Hurricane oil flow tests from Shetland well exceed expectations

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil and gas explorer Hurricane Energy has successfully produced oil from its Lancaster well west of Shetland, a remote area between Scotland and the Faroe Islands holding a fifth of Britain’s untapped oil and gas resources.

Hurricane, which listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in February, said on Thursday production tests using a pump achieved a flow rate of 9,800 barrels of oil per day, well above expectations.

“I am delighted to report the successful completion of our testing operations which have achieved hydrocarbon flow rates in the upper range of our pre-drill estimates,” said chief executive Robert Trice in a statement.

Shares in the company were trading 9.7 percent higher at 32.8 pence at 0724 GMT (0824 BST).

Hurricane specialises in drilling for oil in basement reservoirs, lying beneath the sandstones typically targeted by oil and gas explorers.

Its successful oil flow tests add to Britain’s prospects of tapping new oil and gas reserves in the challenging area West of Shetland, which has strong winds and waves and is very deep.

Hurricane, which fully owns the Lancaster well, has suspended the project while it is analysing the data collected during testing.

“This looks to be a good result and we think it should help the company to find a partner if this is the plan,” said analysts at Canaccord.

Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Mark Potter