Bridge sitting on more oil than expected

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Bridge Energy, the Aberdeen-based driller, cheered investors yesterday with news that one of its wells in the Norwegian North Sea could hold four times as much oil as had previously been thought.

The firm, which joined the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) last year, said that, after updated mapping, it now estimates the size of the Asha discovery to be between 30 and 100 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Preliminary figures were between 25 and 35 million. The firm holds a 20 per cent interest in the Asha field.

News of the updated figures came as Petroceltic, the firm that bought Edinburgh-based Melrose Resources in August, said it had plugged a wildcat well in Egypt after drilling nearly 7,000 feet and failing to find oil or gas.

But two other Egyptian fields were said to be making good progress.