McMoRan Exploration Co. and Energy XXI Ltd. shares soared Monday after the oil exploration companies announced a significant discovery at one of their wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
Shares of McMoRan Exploration Co. climbed $3.54, or 38.5 percent, to $12.74 in very heavy midday trading. Earlier, shares reached a new 52-week high of $13.59. They have ranged from $3.14 to $11.63 over the past year.
Shares of Energy XXI Ltd. rose 82 cents, or 31.2 percent, to $3.45. Shares earlier traded at $3.58, eclipsing a previous year high of $2.77 set Friday.
The companies said Davy Jones well drilled to a depth of 28,263 feet and met 135 net feet of hydrocarbon bearing sands, which could contain a mixture of crude oil and natural gas. The exact breakdown of the resource has not yet been determined.
McMoRan operates the Davy Jones prospect and is funding 25.7 percent of the exploratory costs and holds a 32.7 percent working interest and 25.9 percent net revenue interest. Energy XXI has a working interest of 15.8 percent.
Plains Exploration & Production Co. has a working interest of 27.7 percent. Nippon Oil Exploration USA Ltd. has a 12 percent working interest.
Shares of Plains Exploration rose 74 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $32.23. They earlier set a new year high of $33.78. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $15.25 to $32.87.
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