Azinor Catalyst has awarded a rig contract to Diamond Offshore Drilling (UK) for Ocean Guardian semisubmersible rig to drill two operated wells in the third quarter of this year.
The first exploration well will target the Partridge Prospect, while the second appraisal well will assess the Agar Discovery and Plantain Prospect.
Azinor Catalyst managing director Nick Terrell said: “We are delighted to have secured the Ocean Guardian rig to drill our high impact Partridge Prospect. This is an excellent time to be drilling exploration wells in the UK North Sea.
“A successful outcome at Partridge would not only generate huge value for the company, but also unlock significant upside potential in the exciting Lower Cretaceous play in nearby acreage, which we secured access to through our recently awarded 29th Round Licences.”
In December 2015, Catalyst acquired a 100% operated interest in blocks 14/11a, 14/12a and 14/16a that host the Partridge Prospect. Partridge exploration well drilling is expected to be completed in nearly 25 days.
The prospect is estimated to contain 119 million barrels oil equivalent in the mid-case, with an upside case of 260 million.
Situated within the Jura Sub-Basin of the Outer Moray Firth besides the Scapa, Claymore and Athena oilfields, the prospect features a relatively shallow and normally pressured reservoir.
Catalyst holds a 50% interest in blocks 9/9d and 9/14a where the Agar Discovery and Plantain Prospect are situated.
In 2014, the company conducted an exploration drilling in the Agar Discovery which encountered 33ft column in high-quality Eocene Frigg Formation sands.
Agar and Plantain are estimated to contain mid case resources of 60 million barrels oil equivalent with an upside case of 98 million barrels oil equivalent.
Expected to take approximately 35 days, drilling of the Agar appraisal well will include a sidetrack to test the Plantain Prospect.