3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) , which closed above 6,300 for the first time yesterday, has slipped back to 6,318 as of 10:25 a.m. EST. But general optimism seems to be pretty robust at the moment, and people will surely be wondering when the index of top U.K. stocks will beat 6,400, 6,500 -- and even 7,000!

But even when the index is up, there are shares beating it. Here are three constituents of the various FTSE indexes that are rising today.

Bowleven (LSE: BLVN  )
Bowleven, the oil and gas explorer focused in Africa, saw its shares perk up by 8.7% today after it released a drilling update from its IM-5 well off the Cameroon coast. While investigating the Middle and Upper Isongo sands prospects, the exploratory well has found what might be a viable discovery. At a depth of 3,330 meters, initial indications suggest the presence of hydrocarbons. Determining type and quality will have to wait for further tests.

Bowleven investors needed a boost, as the share price was down about 20% over the past year before today's news.

Victoria (LSE: VOG  )
Victoria Oil & Gas is another explorer and producer to rise on good news today, with shares up 1.4% to 2.1 pence. Victoria's share slump has been rather more extreme, with the price having fallen by more than 40% over the past 12 months.

But today the company got a lift from an operations update that told us it now has 15 customers for the gas produced at its Logbaba operation, taking a total of 2.8 million standard cubic feet per day. We also learned that Societe Generale has agreed to a $15 million lending facility.

BP (LSE: BP  ) (NYSE: BP  )
And to keep to the oil theme, shares in BP are up a modest 0.3% to 477 pence, which may or may not be enough to beat the FTSE at the end of the day. But the important news is that the company's legal dealings with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana have been concluded. In line with the previously agreed penalty of $4 billion over five years and a five-year period of probation, the court has accepted that all criminal charges concerning the Deepwater Horizon disaster have been resolved.

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