Aberdeen-based oil explorer Xcite said today it was hoping to float out the rig to be used to drill its North Sea Bentley field as soon as it gets good weather after Monday.
The rig, the Rowan Norway, will take 85 hours to be towed to the field – about 230 miles from Dundee and described as one of the largest undeveloped heavy oilfields in the UK.
Bentley will be the first well drilled by the new rig, owned by Rowan Drilling, Xcite told an investor/media gathering in Dundee
Xcite’s plans for Bentley will see 90 days of oil production and a 30-day extended flow test, said exploration and production director Steve Kew, who first worked the field when he worked at Conoco.
He added: “It is a step-by-step process we are going through to develop the field.”
Xcite faced questions over delays in getting its field development plan approved.
It was hoped this would be done by the end of 2011 but now the firm, which has a “letter of comfort” from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, is now looking to resubmit its plan in autumn/winter following the well test.
Rupert Cole, chief finance officer, said he was “very positive” about bunk funding for the development.
Mr Cole also said Xcite was likely to take part in the 27th offshore licensing round.