Dana Petroleum Plc (LON:DNX), the FTSE 250 oil and gas group, has revealed more details about its future drilling plans following news earlier this week that it had completed a successful appraisal in the Blackbird oil field in the UK Central North Sea. This well will be completed and flow tested shortly, and is the first of 10 exploration and appraisal wells Dana has scheduled for the second half of 2010.
In addition to Blackbird, the company has now spudded a well targeting the Nefertiti oil prospect offshore the Gulf of Suez, Egypt. Nefertiti is in the South October concession and the reserves being targeted, based on 3D seismic mapping, are up to 40 million barrels of oil. Dana's stake there is 65%.
Elsewhere, two additional targets are currently being drilled. These are the Tolmount gas prospect in the UK Southern North Sea, where Dana has a 45% stake, and the Fin oil prospect in Egypt, which is 100% controlled by the company. Fin is nearby to Dana's recent oil discovery at Lorcan, which flowed at equipment restricted rates of up to 4,714 barrels of oil per day. Results from the Fin and Tolmount wells are expected during the next few weeks. In addition, Petro Canada Netherlands, which Dana is in the process of acquiring, is currently drilling the L06-08 exploration prospect offshore in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.
Looking ahead to further exploration drilling over the next three months, Dana reported that the West Phoenix rig has been released from its recent well offshore Norway and will shortly be mobilising for the Anne Marie well in the Faroe Islands. The well is expected to spud within the next two weeks. Dana holds a direct 25% interest in the Anne Marie prospect. In addition, Faroe Petroleum Plc (LON:FPM), in which Dana is the largest shareholder with a 27.5% stake, has a 12.5% interest in Anne Marie. The Anne Marie well follows on from Dana's and Faroe's recent successes in the UK West of Shetland area, including the two significant discoveries at Tornado and Glenlivet made in the second half of 2009. Anne Marie is one of the largest prospects being drilled by Dana this year with a mapped reserves range of up to 300 million barrels of oil.
Elsewhere, the Maersk Deliverer rig has departed from the Far East and is en route to Mauritania to drill the Cormoran prospect. Cormoran is the largest prospect in Dana's 2010 exploration campaign and is in Block 7, near to Dana's existing Pelican discovery. The well is expected to spud around 1 September 2010 and, based on 3D seismic mapping, Cormoran has a target reserves range of between 400 and 780 million barrels of oil equivalent.
On other projects, Dana said that 3D seismic and 3D controlled source electromagnetic surveys had now been acquired over the Tanger-Larache concession in Morocco and will be used to rank the most attractive prospects for drilling in mid 2011. The company has also commissioned a 3,500 sq km seismic survey over its 24,000 sq km production sharing contract offshore Guinea, which will allow target selection for drilling in 2011.
Tom Cross, Dana's chief executive, said: “Through the combined growth steps of developing our own discoveries and selected acquisitions, Dana will shortly be producing 50,000 barrels per day. The very strong cash generation we have built now allows our team to aggressively pursue developments such as Babbage, Arran and Western Isles as well as an intensive exploration programme, as evidenced by the 20 well drilling campaign underway in 2010. This will be a record number of E&A wells drilled in a single year by the Dana Group. We look forward to the next few months, which will be the busiest exploration and development period in Dana's history.”
Dana became the subject of intense takeover speculation earlier this month, with South Korean national oil company, KNOC, later confirming its interest in buying the group. For more information about this, click here.
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