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Lloyds List: New wells planned for UK Atlantic Margin

Mar 07, 2006
EXPLORATION drilling is returning to the UK Atlantic Margin area this month after a year's absence, with several wells planned to probe for new resources, writes Martyn Wingrove.
Apart from an appraisal well on BP's Clair field there have been no wildcat wells since 2004 to find new oil and gas resources, until this month as Shell gets ready to spud one in Tranche 38.
The Anglo-Dutch oil major is taking the fourth generation semi-submersible rig Transocean Rather to drill a well on block 154'4 in 1,212 m of water.

Shell is going to test the North Benbecula prospect, which lies 6 km north of a gas discovery drilled by Enterprise Oil in 2000.
The block lies in a very remote part of the UK margin, 93 km from the Isle of Lewis and 85 km from the Faroe-UK median line, so any discovery would be miles from any land or infrastructure.
BP is using the Transocean Rather to complete its Clair appraisal well, which could help the British major to decide on developing another part of the Clair field with production platform.
US major Chevron is also looking to use the semi-submersible rig to drill an appraisal well this June to probe its Rosebank-Lochnagar discoveries in blocks 213'26 and 27 near the Faroes border.
The US oil major will be taking the rig until October, so it could be looking to drill more than one well in the West of Shetlands area this year.
Its first focus will be to firm up more than 250m barrels of oil reserves on Rosebank-Lochnagar before any evaluation of the fields' development.
London-listed explorer Faroes Petroleum and Norwegian oil group Statoil have a wildcat well planned for this region in licence 006 in the Faroes sector.
The well will be used to test the Brugdan prospect in the licence, which lies more than 50 km west of BP's Foinavon and Schiehallion oil fields.
This well will be the first to probe below the basalt layer that is widespread in this area and makes drilling high risk.
The physical properties of basalt make seismic interpretation a difficult process for looking at sub-basalt formations and for hydrocarbon prospects.

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