Sterling Energy shares drop 14pc
SHARES in Sterling Energy, the UK oil- and gas-exploration firm in which businessman Denis O'Brien has just over a 7pc stake, sank nearly 14pc in London yesterday as the company said it was continuing work on what has been a sometimes troublesome prospect in Kurdistan.
Sterling owns a 53pc working interest in the Sangaw North block in Kurdistan and said that a well had been drilled there to a total depth of almost 4,200 metres.
It added that the joint-venture partnership had elected -- based on gas shows while drilling -- to conduct a so-called 'flow test' across the open-hole section. That test, which will take three weeks to complete, will determine the flow of gas from the well.
In March, Sterling Energy described 2010 as having been a "very challenging" year for its Kurdistan project, where it has encountered both geological and mechanical obstacles.
The company estimates that the prospect could hold as much as 3.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 500 million barrels of oil.
Last year, Sterling generated revenue of $25.3m and a pre-tax profit of $5.8m. It had $102m in cash on its books at the end of December.