The semisubmersible Sedco 704 will likely spud the well early next month in block 9/21a, with the anticipated duration reduced from 25 to 22 days.
However, the start of operations remains contingent on technical and environmental approvals, including well permits, which are progressing with the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority and Department of Climate Change.
The well cost has also been cut to around £6.8 million ($7.73 million), around 40% of which is set to be deferred until December 2017 following agreements with various contractors.
This will be a vertical well drilled to 5,600 ft (1,707 m) with the main goal of retrieving good quality reservoir condition oil samples in order to optimize the field development plan.
A secondary objective is to drill two mapped reservoir structures beneath the Skipper oil field in the lower Dornoch and Maureen formations, where structures have been mapped that could contain up to 46 MMbbl, in addition to Skipper’s postulated 26-34 MMbbl.
Any commercial oil in these structures these accumulations would be co-developed with Skipper in line with IOG’s hub strategy.
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