WESTHILL, UK – Dolphin Drilling has a entered a letter of intent with i3 Energy to provide a semisubmersible rig for a three-well appraisal and development drilling program this summer in the UK central North Sea.
Either theBlackford Dolphin or the Borgland Dolphin would spud the first well sometime between June 1 and July 1, the A3 Liberator West appraisal well in block 13/23c.
The rig would then drill and suspend the first Liberator Phase I production well (L2) in block 13/23d and complete the campaign by drilling the S1 well into the Serenity prospect. Dolphin estimates the duration of the campaign at 94 days.
According to i3’s integrated subsurface analysis there appears to be 314 MMbbl of in-place oil at the Liberator field and 197 MMbbl in Serenity (based on oil column thickness). If A3 proves to be successful, the company would be able to convert part of Liberator West’s resources into reserves and determine the location for the second Phase I production well (either L4 or L1).
This could be brought onstream in tandem with the L2 well at a potential combined rate of up to 20,000 b/d of oil in mid-2020, followed by a third Phase I production well in mid-2021.
The well on Serenity will target a potential extension of the Tain discovery, an unclosed oil-bearing structure just to the east where there are four well penetrations.
Both A3 and S1 will also allow the company to determine the optimum size of a standalone FPSO envisaged for a potentially enlarged Phase II development, encompassing Liberator and Serenity.
Positive appraisal and development of these fields could deliver more than 200 MMbbl from the licenses, the company added.
i3 is negotiating for use of the leased FPSOBleo Holm via the Ross field infrastructure, and on terms for the Liberator Phase I construction, tie-in, transportation, processing and operating services agreements.
All will likely be finalized alongside approval from the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority for the field development plan.
As a fallback option, i3 has also executed a memorandum of understanding for another FPSO for Liberator Phase I which would be leased, reducing the reliance on access to third-party operated infrastructure.
Negotiations continue on a farm-out process with further companies set to enter the process in January.
Concurrently, i3 is working on agreements to draw on finance of $100-$130 million, of which up to 25% would be available toward this year’s drilling (estimated to cost around $41 million), with the balance applied to the Liberator Phase I production wells, subsea installation and field tie-in.