London snaps up Tullow shares


TULLOW Oil shares continued to trade heavily on the London market yesterday, based on a combination of speculation on the current gas testing programme in Pakistan and renewed rumours that Tullow may become a bid target.

Almost five million shares traded on the London market, and the share hit a new high of 122p sterling before closing up 2 1/2p sterling on the day on 117p sterling.

The shares did not trade from their overnight 109p in Dublin, but most of the trading in the shares now takes place on the London market.

Dealers said that some investors were taking a punt on the gas testing in Pakistan, where drilling results are expected to be released next week. It was this gas testing programme that drove the Tullow shares through the 100p barrier late last month and the shares have continued to forge ahead since, with strong demand from investors.

Tullow has been regularly linked with a bid and the latest name to be thrown into the ring as a prospective bidder is the British group, Lasmo. Tullow has always played down speculation on a takeover and emphasised that it planned to remain an independent oil company.

But a portion of the rise in the share price is based on bid speculation, with Lasmo now joining British Gas and Enterprise as potential bidders. Tullow is valued at almost £250 million at its current market level.