IOG readies Transocean rig for Skipper well

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) expects to take Transocean’s drilling rig and start drilling the Skipper appraisal well, in the UK North Sea, in the second half of July 2016.

IOG will take Transocean’s 1974-built Sedco 704 semi-submersible drilling rig on contract for the Skipper appraisal which lies in Block 9/21a in licence P1609 in the Northern North Sea. IOG is the 100% owner and operator of the licence.

IOG previously planned to drill the appraisal well in January or early February this year using Transocean’s John Shaw drilling rig. However, the company was forced to postpone the well due to low oil price environment and bad weather in the North Sea. The drilling contract was therefore deferred in February 2016. In the meantime, Transocean stacked the John Shaw semi-sub.

IOG said on Thursday that the well is expected to take approximately 22 days to drill. The vertical well will be drilled to 5,600ft with the primary objective of retrieving good quality reservoir condition oil samples in order to optimise the Skipper field development plan.

The well will also drill two mapped reservoir structures beneath the Skipper oil field in the Lower Dornoch and Maureen formations.

According to the company, an approved field development plan on Skipper would convert the Board’s estimated 34.1 MMBbls of contingent resources, based on a 25% recovery factor, into 2P reserves.

Part of the advance payment of $1,728,000 to the rig owner Transocean has been satisfied by the issue of 2.7 million ordinary shares at 18.375p.

The balance of the advance payment is now due to be paid by the 15th July 2016, taking account of the closing share price on that day.

Mark Routh, CEO of IOG commented: “We are now in the final stages of preparation for this well which we believe will be transformational for IOG and should confirm Skipper as a key pillar in our target to achieve more than 100 MMBoe combined 2P reserves and 2C resources net to IOG from the existing portfolio once the previously announced Vulcan satellites acquisition is completed.

“We are very excited to be drilling in the North Sea at this time and look forward to progressing straight to the Skipper Field Development planning thereafter,” Routh concluded.

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