Transocean Barents semi-submersible rig; Source: Transocean

Gas found at TotalEnergies’ UK well but volumes most likely sub-commercial

French energy giant TotalEnergies has finished drilling a prospect off the coast of the United Kingdom (UK), using one of Transocean’s semi-submersible rigs.

Transocean Barents semi-submersible rig; Source: Transocean

At the start of 2023, TotalEnergies, as the operator of the Benriach well located in Block 206/05c West of Shetland, confirmed the decision to spud the well early in 2Q 2023. To this end, a contract for a rig, which was expected to drill the well in early summer, was inked. The exploration well was spudded by Transocean’s Transocean Barents semi-submersible rig at the end of March 2023.

In an update on Monday, 19 June 2023, TotalEnergies’ partner, Kistos, disclosed that the drilling on the Benriach well was completed. A total measured depth of around 4,400 metres was reached, and an extensive data acquisition programme has been conducted. This confirmed the presence of gas-bearing sands in the target Royal Sovereign formation and the operator will now analyse the acquired data.

Andrew Austin, Executive Chairman of Kistos, commented: “The operational performance has been excellent, and I would like to thank TotalEnergies and the team on the Transocean Barents rig, who drilled the well safely and efficiently. Kistos remains committed to bringing additional gas volumes through the Shetland Gas Plant to add shareholder value and contribute towards domestic energy security, and we look forward to providing further updates to the markets in due course.”

While the well encountered gas-bearing sands in the target Royal Sovereign formation, the company explains that the discovered resource is expected to be sub-commercial. According to Kistos, the well has been drilled ahead of schedule and the final cost is anticipated to be within previous guidance.

TotalEnergies is the operator of licence P.2411 where the well is located and holds a 50 per cent working interest while its partners are Kistos Energy and Rockrose Energy, each holding a 25 per cent interest.