Centrica readies Maersk jack-up

UK operator Centrica has been given the go-ahead by Norwegian authorities to drill a wildcat in the southern North Sea.

The explorer will use the jack-up Maersk Giant at the 8/10-6S probe in production licence 405, targeting the Butch South West prospect.

The licence includes parts of blocks 7/9, 7/12, 8/7, 8/8, 8/10 and 8/11, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Tuesday, as it revealed it had approved the drilling licence.

This will be the sixth exploration well on PL405.

Centrica is operator of the licence on 40%, with Suncor Energy on 30% and Tullow Oil and Faroe Petroleum each on 15%.

Centrica has just used the Maersk Giant to drill the Butch East wildcat in PL 405. However, the 8/10-5S well and a subsequent appraisal, 8/10-5A, failed to hit any hydrocarbons, despite intersecting a good-quality reservoir in a targeted Upper Jurassic sandstone reservoir in the Ula formation.

Faroe chief executive Graham Stewart has said, however, that Butch South West “is structurally independent (from Butch East) and a highly prospective target with significant upside potential”.

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