WOKING, UK -- Valiant Petroleum is set to expand its operating interest in the P.1631 license west of Shetland, covering block 204/18b.
The transaction with partner Sussex Energy will lift Valiant’s stake to 90%. In exchange, Valiant will pay dry hole well costs in respect of Sussex’s residual 10% interest. But Sussex also retains the right to claw back a further 5% minimum interest.
The license is adjacent to Valiant’s blocks 204/14c and 204/19c, both awarded under the UK’s recent 26th Seaward licensing round. The acreage covers the Handcross prospect, which could contain reserves of around 200 MMboe.
Both parties would like to drill an exploration well on the structure next year. Valiant is attempting to secure a suitable deepwater rig in the timeframe, and also is discussing farm-out opportunities with other potential partners.
Over the next two years the company hopes to participate in up to nine exploratory wells in the northern and central North Sea and west of Shetland, aside from its exploration commitments in the Don area as partner to operator EnQuest.
In northern North Sea blocks 210/29c and 210/30b, Valiant (100% operator) has identified leads which could be an extension of the Cladhan channel-sand play discovered by Sterling Resources in 2009.
A well could be drilled here during the second half of next year, following the planned appraisal program on Cladhan early in 2011.
In partnership with Apache North Sea and EnQuest, Valiant may drill the 24 MMbbl Tryfan prospect in block 3/17, either towards end-2011 or at the start of 2012.
Elsewhere in the northern sector, Valiant is working on a location for an appraisal well on its Tybalt discovery in block 211/8c, and also has started studies for development/export options.
The company could drill further small prospects such as Portia in block 210/25b and Rosalind in block 211/11a, both of which are lower-risk tieback opportunities.
Finally, Valiant and Apache were awarded blocks 30/06a, 11a, and 12d in the 26th UK round, containing the Isabella, Mariana, and Jessica prospects. Valiant describes Isabella as a potentially high-impact, gas-prone, Fulmar play pinching out against a salt dome.
A multi-azimuth 3D seismic survey should be acquired over this area next year, likely followed by a well in 2012.