Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has completed its first operated appraisal well on the Skipper oil discovery which lies in the UK sector of the North Sea.
IOG, the 100% owner and operator of the Skipper well located in Block 9/21a in license P1609, started drilling the well in July with the Sedco 704 semi-submersible drilling rig.
The company said on Friday that the well was successfully drilled to a total vertical depth of 5,578ft with no safety incidents and achieved its primary objective of retrieving good quality reservoir condition oil samples from the Skipper reservoir in order to optimize the Skipper field development plan.
The oil viscosity of the samples appears likely to be within the 50cP – 150cP range expected by the IOG management, much better than Competent Persons Report (CPR) estimates. The samples are now being analyzed in Aberdeen, with initial results expected in September 2016. Should these properties be confirmed, the development of the Skipper field will require fewer development wells thereby improving the development economics.
IOG said that the well’s secondary objective, drilling of two mapped reservoir structures beneath the Skipper oil field in the Lower Dornoch and Maureen formations, is now complete. The well did not encounter hydrocarbons there so they will now be plugged and abandoned. The initial license commitment on P1609 is to drill a well into the Maureen formation to a minimum depth of 1,700m (5,578ft). This commitment has therefore been fulfilled.
Mark Routh, CEO of IOG, said: “We are extremely pleased to have achieved drilling success at the Skipper well, our first operated well. We are encouraged by the good quality oil samples retrieved, the well’s primary objective. Whilst the exploration prospects did not encounter hydrocarbons, I am increasingly confident that the commerciality of the Skipper field has been confirmed now that we have the data we need to progress to the field development planning.
“I am very grateful for the support we have received from all of the contractors involved in our Skipper project. We look forward to working with them during the Skipper development phase.”