Norway discovers major new oil field off northern Scotland and VP vows to drill for more

Location of the new Verbier outer Moray Firth oil field find
Location of the new Verbier outer Moray Firth oil field find (show as a green square)

EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

The Norwegian state oil corporation has made a significant new find off northern Scotland – and consequently intends to continue its drilling exploration programme for more.

Statoil and its junior partners made the discovery in the Verbier ‘sidetrack’ well in the outer Moray Firth, proving a minimum of 25 million recoverable barrels of oil in the immediate vicinity of the wellbore.

The preliminary results suggest the discovery could range anywhere between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil.

The Statoil-led partnership will continue to assess the data and plan further appraisal to determine the exact size of the discovery. The partnership will also seek to determine the commerciality of the discovery in addition to maturing additional opportunities within the P2170 exploration licence.

Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice-president, said: “This is an encouraging result for Statoil and our UK North Sea exploration team.

“We have proven oil in good quality sands with good reservoir properties, but significant work remains, most likely including appraisal, to clarify the recoverable volumes and to refine this range.

“The Verbier main wellbore encountered a water-filled sand and the decision was made to drill a sidetrack to assess the remaining potential up-dip.

“The results show that we made the right decision to sidetrack the well and this discovery proves that there could be significant remaining potential in this mature basin.”

Statoil holds a 70% stake in Verbier: its partners are Jersey Oil and Gas (18%) and CIECO Exploration and Production (12%).

Jenny Morris
Jenny Morris

Jenny Morris, Statoil’s vice-president for exploration in the UK, added: “The results of the other two connected exploration wells were disappointing.

“But we are convinced of the remaining, high-value potential on the UK continental shelf and the Verbier result certainly gives us the confidence and determination to continue our exploration efforts.

“Our aim this summer was to develop Statoil’s UK position through testing three independent prospects ranging in geological risk and with a potential impact on our portfolio.

10 Oct 2017

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