Explorer Hurricane Energy declares largest undeveloped discovery of oil on the UK Continental Shelf

Explorer Hurricane Energy has declared the ''largest undeveloped discovery'' of oil on the UK Continental Shelf.

According to the Godalming-based group, well tests had confirmed its view that the Lancaster and Halifax reservoirs west of Shetland were actually a single resource.

Analysts had earlier speculated that a single reservoir could hold over 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent, although Hurricane did not make a claim of the kind about the discovery.

Chief executive Dr Robert Trice said, ''This is a highly significant moment for Hurricane and I am delighted that the Halifax Well results support the company's view that its substantial Lancaster discovery has been extended to include the Halifax licence.

''We believe that the GLA (Greater Lancaster Area) is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf.

''The discovery of a 1km hydrocarbon column at Halifax validates the efforts the company undertook to acquire the licence and drill, test and log the Halifax Well through the winter months.

''Given the positive well results, the Halifax Well has been suspended to provide the company the option to return to undertake further testing as well as provide the option to deepen the well and thereby establish a definitive oil water contact.''

 ''We believe that the GLA is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf,'' said Robert Trice, Hurricane chief executive.

The Halifax well was ultimately drilled down to a depth of 2,004 metres and it identified an oil column below what had been referred to as 'structural closure'.

The 205/23-3A Halifax well was completed, using the Transocean Spitsbergen semisubmersible and had been suspended to allow future deepening or further testing on the well following analysis on the latest results.

According to Hurricane, which names prospects after bomber planes, the well successfully identified an extensive oil column, estimated at least 1156m, in pervasively fractured reservoir, significantly below local structural closure and with consistent porosity with Lancaster.