Shares in AIM listed Caza Oil & Gas (LON:CAZA) have surged from 10p to 36p since the end of the Summer – something that the company’s chairman, and well known industry player John McGoldrick is very happy about. Since bringing the company to the market in December 2007, McGoldrick and his team have been assessing and drilling various prospects in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana with mixed success but, like others, industry conditions have proved tough. Nevertheless, armed with an expansive 8,000 sq miles of 3D seismic data and a renewed focus on working up a series of potential targets, the company is rounding off 2010 with plans to drill some potentially “company making” wells.

McGoldrick first made a name for himself during the heyday of Enterprise Oil plc, the exploration arm of British Gas that was spun out as a FTSE 100 company in 1984 and later sold to Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) for £3.5bn in 2002. Seeing the potential for onshore drilling in and around the Gulf Coast regions, McGoldrick stayed in the US, hooked up with Mike Ford of Falcon Bay Energy and later merged the company into Caza ahead of its AIM and TSX admission in 2007. Ford remains CEO of the group. Among its London-listed peers, Nighthawk Energy Plc (LON:HAWK) , Aminex (LON:AEX) , Empyrean Energy (LON:EME) , San Leon Energy (LON:SLE) and Nostra Terra Oil Gas Co Plc (LON:NTOG) are all involved in US onshore exploration and production.

In 2009 Caza increased its oil and gas production by 28% but depressed gas prices (falling by an average of 47%) caused overall revenues to drop by 27% to US$2.5m, with losses also falling 27% to US$3.7m. It ended the year with US$9.7m of cash and said it was planning to use much of that for drilling programmes this year.

Among the highlights so far, it has drilled the Matthys-McMillan Gas Unit #2 development well…

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