Oil firm makes major discovery in North Sea
A group of British companies has made what could be one of the largest North Sea oil field discoveries in nearly a decade, it has been reported.
Encore Oil, an exploration firm, is expected to announce this week that its Catcher prospect, off the east coast of Scotland, holds up to 300 million barrels of oil, about 150 million of which is extractable.
It would make Catcher among the largest discoveries since the billion barrel Buzzard reservoir off Aberdeen in 2001, according to reports.
Further drilling on another two or three wells on neighbouring geological structures will determine whether the discoveries are part of a single petroleum system that could hold up to 800 million barrels, the report added. A number of Encore's team were responsible for the discovery of the Buzzard field, which currently produces more than 10% of the UK's total oil production.
Encore is the lead operator on Catcher and has a 15% stake in the joint venture, alongside majority owner Premier Oil, Wintershall, Nautical Petroleum and Agora Oil & Gas.
The discovery is likely to boost interest in North Sea exploration at a time when big producers are turning their attention to areas such as West Africa, Brazil and Australia.