Cameroon upgrade lifts Bowleven shares 11%

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Edinburgh-based explorer Bowleven delighted investors yesterday as it announced a “substantial” increase in the amount of oil and gas at its latest discovery off the coast of Cameroon.

The Africa-focused firm has seen its share price boosted first by the discovery of hydrocarbons at its “IM-5” well in the Etinde field in January and then by confirmation that the site was rich in valuable liquids a few weeks later.

Now analysis of the data from initial drilling has shown there are more reserves than previously thought. The company increased its estimates of condensate – similar to oil – almost tenfold, to 184 million barrels. Likely gas reserves were hiked by 162 per cent to more than 1,200 billion cubic feet.

Chief executive Kevin Hart said: “We are very pleased with the results of the IM-5 well, which have significantly exceeded our pre-drill expectations.

“The substantial increase in gas volumes, and more importantly liquid hydrocarbons, place Bowleven in an excellent position to progress with the development of Etinde. We look forward to the results of testing.”

In November, Bowleven unveiled a £313 million deal with FTSE 100 energy services firm Petrofac to develop the Etinde field. The first gas is expected to flow in 2016.

Shares closed up 11 per cent at 88.5p.