Reservoir condition oil samples have been dispatched to Aberdeen for analysis, but initial observations at the offshore site suggest the oil is mobile in the reservoir.
This fulfils the main well objective and will allow the company to optimize its field development plan. Approval for the development remains subject to funding, IOG board and regulatory sanction.
Skipper’s oil viscosity appears likely to be within the anticipated 50cP-150cP range, significantly better than the assumption in the AGR Tracs report published in September 2013.
If these properties are confirmed in the laboratory tests (due to be completed in September), the development will require fewer wells than previously thought, reducing the base case development costs.
After spudding on July 23, the well experienced operational challenges unrelated to the reservoir, necessitating an early re-spud and therefore an increased overall well duration. In addition, a force 10 gale earlier this month halted operations for almost two and a half days for safety reasons, lengthening the operational phase of the well by around 13 days.
The next step will be to drill underlying exploration prospects in the Lower Dornoch and the Maureen formations where structures have been mapped that may contain in-place oil of 46 MMbbl combined. Initial results of this drilling phase should be available before the end of August.
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