Hurricane Energy has announced its highly anticipated Warwick Deep well has not encountered commercial rates of oil and gas.
Pre-drill estimates had suggested up to 935 million barrels of oil equivalent were potentially recoverable from Warwick, which lies west of Shetland.
The decision has now been taken to plug and abandon the well, which Hurricane said “cannot be considered suitable” as a future means of production.
The Transocean Leader rig drilled the well to more than 6,560ft, but Hurricane said it did not flow at commercial rates, producing a mix of drilling brine, water, oil and gas.
Warwick Deep is part of a three-well drilling campaign, which was targeting up to two billion barrels.
The company completed a farm-out deal last year involving the sale of 50% of its Greater Warwick Area to Spirit Energy, which is covering the cost of the campaign.
Hurricane is now looking ahead to the next well, Lincoln Crestal, which is now the preferred tie-back candidate for the Lancaster field.
Chief executive Robert Trice said: “It is disappointing that the Warwick Deep well did not flow at commercial rates.
“We were initially encouraged by hydrocarbon shows and gas ratio analysis indicative of light oil. However, drill stem testing has clearly demonstrated that Warwick Deep cannot be considered suitable as a future production well and, therefore, the well will be plugged and abandoned.
“I look forward to commencing operations on the second well in the three-well programme, Lincoln Crestal.”
He added: “This is now the preferred candidate to be tied back to the Aoka Mizu FPSO (floating production supply and offloading vessel), where Lancaster EPS (early production system) production operations remain in-line with guidance.”
Surrey-based Hurricane was launched in 2005 to discover and develop oil from naturally fractured “basement” reservoirs in rock that was formed more than two billion years ago.