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Most North Sea wells due to spud since 2010

Westwood Global Energy Group reports that as of June 30, one exploration well and three appraisal wells were in progress in the UK. Three wells were spudded and one well was completed in July.

Five appraisal wells and four exploration wells are expected to spud in August – the most spuds in a month since August 2010 when 10 E&A wells were spudded (excluding re-spuds and sidetracks).

West of Shetland

On June 28, Siccar Point announced its 208/2-1 Lyon exploration been plugged and abandoned after failing to encounter reservoir quality sandstone in the target Eocene interval. The well encountered 44m (144ft) of siltstone and claystone with gas shows. It was Siccar Point’s second exploration well west of Shetland in 2019, after its 204/5b-2 Blackrock technical discovery.

Drilling completed on Hurricane Energy’s 205/26b-13, -13Z Warwick Deep exploration well on July 1 and was plugged and abandoned with oil and gas shows. The well drilled a 2,336ft horizontal section into the fractured basement reservoir below structural closure but above the interpreted OWC/ODT extrapolated from Lincoln. Hurricane undertook two flow tests, requiring an Electrical Submersible Pump, predominantly recovering drilling brines and formation water with oil and gas traces. The operator interpreted the well as encountering a poorly connected section of the fracture network.

Upon completion of the Warwick Deep well, Hurricane spudded the 205/26b-14 Lincoln Crestal well on July 5, appraising the Lincoln discovery. It is the second of a three-well programme planned on the Greater Warwick Area in 2019. Unlike Warwick Deep, the Lincoln well will target the crest of the fractured basement reservoir, appraising 2C volumes of 604 mmboe. It should drill a 3,281ft horizontal section with a DST to test reservoir performance. Hurricane previously drilled Lincoln in 2016, proving an oil column of 2,165ft.

Total spudded its 206/4a-5 Glendronach well on July 16, appraising the 2018 206/4a-4 discovery well. The initial discovery was reported as 1 tcf of gas, making it the second largest discovery in the UK since Culzean in 2008. Glendronach has a Lower Cretaceous Royal Sovereign sandstone reservoir – a slightly older interval than the Lower Cretaceous Black Sail sandstone reservoir at Edradour. The well will be drilled from the adjacent Edradour field subsea template.

The CNOOC-operated 208/17a-4 Cragganmore appraisal well was spudded on July 19 and is appraising an estimated 500 bcf (83 mmboe) in Paleocene T22 Vaila sandstones within a combined structural and stratigraphic trap. The original discovery was in 2012, encountering low saturation gas within low permeability sandstones. The next well expected to spud west of Shetland is CNOOC’s 206/21-A Howick exploration well.

Northern North Sea

There is no current drilling in the northern North Sea. The next well expected to spud is Cairn’s 3/17a-C Chimera exploration well.

Central North Sea

There is no current drilling in the central North Sea. The next well expected to spud is i3 Energy’s 13/23c-G Liberator West appraisal, then Equinor’s 23/6-B Lifjellet exploration well and Summit’s 21/6b Avalon appraisal well which, if a success, will be turned around for development purposes.

Southern North Sea

Operations continue at ONE-Dyas’s 42/4-1Z Darach exploration well in the southern North Sea with the Ensco 121 jack-up rig. The well’s target is stacked Lower Carboniferous sandstones and is 35 km north of the Breagh field. It was sidetracked on July 5 after 52 days of drilling after well spud on May 21.

Four wells should spud in August. These are Spirit Energy’s 43/12a-C Andromeda exploration well, IOG’s 48/23c-G Harvey appraisal, Premier’s 42/28-N Tolmount East appraisal and Eni’s 53/14a-B Aspen exploration well.

(Andromeda and the Harvey appraisal have spudded since time of writing.)

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