Statoil firms up plans to appraise Verbier oil discovery

Statoil has made plans to drill an appraisal well on the recent Verbier oil discovery located in the outer Moray Firth on the UK Continental Shelf. 

Statoil is the operator of UKCS Licence P.2170 (Blocks 20/5b & 21/1d) in the Central North Sea, which contains the Verbier oil discovery and the Cortina prospect, with a 70% interest. Jersey Oil and Gas and CIECO V&C (UK) Limited are Statoil’s partners with an 18% and 12% interest, respectively.

Jersey Oil & Gas announced on Monday, January 29 that the co-venturers had approved a work program and budget for license P.2170 for 2018.

The approved work program and budget includes an appraisal of the recent Verbier oil discovery and contingent well planning including the acquisition of a site survey to progress exploration activity on the license area.

According to Jersey, negotiations are advanced with respect to contracting a rig for the Verbier appraisal well program, which plans for one well and an option for a sidetrack well, to be drilled in summer 2018.

The company’s share of the work program will be funded from its existing cash reserves. Further to the successful fundraising completed in November 2017, cash balances are estimated to be approximately £25 million ($35.3M) as of December 31, 2017. Capex for 2018 is estimated to be £9 million to £11 million for the company.

Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas, commented: “We are pleased with the progress being made on the post-discovery technical work being undertaken by the P.2170 joint venture partnership and that plans to appraise the Verbier oil discovery have been confirmed.

“As noted previously, initial operator estimates of gross recoverable resources associated with the Verbier discovery are between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) with an estimated mean of 69mmboe.”

 

Verbier journey 

 

To remind, Statoil started drilling its first well on the Verbier prospect in August 2017 with the Transocean Spitsbergen semi-submersible drilling rig. The 20/05b-13 exploration well drilled to test the Verbier prospect reached total depth in September, encountering a water bearing reservoir.

Once the wireline log data from this initial exploration well had been evaluated, indications of the potential for hydrocarbons to be present in a smaller accumulation up dip of the Verbier exploration well could not be ruled out and the partnership decided to drill a sidetrack exploration well.

The decision to drill the sidetrack well proved to be the right one as the well turned out to be an oil discovery. Initial estimates of gross recoverable resources were between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil equivalent, with a minimum proven recoverable volume in the immediate vicinity of the wellbore of 25 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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