Statoil and its partners have made an oil discovery in the outer Moray Firth on the UK Continental Shelf of between 25 million and 130 million barrels of oil.
Norway’s Statoil said the discovery was made in the Verbier sidetrack well in the outer Moray Firth.
“The results show that we made the right decision to sidetrack the well and this discovery proves that there could be significant remaining potential in this mature basin,” said Jenny Morris, Statoil’s vice president for exploration in the UK.
“Our aim this summer was to develop Statoil’s UK position through testing three independent prospects ranging in geological risk and with a potential impact on our portfolio.
“Whilst the results of the other two exploration wells were disappointing, we are convinced of the remaining, high-value potential on the UK continental shelf and the Verbier result certainly gives us the confidence and determination to continue our exploration efforts.”
Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice president exploration in Norway and the UK, said: “This is an encouraging result for Statoil and the UK team.
“We have proven oil in good quality sands with good reservoir properties, but significant work remains, most likely including appraisal, to clarify the recoverable volumes and to refine this range.”
The partnership will continue to assess the data and plan further appraisal to determine the exact size of the discovery.
The partnership will also seek to determine the commerciality of the discovery in addition to maturing additional opportunities within the P2170 licence.
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “This is good news from Statoil and partners and we now really hope that the find proves to be commercially appealing and proceeds to development.
“It’s also another signal of confidence in the future of the UK Continental Shelf and the kind of development that should further persuade investors of the benefit of putting their money into this basin which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas.”