A third significant UK North Sea oil discovery in as many months will be announced this week, according to a report yesterday.
London-listed EnCore Oil was said to be about to reveal that the Cladhan prospect – a joint venture partnership with operator and 39.9% stakeholder Sterling Resources, Wintershall UK (33.5%) and Dyas (10%), with EnCore having a 16.6% interest – holds up to 200million barrels of oil. If confirmed, it would cap an exciting few months for the North Sea industry.
In June, EnCore confirmed that fields in the Catcher area in the central North Sea could contain a huge find of possibly up to 300million barrels of oil.
Catcher partner Premier Oil followed this up a month later in a trading and operations update saying it estimated recoverable reserves of between 60million to 100million barrels for the area drilled to date.
Catcher also had significant untested potential, added Premier.
Then on Thursday, German company Wintershall announced a find, estimated at 60-100million barrels of oil in place, on the Blakeney prospect about 93 miles from Aberdeen.
Kassel-based Wintershall, which also has a 20% stake in Catcher, is the oil arm of German chemical group BASF.
If the Cladhan find is confirmed, it would mean three recent finds with potentially up to 600million barrels of oil in place against a trend of declining discoveries in the North Sea.
Catcher was the biggest oil discovery since the Buzzard field in 2001, from which Canadian company Nexen later announced expected recoverable reserves of 550million barrels.
More good news for the UK offshore sector was delivered in July, when Endeavour Energy UK said that reserves estimates for the Cygnus gas field in the southern North Sea were as high as 200million barrels of oil equivalent.