Valiant Petroleum revealed yesterday that its Tybalt exploration well north-east of Shetland had found oil.
It said initial drilling data indicated a gross oil column of 278 feet and at least 63ft of reservoir, though this was lower than assumed in pre-drill estimates.
The company said it was running an extensive data-collection programme.
Valiant added that, following success in East Tybalt, it would now drill a planned sidetrack targeting the West Tybalt prospect to the west of the discovery well, with results expected at the start of next month.
The company said it was also reviewing additional appraisal options around East and West Tybalt, including an additional sidetrack and a drill stem test, to potentially allow development in the short term.
Valiant is operator of the licence with an 80% interest. The remaining 20% is held by Agora Oil and Gas (UK).
Valiant chief executive Peter Buchanan said: “We are pleased with early indications from the East Tybalt well.
“In the event of further success in the West Tybalt sidetrack well, Valiant believes that sufficient hydrocarbon volume will have been identified to proceed with a development either on its own or alongside the development/redevelopment of other fields in the area, including the nearby Valiant-operated Banquo and Helena discoveries.”
SPD, part of Petrofac Production Solutions, said yesterday it had been awarded a contract by new oil and gas operator EnQuest, formed by combining the UK North Sea assets of Petrofac and Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum, to provide well-management services on the Don Southwest and West Don fields north-east of Shetland.
The company, based in Dubai with its Aberdeen office covering Europe and Africa, said it would manage operations on the Transocean semisubmersible rig John Shaw for at least 180 days, starting this month. A firm four-well drilling programme has been lined up at a cost to EnQuest of £80million-plus.
SPD managing director Alex Macdonald said: “The John Shaw becomes the second semisubmersible rig under our management following the recent start of the Ocean Nomad programme which spudded the Tybalt well for Valiant Petroleum on April 13.
“We are in discussion with a number of customers who have expressed an interest in drilling later this year and the John Shaw may offer the opportunity to add additional wells to our firm work programme.”