Deltic Energy Plc, the AIM quoted natural resources investing company with a high impact, natural gas focussed exploration and appraisal portfolio in the Southern North Sea, is pleased to announce that Shell UK Ltd ("Shell"), the Operator of Licence P2252, has confirmed that a rig contract has been signed for the drilling of the Pensacola exploration well.
Pensacola will be drilled using the Maersk Resilient, a high efficiency jack-up rig, which has been under contract to Shell since the start of June and is currently drilling a production well in the Southern North Sea. Use of the Maersk Resilient should bring significant operational efficiencies that are naturally associated with being part of an extended programme of wells.
Drilling of Pensacola remains scheduled to commence in the second half of September with seabed operations for placing of the rig due to commence towards the end of July.
Confirmation of the rig contract is a significant step forward for Deltic and a key milestone in the preparatory work required to support the drilling of this exciting prospect.
Pensacola is a Zechstein Reef prospect located to the north west of the Breagh gas field in the Southern North Sea. Deltic estimates the prospect to contain gross P50 Prospective Resources of 309 BCF, with a 55% geological chance of success, which will rank Pensacola as one of the highest impact exploration targets to be drilled in the gas basin in recent years.
The Pensacola well is also being highly anticipated by the industry for its potential to unlock a significant new source of gas to the UK from the Zechstein Reef play, which has been successfully produced in NW Europe from Poland to The Netherlands. It also has the potential to demonstrate that the UK still has a significant level of previously unrecognised exploration upside which can deliver cost competitive natural gas to UK based businesses and homes and support the UK's Net Zero targets.
The Company remains funded for its 30% share of the Pensacola well costs.
Graham Swindells, Chief Executive of Deltic Energy, commented:
"The signing of the rig contract coupled with the firming up of the drilling schedule is exciting news for Deltic as we move further down the runway towards the drilling of the Pensacola gas prospect. Pensacola is an increasingly valuable asset in the current energy environment and confirmation that the JV has now secured a high quality drilling rig with an experienced team for the well is another key milestone as our planning continues to progress towards the drilling of this high impact prospect."