Bridge Energy signs Norway Asha discovery deal

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BRIDGE Energy, the Aberdeen-based oil and gas driller, has signed a deal with its partners to develop the Asha discovery in Norwegian waters.

The Aim-quoted firm, which holds a 20 per cent stake in Asha, said the well will be developed jointly with the nearby Ivar Aasen field, for which energy services heavyweight Wood Group is designing a rig.

Chief executive Tom Reynolds said the move underlined the commercial value of the discovery coming just three months after initial drilling and one month after tests proved Asha had four times more oil than initially expected.

He added: “In addition to the Asha discovery, further upside potential exists on this licence within the independent Aglaja and Amol prospective targets.”

Eon, VNG and Wintershall also hold stakes in Asha.

The news comes as another Aberdeen-headquartered firm, Eland Oil & Gas, warned of delays to bringing its well back on stream in Nigeria.

The West Africa-focused group said it would have to lay new pipes to restore production at its wells in the “OML 40” field. They were closed down in 2006 and bought by Eland at the time of its float on Aim last year.

Chief executive Les Blair said: “Our strategy remains focused on developing OML 40 and to continue in our efforts to build a portfolio of exploration and development assets in west Africa.

“This will deliver a growing production cash flow and we are very excited by what lies ahead.”

The company also announced a new exploration deal in Nigeria, with options to take a stake in the field should oil be found.