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Nautical shifts exploration focus to Irish Sea

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Nautical Petroleum plans to drill its Merrow exploration prospect in the UK’s East Irish Sea basin early next year.

According to CEO Steve Jenkins, the company is seeking to identify an onshore site from which to drill offshore.
Later in 2011, it expects to drill an appraisal well on the Tudor Rose heavy oil discovery in block 14/30 to determine the oil gravity and viscosity, and also to investigate a potential deeper oil/water contact.

Elsewhere in the UK sector, the company is evaluating its operated blocks around its Kraken heavy oil field in the North Sea, assessing the implications of the recent 9/02b-4 appraisal well and 9/02b-4z sidetrack for hydrocarbon bearing sand distribution.

These wells were designed to improve understanding of the areal distribution of the main Heimdal III reservoir. Both were drilled within the controlled source electromagnetic anomaly and into an area of high seismic amplitudes.

The 9/02b-04 appraisal well, drilled in August-September, found much thicker Heimdal III sands than expected with high oil saturations, also extending the oil-down-to, which Nautical believes should significantly increase the proven oil in place east of the Kraken fault.

Immediately afterwards, the 9/02b-4z sidetrack was drilled to the west of the fault and proved the presence of both Heimdal III and Heimdal I reservoirs, with good reservoir quality in both cases. No oil/water contact was encountered, reinforcing Nautical’s view of an edge water drive.

Nautical plans to evaluate the results in the hope of upgrading potential volumes in the field. Development planning and concept selection studies are under way. The company aims to submit a field development plan to the UK government next year, leading to first oil in 2013.

At the nearby Mariner field (Nautical 6%), operator Statoil continues its studies of the subsurface, required facilities, oil processing, and marketing in order to pass through the Preliminary Project Sanction Decision Gate (DG2), likely early in 2011.

Geomodels and reservoir simulation models have been completed for both the Maureen and Heimdal sandstones. These have been used to understand fluid flow, optimize placement of producer wells and to size the facilities.

Nautical says it has been instrumental in modifying the sedimentalogical model by using its detailed regional knowledge to identify additional remobilized sands in the Lista formation. This has led to improved connectivity in the Heimdal simulation model and, in combination with results from the Maureen model, has prompted an increase in contingent recoverable resources.

As for the development, the partners are currently leaning towards a fixed platform, with one or two drilling rigs to facilitate rapid development drilling. The Maureen reservoir will be developed first with the Heimdal reservoir drilled at a pace as to maintain plateau production. A development plan will likely be issued late next year or early 2012, Nautical adds.

10/11/2010

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