Fusion shares boom on African oil well success

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The Independent Online

The market value of a tiny UK oil exploration company rocketed yesterday after it announced what could potentially be a huge discovery off the north-west coast of Africa.

The market value of a tiny UK oil exploration company rocketed yesterday after it announced what could potentially be a huge discovery off the north-west coast of Africa.

Shares in the AIM-listed Fusion Oil & Gas soared by 45 per cent to 63p, valuing it at £58m, as news emerged of the results from an exploration well drilled in offshore Mauritania.

Alan Stein, managing director of Fusion, said based on the seismic data obtained, the acreage could contain reserves of up to 1.5 billion barrels of oil, putting it on a par with some of the biggest finds in Angola and the Gulf of Mexico. The well is the first to be drilled in those deep waters and could indicate that accessible reserves lie off Senegal, Gambia and Guinea Bissau, which have similar geology. A second well will be drilled next week.

"The results demonstrate that there is high-quality oil off the coast of Mauritania and good-quality reservoirs," Mr Stein said. Fusion has a 6 per cent stake in the block where the well was drilled, while Woodside and Agip have 35 per cent.

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