A potential 150 million-barrel field has been uncovered next to the UK’s giant Buzzard project in the Central North Sea, it’s been claimed.
It says the results have “exceeded expectations” for Whitsun, in licence P2528, which sits in an area 12 miles south of Buzzard, operated by China’s CNOOC, which it could be tied back to if successful.
However geological chances of success remain modest at 26%.
Finder Energy farmed out 40% of the licence last year to Dana Petroleum, with Finder retaining 60%.
It has now started another farmout process to attract a partner to drill Whitsun, and expects “significant interest”.
Finder Energy managing director Damon Neaves said: “The Big Buzz 3D reprocessing has exceeded expectations. Finder has utilised the latest reprocessing and interpretation technologies to find subtle, stratigraphic traps analogous to the nearby giant Buzzard Field. The leading prospect emerging from this work is the Whitsun Prospect. Whitsun is large, with estimated mean prospective resource potential of 150 MMbbl gross.
“Undrilled prospects of this size are rare in mature basins and will likely attract significant interest from potential farmin partners. I congratulate the team for their excellent technical work and the vision that inspires them to generate compelling drilling opportunities like Whitsun.”
The current term of P2528 (Phase A) extends to late 2024.
Finder said the investment allowances linked to the UK windfall tax “have positive implications” for its farm-out strategy.
The firm is also working to evaluate “additional prospectivity” in its P2528 an P2527 licences from other new data sets.
Buzzard, which lies 62 miles north-east of Aberdeen, was the largest discovery in UK waters for 20 years when it was found in 2001.
It went on to become the largest-producing field in the UK after starting up in 2007, later surpassed by TotalEnergies’ Culzean gas field.