Oil and gas group Encore Oil (LON:EO.). reported this morning that its Catcher North appraisal well on block 28/9 in the UK North Sea had successfully encountered hydrocarbons and that pressure data indicated that Catcher North was part of the Catcher and Catcher East accumulation. The main objective of the well was to appraise the Tay and Cromarty reservoirs to the North of the Catcher discovery, which was made in June 2010. Hydrocarbons were discovered in both the Tay and Cromarty Sandstone intervals although EnCore said the results were “somewhat disappointing”. The EnCore Oil share price fell by 14.6% to 129.25p.
The well, which encountered 20 feet of net gas bearing pay within the Eocene Tay interval, and 14 feet of net oil bearing pay within the Paleocene Cromarty section, has extended the gross total hydrocarbon column in the Catcher area to 410 feet (comprising a gas column of 75 feet and an oil column of 335 feet). The Tay and Cromarty reservoir sections were cored and high porosity sandstones were recovered from both reservoirs. The estimated Gas-Oil Contact (GOC) at 4,350 feet true vertical depth is consistent with the data from the Catcher and Catcher East wells, and the estimated Oil-Water Contact (OWC) within the Cromarty section is also consistent with that observed in the Catcher discovery well and the Catcher South West side-track.
The results of the well will be incorporated into an updated model to estimate the likely Oil In Place figures for the Catcher structure. EnCore has previously estimated that up to 300m barrels of Oil in Place is present in Catcher, Catcher East and Catcher North.
Alan Booth, EnCore’s chief executive, said: “Although somewhat disappointing, the results at Catcher North have confirmed our previously held view that Catcher, Catcher East and Catcher North are probably a single accumulation. This well has helped delineate the extent and hydrocarbon type of the Tay and Cromarty over the Catcher North field area. We now look forward to drilling the Burgman well which along with the Varadero results will help define the likely scale of the upcoming 28/9 development programme.quot;
Catcher North will now be plugged and abandoned as planned and the Galaxy II rig will be moved to EnCore’s Burgman prospect when a suitable weather window becomes available. The equity in the Catcher joint venture partnership is as follows: EnCore Oil (15%, operator), Premier Oil (LON:PMO) (35%), Wintershall (UK North Sea) (20%), Nautical Petroleum (LON:NPE) (15%) and Agora Oil amp; Gas (15%).