UK: Statoil strikes oil in Verbier sidetrack

Norwegian oil major Statoil has made an oil discovery in the Verbier sidetrack well in the outer Moray Firth on the UK Continental Shelf.

Statoil said on Monday that the discovery held a minimum of 25 million recoverable barrels of oil near the wellbore.

According to preliminary results, the amount of recoverable barrels at the discovery could be as much as 130 million barrels of oil.

Jez Averty, senior VP of exploration in Norway and the UK, said: “This is an encouraging result for Statoil and the UK team. We have proven oil in good quality sands with good reservoir properties, but significant work remains, most likely including appraisal, to clarify the recoverable volumes and to refine this range.”

Statoil added that it would, along with its partners Jersey Oil and Gas and CIECO, continue to assess the data and plan further appraisal to determine the exact size of the discovery. They will also seek to determine the commerciality of the discovery in addition to maturing additional opportunities within the P.2170 license.

After Statoil hit dust on Verbier in September, the company decided to drill a sidetrack to assess the remaining potential up-dip.

“The results show that we made the right decision to sidetrack the well and this discovery proves that there could be significant remaining potential in this mature basin,” said Jenny Morris, VP for exploration in the UK.

“Our aim this summer was to develop Statoil’s UK position through testing three independent prospects ranging in geological risk and with a potential impact on our portfolio. Whilst the results of the other two exploration wells were disappointing, we are convinced of the remaining, high-value potential on the UK continental shelf and the Verbier result certainly gives us the confidence and determination to continue our exploration efforts,” she added.

In response to Statoil’s announcement of the Verbier discovery, Deirdre Michie, CEO of Oil & Gas UK, said: “This is good news from Statoil and partners and we now really hope that the find proves to be commercially appealing and proceeds to development.

“It’s also another signal of confidence in the future of the UK Continental Shelf and the kind of development that should further persuade investors of the benefit of putting their money into this basin which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas.”


Mariner Segment 9 and Jock Scott

Statoil also informed that the Mariner Segment 9 well encountered two oil-filled sands in the Heimdal Formation and a thin oil column in the deeper Maureen Formation.

A comprehensive suite of data was acquired which will be used to establish the extent of the Heimdal sand bodies, the impact on resources and future drainage strategy for the main Mariner field together with the potential for tie back of additional resources.

Jock Scott was dry and no reservoir section was encountered. All wells were drilled safely and very efficiently, and the drilling program came in below budget.