Premier Oil said today it would plug and abandon a possible extension to the Spaniards oil discovery after disappointing results.
The firm said it was classing the central North Sea Spaniards East exploration well as a dry hole.
It had been hoped it could contain prospective resources of 10-40million barrels of oil but was also described as high risk.
The WilPhoenix rig which was drilling the well will now move to the central North Sea Cyclone prospect, 70% owned and operated by Premier Oil.
On Spaniards East, Premier Oil is operator with a 28% interest. Other partners are Cairn Energy (20% through subsidiary Nautical Petroleum), Serica Energy (21%), Parkmead Group, Faroe Petroleum (8.4%), Maersk Oil (5.74%) and Atlantic Petroleum (3.24%).
Despite the disappointing results on Spaniards East, partners in the well said data from it would help shed more light on the area.
It is close to the Spaniards oil discovery, the producing Scott oil field and the Perth oil development, operated by Aberdeen’s Parkmead Group.
Serica Energy chairman and chief executive Tony Craven Walker said: “There was a reasonable pre-drill expectation that the Spaniards discovery extended over a wider area and, given its proximity to existing production facilities, could, therefore, be commercial.
“Whilst a full analysis of the well results will be required before a final conclusion can be reached, the initial interpretation now indicates that the accumulation is likely to be confined to a more limited area around the original discovery well.”
Parkmead said: “Given that the Spaniards oil accumulation is close to existing infrastructure, it makes sense to fully appraise the extent of the oil reserves and to optimise the technical information gathered.
“A complete analysis of the Spaniards East well results, and their relationship to the surrounding area, will now be performed.”
Faroe Petroleum said it had reached a total depth of 10,694 feet and encountered 75 feet of Jurassic sands which were water wet.
Graham Stewart, Faroe’s chief executive, added: “Although the well was unsuccessful, the partnership has gained useful data from the well, which will further our regional knowledge.
“In the meantime, Faroe will be participating in a very active ongoing drilling programme in 2013 and we also await the results from the BP-operated North Uist exploration well, west of Shetland.”
Atlantic Petroleum said the results were disappointing but it was now looking forward to the results of its Faroes Brugdan II exploration well and UK Polecat appraisal well.