Oilexco studies Huntingdon oil prospect development

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Feb. 12 -- Oilexco North Sea Ltd. and its partners are studying fast-track development options for an oil prospect in the UK Central North Sea after finding a 452-ft oil column in the Huntington Fulmar oil accumulation. The group is confident that the oil column could be larger as the crest of the structure has yet to be drilled.

Current development work includes scoping the production facility and export options, including subsea tie-backs, floating production vessels, and fixed platforms.

During its first appraisal program, the group used the Sedco 712 semisubmersible drilling rig to examine the Paleocene Forties and the Upper Jurassic Fulmar sands in the light oil discovery with multiple zones.

It drilled eight separate wells which found oil-bearing Forties sand. Appraisal well 22/14b-8 was spudded on Dec. 18, 2007, and it was finished on Jan. 28. It flowed a maximum of 4,624 b/d of oil and associated gas of 1.6 MMcfd from the deeper Upper Jurassic Fulmar sands. The 39º gravity oil flowed through a 64/64-in. choke with 310 psia flowing tubing pressure.

Oilexco said the objective of the 22/14b-8 well was to drill down the flank of the Huntington Fulmar structure to identify the oil-water contact location in the Fulmar sand in order to help determine the potential size of the Fulmar oil accumulation. "A thick sequence of Upper Jurassic Fulmar sand was encountered in the 22/14b-8 well bore at an elevation well below the top of the Fulmar sand intersected in the 22/14b-5 discovery well," the company said.

The appraisal program will continue later this year to determine the extent of the reservoir using one of Oilexco's two long-term contracted semi rigs.

Analyst KBC Peel Hunt said it estimated 200-350 million bbl oil in place in the Forties and of 500-750 million bbl in the Fulmar. On this basis we are comfortable with recoverable reserves of 50 million bbl in the Forties and 100 million bbl in the Fulmar, with upside of up to twice this number.

Oilexco, which has a 40% stake in Huntingdon, is working with Altinex Oil (UK) Ltd. 20%, E.On Ruhrgas UK Exploration & Production Ltd. 25%, and Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. 15%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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