Australian gas explorer Comet Ridge Ltd. on March 6 upgraded its share of gas reserves at the Mahalo gas project in Queensland state, sending its shares up as much as 20% to an 8-year high.

The company said that its net share of proved and probable (2P) reserves had jumped 473% to 172 petajoules, while its net share of proved, probable and possible (3P) reserves had risen 71% to 374 petajoules.

Comet Ridge is the designated operator and manager of the Mahalo project, in which it has a 40% interest in a joint venture (JV) with Santos Ltd. and Origin Energy’s Australia Pacific LNG.

The project could potentially feed the gas-starved eastern Australian market.

“The Mahalo project is now growing to a scale that is very meaningful for both larger JV partners Santos and APLNG, particularly given its proximity to existing pipeline infrastructure,” RBC Capital Markets said in a research note.

Comet Ridge shares were trading up 15% at AU 31 cents (US 24 cents) at 8:05 a.m. CT, in a broader market up 1.3%.