Oil major Shell has announced plans to explore the Pensacola gas prospects in the UK North Sea, with drilling starting mid-November 2022. 

Shell and Deltic Energy, an oil and gas exploration company, have confirmed they will relocate the Maersk Resilient drilling rig to the site.

A statement from Deltic Energy said: “The company looks forward to providing a further update when the rig is on-site at Pensacola and drilling has started.”

Pensacola has approximately 309 billion cubic feet (bcf) of potentially recoverable gas resources. Deltic previously stated that if successful, it will be “one of the highest impact exploration targets to be drilled in the gas basin” in the Southern North Sea recently.

Shell and Deltic could build a new pipeline to the gas processing complex at Teesside if Pensacola tests for a high-volume scenario.

It would be tied back to the Ineos Breagh platform, about 45 miles off the east coast of England, under a low-volume scenario of 75 bcf. Shell also has a 50% stake in the Selene prospect, another Deltic target with a 318 bcf goal.

Shell will operate the licence, which Deltic describes as one of the largest unappraised structures in the Southern Gas Basin’s Leman Sandstone fairway.

Selene was projected to have a gross P50 potential resource of 318 bcf, with a geological success probability of 70%. This means that the quantities recovered will equal or exceed the best estimate.