief executive Kevin Hart said he was “delighted with the overall results which have surpassed our expectations”.

“We are continuing to make good progress on the path to development in Cameroon.”

The drilling and testing programme on the well has now been completed and work will be suspended for the time being.

Last month Bowleven said it expects to become a major player in Cameroon’s oil industry after recent finds suggest there are large reserves in its acreages there.

Over the next two years, the firm plans to explore both on land and offshore in Cameroon and Kenya, where it has rights to large areas.

The group will be able to pay for the exploration from $60 million (£39m) due to be paid out by contractor Petrofac as part of a $500m investment that will see it pump gas from Etinde to power a nearby fertiliser plant.

Gas is expected to start flowing commercially in 2016. Shares in Bowleven rose 4.5p, or 5.5 per cent, to close at 86p.