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Shares soar on news of Faroe drill success

SHARES have soared in Aberdeen-based Faroe ­Petroleum by more than 8% after it reported a successful drill stem test in the Pil exploration well of the Norwegian Sea.

Faroe, which holds a 25 per cent, non-operating stake in the licence, declared the find "builds substantially" on its discovered volumes within tie-back distance of the Njord production facility.

It follows recent ­exploration success scored by Faroe in the Snilehorn and Solberg discoveries in the Norwegian Sea.

AIM-listed Faroe said operator VNG Norge AS will now start a sidetrack to prove the lateral extent of the Pil discovery.

The company said this will be followed by a further sidetrack to assess the potential of the neighbouring Bue target. Faroe predicted both sidetracks have the potential to increase the preliminary estimate of the discovery's recoverable resource.

News of the Pil test led analyst Panmure Gordon to raise its target price to 200p from 190p, while retaining its recommendation to buy the stock.

Faroe chief executive Graham Stewart said: "We are very pleased to announce the results of this highly successful drill stem test on the Pil discovery, which considerably exceed expectations and significantly de-risk further prospectivity for this reservoir package in the licence.

"The Pil well builds substantially on Faroe's discovered volumes located within tie-back distance of our Njord infrastructure.

"We look forward to the results of the two sidetracks and proving up further potential on this licence."

He updated investors on its exploration and appraisal programme elsewhere, noting that results on drilling at the Butch East exploration well, next to the Butch Main discovery in the Norwegian North Sea, are expected in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, fellow exploration and production specialist Parkmead Group has hailed the completion of its acquisition of an additional 20% interest in the UK licence containing the producing Athena oil field from EWE.

Parkmead, led by executive chairman Tom Cross, had already held a 10% interest in the Athena field, in the Outer Moray Firth, through its acquisition of Lochard Energy Group, completed in July.Mr Stewart declared recent results achieved by the Faroe exploration team in the Pil, Snilehorn and Solberg licences signals the value to shareholders in its long-term strategy of taking stakes in high-impact exploration prospects.

He updated investors on its exploration and appraisal programme noting that results on drilling at the Butch East exploration well, are expected soon. He hailed the deal as Parkmead's most important because of the positive impact it will have on the group's oil and gas production base, revenue and cash flow.

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