Explorer Hurricane Energy has declared the “largest undeveloped discovery” of oil on the UK Continental Shelf.
The Godalming-based group said well tests had confirmed its view that the Lancaster and Halifax reservoirs west of Shetland are actually a single resource.
Analysts have previously speculated that a single reservoir could hold more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent, although Hurricane did not make such a claim when announcing the discovery.
Chief executive Dr Robert Trice said: “This is a highly significant moment for Hurricane and I am delighted that the Halifax Well results support the company’s view that its substantial Lancaster discovery has been extended to include the Halifax licence.
“We believe that the GLA (Greater Lancaster Area) is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf.
“The discovery of a 1km hydrocarbon column at Halifax validates the efforts the company undertook to acquire the licence and drill, test and log the Halifax Well through the winter months.
“Given the positive well results, the Halifax Well has been suspended to provide the company the option to return to undertake further testing as well as provide the option to deepen the well and thereby establish a definitive oil water contact.”