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    IOG kicks off UK North Sea development drilling

Summary

The London-listed junior is targeting first gas in the third quarter.

by: Joseph Murphy

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IOG kicks off UK North Sea development drilling

London-listed Independent Oil and Gas has started development drilling in the south North Sea, where it is looking to recover some 11.6bn m3 of gas.

The junior explorer said in a stock filing on April 12 it had spudded the Elgood well – the first of five boreholes planned for the first phase of the company's Core project. The Elgood well is expected to take three months to complete, after which Hans Deul jack-up rig on hire from Noble Corp will move on to sink the Blythe well early in the third quarter.

"This drilling campaign has been planned meticulously by the IOG drilling, subsurface, subsea and HSE teams since early last year, in collaboration with our main drilling contractors Noble Corp, Petrofac and Schlumberger and our partner CalEnergy," IOG CEO Andrey Hockey said.

IOG is partnered at the Core project with CalEnergy Resources, a unit of US investment group Berkshire Hathaway that farmed into the fields in October 2019. The scheme's first phase will develop Southwark, Blythe and Elgood, while its second will target the Goddard, Nailsworth and Elland fields. Together the two phases aim to recover some 410bn ft3 (11.6bn m3) of gas.

The company is targeting first gas at the Blythe hub in the third quarter and will start preparing for production at Southwark in 2022, Hockey said.

IOG is considering further development plans, having raised its estimates for two more of its gas licences in the south North Sea last month. It now believes there is enough gas at the P2438 and  P2442 licences for "two new incremental high-return gas hubs."