EnCore finds less oil, gas at Catcher North than expected, plans P&A

Source: EnCore Oil, Premier Oil

EnCore Oil plc (LSE: EO.) reported that the Catcher North appraisal well 28/9-3 located in UK Central North Sea block 28/9 was drilled to a Total Depth of 5,265 feet Measured Depth (M.D.) having successfully encountered hydrocarbons in both the Tay and Cromarty Sandstone intervals. Pressure data suggests that Catcher North is part of the Catcher and Catcher East accumulation.

The well, which encountered 20 feet of net gas bearing pay within the Eocene Tay interval, and 14 feet of net oil bearing pay within the Paleocene Cromarty section, has extended the gross total hydrocarbon column in the Catcher area to 410 feet (comprising a gas column of 75 feet and an oil column of 335 feet). The Tay and Cromarty reservoir sections were cored and high porosity sandstones were recovered from both reservoirs. The estimated Gas-Oil Contact (GOC) at 4,350 feet true vertical depth is consistent with the data from the Catcher and Catcher East wells, and the estimated Oil-Water Contact (OWC) within the Cromarty section is also consistent with that observed in the Catcher discovery well and the Catcher South West side-track.

The Catcher North well was purposely located to penetrate the Cromarty reservoir in an area with less seismic amplitude response than that observed over the equivalent section at Catcher. As a result of the lower than expected oil pay encountered at Catcher North, Premier now estimates the overall oil reserves range for the combined Catcher, Catcher North and Catcher East discoveries at between 40 mmbbls and 80 mmbbls.

The results of this well will be incorporated into an updated model to estimate the likely Oil In Place figures for the Catcher structure.

The well will now be plugged and abandoned as planned and upon completion of operations, the Galaxy II rig will be moved to the Burgman prospect when a suitable weather window becomes available. A further announcement will be made upon the spud of the Burgman well.

Alan Booth, EnCore's Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"Although somewhat disappointing, the results at Catcher North have confirmed our previously held view that Catcher, Catcher East and Catcher North are probably a single accumulation. This well has helped delineate the extent and hydrocarbon type of the Tay and Cromarty over the Catcher North field area. We now look forward to drilling the Burgman well which along with the Varadero results will help define the likely scale of the upcoming 28/9 development programme."

The equity in the Catcher joint venture partnership is as follows: EnCore Oil (15 percent, Operator), Premier Oil (35 percent), Wintershall (20 percent), Nautical Petroleum (15 percent) and Agora Oil & Gas (15 percent).

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