UK: Statoil spuds Verbier prospect

Norwegian oil major Statoil has started drilling operations on well 20/05b-13 on UK Seaward License P.2170 in the North Sea, looking to test the Verbier prospect.

UK oil and gas company Jersey Oil & Gas, a partner in the license, said on Monday that drilling of the well was being done using the semi-submersible rig Transocean Spitsbergen.

Statoil picked the Transocean-owned semi-sub for three exploration wells in the UK and then for a six-well production drilling campaign on the Aasta Hansteen license off Norway back in April.

Verbier is the third and last well in Statoil’s UK exploration drilling campaign, which started in July.

According to Jersey’s update on Monday, the drilling program which, depending on the results of the initial well, may include a side-track well, is expected to take up to 70 days.

Statoil, as the operator of the P.2170 license consisting of Blocks 20/5b & 21/1d, will fund all costs up to $25 million in respect of the exploration well.

JOG added that it also benefited from a further cash carry of 10 percent of well costs from its co-venturer CIECO Exploration and Production.

Statoil has a 70 percent interest in the license while JOG and CIECO hold 18 and 12 percent respectively.

Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas, said: “We are pleased to announce that drilling operations on the Verbier prospect have now commenced. The Verbier prospect is estimated to have mean prospective resources of 162 mmboe and has the potential to add considerable value to our joint venture partnership.”

Ron Lansdell, COO of Jersey Oil & Gas, added: “The P.2170 License was previously operated by Jersey Oil & Gas alongside CIECO, and we significantly de-risked the prospect prior to negotiating the farm-out to Statoil, the current operator.

“Success at Verbier could provide significant impetus for potential future exploration of the neighboring Cortina prospect within the P.2170 License area.”

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