Drilling for the future of West Shetland

A new offshore prospect has the potential to double Spirit Energy's current production.

In its first major deal as a newly created business, Spirit Energy is funding a $180 million (£139 million) drilling campaign in the ‘frontier’ region 60 miles West of Shetland, seeking to exploit oil stored in a non-traditional rock formation, a ‘fractured basement’. The project could transform the business, as well as securing important new energy supplies for UK customers.

In fractured basins, oil resides within cracks in the volcanic rock, unlike more conventional UK reservoirs where it’s found in the pores of sandstone rock.

This opportunity has the potential to be one of the last world-class developments in the UK, holding an estimated 2 billion barrels of oil across four licences. In everyday terms, that’s the same sort of size as Centrica’s Morecambe Bay field, which at its peak produced enough gas to supply a fifth of all UK households.

Working with Hurricane Energy, the licence operator, three test wells will be drilled into two of the licences, Warwick and Lincoln. If the tests are successful, and the field moves towards full development, Spirit Energy will become the licence operator, cementing its position as one of Europe’s leading oil and gas companies.