In the UK Northern North Sea, flow test results from the East Causeway well 211/23d-17z have proved extremely encouraging. The well was drilled horizontally through the Middle Jurassic Brent Group of sandstones, intersecting several reservoirs in the Ness and Tarbert Formations in two separate fault blocks. The western fault block tested at a stabilised combined flow rate of 14,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from the Ness and Tarbert formations.
The initial test on the Tarbert sands flowed high quality, light sweet crude oil at stabilised rates of up to 7,000 bopd. The crude oil gravity is around 32 degrees API with a low gas oil ratio. A second test, performed on the Ness Formation, flowed at stabilised rates of up to 7,500 bopd with the oil being of similar high quality to that recovered from the first test. It is pleasing to report that no water was produced during the tests from either zone.
The East Causeway well also intersected Brent sandstone intervals in the eastern fault block, which had previously been drilled by the suspended well 211/23b-11 and flowed at rates of up to 8,100 bopd. Flow rate and pressure data from all the reservoir tests will now be analysed to assess the full productivity and reserve potential of both the neighbouring fault blocks. The East Causeway well will be suspended for use as a potential future oil producer pending development decisions, including the possible integration of this new discovery with other existing oil discoveries in the area.
In the Dutch North Sea, the E18-6 well has also been successfully drilled and flow tested. As predicted, a good quality reservoir interval was encountered in the Lower Slochteren sands and this flowed at a rate of approximately 45 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfpd). The gas discovered here was of similar quality to that recently developed in the neighboring F16-E gas field, which was brought onstream in 2005 and in which Dana also holds an interest. This latest discovery has encouraged the group to consider the drilling of an appraisal well in a fault block further to the west of the current well. This could prove up even more gas volumes before developing the area as a tie-back to the F16-E platform.
Following the successes at East Causeway and E18-6, Dana is continuing its 2006 North Sea program with appraisal drilling now underway on the Babbage gas field in the UK Southern Basin. This Babbage well is targeting a crestal area of the structure in order to establish reservoir productivity ahead of a development decision. If appraisal is successful, it is expected the field will be moved quickly into development as a tie-back to existing infrastructure.
Commenting on the news, Tom Cross, Dana's Chief Executive said:
"We are highly encouraged by the test results from the East Causeway and E18-6 wells and look forward to accelerating our technical work on these areas to deliver potential new field developments. North Sea exploration is a key part of Dana's strategy and these value-adding oil and gas discoveries in our core area provide further growth opportunities as we seek to build upon Dana's current portfolio of 12 producing fields."
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