Shares surged in Tullow Oil yesterday after the British-based oil explorer reported an almost 250 per cent rise in first half net profit, due to high global oil prices.
The oil firm, led by chief executive Aidan Heavey, said its profit was £126m in the first six months of the year, compared to £37m in the same period 12 months ago.
Stock in the FTSE 100 company closed up 3 per cent at 817p, valuing it at £5.9bn.
Crude oil traded in New York at over $100 a barrel for the first time in January and jumped 46 per cent in the first six months of the year. Gas prices were about 36 per cent higher during the period.
Tullow increased oil and gas extraction by one per cent to the equivalent of 70,600 barrels of oil a day in the first half.
Tullow, which has more exploration licences than any other British firm in Africa, was buoyant about the outlook for its Ugandan operations.
The firm said the examination of drilling results gave the company greater confidence that its Ugandan fields may contain enough oil to justify construction of a pipeline through Kenya to the Indian Ocean. It also upgraded its reserves in Ghana earlier this year. Tullow added it will invest $3.1bn (£1.5bn) in the first phase of its Jubilee field development in Ghana, with crude production expected to start in the second half of 2010 Tullow said chief financial officer Tom Hickey, who earlier this year announced he would step down on 1 September, will be replaced by Ian Springett, formerly group vice president for planning at oil major BP.