Lloyds List: Shell joins Apache in Forties and Nelson: “SHELL and US oil firm Apache have signed up to jointly explore the offshore blocks between the Forties and Nelson platforms in the UK central North Sea.” (ShellNews.net) 1 Feb 05
SHELL and US oil firm Apache have signed up to jointly explore the offshore blocks between the Forties and Nelson platforms in the UK central North Sea.
Shell is urgently looking for satellites to the Nelson platform after tying back the Howe field in 2004, while Apache is looking for additional fields to tie-back to its Forties platforms after its recent purchase from BP.
The deal sees Apache farming into blocks 22'6a, 22'7 and 22'12, while there is an option to take part in block 22'11.
All of these lie close to the Nelson and Forties platforms.
Under the deal, Apache will operate the blocks and will drill two exploration wells, and there is contingency for one other exploration well.
'This deal is a great example of cross-industry collaboration in realising near field exploration potential,' said Rien Herber, exploration director for Shell in Europe.
'This allows for an increase in exploration activity and will provide an opportunity to extend the life of existing infrastructure. It will help maximise recovery of hydrocarbons from this mature area.'
This deal increases collaboration between the two companies, which have already explored together in the region. In the fourth quarter of last year, Shell drilled an exploration well on the Phoenix prospect for Apache on block 22'12a, south of Nelson, as it had an available rig slot for the well.
Apache is currently drilling an exploration well on the Keillor prospect northwest of the Forties field with semi-submersible rig Noble Ton Van Langeveld and has sidetracked the well four times.
The US oil independent intends to drill its commitment wells under the Shell deal during this quarter, probably with the same rig.
Shell gained the Nelson platform and its share of the blocks through its acquisition of Enterprise Oil in 2003, while Apache purchased BP's operating stake in Forties at the end of that year.
- Kerr-McGee has farmed into Veritas Geophysical's central North Sea block 16'21d, which also includes the abandoned Bladon field. The block lies close to the US independent's Dumbarton project.
'This agreement supports the growth of one of our emerging core areas in quadrant 15 and adds to our portfolio of exploration opportunities,' said Terence Jupp, managing director of Kerr-McGee North Sea.