UK-based Deltic Energy and its partners Shell UK and ONE-Dyas have made a significant gas and oil discovery in the Pensacola prospect, located in Licence P2252 in the Southern North Sea.

The discovery was made at well 41/05a-2 located in the Pensacola prospect, northwest of the Breagh gas field, in the Zechstein Reef play fairway.

Following drilling to a total depth of 1,965m true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS), the well encountered the top Hauptdolomite reservoir at 1,745m TVDSS.

It confirmed a reservoir thickness of 18.8m, with superior porosity averaging 16%.

In a press statement, Deltic said: “As planned, the well penetrated the edge of the Pensacola structure in a down dip location and has proven a substantial hydrocarbon column.”

Deltic said that wireline logs confirmed the presence of mobile gas and oil in the primary Zechstein Hauptdolomite carbonate target interval.

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By GlobalData

Deltic Energy chief executive Graham Swindells said: “Deltic’s first exploration well at Pensacola has resulted in a highly positive outcome and, at approximately 300 billion cubic feet (bcf), would represent one of the largest natural gas discoveries in the Southern North Sea in over a decade.

“We believe that the Pensacola discovery will open a new Zechstein play in this mature basin and highlights the remaining potential of the North Sea as a source of further discoveries, which can provide domestically produced natural gas.”

Following acidisation, the well produced nearly 4.75 million standard cubic feet per day (Mmscf/d) of gas at its peak, declining to 1.75Mmscf/d 12 hours after the test.

During the well test, the discovery also produced light oil, with a preliminary gravity of 34-36° API, at a rate of nearly 18 barrels per day.

Building on the drilling and testing data, Deltic estimates the Pensacola discovery to contain P50 Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) of 302bcf.

Upon completion of the well test programme, the well is planned to be plugged and abandoned.

Shell operates the P2252 licence with a 65% stake while Deltic and ONE-Dyas own 30% and 5% stakes, respectively.