New float Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) has made a strong start on its London debut. At 17.5p it is up 30% on the 13.5p at which it raised £2.4 million alongside the flotation.


Already listed in – yes you guessed it – Canada, the oil explorer is likely to offer plenty of newsflow as it is fully carried for a $120 million two well programme offshore Liberia by US giant ExxonMobil (XOM:NYSE).


The campaign will target up to two billion barrels of prospective resources. Drilling on the LB-13 block - in which COPL has a 17% stake and Exxon the remainder - is expected to commence later this year although timing is in the hands of its larger partner.


The group says it 'understands' based on third party sources that a major independent oil company has commenced a multi-well drilling programme adjacent to LB-13. It does not identify the firm in question but it does identify the rig being used as Seadrill's (SDRL:NYSE) West Telus. Given this vessel is contracted to Chevron (CVX:NYSE) it is not too hard to work out.


With its costs in Liberia covered, the cash raised may be used to take advantage of an opportunity identified in the Niger Delta. Located 50 kilometres off the coast of Nigeria, the OPL2010 block has already seen four discoveries and the company has a non-binding option to acquire an interest in the acreage.


As this is a standard listing the company is not eligible for FTSE indicies. Its performance on the TSX Venture Exchange offers some encouragement with the stock up by a quarter in the last 12 months.

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Issue Date: 04 Apr 2014