Valiant Petroleum has encountered oil in its Don Southwest ‘E’ Panel exploration well (211/18a-S7) in the UK North Sea.

The UK based oil explorer has found a hydrocarbon bearing Brent sand formation suggesting a gross recoverable accumulation of 5-7 million barrels of oil.

The well, which has reached total depth of 3,517m, will now be suspended as a future production well.

The well is expected to be brought on-stream in the second half of 2011, representing incremental volumes on current 2011 production guidance.

The field partners have planned to drill a low cost pilot-hole into Area 26 to appraise the commerciality of the 211/18a-26 discovery originally drilled in 2007.

After the completion of the Area 26 well, drilling will begin on the Don Southwest Area 6 development, which is expected to come on-stream during the summer of 2011.