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French energy firm Total and its partners have made a gas and condensates discovery in the central North Sea offshore UK.

Jackup rig Noble Sam Hartley drilled the Isabella 30/12d-11 exploration well to a total depth of 5,557m, in water depths of 80m.

It encountered 64m of lean gas and condensate and light oil in Upper Jurassic and Triassic sandstone reservoirs. The company has not given resource estimates.

The well is located in production licence P1820, 170km east of Aberdeen, UK. This discovery is also 40km south of the Elgin-Franklin field, also operated by Total.

The company said an analysis of well data and results is underway. Results will help Total decide whether an appraisal programme is commercially viable.

The P1820 licence is operated by Total with a 30% working interest. Other partners include Neptune Energy (50%), Ithaca Energy (10%) and Edison subsidiary Euroil Exploration (10%).

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By GlobalData

Neptune Energy CEO Jim House said: “The discovery of hydrocarbons in three separate formations is positive news for Neptune and our partners. While analysis of the results is ongoing, the initial findings show significant promise.

“Having acquired our interest in the exciting HPHT Isabella prospect in 2018, the result further strengthens our growing UK portfolio and demonstrates the significant remaining hydrocarbon potential in the region.”

Total Exploration senior vice-president Kevin McLachlan said: “The initial results at Isabella are encouraging.

“This demonstrates that our exploration strategy in the North Sea to explore for value adding prospects nearby to our infrastructure is working.”

Last month, Total anchored a drilling vessel off the coast of Lebanon to drill the first exploration well in deep waters.

Also in February, the company renewed contract with CGG for the operation of the Dedicated Processing Center (DPC) in France.