TULLOW Oil said it has discovered gas off the coast of Kenya together with two other companies.
Tullow made the first substantial gas find in Kenya along with Australian explorer Pancontinental Oil & Gas and UK-based Origin Energy.
However, the well is not even complete so it will be some time before there is sufficient information available to assess potential commerciality.
Shares in Tullow were little changed in early trading in London but shares in Pancontinental soared 91pc, the biggest gain since July 1, 1993, in Australia.
Pancontinental holds 15pc of the joint venture. Origin Energy owns 20pc and Tullow Oil owns 15pc.
The operator, Apache, owns the remaining 50pc.
Tullow said it foudn the gas in the shallowest part of the Mbawa-1 exploration well in the L8 licence area off Kenya.
“A gas discovery on prognosis in the shallowest objective at Mbawa-1 is an encouraging start to our East African Transform Margin exploration campaign,” said Tullow exploration director Angus McCoss. “This is the first hydrocarbon discovery offshore Kenya. The on-going drilling remains on course to test for any deeper oil potential within this gas prone region.”