Weather stalls Xcite well test

Xcite Energy, the Banchory-based company that has seen its shares rise by more than 800 per cent this year amid growing speculation about the potential of its North Sea field, yesterday said a crucial test had been delayed by bad weather.

The flow test on a well in the Bentley field had been scheduled to start this week but has not yet taken place. The company said workers and equipment remained in place for when conditions improved.

In February, shares in Xcite were trading at just 35p on the Alternative Investment Market but last week rose to reach a record level of 332p, valuing the business at 518 million, after it revealed a "shareholder rights plan" to help repel a hostile takeover bid if necessary.

Shares in Xcite yesterday closed up 2p at 307.5p.