BP announced that drilling has commenced on a potential carboniferous gas play in southern North Sea block 43/26a that, if successful, could open up a new phase of development in the region.

The well, being drilled with partners Perenco and Premier, will test the potential of a deep carboniferous age horizon several hundred meters beneath the mature reservoirs produced by the Ravenspurn ST2 platform.

Mark Thomas, BP North Sea regional president, commented, “This play warrants further exploration as we know the reservoir sands exist. What we don’t know is whether, if gas is found, long-term production can be proven economic from this deeply buried reservoir horizon. We’re looking forward to working with Perenco and Premier to test this concept and better understand its potential.”

During the drilling and testing phase, Perenco - as operator of the existing producing Ravenspurn field - will act as substitute operator on behalf of BP and the other license owners.

BP holds an 85% equity stake in the prospect alongside license partners Perenco (10%) and Premier (5%).

  • The North Sea is an important region for BP where it expects to sustain a significant business for the long term.
  • BP North Sea expects to grow production for UK assets to around 200,000 barrels per day by 2020, with an exciting set of future investment and renewal options capable of sustaining a material business into the 2030s.
  • Along with its co-ventures’, BP has invested at record levels in the UK North Sea. In 2016, BP is expected to spend around $2bn in capital investment and $1.6bn running its operations.
  • BP is expecting important new oil production from its major projects Quad204 and Clair Ridge in early 2017 and 2018 respectively.
  • Over the next 18 months, BP plans to participate in up to five exploration wells in addition to potentially drilling about 50 developments wells in the North Sea over the next 3-4 years.
  • BP is also investing significantly in the reliability and integrity of existing assets through an extensive renewal program.

For more information, visit www.boem.gov/Five-Year-Program/.

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