Apache Corporation announced a “significant oil discovery” at the Garten prospect in the UK sector of the North Sea that could recover more than 10 million barrels of oil.
Garten is located just south of the Beryl Alpha Platform, which is roughly 200 miles northeast of Aberdeen.
Consultants Wood Mackenzie said: “Apache has done it again at Beryl with 10 million barrels discovered at its Garten prospect.
“Hot on the heels of Callater, Corona and Storr, that’s more than 85 million barrels discovered in the area since 2015.”
Apache Corporation said: “The Garten discovery well targeted a downthrown structural closure and encountered more than 700 feet of net oil pay in stacked, high quality Jurassic-aged sandstone reservoirs.
“Recoverable resource is expected to exceed 10 million barrels of light oil, which is at the high end of predrill estimates.”
Apache has a 100% working interest in the Garten block.
Apache CEO John Christmann said: “The Garten discovery marks our fourth commercial discovery in the Beryl area in the past three years spanning several play types ranging from the Tertiary to the Triassic.
“Apache’s strategy to focus on exploration near operated facilities is set to deliver significant production without the long cycle time of large scale projects.”
Apache said it is working closely with the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to obtain the regulatory approvals to initiate production, which is anticipated in the first quarter of 2019.
OGA CEO Andy Samuel said: “Garten marks the 2500th offshore exploration well on the UK Continental Shelf and is an excellent start for exploration drilling in 2018.
“Apache has created new opportunities by consistently investing in high-quality 3D seismic data to uncover near-field prospectivity around the prolific Beryl Field.
“Modern data and the application of new technologies are key to stimulating exploration and successfully delivering the full potential of the UKCS.”