Panoro Shares Surge After New Gabon Oil Discovery: Oslo Mover

Panoro Energy ASA, which searches for and produces oil in West Africa and Brazil, rose the most in four months in Oslo after making its second oil discovery offshore Gabon, boosting prospects of a commercial development.

The shares rose as much as 16 percent, the most since Sept. 4, and traded 15 percent higher at 3.2 kroner as of 10:24 a.m. in the Norwegian capital. That made it the second-biggest gainer on the Oslo exchange. Some 6.4 million shares traded, more than four times the daily average over the past three months.

Panoro said it found crude in two formations at the Tortue prospect in its Dussafu Marin permit, including a 22-meter (72 feet) oil column. The company had previously estimated resources at 28 million barrels of oil. The discovery was made about 15 kilometers (9 miles) south-east of the 2011 Ruche find, which is estimated to hold 11 million barrels of oil.

“This could become really big if the trend continues,” Thomas Aarrestad, an analyst at Pareto Securities, said in a phone interview. “The discovery they made in 2011 was too small to be commercial alone, but it will probably be profitable in a joint development. And they have a series of follow-up prospects that can be drilled in the coming years and that may increase volumes further.”

Based on the company’s volume estimates before it started drilling at Tortue, the discovery may be valued at 0.5 krone to 1 krone a share, according to Pareto, which has a buy recommendation and a price estimate of 9.18 kroner.

Further Evaluation

The company said further technical evaluations are needed to assess the size of the discovery.

Panoro explores for and produces oil and gas offshore Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, Nigeria and Brazil. The company has a 33.33 percent stake in the Dussafu Marin permit, which is operated by Harvest Natural Resources Inc.

Natural gas production from the Manati field in Brazil averaged 6.1 million cubic meters a day in the quarter, amounting to a working interest of 3,837 barrels of oil equivalent for Panoro, it said in a separate statement today. Gross oil production from the Kundji field in Congo-Brazzaville, where Panoro owns a 20 percent stake, was 33,000 barrels in the third quarter, according to a company report.

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