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Apache, Chrysaor kick off Solar exploration well in UK North Sea

The Solar well -- number 9/18e-42 in licence P2335 -- was spudded on Tuesday, according to the Oil and Gas Authority’s wellbore portal.
The Solar well -- number 9/18e-42 in licence P2335 -- was spudded on Tuesday, according to the Oil and Gas Authority’s wellbore portal.

Apache and partner Chrysaor have started drilling an exploration well in the UK North Sea.

The Solar well — number 9/18e-42 in licence P2335 — was spudded on Tuesday, according to the Oil and Gas Authority’s wellbore portal.

Diamond Offshore’s semi-submersible Ocean Patriot rig is being used to drill the well in the Beryl area, about 180 miles north-east of Aberdeen.

Private-equity backed Chrysaor bought into the relevant acreage earlier this year when it snapped up 39.5% non-operated stakes in four licences from Apache.

Chrysaor also raised its existing interest in a fifth licence to 39.5%, from 22.78% previously, as part of the agreement.

Chrysaor has agreed to fund the exploration well on Solar, which chief executive Phil Kirk described as “eagerly awaited”.

He would not reveal the pre-drill estimates, but did say Aker BP had enjoyed a couple of successes on the same “play” in Norway.

And Mr Mr Kirk said “another couple” of exploration targets in the licences shared with Apache could be drilled.

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