Eland overcomes Nigeria delays, Bridge in Norway

TWO of Scotland’s oil companies updated investors on their overseas operations yesterday, with Eland Oil & Gas saying it is overcoming delays in Nigeria while Bridge Energy began drilling off the coast of Norway.

Aberdeen-based Eland raised £112 million when it joined the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) last year and used the cash to buy a 45 per cent stake in the “OML 40” field in the Niger Delta from Agip, Shell and Total.

Two wells on the field were shut down in 2006 and Eland now expects the first oil from the re-opened wells to flow in October, later than the “summer” estimate it gave in May.

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Les Blair, chief executive at Eland, said: “Field refurbishment is progressing well and, despite earlier delays, indications are that the facilities are in good condition, which bodes well for the long-term development of OML 40. We are looking forward to gaining entry to the two previously shut in wells and our first production revenues.

“We are very excited at the prospect of drilling our first new production well. The momentum of OML 40 development work is now gathering pace.”

News of Eland’s progress in Nigeria came as fellow Granite City driller Bridge said work had begun on its exploration wells on the Amol and the Asha East prospects in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Bridge chief executive Tom Reynolds said: “With significant resources discovered through the Asha well drilled in 2012, these wells have the potential to add significant resources to an already valuable asset.”

Eon, VNG and Wintershall also have stakes in the two wells.