BP has begun drilling operations on a potential gas field reservoir in the southern North Sea that, if successful, could open up a new phase of development in the region.
The well, which BP is drilling along with partners Perenco and Premier, will test the potential of a deep Carboniferous age horizon, several hundred metres beneath the mature reservoirs produced by the Ravenspurn ST2 platform.
During the drilling and testing phase, Perenco – as operator of the existing producing Ravenspurn field – will act as substitute operator on behalf of BP and the other licence owners.
BP holds an 85% equity stake in the prospect alongside licence partners Perenco (10%) and Premier (5%).
Mark Thomas, BP North Sea Regional President, said: “This field warrants further exploration as we know the reservoir sands exist. What we don’t know is whether, if gas is found, good long-term production can be proven from this deeply buried reservoir horizon.”
Gunther Newcombe, OGA Operations Director,commented: “We have been encouraging Carboniferous appraisal and development in the southern North Sea area and we welcome BP’s commitment to better understanding potential of this play.
“The outcome of this well could pave the way for future such prospects in the southern North Sea as well as potentially extending the life of existing infrastructure, both of which are consistent with the OGA’s long term strategy.”
Further north, BP is expecting important new oil production from its major off-Shetland projects Quad204 and Clair Ridge in early 2017 and 2018 respectively.
And over the next 18 months, BP plans to participate in up to five exploration wells – in addition to potentially drilling about 50 development wells in the North Sea by 2020.