UK independent Premier Oil confirmed a strong start to its 2013 exploration program with the announcement Tuesday that both its Bonneville exploration well, 28/9a-6, and its side track well, 28/9a-6z, in the UK North Sea have discovered oil.
The Bonneville prospect – in which Premier as operator has a 50-percent interest – is located around 2.5 miles south of the Burgman discovery on the Catcher license in the central North Sea.
The news comes on the back of the firm's previously-announced exploration success at Luno II, offshore Norway, which is now undergoing testing with results expected before the end of the month.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, Premier also reported Tuesday that its Matang-1 exploration well on Block A Aceh has discovered gas and will now be tested.
The Bonneville was drilled to a depth of 4,481 feet and encountered a gross oil column of 66 feet in the Tay interval with an estimated net oil pay of 26 feet. The Bonneville well was subsequently sidetracked to the Bonneville East prospect, and this found 34 feet of net oil pay.
Premier said that the discoveries are in "excellent-quality" reservoirs, with average porosities of approximately 30 percent and that initial sampling indicated that the gravity of the oil is around 25 degrees API.
The estimated oil in place from the Bonneville discoveries is approximately 30 million barrels.
In Indonesia, the Matang-1 well, drilled to a depth of 7,893 feet, penetrated a gross gas column of at least 90 feet. The base of the gas column has not been encountered.
Premier CEO Simon Lockett commented in a company statement:
"We are delighted with the strong start to our 2013 exploration drilling program with the previously announced discovery at Luno II and now the discoveries at Bonneville and Matang. We look forward to the outcome of the test programs at Luno II and Matang while the Bonneville discoveries will be tied back to our important Catcher area development, which is targeted for project sanction by year-end."