Premier nears decision on Huntington

Premier Oil expects to confirm by end-March the approved concept for the Huntington field development in the UK central North Sea.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Premier Oil expects to confirm by end-March the approved concept for the Huntington field development in the UK central North Sea. The company and its partners are evaluating bids which were submitted in December for FPSO-based solutions. Negotiations also are continuing with the ETAP partners over offtake arrangements. First oil from Huntington, in block 22/14b, is scheduled for 2012.

Among Premier’s other interests on the UK shelf, production from Shelley has declined rapidly since start-up last August, and the field could be abandoned as early as this year. Discussions continue with the Scott field owners concerning satellite developments, with an appraisal well imminent on one of the prospects, Bugle, targeting a northern extension of the field. If successful, Premier hopes for development approval for a subsea tieback to Scott by year-end. Conceptual studies are also in progress concerning possible re-development of the Fife area.

In the Norwegian North Sea, a report has been completed into integrated area developments in the Frøy area. The field’s operator, Det norske oljeselskap, will also re-examine stand-alone development concepts, and has started discussions with contractors
The Blåbaer exploration well was spudded on Jan. 7, with results expected in early March. This moderate-risk prospect is close to the BG-operated Jordbaer discovery on the adjacent block, which is under review for a development by its partners. Premier’s well on the Greater Luno prospect should start drilling around end-January or early February, targeting the basement and possible Jurassic sandstones related to the Lundin-operated Luno discovery on an adjacent block.

Premier expects drilling of the Gardrofa and Gnatcatcher prospects to get under way in the third quarter. It describes Gardrofa as a moderate-risk, untested trap flanking a salt dome feature on trend from BG’s Bream discovery (Premier 20%). Gnatcatcher is a moderate- to high-risk prospect on the same block as Premier’s 2009 Grosbeak discovery, which is due to undergo appraisal drilling late this year.

01/15/2010

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