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New gas blocks in North Sea pump up Triangle portfolio

Updated: Apr 18

Triangle Energy is building a diverse oil and gas portfolio.. Credit: File

Perth-based Triangle Energy and joint venture partner Athena Exploration have been offered five Cragganmore gas field blocks estimated to contain some 527 billion cubic feet of gas in the North Sea’s West of Shetlands province.

The blocks are part of the first tranche of awards from the United Kingdom’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) and lie next to 16 others in the Tobermory and Bunnehaven gas fields that have been offered to multinational oil and gas giant, Shell.

The Cragganmore gas field was discovered in 2012 when gas prices were significantly lower than at present. Athena is the operator of the gas field and estimates it contains a best-case resource of 527 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of recoverable gas, figured from a low model estimate of 273 Bcf to a high of 1022 Bcf.

Triangle Energy managing director Conrad Todd said: “We are pleased to be offered these blocks, which give us a significant gas discovery with substantial exploration upside. We now have a diversified asset base, all in tier-one locations. We look forward to advancing the Cragganmore discovery whilst preparing to drill our prospects in the Perth Basin next year. We also expect further announcements from the NSTA towards the end of this year and into Q1 2024 regarding the other license areas we have also bid for in the 33rd round.”

The company says if its Cragganmore gas field was combined with Shell’s Tobermory and Bunnehaven patch to form an economic cluster, it could be tied back to existing gas pipelines on the Shetland Isles and on to the UK mainland.

The Cragganmore blocks are defined by three wells, two of which discovered gas with variable reservoir quality between them. The JV plans to now further investigate the wells, while the third well drilled in 2012 encountered water.

The partners believe significant exploration potential also exists in other prospects already identified within the awarded blocks and say that the existing seismic section shows the top reservoir to have a distinct seismic response. When reprocessed, it should allow accurate mapping of the gas-bearing reservoir.

The JV plans to hold further discussions with the NSTA to confirm the work program, which is likely to include 3D seismic and other studies in the firm commitment period, prior to finalising the award of the permit.

In September, Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor and its UK-based partner Ithaca Energy revealed plans to invest US$3.8 billion (AU$5.91 billion) to develop the first phase of the nearby 300-million-barrel Rosebank oil field – a strong indication that the area is seeing renewed activity.

On the other side of the world, Triangle says it is ramping up preparations to drill its prospective acreage in the onshore Perth Basin, with at least two wells planned for the first half of next year. It may be the basin’s last “unexplored” area, with no wells having been drilled there since the advent of 3D seismic technology and imaging.

Between the North Sea and the Indian Ocean, Triangle seems to have the principle of security through diversification firmly in its sights.

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