Kistos spuds UK exploration well, considers future drilling program for oil field offshore the Netherlands

World Oil Staff March 29, 2023

(WO) – Kistos, a low carbon intensity oil and gas producer pursuing a strategy to acquire assets with a role in energy transition, provided an update on its drilling activities in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

United Kingdom

The Benriach exploration well, located on block 206/05c (Kistos 25%) West of Shetland and operated by TotalEnergies E&P UK, has been spudded by the Transocean Barents. The operator estimates it is targeting P50 prospective resources of 638 Bcf (160 Bcf or 28MMboe net to Kistos).

The well is expected to complete in Q3 2023. The dry hole post-tax cost net to Kistos is forecast to be roughly £2.5 million ($2.71 million) as a result of Kistos’ tax paying position and the enhanced investment allowances from the Energy Profits Levy.


After arriving on location at the Q10-A gas field (Kistos 60%) in November 2022, the Valaris 123 rig recently departed after safely completing its work program.  The results of the campaign were mixed.

This was due to mechanical issues arising from utilizing the existing well stock rather than reservoir performance issues. The Kistos technical team, with the assistance of external consultants, is undertaking a detailed evaluation of the results and future production enhancement options.

Future work programs are being considered and could include the drilling of further Zechstein clastics wells in 2024 in combination with development drilling at the Orion oil field. Engineering design work has now been completed to enable the installation of two more risers on the platform, which would allow it to host additional wells.

The Orion field continues to progress through the Concept Select Phase, which Kistos is undertaking with the assistance of Rockflow Resources.

Andrew Austin, Kistos' Executive Chairman, said, "We are excited that the Benriach well is underway. It is an important milestone for the company with the potential to add significant reserves.”

He added, “I would like to congratulate our team in the Netherlands on the safe completion under difficult weather conditions of the operational work program. The process of fully evaluating the results of the campaign is ongoing, and will inform the planning of future work programs, including the potential operational synergies with the Orion oil field development.”

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