A regional geology and geophysical and resource evaluation of Norwest Energy's onshore southern England permits has identified seven leads that could be matured for drilling.
In conjunction with the resource evaluation, Norwest conducted an economic scoping study over a range of current onshore producing fields throughout the UK. The study provided a matrix of economic results to enable Norwest to decide on whether to proceed with continuing work to appraise its onshore opportunities.
"The study indicates a minimum volume of 400,000 barrels of oil and 4-5 billion cubic feet of gas to be the commercial threshold for a UK onshore discovery," Norwest chief executive Peter Munachen said.
"The resource evaluation has determined that every one of these leads has the potential to exceed the minimum threshold of 400,000 barrels of oil. This provides encouragement for Norwest to conduct further work to de-risk the leads into drillable prospects."
While southern England is not recognized as prime oil and gas country, the region's Wessex Basin contains Europe's largest onshore oil and gas field, the BP-operated Wytch Farm, which has estimated original reserves of 500MMbbl (400MMbbl produced to date).
"Onshore England has been overshadowed by the higher North Sea petroleum province, but as working the North Sea becomes more difficult and more expensive, this is likely to change," Munachen said. "Norwest's UK acreage is close to Wytch Farm and we believe we have done well to secure prime acreage in the Wessex Basin at this time."
Norwest holds interests in and is operator of three Wessex Basin permits, PEDL238 (in Dorset and immediately north of Wytch Farm), 089 (the Hurst Castle project area, in Hampshire) and 239 (Isle of Wight).
"The confirmation of leads is a major advance and indicates the potential for multiple drillable prospects within our permits," Peter Munachen said.
"Although the lead sizes are considerably smaller than the giant Wytch Farm field, the proximity of our leads to Wytch Farm, together with commercial thresholds in the 400,000 barrel range, indicates the chances of achieving future commercial success are significant."
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