North Sea oilfield find biggest for a decade
January 17, 2002
PanCanadian Energy had calculated it could recover up to 300 million barrels of oil from the Buzzard Field, 60 miles north-east of Aberdeen, when it was first drilled last summer.
But last night, the company said further test drilling showed the oil reservoir was larger than previously thought, and could yield 400m barrels.
The announcement was welcomed by energy minister Brian Wilson, who said: "This is a prime example of why we are working so hard with industry to getoffshore blocks in the hands of the right operators.
"This is the biggest North Sea discovery since the Nelson Field in 1988 and confirms that there are still huge prizes to be won."
PanCanadian Energy said it was continuing its appraisal of the Buzzard Field and estimates of how much could be recovered might rise further.
The appraisal should be completed by the summer, when the company will begin deciding how to exploit the oil.
Alan Booth, managing director of the London-based arm of the company, PanCanadian Energy (UK) Ltd, said: "These results confirm our long-held belief that the United Kingdom Central North Sea still holds significant rewards for companies committed to exploring in this prolific basin."
PanCanadian Energy owns 40 per cent of the field, in partnership with Intrepid Energy North Sea, which owns 30 per cent, British Gas (20 per cent) and Edinburgh Oil & Gas (five per cent).
n A North Sea oil rig was today getting back to full production following a gas alert which led to the evacuation of more than 100 staff. The evacuated oil workers were all due back on the rig by this morning, its operator Shell said.