Longboat Energy (LON: LBE) has struck a deal to secure a rig, opening the door for the spudding of a North Sea exploration well.
Velocette will be drilled using the semi-submersible Transocean Norge, with operations expected to get underway in the third quarter of next year.
The gas-condensate prospect, targeting Cretaceous Nise turbidite sands on the eastern flank of the Utgard High in the Norwegian Sea, was uncovered following recent seismic reprocessing.
It benefits from “seismic amplitude anomalies”, suggestive of gas-filled sands located.
Moreover, Velocette is located within tieback distance, about 27 miles, from the Equinor operated producing Aasta Hansteen field (~45 km).
London-listed Longboat, established by the ex-management Team of Faroe Petroleum, has a 20% stake in the exploration well.
Helge Hammer, the North Sea firm’s chief executive, said: “I am pleased that we have now secured a rig for the Velocette prospect which will be the ninth well in our programme.
“We are currently drilling the Oswig well and both the Velocette and Oswig prospects have significant follow-on potential that will be derisked by the exploration wells in a success case.”
UK and Norway-based Longboat will be hoping Velocette marks a chance in its drilling fortunes, after a poor run of form in recent months.
Just last week the company announced its Copernicus exploration well offshore Norway had been plugged and abandoned after coming up dry.
The Deepsea Yantai rig was used to drill the prospect, which was thought to hold more than 70 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).
Copernicus was the second dud in a matter of weeks for Longboat, after the Cambozola exploration well, hyped as potential “play opener”, also flopped.
There were hopes it would be one of the largest gas prospects drilled in Norway this year, unlocking gross unrisked mean prospective resources of 159 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).