Concept select to develop the Butch discovery in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea is due to be made by Centrica in early 2015, according to partner Faroe Petroleum.
The move follows an unsuccessful well on the Butch South West exploration well 8/10-6S, which reached 1945m total depth in the Permian Zechstein salt formation. The well targeted sandstones of the Upper Jurassic reservoir of the Ula formation and while a good quality reservoir was confirmed, with a 55m gross section, no hydrocarbons were encountered, said Faroe.
The Butch South West well follows up the Butch East well and the Butch Main discovery wells, all in production licenses 405/405b.
Butch Main was drilled in 2011. The Butch Main well 8/10-4 S encountered net oil pay of approximately 50m in the Upper Jurassic reservoir of the Ula formation which was followed by two side-tracks (8/10-4 A and 8/10-4 T2) to appraise for additional volumes of oil further down-dip and to establish the oil-water contact.
Butch East was drilling early 2014. Butch East reached target depth without encountering hydrocarbons.
Faroe had previously said, if Butch South West was successful, the development had the potential to become a stand-alone design, with its own dedicated facility, instead of a sub-sea tie-back to existing nearby infrastructure.
Graham Stewart, Faroe's CEO, said: "Whilst it is disappointing that the eastern and south western flanks of the Butch salt structure have not added further resource, the focus of the joint venture is now turning to commercializing the Butch Main oil field. Plans to develop Butch Main are already advanced and we look forward to reporting further progress on this important oil field in the coming months."
Faroe also expects to announce the results of the Bue side-track exploration well in Norway in the coming days.
The Butch South West drilling operations were undertaken by Centrica (40%) using the Maersk Giant jackup drilling rig, together with the other joint venture partners Faroe (30%), Suncor Norge (30%) and Tullow Oil Norge (15%).