A small UK oil and gas company said yesterday it was moving ahead with projects west of Shetland.
Hurricane Exploration has also announced the appointment of two non-executive directors: Jon Murphy and Philip Dayer.
Mr Murphy is a former chief operating officer with Aberdeen-based Venture Production, while Mr Dayer is a former non-executive director at Dana Petroleum.
Hampshire -based Hurricane employs 12 people and has a small office in Aberdeen.
The company has three basement reservoir prospects west of Shetland.
One of the trio is Lancaster, which was drilled in 2009 and has prospective resources of nearly 150million barrels of light oil. It was flow tested last year and has the potential to produce 15,000 barrels of oil a day.
A second prospect is Whirlwind, which was drilled last year. Hurricane said indications of oil were observed but operations had been curtailed by poor weather and the well is suspended for further testing and analysis.
The third prospect is Typhoon, which Hurricane said was of a comparable size to the other two. The company has yet to drill Typhoon.
Hurricane said it also had two other discoveries west of Shetland: Strathmore, which contains an estimated 213million barrels of “sticky” oil in place and Tempest, a heavy-oil find overlying Typhoon and containing an estimated 1billion barrels-plus of oil.
Chief financial officer Nicholas Briggs said Hurricane planned to spend this year getting a better understanding of Lancaster and Whirlwind. It then expected to hire a rig to carry out a work programme west of Shetland in 2012, involving exploration and testing.
He said the plan was to move quickly towards first production from Lancaster, adding: “We have no income at the moment and one of our focuses is to get revenue as soon as realistically possible.”
Hurricane is funded privately, with three major institutional investors.
It raised more than £50million early last year in a share placing with investors.
Mr Briggs said Hurricane had about £18million in the bank, but more funds were expected to be needed by next year. He said it was also planning a stock market flotation down the line.
Chief executive Robert Trice said of the new appointments: “I am delighted that Jon and Philip have joined Hurricane as non-executive directors.
“They bring extensive experience to the board, and are both highly respected within their fields of expertise.
“We look forward to working with them closely as we take Hurricane to the next stage of its development and look to create further value for our shareholders.”
Hurricane was founded in 2005 by Mr Trice and James Hudleston.