Xcite seals North Sea discovery

OIL explorer Xcite said yesterday it has suspended its well in the Bentley field of the North Sea while it examines the quality of the oil found in December.

The company said the oil find is a “transformational well for the company” and that it remains ready to be used as a production well in the future.

The Ocean Nomad drilling rig used to explore the hydrocarbon deposit is now off hire from the Bentley field around 160 kilometres off the coast of Shetland.

Xcite awarded 12 of its executives involved in the development a total of 1.6m share
options yesterday, , worth £6.2m in total, as a bonus for the success of the Bentley 9/3b-6 well.

The company’s London-listed shares have rocketed seven-fold in the last twelve months, with the gain accelerating in December when the firm said it had successfully struck oil at Bentley after months of delays.

The firm has exploration licences for several blocks in the North Sea following the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s latest round of offshore licensing in October.

The AIM-listed stock lost 5.3 per cent yesterday to close at 363p. Its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange also fell 5.4 per cent to C$5.60.