(Alliance News) – Shares in Columbus Energy Resources PLC jumped sharply on Monday on news the Saffron well has discovered oil in the Lower Cruse and Middle Cruse in onshore Trinidad.

Shares were up 30% at 1.95 pence in London at midday, having traded at more than 2.70p earlier in the day.

Saffron oil discoveries in the Lower and Middle Cruse include 2,363 feet of gross sands with six reservoir intervals of interest and a 47% net to gross ratio.

The Saffron well reached total depth, as planned, at 4,634 feet and six intervals were identified for testing, of which three have been tested so far.

High quality, light oil was recovered to surface and results lined up with Columbus’s pre-drill estimates for Lower Cruse oil recovery of 11.5 million barrels.

Medium quality crude oil was discovered in the Middle Cruse, with Columbus currently producing oil from the first Middle Cruse perforated interval. Middle Cruse oil is currently being processed on location with the first 240 barrels of oil sold via “existing infrastructure”

Columbus has signed terms for the full carry of the second Saffton Lower Cruse appraisal and development well, due in the third quarter of 2020. It is also preparing to test the Middle Cruse for any more oil bearing zones and putting together individual development plans for both the Middle and Lower Cruse discoveries.

Executive Chair Leo Koot said: “We have found what we were looking for – the Saffron well has discovered oil in both the Lower Cruse and Middle Cruse formations in the South West Peninsula, onshore Trinidad. These discoveries are transformational for Columbus creating two valuable standalone field developments.

Koot added: “For operational reasons (including prudent cost management), our testing was deliberately limited to a combined perforation of [16 feet] even though the logging of the Lower Cruse showed over 300 feet of high-quality sands. As such, we believe that the appraisal of the Lower Cruse, expected in Q3 2020, will be stage 1 of a Lower Cruse development that we now calculate has an NPV of circa USD90 million.”

Koot went on to express his confidence in the company’s ability “to produce commercial quantities of quality oil from both the Lower Cruse and the Middle Cruse.”

“In the coming months, we intend to finish our testing campaign and work with our partner to drill Saffron 2. Alongside this, we will continue to produce from the Middle Cruse and progress a Middle Cruse appraisal and development campaign when the timing is right given market conditions,” said Koot.

By Anna Farley; annafarley@alliancenews.com