29th UKCS Seaward Licensing Round

On the 23rd of March 2017 the Oil and Gas Authority announced the results of the 29th Seaward Licensing Round. The Steam Oil Production Company had applied for four part blocks surrounding the Pilot field. We were delighted to learn that we are to be offered all the blocks we applied for and look forward to working with OGA and industry partners to progress a steam flood demonstration project on the Pilot field.

The intention of this first phase, steam flood, development of Pilot is to prove that steam flooding can be successfully implemented offshore, and to learn how best to apply steam flooding offshore before committing to a full scale development scheme for all of the heavy oil fields on the Western Platform. Steam flooding achieves very high recovery factors in shallow, high quality sandstone reservoirs containing heavy oil; so we believe that application of steam flooding in the North Sea will make a major contribution to maximising economic recovery of oil from the UKCS.

Map showing the location of Steam Oil's acreage on the Western Platform

Map showing the location of Steam Oil's acreage on the Western Platform

The offered area contains the Blakeney, Feugh, Dandy & Crinan discoveries, as well as feeder channels which are extensions of the Pilot field, the low-risk Bowhead prospect and the moderate-risk Titchwell prospect. 

The Blakeney field was discovered by Wintershall in 2010, by the 21/27b-7 well, and contains about 90 mmbbls of moderately heavy oil in place, c. 14.5º API.

The Feugh field was discovered by Mobil in 1972 with the 21/28-1 well. Feugh has a gas cap and a very bright response on seismic. Previous operators have considered Feugh to be a small gas pool, however, petrophysical analysis indicates that Feugh has a 25 feet oil leg beneath a thin gas cap, in this scenario the oil in place would be approximately 30 mmbbls. There was no oil sample captured when Feugh was drilled but we expect the oil to be heavy and of similar quality to that in Blakeney and Pilot.

The Dandy & Crinan discoveries lie down dip of Feugh and contain both gas and an oil which is lighter and less viscous (c. 20º API) than that encountered in the rest of Steam Oil's acreage. Crinan (partly in open acreage) was discovered by Mobil in 1987 and in 1990 the 21/28a-6 well discovered oil and gas in what is now referred to as the Dandy South field. Wells 21/28a-8 and 21/28a-8Z were drilled by Monument, in 1998, to appraise the Dandy discovery and established that the area appraised by these wells comprised a separate compartment known as Dandy North. Together there are approximately 27 mmbbls of oil in place and 20 bcf of gas in place in these three small discoveries.

There are also attractive exploration prospects within the licence area. The Bowhead prospect is an analogue to the Pilot discovery and exhibits a remarkably similar seismic response to that seen on Pilot. The Titchwell prospect is less clearly defined on seismic but would be significantly de-risked by a successful Bowhead well. Together with the low risk appraisal prospects in the Pilot feeder channels there are over 300 mmbbls of prospective heavy oil resources in place within the offered area. 

Notes to Editors

The Steam Oil Production Company was established with the intention of launching the first major offshore steam flooding project in the world. The heavy oil reservoirs on the Western Platform: Pilot, Elke, Blakeney, Harbour, Narwhal & Feugh, pass all the conventional screening criteria for a successful steam flood and we believe the already discovered fields on Steam Oil's acreage have the potential to produce in excess of 300 mmbbls, exploration success could increase the recoverable resource base on the Western Platform to over 500 mmbbls.