HURRICANE Energy has seen its shares soar 23 per cent after the successful test of a well at the Lancaster field West of Shetland.

The programme found flow rates of hydrocarbons at the upper end of expectations with the well now suspended as it is likely to be a future producer.

Hurricane, which was valued at more than £270 million when it floated in February, specialises in fractured basement reservoirs in granite formations.

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Those lie below the sandstone reservoirs that have formed the basis for the majority of North Sea exploration. The Lancaster field, 100 per cent owned by AIM-listed Hurricane, has estimated resources equivalent to 207 million barrels of oil.

Dr Robert Trice, chief executive, said: "This successful outcome reinforces the potential importance of basement resources as a strategic resource for the UK."

Hurricane Energy's shares closed up 6.88p to 36.5p.