SNP - Tom Wills

Lagavulin well abandoned

FAROE Petroleum has said that the Lagavulin oil prospect, around 100 miles north of Shetland, is to be abandoned after not sufficient enough oil was found.

The exploration well in the Chevron operated prospect was drilled in 1,567 metres of water and had reached its target depth on 10 June after a nine-month operation.

The Lagavulin prospect made the national headlines last autumn when Greenpeace campaigners protested against deepwater drilling by occupying the drillship Stena Carron for several days while anchored at Lerwick Harbour.

Later, the environmental campaigners followed the huge vessel on her way to the Lagavulin prospect where their protest delayed the start of the exploration for several days.

On Monday, Faroe Petroleum said that although oil had been present no workable reservoir system was found. The well will now be plugged and abandoned.

Faroe Petroleum chief executive Graham Stewart said the results of the Lagavulin exploration well would advance the understanding of the geology in the Atlantic Margin region.

“Lagavulin was a true high risk frontier exploration well, offering material upside in a success case. Whilst the outcome of the well is a disappointment, the presence of hydrocarbons has however now been proven and offers encouragement to continue our deep water exploration plans in the region.

“From an operational standpoint, Lagavulin was a deep and complex well, with no neighbouring drilling history, and it was drilled safely by the partnership led by Chevron.

“A great deal has been learned from this well, which will serve to significantly reduce the cost of any future wells in the region.

“As we now proceed to analyse the data from the well, our exploration programme continues on apace through 2011 and beyond, as we test our considerable portfolio, which currently has a 17 well, fully funded programme, offering very material upside potential.”

Drilling on the first of those expected wells, Fulla, close to the producing Clair oil field, will commence this month, while an exploration well at the North Uist prospect is now expected to be drilled in early 2012.

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