Gulf Keystone Petroleum more than doubled the oil estimates for its key exploration block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, sending its shares up nearly 18 percent.
On a P90 scale, which indicates a 90 percent chance of finding oil, the company estimates oil volumes of 4.9 billion barrels at the Shaikan block, compared with previous estimates of 1.9 billion barrels.
“We firmly believe that even with this upward revision, the numbers for the Shaikan discovery are still conservative,” Chief Operating Officer John Gerstenlauer said in a statement.
The Kurdistan-focused explorer, which has a 75 percent stake in the Shaikan block, said the new data had been calculated after conducting production tests at two of the wells in the block and analysing seismic data at the site.
In March, Gulf Keystone found a substantial flow of oil at the Shaikan-2 well, increasing its chances of finding more oil at the site.
The company is currently drilling further into the Shaikan-2 well and expects to further revise its oil estimates after reaching the targeted depth at the site.