British North Sea Target Of New Drilling Plans

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June 19 (UPI) -- New drilling off the coast of Britain will start in April to appraise prospects west of the Shetland Islands, a drilling company said.

The company, North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., said it was awarded a contract with Siccar Point Energy, an exploration and production company, to examine the waters west of Sheltand.

"The contract will commence on April 1st when Siccar Point Energy will drill and test an appraisal well on the Cambo discovery with the data being used to refine the development project requirements," the drilling company stated. "The minimum backlog for the contract is estimated at $7 million."

Siccar Point took control over the Cambo reservoir when it acquired a regional subsidiary of Austrian energy company OMV in January. The company said more than 100 million barrels of recoverable reserves have already been discovered there.

Cambo is situated near the Rosebank and Schiehallion areas, the latter of which was singled out by British supermajor BP as part of a North Sea overhaul.

Working under the Quad 204 regional redevelopment effort, BP started new oil production from the Schiehallion area west of the Shetland area of the North Sea in May.

BP has produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil from Schiehallion since production started in the late 1990s and the company said redevelopment could yield another 450 million barrels and extend the field's life into the 2030s.

Though regional reservoirs are reaching the age of maturity, BP said it aims to double its North Sea production to 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020.

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