i3 Energy relinquishes licence following disappointing drilling resultsNewly drilled 13/23c-9 well on the left, showing absence of Upper Captain sands. From: i3 Energy Liberator update.

i3 Energy relinquishes licence following disappointing drilling results

Low relief Liberator structure sands proved harder to predict than initially foreseen.

i3 Energy plc, an independent oil and gas company with assets and operations in the UK and Canada, announced the relinquishment of licence P1987, covering the Liberator discovery, yesterday.

The licence reached the end of its two-year second term on 31st December 2020 and as per the terms of the licence it was agreed with the OGA for it to be relinquished. To move into the third term of the licence, an approved Field Development Plan would have been required, which is not supported by the sub-commercial volumes present in the structure.

Liberator discovery

The Liberator discovery well 13/23d-8 was drilled in 2013, and encountered a 24 foot hydrocarbon column, 4 feet of gas and 20 feet of oil, in Early Cretaceous Captain Sands. Reservoir and fluid properties are analogous to those found in Blake Field, with a very high net to gross and excellent reservoir quality. The Captain sands were deposited in NW-SE trending submarine channels and the sands extend northwestward into 13/23c (the Phase 2 area).

Structure map of (presumed) Top Captain sandstone in the area of the Liberator discovery. Source.

Recent well results

In 2019, well 13/23c-9 was drilled to further appraise Liberator but the targeted Upper Captain sands were not found (see feature image). Post-well analysis suggests that the well missed this part of the Captain sand fairway by approximately 120 m.

Liberator has always been very dependent on the success of time-depth conversion as it is a low relief structure with the oil-water contact sitting relatively close to the top of the sand. It is therefore not a surprise that missing the sands altogether was a good reason to relinquish the licence.

It is not entirely clear how many barrels were mapped in the A1 and A2 structures in P1987, but according to i3 Energy the A1, A2 and A4 structures combined were downgraded from having a P50 of 55 MMbbls STOIIP to 44 MMbbls.

Further potential

According to i3 Energy, the relinquishment of P1987 has no impact on Licence P2358, which contains the vast majority of the resources and potential reserves in the Company’s UK acreage. Licence P2358 includes the Serenity discovery (north of the Liberator discovery and not on the map shown here) and the Liberator West and Minos High prospective areas, which will be the focus of plans for appraisal and exploration drilling.