US oil major ConocoPhillips has abandoned a key exploration well off Western Australia after disappointing drilling results, partner Karoon Gas has announced.

The Kontiki-1 offshore well will be abandoned after drilling results showed there are few sands with hydrocarbons, according to Australian explorer Karoon.

Investors had high hopes for the Kontiki well, which was drilled after the venture’s first exploration well, Poseidon-1, struck a large gas column, reported Reuters.

The discovery sparked hopes the venture could have enough gas to support a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project.

Shares in Karoon, which has a market value of A$1.3bn ($1.12bn), fell 7.6% to A$7.32 by 04.10 GMT, after having dropped as much as 8.7%, reported Reuters.

Operator Conoco owns 51% of Kontiki, while Karoon holds the remainder.