CALGARY, Canada --Ithaca Energy has suspended its latest appraisal well on the Athena discovery in the UK North Sea after failing to encounter commercial hydrocarbons in the primary horizon.
Well 14/18b-17 was evaluating a potential southern extension to Athena's oil pool. It penetrated the Lower Cretaceous Leek sands at a level 413 ft (126 m) above Athena's oil/water contact. However, oil found in the Leek formation was of a lower quality.
Ithaca plans further evaluation of this well and a possible sidetrack for use in the Athena development scheme – this is currently under review by the UK Department of Business, Environment and Regulatory Reform (BERR). The next appraisal well will likely target the Leek sands north of the 14/18-7 discovery well.
The company is also negotiating for a jackup rig to tie back and complete the initial well on its Jacky field development in block 12/26c. Drilling is expected to take around 20 days, and should get under way in November, once the platform - currently under construction by HSM in The Netherlands - has been installed on the field.