"This discovery comes in the wake of a number of successful North Sea development wells and supports our view that there is significant remaining oil potential in the North Sea, especially given Talisman's size and skill set," said Dr. Jim Buckee, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As well, Talisman's proposed acquisition of Paladin would strengthen our position as a leading independent operator in the UK and Norway, providing numerous exploration and development opportunities."
The 13/23b-5 well successfully tested an exploration prospect some 15 kilometers northeast of the Talisman operated Ross Field (Talisman 69% working interest) and 10 kilometers northwest of the Blake Field where Talisman holds a 54% working interest. The well discovered oil bearing sandstones of Lower Cretaceous age.
This well was appraised by a sidetrack to the southwest (13/23b-5z) where thicker oil bearing sands were encountered. The sidetrack was tested and flowed at a rate of 6,700 barrels per day of 35 degree API oil.
A second sidetrack, 13/23b-y, was drilled to the west and proved the extent of this thicker sand sequence over the structure. Further studies are required before volumes are finalized but initial estimates indicate that the discovery could contain some 20 to 50 million barrels of oil-in-place. The discovery will now be evaluated further using re-processed 3D seismic data with a view to confirming its commerciality and determining the optimal development plan.
"This drilling success is very encouraging and demonstrates the value of focused exploration activity nearby to existing fields and infrastructure. The news also comes shortly after the announcement of Talisman's plans to take on Paladin's portfolio - another signal of increasing commitment to North Sea investment," said Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks.
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