Equinor moving West Phoenix rig to UK for 3-well campaign

  • Exploration & Production

Seadrill’s semi-submersible drilling rig West Phoenix is now being moved from Norway to the UK Continental Shelf to start operations on a three-well drilling campaign for Equinor, which includes the appraisal drilling of the Verbier discovery, the third well in the program.

As reported earlier on Wednesday, the West Phoenix recently completed drilling the Ragnfrid North exploration well in the Norwegian Sea for Equinor, resulting in a minor gas and condensate discovery.

According to a statement by Jersey Oil & Gas (JOG), Equinor’s partner, the West Phoenix moved off contract with Equinor Norway on Wednesday. The rig will shortly come on contract with Equinor UK to start operations on the three-well campaign. Equinor is the operator of the P2170 (Blocks 20/5b & 21/1d) license area.

The Verbier discovery, in which JOG holds an 18 percent interest, is located in Block 20/5b. Initial operator estimates of gross recoverable resources associated with the Verbier discovery are between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) with an estimated mean of 69 mmboe. The purpose of the planned appraisal well is to determine the potential volume range in the discovery.

JOG advised that a ‘fast-track’ processed volume of data from the 3D seismic survey shot by PGS over the P2170 license area and certain offset acreage earlier in the year was delivered on December 13, 2018. Interpretation of this new dataset has started.

Budget approved

JOG also reported that the P2170 work program and budget for 2019 had been approved. The company’s share of the work program will be funded from its existing cash reserves, with total Capex for 2019 expected to be in the range of £7 million to £10 million. This includes the Verbier appraisal program expenditure, which has moved from 2018 into 2019.

JOG further noted that, effective November 24, 2018, the UK’s Oil & Gas Authority had confirmed the new licensed area in order to satisfy the Mandatory Surrender Area required, under the terms of the license, at the end of the initial term. The licensed area retains all identified prospectivity including Verbier, Cortina, and Meribel.

Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas, commented: “We are pleased to note the Equinor operated UKCS drilling operations have now commenced and look forward to the safe and successful drilling of the upcoming Verbier appraisal well program.

“We are now interpreting the new 3D seismic dataset and look forward to furthering our knowledge of Verbier and the additional prospectivity in and around P2170.”

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