Shell UK and Apache North Sea have signed a series of co-operative exploration deals close to the Forties and Nelson fields. The program includes two firm wells and one probable exploratory well as well as one contingent well.
Under the terms of a farm-in agreement, Apache will operate blocks 22/6, 22/7, and 22/12, where the firm wells are being lined up, and 22/11, the site of the contingent well. Shell has already drilled an exploration well for Apache in block 22/12a when a rig became available last November. The results have not yet been announced. Apache plans to start its program shortly.
According to Rien Herbert, exploration director for Shell E&P in Europe, "This deal is a great example of cross-industry collaboration in realizing near-field exploration potential�. If hydrocarbons are discovered, they will probably be produced over the nearby Shell-operated Nelson platform."