BP and GDF Suez strike oil in the North Sea

<p>BP and GDF Suez have discovered a new oil field in the UK Central North Sea.</p>

BP and GDF Suez have struck oil in a new oil field in the UK Central North Sea.

The companies announced that the discovery, named Marconi by GDF Suez subsidiary GDF Suez E&P UK and Vorlich by BP, spans adjacent blocks operated by the individual companies. Tests have been ongoing and the firms stated that it can reach a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels per day.

It represents a major find for both companies which have been investing heavily into the North Sea's oil supply. BP, alongside its co-venturers, has already spent £10 billion on an investment programme in the region and is expected to contribute an extra £7 billion over the next five years. GDF Suez also has a major interest in the North Sea with up to 50 licences across the Central and Southern North Sea and the West of Shetland.

Ruud Zoon, managing director of GDF Suez E&P UK, was positive on the recent find and said: "This is an encouraging exploration discovery in a part of the Central North Sea that needs additional volumes of hydrocarbons to open up development options for several stranded discoveries.

"The discovery is our third successful well this year and demonstrates a continuing commitment by GDF Suez to an active exploration and appraisal drilling programme on the UK Continental Shelf.”

BP's regional president of BP North Sea Trevor Garlick was also pleased with the latest find and believes it will be key to allow the oil sector to continue its economic recovery.

The two companies worked together on exploration well 30/1f-13AZ and encountered hydrocarbons in a Palaeocene sandstone reservoir in block 30/1c. The GDF Suez operated block is majority owned by the company while RWE DEA UK SNS Limited and Maersk Oil North Sea Limited have a 27.78 per cent and 22.22 per cent stake respectively.

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