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Central Petroleum Focused On Unconventional Oil And Gas, Shares Almost Double In March

Central Petroleum (ASX: CTP) has performed strongly in March, with shares gaining 94% to close today at A$0.091, from a low of A$0.047 early in the month.

Today alone, shares in Central jumped 28.17% from yesterday's close, on large volumes of 38.9 million.

This follows a 16.4% increase to an intraday high of A$0.064 on Friday last week, from a close of A$0.055 the day before.

The price jump, accompanied by high volume with more than 40 million shares changing hands, earned the company a speeding ticket from the ASX.

Central said there had been increased market interest in a number of ASX listed companies with unconventional acreage.

This added interest combined with its discussions with potential farm-in partners and its large acreage position in the Northern Territory that is prospective for unconventional oil and gas could have fuelled the share spike.

Central last month raised A$9.9 million to fund appraisal of its successful Surprise-1 oil discovery in the Amadeus Basin.

Production testing is scheduled to start in April and the company will finalise details of the 3D seismic and further drilling soon.

The company is also evaluating its options for the lifting, transportation and sale of the oil produced during the test, which could last for up to six months or more pending flow stabilisation and a possible application for a production licence.

An engineering report by RPS Energy had indicated Surprise-1 could access initial in-place oil of 0.5 and 2 million barrels with further upside likely if its investigation into the unconventional shale oil and gas potential of the Horn Valley Siltstone bears fruit.

With the Hunt Rig 3, which was originally commissioned to drill up to 3 wells, stacked on site, any appraisal wells the company decides on can be drilled without having to wait for a rig.