Azinor Catalyst (Catalyst) said that it has mobilized the Transocean Leader drilling rig to drill the Agar Plantain exploration and appraisal well in the UK North Sea.


Image: An offshore oil rig in operation. Photo: courtesy of num_skyman/

The company also revealed that Faroe Petroleum has farmed-into Agar Plantain subject to customary regulatory and joint venture party consents.

Faroe announced on August 14, 2018, that it will take a 25% interest in the sole risk drilling activity on the Agar Plantain opportunity and 12.5% of the wider P1763 Licence with Catalyst’s existing partners.

The Transocean Leader has been contracted by Catalyst to commence drilling on the prospect, with total estimated gross costs of $15 million. The Plantain exploration prospect will be drilled first followed by a contingent side-track to appraise the Agar oil field.

Catalyst holds a 50% interest in blocks 9/9d and 9/14a, which contain the Agar Discovery and the Plantain Prospect. Catalyst made the Agar Discovery in 2014 with the 9/14a-15A exploration well which encountered 33ft column (oil-down-to) in high quality Eocene Frigg Formation sands.

Agar and Plantain have estimated combined mid-case resources of 60 million barrels oil equivalent, with an upside case of 98 million barrels oil equivalent.

Further announcements on the spudding of the wells will be made in due course.

Azinor Catalyst managing director Nick Terrell said: “We are delighted to have mobilised the Transocean Leader as we rapidly approach drilling, and we welcome Faroe onto the licence.

“Given Faroe’s strategy of being highly selective on the UKCS their participation in this well and entry onto the licence is a strong endorsement of Catalyst as an operator, the technical work we have completed to date, and the significant potential of the prospect.  We look forward to working with our partners as we progress operations at Agar Plantain.”

Azinor Catalyst technical director Henry Morris said: “It’s great to start the drilling operations on Agar Plantain, the opportunity has received significant industry support, and now it is up to the drill bit to test our understanding of the seismic and the subsurface.

“In a similar vein, we’re progressing well with the 2019 drilling campaign.  The three prospects (Goose, Boaz and Hinson) are of an equal high quality to Agar Plantain and in plays/reservoir types which are under-explored and have to date proven to have delivered commercial size opportunities to the market.  It’s an exciting time, low rig rates, big opportunities, good fiscals and a market which is stepping up to replenish their dwindling stock piles.”

Source: Company Press Release