Roc said that the Murmanskaya jack-up rig had commenced drilling a well on the Wei West prospect. The well which is in 30m of water, is expected to reach a total depth of approximately 2,425 meters later this month.

John Doran, CEO of Roc, said: Between 2002 and 2006 the joint venture drilled two structures in the northern part of the block and made two oil discoveries, both of which are now the subject of development planning studies. The first two wells of the current drilling program are located in the same area but because they are testing targets that are primarily stratigraphic, not structural, there will be a commensurate increase in exploration risk and potential commercial reward.