Serica begins drilling of Conan well in East Irish Sea

The well will take approximately 24 days to drill.

Serica Energy has begun the drilling of the Conan exploration well in Block 113/26b in the East Irish Sea. The well will be drilled by the Ensco 80 jack-up drilling rig to a depth of approximately 5000ft and is anticipated to take approximately 24 days to drill.

Conan is a Triassic Sherwood Sand gas prospect identified on 3D seismic data and covers an area of up to 28sqkm in Blocks 113/26b and 113/27c. It is adjacent to the producing Millom gas field and to the recent Rhyl gas discovery.

Being close to existing gas production infrastructure, a discovery at Conan could be developed relatively quickly. The Conan prospect is believed to be the largest undrilled Sherwood Sand seismic anomaly in the East Irish Sea, the company said.

Following the farm out announcement on January 20, 2010, Serica retains a 65 per cent interest in Conan with 70 per cent of the well costs being funded by its partner, Agora Oil and Gas, which will earn a 35 per cent interest. Serica is operator of Blocks 113/26b and 113/27c.

Paul Ellis, chief executive of Serica Energy, said: "We are delighted to have commenced drilling at Conan, a large gas prospect off the west coast of England, about 50km northwest of Blackpool and within 10km of the Morecambe gas field.

"Conan is the first well in the Company's exciting 2010 exploration programme, a programme that is targeting total prospective resources of 160 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) net to Serica (90mmboe on a risked basis) and that we believe has the potential to deliver great value to shareholders."