EnCore Oil, an oil and gas exploration and production company, has signed a rig contract to enable further drilling to take place in UKCS Central North Sea Block 28/9, where the Catcher discovery was made in June this year.

The Transocean Galaxy II heavy duty jack-up rig is expected to return to the Catcher area later this week to drill up to four exploration and appraisal wells.

The first well in the program is on the Varadero exploration prospect situated to the west of the Catcher discovery.

EnCore CEO Alan Booth said that the company has a firm timeframe for further drilling in the Catcher area.

EnCore is the operator and holds a 15% equity interest in the Catcher/Block 28/9 joint venture partnership, while Premier Oil, Nautical Petroleum, Wintershall and Agora Oil & Gas hold 35%, 15%, 20% and 15% interests, respectively.