Xcite Energy Completes Successful Bentley Flow Test

LONDON -- Xcite Energy (LSE: XEL.L  ) saw its shares fall 7% to 121.5 pence Thursday morning despite announcing the successful completion of a flow text on its Bentley Field in the North Sea. Sometimes, it seems, it is indeed better to travel than to arrive.

Xcite said the test exceeded management's expectations. When the process started back in July, a minimum of 45,000 barrels was targeted, at different flow rates. The final total came to 147,000 barrels, more than three times that level.

There was less water produced by the two wellbores than expected. Additionally, the flow test also confirmed the existence of a large, active aquifer, which will provide long-term pressure support during future production.

Xcite said the analysis performed during the flow test would form the basis for updating the Reserves Assessment Report, and the updated Field Development Plan to be resubmitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and for the review process of the Reserves Based Lending banks, which is expected to be undertaken by early 2013.

The well will now be suspended, with both wellbores kept available for future use in the next phase of the field's development. The crude produced has been sold to a major refiner.

Commenting on today's announcement, Xcite Energy CEO Rupert Cole said:

We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the Phase 1A work programme, which has exceeded our expectations. We have gathered very substantial quantities of high quality data, which has materially de-risked the project. This will enable us to confirm the full field development plan and advance our commercial strategy. As a result of the expertise within the Xcite team, supported by our contractors and service providers, we have safely delivered an outstanding pre-production well test on Bentley, one of the largest remaining, undeveloped North Sea oil fields.

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