Market Report: Oil minnows in demand after ‘Gatwick Gusher’ test

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Investors flooded to the AIM-listed companies with fingers in the “Gatwick Gusher” pie after bonanza testing results from the well a mile down the road from the airport.

A seven-hour test comprising 99% oil flowed at an unaided rate of 463 barrels a day, which surpassed expectations and pleased the long-suffering backers of the exploration minnows.

Larger-than-life Australian entrepreneur David Lenigas, the man behind the project who coined the “Gatwick Gusher” nickname and came under fire last year for claiming there could be “multiple billion barrels of oil” under Gatwick, took to Twitter to tell his legion of fans the results were “fantabulous”. 

Five of the six companies involved were the top performers on the LSE, while shares in Doriemus — the only one failing to make the cut — have been suspended since September pending the completion of an acquisition.

UK Oil & Gas Investments, the largest shareholder with a 20% stake, leapt 0.6p, or 43%, to 2p — still well below the price at which it last raised issued shares  — Solo Oil rose 0.06p or 21%, to 0.33p, and Alba Mineral Resources flew up 0.11p or 41% to 0.38p. Other stakeholders include Evocutis, 0.01p or 15% higher at 0.09p, and Stellar Resources, up 0.08p, or 32%, to 0.31p.

It’s not all been plain sailing for Lenigas recently. His latest venture, Lenigas Cuba, has crashed from 5p to just 0.95p in a few months on ISDX. 

The oil majors, including Royal Dutch Shell, up 48p to 1590p, were also on a winning streak as the price of Brent floated higher, boosting the FTSE 100 by 33.35 points to 5857.63 — even after a slight slip as Opec producers decided to freeze and not cut oil output.

Standard Chartered was among the losers, tumbling 26.25p to 426.8p as brokers ruled the Asia-focused bank’s two-day rally was overdone. Investec scrapped its Buy tip and Morgan Stanley decided to slash its target price to 410p.

Industrial-controls firm Spectris enjoyed its day in the sun, shining at the top of the FTSE 250 up 79p at 1594p after an expected 8% fall in pre-tax profits to £176.3 million as oil spending cuts bit.

Elsewhere, posh tonic-water maker Fever-Tree trickled 7p higher to 569.5p even though Somerset cider drinks company Brothers, which has been bottling the AIM-listed firm’s tonic, slimmed down its stake to below 4%.

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February 17, 2016 |
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