UK: Hurricane Exploration Spuds its Whirlwind Basement Prospect, West of Shetlands

Hurricane Exploration plc announced that it has commenced drilling its Whirlwind basement prospect in Block 205/21 a West of Shetlands. The location is approximately 12 km north of its Lancaster oil discovery well.

Whirlwind is geologically similar to Lancaster sharing the same source rock and reservoir seal. The crest of the basement structure is however deeper at 9,514 ft TVDSS compared to 3,608 ft TVDSS at Lancaster, but the water depth is relatively shallow and comparable at less than 200m. Light oil was discovered by a previous operator in the non-reservoir quality sandstones overlying the Whirlwind prospect, which has to some degree de-risked the prospect, but this is the first exploration well to target the underlying fractured basement.

Hurricane’s objective is to drill a deviated well and establish the reservoir properties of the Whirlwind basement prospect through measurement whilst drilling and wireline logging operations. In the event that potentially commercial hydrocarbons are encountered in the basement, the intention is to suspend the well and return in 2011 to undertake a full testing programme. The current drilling and logging operation is expected to last 60 days and cost £18 million, leaving the company funded for drilling activities in 2011.

The Whirlwind well will be drilled with the Borgsten Dolphin, a semi-submersible drilling rig which has recently completed a maintenance programme following the completion of Hurricane’s operations on the Lancaster discovery.

Hurricane has a 100% ownership of Block 205/21 a, which includes the Lancaster oil discovery and the Whirlwind prospect.


Source: Hurricaneexploration, August 25, 2010: