Dana Petroleum has started drilling the NG 366-2 exploratory well in Egypt’s offshore Gulf of Suez. The UK independent will participate in two more upcoming wells in the offshore Nile Delta.

The first of these, on the Papyrus prospect, is due to spud in October, targeting gas at a similar horizon to last year’s West Burullus-1 discovery. The prime purpose is to prove additional gas volumes in this area to optimize development planning.

Next up for Dana will be a well on the large Bamboo prospect in November, which will target deeper, high pressure gas reservoirs.

The company may seek to expand its acreage offshore Egypt through bidding in EGPC’s new license round in the Gulf of Suez.

Elsewhere, Dana is participating in exploration wells on the Tornado prospect west of Shetland, and on the Jetta and Trolla structures in the Norwegian Sea. The program for next year comprises up to 12 wells, the largest targets including Anne-Marie west of Shetland.

As for UK development projects, the jackup GSF Labrador recently started drilling the third well on the Babbage field in the southern gas basin. The subsea pipelines have been laid and the jacket and topsides should be transported to their offshore location in the coming weeks.

By the end of this year, Dana aims to select a single scheme for producing its Rinnes area and Melville oil discoveries, under the collective title Western Isles Development. The company expects to sanction this and the Barbara/Phyllis gas development by mid-2010.

(Offshore)