Faroe disappointed as focus turns to main prize

FAROE PETROLEUM, the Aberdeen-based oil explorer, today said it was disappointed by the results of a well in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
Graham Stewart: Focus is now on developing Butch Main fieldGraham Stewart: Focus is now on developing Butch Main field
Graham Stewart: Focus is now on developing Butch Main field

The Centrica-operated Butch South-West well has been abandoned after failing to strike oil on reaching its target depth.

Faroe had last month said the exploration well had the potential to add “substantially” to the volumes and value of the Butch field.

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The firm has a 15 per cent stake in Butch and recently raised £65 million from investors – above its original £45m target – to boost its exploration and development activity.

Chief executive Graham Stewart said today: “Whilst it is disappointing that the eastern and south western flanks of the Butch salt structure have not added further resource, the focus of the joint venture is now turning to commercialising the Butch Main oil field.

“Plans to develop Butch Main are already advanced and we look forward to reporting further progress on this important oil field in the coming months.”

Centrica is currently working on a development plan for the main Butch field with a decision expected in early 2015. The field was discovered in 2011.

Stewart said the firm was expecting to announce the results from the Bue exploration well in Norway “in the coming days”.

Faroe has built a substantial portfolio of exploration, appraisal, development and production assets across the Atlantic margin, the UK and Norwegian North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Barents Sea and offshore Iceland.

The Aim-quoted driller has interests in four main producing oil and gas fields in the UK and Norway – the Blane oil field in the UK, and the Njord, Brage and Ringhorne east fields in Norway – which collectively produced 6,059 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2013. By the end of 2017, the company is aiming to have proven and probable reserves of 100 million barrels of oil equivalent and average daily production of 20,000 barrels.

Shares in Faroe closed down 0.75p at 124.25p.