Results from the UK North Sea Platypus appraisal well indicate a  new UK Southern North Sea gas find which looks likely for development.

Drilling partner Parkmead Group reports today that the well, operated by Dana Petroleum has tested at flow rates of up to 27 Mmcf/d of gas. Pre-drill estimates suggested Platypus could contain 180 billion cubic feet of gas.

Jackup Ensco 80 spudded the Southern North Sea block 48/1a-6 well back on 11 April and the well has been drilled to a depth of 14,155 feet (4,315 metres), Parkmead, which has a 15% equity in the well, reported today. “A Drill Stem Test was successfully completed on 23 July and the well is being suspended for use as a future production well,” Parkmead reports.

“We are delighted to report successful and conclusive results from Parkmead’s first well in the North Sea and will be working with our partners to move ahead with the development of the significant gas field at Platypus,” added Parkmead chief executive Tom Cross.

Dana Petroleum operated the well with 49% and the other partners in the discovery are First Oil Expro with 11% and CalEnergy Gas with 15%.

Parkmead’s 2011 annual report carries a spectacular picture of a previous discovery well drilled at Platypus, with the GSF Labrador jackup carrying out a flow test.

Last November Parkmead acquired 15% in Platypus in an asses deal with with XTO UK – an ExxonMobil subsidiary, which covered blocks 48/1a and 28/1c which contains the Platypus gas field and the Possum prospect.

Platypus, a Rotliegendes gas field, was originally discovered by Dana Petroleum in 2010 with the 48/1a-5 well which encountered 218 vertical feet of gas bearing sands, and the field lies 18 kilometres (11.25 miles) north-west of the West Sole gas field, and 15 km (9.3 miles) west of the Babbage gas field. Parkmead has indicated in its annual report that Platypus has a potential reserves base of 180 billion cubic feet of gas in place and the 48/1a-5 discovery well was suspended by Dana for possible re-entry and reuse as a producer. Possom is estimated to contain another 100 bcf of gas in place.

In its annual report, Parkmead said: “The acquisition marks an important step in Parkmead’s first stage of its development to become a significant new independent oil and gas company.”