Encore hits oil with Burgman side-track int he UK North Sea

Source: EnCore Oil

EnCore Oil plc (LSE: EO) is pleased to announce that the Burgman side-track well 28/9-4z located on UKCS Central North Sea Block 28/9 has successfully encountered hydrocarbons in the targeted Lower Tay sandstone interval. 

The well was drilled directionally with a hole angle up to 64 degrees to a Total Depth of 5,237 feet Measured Depth (M.D.). Initial analysis indicates net oil pay of 135 feet over a gross reservoir interval of 135 feet (M.D.), equivalent to 64 feet of net vertical oil pay over gross vertical interval of 64 feet True Vertical Thickness. Preliminary log analysis indicates an average porosity of 38%, significantly better than in the original Burgman well. Initial estimates suggest a likely STOOIP in the range of 80 - 120 mmbbls. 

This result now concludes the current drilling programme on Block 28/9 and following completion of this well, the Transocean Galaxy II heavy duty jack-up rig will be demobilised. The Galaxy II has drilled three successful wells during this drilling campaign, resulting in two substantial discoveries at Varadero and Burgman, and an appraisal of Catcher North. 

Commenting on the result, Alan Booth, EnCore's Chief Executive Officer, said: 

"This is an excellent result and supports the partnership's geophysical model for the identification of Tay sands over the Burgman structure. The sand thickness and quality was very much at the upper end of our pre side-track expectations. The confirmation of another important discovery in the licence is a fitting end to this phase of drilling. On behalf of EnCore I would like to thank our co-venturers for their help and support and look forward to continuing to work with them as we progress further appraisal and development work on the Block. We would also like to thank ADTI, Transocean and all the offshore crew and service providers that helped deliver a safe and successful drilling programme. EnCore is now looking forward to the results of drilling at Cladhan, which we hope will be within the next 10 days or so. 

"I would like to take this opportunity to make some general comments, not specific to our discoveries in the Catcher area, on the recent fiscal changes announced in the budget. The EnCore team have been directly involved in the discovery of a number of the UK's most important recent oil and gas fields, one of which now accounts for more than 10% of current UK oil production, and so we recognise the need to encourage the discovery and ultimately the production of the UK's indigenous resources. 

"Whilst unexpected tax changes are never welcome, given the current state of the nation's finances, one can at least rationalise the desire to raise revenues from fields that have already paid back their risked investments during a time of very high oil prices. However, failure to encourage the discovery of new fields as well as the development of newer, smaller and difficult fields on fair and predictable fiscal terms is in no one's interest. Undeveloped and undiscovered oil and gas pays no taxes, creates and sustains no employment and a slowdown in UKCS activity will simply increase the UK's reliance on imported oil and gas from less politically stable, if not as fiscally unpredictable, parts of the globe. I welcome the Government's indication that it is prepared to discuss with the industry the enhancement and broadening of the recently introduced Field Allowances which I believe, if properly structured, could mitigate the effects of these changes and continue to incentivise those companies who wish to continue to invest in finding and developing the UK's offshore natural resources." 

The equity in the Block 28/9 joint venture partnership is as follows: EnCore Oil plc (15 per cent., Operator), Premier Oil (35 per cent.), Wintershall (UK North Sea) Limited (20 per cent.), Nautical Petroleum (15 per cent.) and Agora Oil & Gas (15 per cent.).

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