Petroceltic Falls Most in 19 Months After Quits Part of Well

Petroceltic International Plc, an Irish oil and gas explorer, slumped the most in 19 months in London trading after it stopped exploring one geologic layer at a well in Kurdistan because of a “limited” hydrocarbon find.

The company dropped 8.2 percent to 162.5 pence by the close, the biggest decline since Aug. 17, 2012. That values the Dublin-based company at 286 million pounds ($475 million).

Petroceltic and its partners have decided not to test the Triassic zone of the Shakrok well, after finding a gas-condensate column, the company said today in a statement. “The interval will now be plugged and abandoned,” it said. The well is operated by Hess Corp.

Petroceltic will test a number of potential oil zones in the Jurassic formation, which is the primary objective of the well, until mid-May, Petroceltic said.

“This is our first exploration well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” Chief Executive Officer Brian O’Cathain said in the statement. “While the secondary Triassic objective has found limited hydrocarbons, we believe that the outcome of the testing program on the primary Jurassic objective is independent of the Triassic result.”

Preparations for drilling the Dinarta license are continuing, with the Shireen-1 well expected to take about 150 days to reach its targeted depth, Petroceltic said. Drilling is expected to start in early May it said.

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