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CNOOC spuds Howick wildcat off UK

Island Drilling semisub Island Innovator kicks off drilling to west of the Shetlands

CNOOC International has spudded the high-impact Howick wildcat well in the UK west of Shetland area, the operator has confirmed.

The Chinese state-owned operator kicked off drilling on the oil prospect using the Island Drilling semi-submersible Island Innovator at the end of last month.

“The Howick exploration well was spudded on 31 August and operations are ongoing,” an Aberdeen-based spokesman said.

Howick is a Cretaceous oil target located in Block 206/21, where water depths are about 675 metres.

CNOOC is operator with a 100% interest. Drilling is expected to take about 49 days.

Meanwhile operations are continuing with an appraisal well on the Cragganmore discovery, which CNOOC International has been drilling using the Diamond Offshore semisub Ocean GreatWhite.

“Well operations are ongoing at the Cragganmore appraisal well,” the CNOOC spokesman said.

The drilling builds on an already high level of recent activity in north-west Europe by CNOOC International.

The operator recently extended a contract for the Maersk Drilling jack-up drilling rig CJ70 for development drilling on the Buzzard Phase 2 project in the central North Sea.

At the start of the year, CNOOC gave the UK offshore sector a much-needed boost when it announced its Glengorm discovery, which is thought to be the largest natural gas find off the UK in the past 10 years.

French partner Total has estimated that Glengorm, in Block 22/21c-13, could hold recoverable resources of almost 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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