Statoil this morning confirmed plans to drill three new exploration wells in the UK North Sea.
The Norwegian operator has mobilised the Transocean Spitsbergen semi-submersible rig to drill the first well in the three-month campaign.
Jenny Morris, vice president UK exploration, said: “This is an exciting campaign testing three very different opportunities on the UKCS. We hope to make discoveries that can add value to existing projects and also provide the resources necessary for new developments on the UKCS.”
The first well, Mariner Segment 9, could prove additional resources and increase the extent of the Mariner Field.
After completing the well, expected to take between 15 and 25 days, the rig will move to Jock Scott, a prospect on the underexplored margins of the Viking Graben. The well is expected to be completed in 20-40 days.
The last well of the campaign will be the Verbier opportunity in the Moray Firth area. The well is assumed to take 30-70 days to complete.
“We have three exciting wells to test with a proven and efficient rig that will enable us to continue to develop our understanding of the full exploration potential of this mature basin and hopefully add new commercial reserves to our UK portfolio,” added Morris.
Jersey Oil and Gas has an 18% interest in Verbier. Statoil will fund all the costs up to $25million for the well.
Jersey chief executive Andrew Benitz said: “We are delighted to announce that Statoil has now mobilised the rig, Transocean Spitsbergen, which is currently expected to commence drilling the Verbier prospect during August. The drilling of a well to test the Verbier prospect is the culmination of a great deal of technical work and operational planning by the Verbier joint venture partnership, and we are grateful for the support received from our shareholders during this time.”
The exploration campaign launch comes on the same day Statoil confirmed its North Sea Mariner development would support 1,500 North Sea jobs. Read more here.