Desire Petroleum's latest well comes up dry.
Oil and gas explorer Desire Petroleum (LSE: DES), delving in the North Falklands basin, disappointed investors on Wednesday with the news that drilling at its Jacinta prospect has uncovered no sign of hydrocarbons.
The Jacinta oil prospect, at a depth of 1,310 meters, has been examined by well number 25/5-1, and drilling at that well will now continue to explore a deeper gas prospect, Dawn, at 1,670 metres.
This latest comes after news in early December that the company's Rachel North well, which had sparked early optimism with its initial discovery of oil, actually contained no commercially viable quantities of the stuff and would be closed.
The bad news drove the Desire share price down by around 20% in early trading, and it is now down around 70% since its highs of over 160p in October, standing at 48p at the time of writing.
This second failure, coming so hard on the heels of December's disappointment, must cast some doubts on the overall potential of the Falklands basins, with Rockhopper (LSE: RKH) being the only explorer in the region with significant finds on its books -- and not a drop of Falklands oil has yet made it to market.
The share prices of fellow explorers in the region don't seem to have been troubled, though. Rockhopper and Borders & Southern (LSE: BOR) moved up a tad, while Falklands Oil & Gas (LSE: FOGL) and Argos Resources (LSE: ARG) dropped insignificantly.
The future of Desire, which has so far failed to produce any oil or gas in its 12 years of exploration, must be looking a little less solid this week, and shareholders will now be earnestly hoping for better news from the deeper Dawn prospect.
If you're an investor in Desire, or any of the other explorers in the regions, please feel free to offer your thoughts, below.
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