EnCore Rides on Burgman Discovery

EnCore announced that the Burgman well 28/9-4 located on UKCS Central North Sea Block 28/9 has reached Total Depth of 5,990 feet Measured Depth and has successfully encountered good quality hydrocarbons in a Tay sandstone interval. Based on the results of the well, the joint venture partnership has decided to drill an immediate side-track from the Burgman well.

The well encountered 22 feet of net hydrocarbon pay within the overall Tay sandstone interval; 12 feet of gas in the Upper Tay sandstones and 10 feet of 24 degree API oil in the Lower Tay sandstones. The Cromarty and Fulmar sections were not hydrocarbon bearing at this location. A Gas Oil Contact was calculated at 3,560 feet true vertical depth sub sea (TVDSS) and the Oil Water Contact was calculated at 3,980 feet TVDSS, giving a gross gas column of at least 78 feet and a gross oil column of approximately 420 feet.

The original Burgman location was selected to intersect all four potential reservoir horizons identified on seismic data: the Upper Tay, Lower Tay, Cromarty and Fulmar. Although oil bearing, the Lower Tay sands are not well developed at this particular location. Seismic data strongly suggests that the Lower Tay sands are more thickly developed over a large proportion of the remainder of the Burgman prospect area, as well as being above the newly established oil water contact. Therefore, the Group will now side-track the current well to target an area prognosed to contain more thickly developed Lower Tay sands. It is expected that the results of this side-track will be known within the next 10 days, subject to any weather or operational delays.

Based on the information gained from the Burgman well, the Group has concluded that the selected surface drilling location for the Carnaby prospect, which was determined primarily on safety grounds to avoid drilling through an overlying significant shallow gas anomaly while using Transocean's GSF Galaxy II jackup, is sub-optimally located to effectively test the Carnaby Prospect.

The Burgman side-track will therefore conclude this phase of drilling on Block 28/9. The Group intends to integrate all the information from the wells drilled on Block 28/9 with a newly reprocessed 3D seismic data set in order to gain a better understanding of the on-block volumes and hydrocarbon properties and to assist in moving forward with a suitable development program for the license.

Commenting on the result, Alan Booth, EnCore's Chief Executive Officer, said, "This well has proved up a substantial column of good quality oil in the Burgman structure. The presence of 24 degree API oil suggests that the oil quality in the license does not significantly degrade as we test increasingly shallower prospectivity which is great news for a number of the undrilled prospects on the license. This short side-track should, we believe, confirm thicker Lower Tay sands and help us further delineate what could be another important, good quality oil discovery in Block 28/9.

"Following these results, EnCore is keen to return to the Block to test the Carnaby, Rapide/West Varadero and Bonneville prospects. Any further drilling on the license will, of course, be subject to necessary partnership approvals, as well as identification and availability of a suitable semi-submersible drilling rig. The use of a semi-submersible rig would allow the Carnaby prospect to be drilled at a more appropriate location.

"EnCore is now looking forward both to the result of the Burgman side-track and to our important Cladhan appraisal well currently drilling on UKCS Northern North Sea Block 210/30a, the initial results of which are expected in the coming weeks."

The equity in the Block 28/9 joint venture partnership is as follows: EnCore Oil (15 percent, Operator), Premier Oil (35 percent), Wintershall (UK North Sea; 20 percent), Nautical Petroleum (15 percent) and Agora Oil & Gas (15 percent).

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