BP testing deeper Carboniferous play at North Sea Ravenspurn field

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UKBP says exploration drilling has started on a potential Carboniferous gas play in the UK southern North Sea block 43/26a.

If successful, it could a new phase of development in the region, BP claims.

The well is testing the potential of a deep Carboniferous age horizon, several hundred meters beneath the mature reservoirs produced by the Ravenspurn ST2 platform.

During the drilling and testing phase, Perenco - as operator of the Ravenspurn field - will act as substitute operator on behalf of BP and the other license owners.

Mark Thomas, BP North Sea regional president, said: “This play 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, Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) operations director, added: “OGA has been encouraging Carboniferous appraisal and development in the Southern North Sea (SNS) area and we welcome BP and partners’ commitment to better understanding potential of this play.

“The outcome of this well could pave the way for future Carboniferous prospects in the SNS as well as potentially extending the life of existing infrastructure, both of which are consistent with the OGA’s long-term strategy.” 


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