COP chasing oil in North Sea's Esperanza exploration prospect

Preparations are under way to drill the Esperanza exploration prospect in block 22/15 of the UK central North Sea.

Offshore staff

CALGARY, Canada – Preparations are under way to drill the Esperanza exploration prospect in block 22/15 of the UK central North Sea.

According to Canadian Offshore Petroleum (COP), the semisub Ocean Nomad has been on location waiting for a weather window to start drilling operations.

The Esperanza 22/15-D well is the first drilled by the company under its UK North Sea joint venture with BG Group.

COP will acquire a right to purchase a 50% equity interest in the BG-operated block, including the Banks discovery, by paying an amount equal to 75% of the costs to drill the Esperanza well.

The company can exercise this right within 120 days of rig release from the well, upon payment of an additional $15 million.

The well is designed to target light oil in the Palaeocene Forties sand. The location is on a strong, far-offset amplitude (AVO) anomaly at the northwest end of an 11-km (6.8-mi) long turbidite channel AVO anomaly that includes Banks to the southeast.

BG discovered Banks in 2005, the well testing 39°API oil at 1,080 b/d and gas at 12.5 MMcf/d from perforations across the gas/oil contact.

10/07/2011

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