EnCore aiming to drill Catcher, Cladhan

EnCore Oil has contracted two rigs to drill exploration wells on its prospects in the UK North Sea.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- EnCore Oil has contracted two rigs to drill exploration wells on its prospects in the UK North Sea.

The company expects to drill the Catcher prospect, in central North Sea block 28/9, in late March/early April using the Transocean Galaxy. A seabed survey over the location has determined that the well can be drilled using a heavy duty jackup rig.

In the event of a discovery, EnCore anticipates either a well test or a sidetrack into the adjacent “Catcher East” Eocene Tay sand prospect. EnCore has a 15% operated interest in the block, and its share of the well costs will be carried by its partners Premier Oil and Wintershall.

In December, the company signed a letter of agreement for the semisubmersible J.W.Maclean to drill the Cladhan structure in northern North Sea blocks 210/29a & 210/30a. The well, which is expected to spud between late May and early July, will appraise the southward extension of a stratigraphically trapped 110-ft (33.5-m) light oil column encountered during the original discovery in November 2008.

Encore aims to improve its understanding of the extent and thickness of the Upper Jurassic reservoir sands. If these prove to be hydrocarbon-bearing and of reasonable thickness, they may be tested via a possible sidetrack. The company estimates the range of potential volumes from sub-commercial through to very significant.

In the UK southern North Sea, EnCore is a partner (10%) to Centrica in the Ceres development. Start-up here has been delayed from the scheduled date in late December, due to the postponement of planned shutdowns of the BP-operated infrastructure needed to complete the tie-in of Ceres. However, the field should now come on stream in the next few weeks.

02/08/2010

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