Premier Oil has started drilling on the central North Sea Spaniards East prospect, it was announced today.
The well, 28% owned and operated by Premier, is being drilled using the semi-submersible WilPhoenix rig, owned by Westhill-based Awilco, and expected to take about 40 days.
The prospect is east of the Spaniards oil discovery and close to the producing Scott oil field and the Parkmead-operated Perth oil development.
Premier has estimated there are gross prospective resources of between 10million and 40million barrels of oil and views the well as high risk.
It is Aberdeen-based explorer Parkmead’s first exploration well offshore in the UK – through a carried 12.524% stake in the field.
Other partners in the field are Serica Energy, Cairn Energy, Faroe Petroleum, Maersk Oil, Parkmead and Atlantic Petroleum.
Following Spaniards, Premier will use the WilPhoenix to drill the Cyclone prospect.
It is also planning to drill the high-pressure, high-temperature Lacewing prospect before the year-end.
Then, in 2013, Premier is planning to continue exploration drilling on the Catcher area, by drilling the Bonneville prospect, with other prospects being worked on for drilling later in the year.
For Atlantic Petroleum, Spaniards is the firm’s third well in its on-going five exploration and appraisal well programme, which started with the Orchid discovery in May.