Gulfsands Petroleum said its joint-venture partner ADX Energy, which operates the Lambouka-1 well offshore Tunisia, has suspended drilling after discovering natural gas.

Gulfsands said no fluid samples or gas flow could be established from the Lambouka-1 well, which is located in the Kerkouane offshore licence, because of downhole problems.

Only two days ago ADX Energy announced it had encountered a net pay of about 23m in at least two hydrocarbon-bearing zones in the Abiod formation in the Lambouka-1 well, which was drilled to a total measured depth of 2,786m.

The suspension will allow re-entry at a later date and provide the best opportunity to minimise rig time and maximise reservoir information, Gulfsands said.

The well was drilled by ADX Energy, operator of the Kerkouane offshore licence, in which Gulfsands agreed to acquire a 30% stake.