Desire Petroleum, the Worcestershire company that became part of an international row when it started exploring for oil near the Falkland Islands earlier this year, has revealed positive signs from its latest drill.
The Malvern-based firm said it had discovered a potentially significant oil field as part of its controversial campaign in the North Falkland Basin.
The news came as Desire revealed a £4.1 million loss in the six months to June 30.
Chairman Stephen Phipps said: “This drilling campaign in the North Falkland Basin (NFB) has started very positively. Our first well Liz discovered gas in two zones and on the Sea Lion prospect drilled by Rockhopper Exploration, a potentially significant oil field has been discovered.
“The confirmation of oil in the NFB has clearly significantly de-risked the rest of the drilling campaign. With the Ocean Guardian rig due to return to Desire within the month, we now enter an exciting period of drilling activity which may see us drilling up to four wells back to back.”
Shares in the company jumped slightly after the announcement to the London Stock Exchange.
Desire was established by Mr Phipps’s father, former Dudley West MP Colin Phipps.
The drilling campaign has been dogged with controversy after it sparked protests from Argentina, which claims the British territory.