Dana Petroleum, the Aberdeen-headquartered oil and gas operator, said yesterday it had made a third oil discovery in the Rinnes area north-east of Shetland.
It said the new find at South East Rinnes in block 210/24a was just 2.5 miles from its producing Hudson oil field and only 1,100 yards from its Melville oil field.The company said that before remapping of the West Rinnes, East Rinnes, South East Rinnes and Melville oil fields to determine the total volumes of oil found in this area, it was estimated the Rinnes/Melville/Hudson area contained 55/100million barrels of oil yet to be produced. It added that the current most likely estimate was 80million barrels of proven and probable reserves.
The Dana-operated South East Rinnes discovery well, in which the company has a 64.8% interest with Japan’s Cieco having the remaining stake, was sidetracked and confirmed a total oil column of more than 400ft, making it a significant new discovery, Dana said.
The firm said initial analysis indicated the South East Rinnes oil was of high quality and similar to the high-quality crude at Dana’s nearby West Rinnes, East Rinnes and Melville oil fields, and also of similar quality to the crude oil already being produced by Dana at Hudson.
It said the South East Rinnes well was not being drill stem tested as it had already gathered sufficient data to fully evaluate the discovery and plan for development. In addition, Dana said it had completed drilling an exploration well on the shallower, more speculative South West Rinnes structure, which was found to be water-bearing at the location drilled.
The company said the next step was to integrate all the log, pressure and fluid data collected from both the exploration wells and the South East Rinnes sidetrack. Dana’s technical team will then interpret newly reprocessed 3D seismic data for the area, using all the new well information, and then remap the West Rinnes, East Rinnes, South East Rinnes and Melville oil fields.
The company said engineering studies had begun to evaluate the potential development scenarios for this project. These included tie-back options to nearby existing infrastructure as well as stand-alone development via a floating production vessel.
Dana chief executive Tom Cross said: “This is an excellent discovery which has exceeded our expectations. Finding a third oil field in the Rinnes area is an important result for Dana. The three Rinnes oil fields, together with the Melville oil field, should now lead to a substantial new oil development in this part of the North Sea.”