Why VAALCO Energy Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: VAALCO Energy  (NYSE: EGY  )  shares jumped as much as 17.6% today after the oil explorer received the go-ahead for a drilling program offshore Angola. Shares settled to a 9% gain late in trading.

So what: Angola's Ministry of Petroleum gave written confirmation to VAALCO's partner Sonangol E.P. that they had received the available 40% working interest in Block 5 off the coast of the African nation. This means VAALCO, as operator, can begin contracting drilling rigs to explore in the Kwanza Basin.  

Now what: VAALCO holds a 40% working interest in Block 5, with Sonangol holding 60% after this award. Management is excited about the area's potential given success found by other drillers in the block. Don't read too far into this, as the oil search process is just beginning. We're a long way from knowing exactly what Block 5 holds, but this is still a positive development for VAALCO.

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