XCITE Energy has secured Fugro Well Services for the drilling of a geotechnical test well as part of the preparation for the 9/3b-R pre-development well on the Bentley field in UK sector block 9/3b, together with a seabed survey, both planned for later this year. Xcite has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Fugro providing an option to drill and test the planned 9/3b-R pre-development well on Bentley for up to 45 days, with a target date of between July and September 2010.
This work programme is subject to Fugro obtaining the necessary approvals for use of its Synergy drilling vessel. Fugro Synergy is a new-generation dynamically positioning vessel capable of operating with a drilling package geared towards the drilling of geotechnical wells, which are rather different to the conventional exploration, appraisal or development well. According to Xcite, use of this vessel is likely to materially reduce the costs of the 9/3b-R well and so help keep the costs of developing Bentley in check. This is regarded as one of the larger undeveloped fields on the UK Continental Shelf.