Biggest North Sea oil discovery in 25 years

The biggest oil discovery in the North Sea for 25 years was announced when the developers of the Buzzard field said it could contain 1.1 billion barrels of oil. The field, located 100km NE of Aberdeen, was initially thought to hold around 800 million barrels. But EnCana, the Canadian operator of Buzzard, has increased its estimate of reserves by 38% following the successful drilling of a further three appraisal wells. EnCana has a 45% stake in Buzzard while BG Group has 20%. A further 30% is owned by Intrepid Energy North Sea and the remainder by Edinburgh Oil and Gas. First production is due to begin in late 2005 or early 2006. BG said the estimate for recoverable reserves stood at 400 million barrels with “significant upside potential”. That would put it on a par with the Alba field, which was discovered in 1984 and contains 460 million barrels of recoverable reserves, and the Nelson field. However, it remains tiny compared with the huge discoveries in the North Sea made in the 1970s such as Forties which contained 2.7 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

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