UK: Equinor pushes back Verbier appraisal drilling

Norwegian oil major Equinor has moved back drilling of the Verbier appraisal well in the UK North Sea to the mid to late fourth quarter of 2018.

West Phoenix; Photo by: Seadrill; Source: Equinor

Jersey Oil & Gas, Equinor’s partner in the license containing the well, said that the Verbier appraisal well  – with the possibility of a sidetrack well – would likely be the third well in the sequence for Equinor’s UK drilling campaign with the contracted West Phoenix rig as opposed to the first.

The semi-submersible rig West Phoenix was contracted for one well in Norway followed by three wells on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Apart from Verbier, the rig is contracted for drilling on the Pip prospect, located in the Fladen Ground Spur area in license P2318, and the Bigfoot prospect, located some 30 kilometers south of the Mariner field, in license P2314.

Jersey said the most likely timing of the Verbier appraisal well is now expected to be mid to late Q4 2018, rather than late Q3 to early Q4 as previously scheduled.

The company added that the delay to the drilling of the well would not result in any change in the well budget.

Andrew Benitz, CEO of Jersey Oil & Gas, said: “We look forward to drilling the Verbier appraisal well within our previously advised capex guidance using the sixth generation semi-submersible rig West Phoenix, which is designed for drilling in harsh climatic environments.”

Initial operator estimates of gross recoverable resources associated with the Verbier discovery are between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil equivalent with an estimated mean of 69 mmboe. The purpose of the planned appraisal well is to determine the potential volume range in the discovery.

Equinor is the operator of UKCS Licence P.2170 (Blocks 20/5b & 21/1d) in the Central North Sea, which contains the Verbier oil discovery and the Cortina prospect, with a 70% interest. Jersey Oil and Gas and CIECO V&C (UK) Limited are Equinor’s partners with an 18% and 12% interest, respectively.