BP North Sea reported it will begin drilling on a potential carboniferous natural gas play on Block 43/26a in the southern North Sea that, if successful, “could open up a new phase of development in the region.”
The well, being drilled with partners Perenco and Premier, will test the potential of a deep carboniferous age horizon several hundred meters beneath the mature reservoirs now produced by the Ravenspurn ST2 platform.
“This play warrants further exploration as we know the reservoir sands exist. What we don’t know is whether, if gas is found, long-term production can be proven economic from this deeply buried reservoir horizon,” said Mark Thomas, BP North Sea regional president.
During the drilling and testing phase, Perenco, as operator of existing (and producing) Ravenspurn field, will act as substitute operator on behalf of BP and the other license owners.
BP holds an 85% equity stake in the prospect. Perenco holds 10% and Premier, 5%.
BP North Sea expects to increase production from its UK assets to about 200,000 b/d by 2020. In 2016, BP is expected to spend about $2 billion in capital investment and $1.6 billion running its operations, the company said. Over the next 18 months, BP plans to participate in as many as five exploration wells in addition to potentially drilling 50 developments wells in the North Sea over the next 3-4 years.