Esso to lead search for oil off the coast of the Western Isles

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Oil giants Esso and Norwegian multinational Statoil are joining forces in a bid to find oil and gas off the coast of the Western Isles.

They have been awarded exploration rights for 14 whole or partial blocks in the Rockall area of the continental shelf – some 55 miles south west of Barra.

Esso are leading the search in partnership with Statoil after the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) announced new licenes in the 29th Offshore Licensing Round.

A spokesperson for Esso commented: “ExxonMobil and Statoil have been awarded a licence covering 14 whole or partial blocks for oil and gas exploration activities in the Rockall area of the UK Continental Shelf. 

“We believe that the area merits further seismic studies. ExxonMobil is operator and will work with Statoil to progress joint exploration activities related to these blocks.”

“We are very pleased with these awards which strengthen our UK continental shelf portfolio significantly,” says Jez Averty, senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK in Statoil.

“Statoil has secured both drill ready prospects and frontier acreage, and the diversity of the awards is testament to Statoil’s belief in both the potential of the UK and that it remains an attractive place to explore,” Averty says.

“These awards are a result of a strategic decision by Statoil to explore in prolific but mature basins, combined with an emphasis on comprehensive regional work and investments in the most modern seismic datasets. In addition, we continue to diversify the UK portfolio by exploring in the true frontier areas such as the Rockall Basin.” says Averty

Statoil has one of the most active exploration campaigns in the UK in 2017, with three exploration wells planned to be drilled over the summer.

The three new well commitments will be integrated in future drilling plans.

Statoil is also developing the Mariner field on the UK Continental shelf, due to come on stream in 2018.

Last month we reported a study by Abderdeen University claimed ageological analysis of the Rockall area, some 240 miles west of North Uist, gas revealed previously unknown insights that could lead to new oil and gas discoveries in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).