New £75m investment in North Sea welcomed

Spirit Energy, one of the top independent oil and gas operators in Europe, said it is extending the life of one of its key North Sea fields by tapping into new reserves this year.

Spirit is to drill a new well at the Chiswick field in the Southern North Sea to bring around a further 50 billion cubic feet of gas on stream.

The new well, which represents a £75 million investment from Spirit, will be drilled by Noble’s Hans Deul jack-up rig, one of five rigs Spirit Energy has on hire in 2018 – accounting for 10% of the active rig market in Europe.

The Chiswick field is part of Spirit Energy’s Greater Markham Area, which also includes the Markham, Grove and Kew fields.

Combined, the Greater Markham Area fields produced 23 billion cubic feet of gas net to Spirit in 2017.

Fraser Weir, North Sea Director at Spirit Energy, said: “Having already produced billions of cubic feet of gas since coming on stream 11 years ago, we are delighted that the hard work and collaboration of our teams in both the UK and the Netherlands has led to us continuing our investment in the Chiswick field and extending the life of a key part of our portfolio.

“This is just one part of a busy rig programme for Spirit Energy in Europe this year, as we explore for fresh discoveries, maximise the potential of existing fields and plug wells which have ceased production.”

Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said: “Spirit Energy’s announcement provides evidence that recent merger and acquisition activity is driving much needed capital investment into the UK Continental Shelf.

“Its infill well in the Chiswick field adds more momentum behind efforts to increase recovery from the basin, highlighting the continued appeal of investment in brownfield reserves which we expect to see more of throughout the year.”