Total’s latest discovery shows the French energy giant still has the Midas touch when it comes to finding new North Sea reservoirs, an analyst has said.
Paris-headquartered Total said this morning that its exploration well at the Isabella field in the central North Sea had yielded an “encouraging discovery”.
Glenn Morrall, from Wood Mackenzie’s upstream research team, said Isabella would strengthen Total’s position at the top of the “table of net UK discovered resources in recent years”.
Mr Morrall added: “Isabella’s high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) nature will add complexity and cost to any development, and its progression is likely to be put on the backburner at current prices.
“But given the abundance of nearby infrastructure, the discovery could be commercial should we see a pick-up in sentiment – some HP/HT fields around the world are commercial at as little as 15 million barrels of oil equivalent.
“The company’s experience in developing big HP-HT gas/condensate projects in UK waters, such as Elgin-Franklin and Culzean, will no doubt stand it in good stead.”