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Shell and Deltic pick Maersk rig for ‘high impact’ North Sea exploration target

Oil Gas UK

The Maersk Resilient has been contracted out to drill the well, thought to contain prospective potentially recoverable resources of 309 billion cubic feet of gas.

If successful, Pensacola will be “one of the highest impacts exploration targets” to be drilled in the Southern North Sea for years, Deltic said.

Drilling is scheduled to start in the second half of September, with seabed preparation operations to begin towards the end of July.

Well operations are expected to last 60-80 days once spudded, the firm has previously said.

London-listed Deltic owns 30% of the project after farming out the other 70% to Shell in 2019.

The firm’s share price was up 14% as of 8.45am to 2.6pence.

CEO Graham Swindells said: “The signing of the rig contract coupled with the firming up of the drilling schedule is exciting news for Deltic as we move further down the runway towards the drilling of the Pensacola gas prospect.

“Pensacola is an increasingly valuable asset in the current energy environment and confirmation that the JV has now secured a high quality drilling rig with an experienced team for the well is another key milestone as our planning continues to progress towards the drilling of this high impact prospect.”

Pensacola has a 55% geological change and has the “potential to demonstrate that the UK still has a significant level of previously unrecognised exploration upside”.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Shell and Deltic are considering a new pipeline to the gas processing facility at Teesside is Pensacola is successful in the high-estimate case.

In a low-volume scenario of 75 bcf, it would be tied back to the Ineos Breagh platform, around 45 miles off the east coast of England.

Shell is also farmed in at 50% on the Selene prospect, another Deltic target, aiming for 318 bcf.