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Hurricane Energy Makes ‘Largest Undeveloped Oil Discovery’ On UKCS

Posted: 10/04/2017

Oil exploration company Hurricane Energy has made what it believes to be the biggest undeveloped oil discovery on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), having just completed operations on the Halifax Well.

The group has confirmed that this well is an oil discovery, with initial analysis suggesting that Halifax is linked to the Lancaster Field, which has formed a single large hydrocarbon accumulation.

The main purpose of the Halifax Well was to show that the Halifax prospect and the Lancaster Field are actually one big connected structure, an opinion that has now been supported by the well results. An extensive oil column has been successfully identified, far below local structural closure. It’s now the company’s belief that the deeper oil down to at 1,846m true vertical depth subsea that has been identified at Halifax is probably caused by a tilted oil water contact.

Third party analysis of the well has shown that the basement reservoir below the final casing point is pervasively fractured, that there is a “very significant” hydrocarbon column of at least 1,156m and that porosity is consistent with what there is at Lancaster.

CEO of the company Dr Robert Trice commented: “This is a highly significant moment for Hurricane and I am delighted that the Halifax Well results support the company’s view that its substantial Lancaster discovery has been extended to include the Halifax licence. We believe that the GLA is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf.”

He went on to add that the exploration wells on Halifax and Lincoln have also led to the discovery of significant oil columns and the company now expects that later iterations of its competent persons’ report will see the resource base on the Greater Lancaster and Greater Warwick areas upgraded.

Commenting on the news, chief executive of industry body Oil and Gas UK, Deirdre Michie was quoted by the BBC as saying that this is very exciting and truly welcome news for the UKCS. The announcement comes just after the Oil and Gas Authority awards new licences for exploration of oil and gas in frontier areas, which also goes to show just how significant the remaining potential of the UKCS is.

And Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse noted that the news is a clear indication that there is still “significant potential” in waters near Scotland and the west of Shetland for oil. It’s thought that up to 20 billion barrels equivalent is still under the North Sea and in the wider basin.

It certainly seems as though this is an interesting time for the UKCS, principally the North Sea where there are still large resources of hydrocarbons. If you’re in the business of renewables and wind energy, make sure that you prioritise health and safety at this time, such as by taking GWO working at heights courses. Give us a call today to find out more.