Find adds to series of wells that may be biggest beneath UK waters this century.
Hurricane Energy has made a further oil discovery west of the Shetland Islands days after Royal Dutch Shell and BP won exploration licences in an area the UK is counting on to breathe new life into its struggling oil and gas industry.
The latest find adds to a series of successful wells drilled by Hurricane in a geological formation that analysts say looks likely to be the biggest new oil discovery beneath UK waters this century.
Shell and BP were last week awarded licenses to drill in nearby exploration blocks in a sign of renewed interest among large oil and gas groups in the west of Shetland region even as they withdraw from more mature parts of the North Sea.
Hurricane is expected to announce that initial data from its Halifax well indicates the presence of a 1km-deep oil column and that, crucially, it appears to be part of “a single large hydrocarbon accumulation” connected to the company’s adjacent Lancaster field.
This would increase confidence behind the London-listed explorer’s claim to be sitting on the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK continental shelf and aid efforts to attract investment in the field from international oil majors.