EnCore keen to develop Catcher

EnCore Oil plans to drill to four more exploration and appraisal wells close to its Catcher oil discovery in the UK North Sea, pending rig availability.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- EnCore Oil plans to drill to four more exploration and appraisal wells close to its Catcher oil discovery in the UK North Sea, pending rig availability.

The purpose of this program, which EnCore hopes to progress as soon as possible, will be to help determine the scale of development for what could be a 300 MMbbl project.

Ideally, the company said it wants to submit a field development plan in 2011.

CEO Alan Booth said further drilling success on the surrounding block could identify “a cluster of oil accumulations with potentially many hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in place”.

He added: “I believe our team is uniquely well suited to the task ahead of us having been the management team that led the appraisal, front end engineering and design, regulatory FDP approval, and the subsequent development of the Buzzard Field between 2001 and 2005.

“Buzzard is currently the largest field on the UK continental shelf producing in excess of 200,000 b/d. We believe that our very strong uncommitted cash position will ensure our ability to continue to capture significant additional value in the Catcher area for an extended period without the need for any additional funding.

EnCore is hopeful of further returns from the newly spudded Cladhan appraisal well, also in the UK sector. The well is being drilled as a sidetrack to the original discovery well, targeting a potential reservoir south of the known accumulation.

Booth says the location is designed to minimize the drilling cost while allowing further sidetrack drilling in the event of a success down dip to establish the location of any oil/water contact.

“We are of the view that the UKCS will continue to provide unexpected significant discoveries, although many future exploration successes are likely to be made disproportionately by smaller players and new entrants to the North Sea.

“We hope that the relevant authorities will continue to encourage the entrance of new players and promote exploration for new accumulations by ensuring we have an economic and fiscal environment that encourages the recognition and appropriate reward for taking exploration risk.

“Additionally we need to ensure fair and speedy access to existing, often mature infrastructure. Unless this latter issue is addressed, and soon, then the undoubtedly significant benefits for the UK from the full exploitation of the UK’s indigenous natural resources is unlikely to be recognized.”

08/11/2010

More in Drilling & Completion