Norwegian energy company Equinor has finished drilling at the Verbier discovery located in the UK Continental Shelf region of the North Sea, with the appraisal well failing to discover expected oil reserves.

The results of the drilling were shared by Jersey Oil & Gas, Equinor’s partner in the Verbier project. Equinor is the operator of the licence with a 70% operating interest, with Jersey Oil & Gas having 18% and CIECO V&C having the remaining 12% interest.

The appraisal well was safely drilled within budget and ahead of schedule to a total depth of 3,784m. Based on preliminary observations during drilling, the well did not discover the anticipated Upper Jurassic sands.

Equinor started drilling in the Bervier prospect in August 2017, and in October 2017 estimated that the area could contain 25-130 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe). Following the drilling of the Verbier appraisal well, Jersey Oil & Gas has revised its contingent volumetric estimations for the discovery towards the lower end of the initial resource estimate.

The results of the appraisal well will be fully integrated with processed data from a 3D seismic survey acquired in 2018 in order to evaluate the upside potential of further activity in the Verbier discovery.

Additional resource potential in a deeper horizon beneath the Verbier discovery has been identified through Equinor’s operations in the area, and will be considered for future drilling following maturation from the new seismic data.

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Another potential resource in the area is a larger part of the mapped area of the Verbier discovery, to the north-west of the Verbier appraisal well, which remains untested.

Jersey Oil & Gas stated that the Verbier discovery “remains commercially viable at 25 Mboe,” expressing an interest in potential future development options in the area including wider area developments.

Jersey Oil & Gas CEO Andrew Benitz said: “We are both surprised and disappointed by the results of our appraisal well. JOG remains confident that Verbier is a commercially viable development project that could be further enhanced by the potential for a new area hub development, together with undeveloped discoveries that sit in close proximity to Verbier.

“Verbier has been a play-opener for JOG and we remain excited about the growth potential surrounding this valuable asset.  JOG remains well-funded to pursue our growth plans and will continue to assess various acquisition opportunities as we move forward.”