Oil exploration firm Desire Petroleum has not found oil at its latest well drilled in the Falkland Islands.
Malvern-based Desire (DES) has been looking for oil in the North Falkland Basin for months – thus far unsuccessfully – and abandoned its latest prospect, called Ninky, saying its current funds were insufficient to finance further drilling.
The firm, which has had a string of disappointing results in the remote British territory off the coast of Argentina, said the well had oil shows but had not found oil in a reservoir that would flow. The well will be plugged and abandoned, it added.
Desire was established by former Dudley West MP Colin Phipps, a geologist who died in 2009, and his son Stephen is the current chairman.
Around 70 per cent of Desire’s shareholders are retail investors, among them many veterans of the Falklands War hoping for oil riches in the frontier exploration region.
The drilling campaign has been dogged with controversy after it sparked protests from Argentina, which claims the British territory.
However, a large discovery made by rival explorer Rockhopper (RKH) in the Falklands in 2010 raised hopes that a new hydrocarbon basin will be opened up, but so far no further finds have been made.
Desire said remaining funds of $37 million would not stretch to pay for another well.
Chairman Stephen Phipps said: “Given our continuing confidence that oil will be discovered on Desire’s acreage, further wells will need to be drilled and, therefore...we will review all financing options available.”