LONDON: Aberdeen, Scotland-based independent oil and gas explorer Dana Petroleum Plc. said it has struck hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone in the Faucon-1 exploration well in Block 1 offshore Mauritania. The drilling is now temporarily suspended pending collection of samples for analysis, the company said.
Dana operates Block 1 and has a 36 per cent holding in the well. The other stakeholders are Gaz de France UK (24 per cent), Tullow Oil (20 per cent), Hardman Petroleum (Mauritania) Pty (18 per cent) and Roc Oil (Mauritania) (2 per cent). Gaz de France became a stake holder after Dana decided to divest part of its holding last month.
The find is a big boost for Dana, which is now saddled with a substantial rise in its tax burden as a result of the new proposal by the British treasury to levy a windfall tax on oil companies.
Dana said in a brief regulatory announcement that it had found hydrocarbon-bearing sandstones, without giving an indication of whether these might contain gas or more valuable oil, or of the potential size and quality of any find. The company intends to do the testing works, which will be completed in about three weeks.
It said drilling has been suspended at 3,536 metres for acquisition of wireline logs, formation pressures and fluid and core samples.
Hydrocarbons have occurred in the Cretaceous zone. Earlier Woodside Petroleum Ltd. had detected hydrocarbons in the Tevet-2 well, north of Faucon-1.
Dana’s shares went up 13 per cent in London to 1,010 pence, the largest increase since 31 December 2001. The surge gave it a market cap of 813 million pounds.