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Harvest Natural Resources share jump on oil strike

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Harvest Natural Resources Inc. jumped to their highest price in more than a year Friday, after the energy company reported an oil strike.

THE SPARK: The Houston-based company said it discovered oil in one of its wells off the coast of Gabon in West Africa. Harvest operates the well and holds a 66.7 percent interest. The well, which was drilled in 380 feet of water with a semi-submersible unit, was spudded in November and is being drilled to test the potential of certain area formations.

THE BIG PICTURE: Harvest said that additional technical evaluation will be needed to appraise the discovery, the second one offshore Gabon it has announced since November. The company has principal operations in Venezuela, exploration assets in Indonesia, West Africa, China and Oman, and business development offices in Singapore and the United Kingdom.

THE SHARES: Up $1.11, or 12 percent, to $10.32 in morning trading, after peaking at $10.33 earlier in the day and passing its previous 52-week high of $9.94.