The semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Leader is heading to the West of Shetland location where it will start a drilling campaign for Spirit Energy and Hurricane Energy targeting one of the most watched offshore prospects of the year in the Greater Warwick Area.

The piece of news of the rig move was shared this week by Hurricane Energy who last year farmed out 50 percent in the Greater Warwick Area to Spirit.

In a tweet on April 9, Hurricane Energy said: “The Transocean Leader is now making its way to the Greater Warwick Area for Hurricane’s 3-well 2019 drilling programme with Spirit Energy.”

Data on MarineTraffic shows the rig is being towed to the Warwick Deep well location. Warwick Deep is the first well in the three well drilling campaign. The Lincoln and the Warwick Shallow wells are expected to be drilled later in the year too.

The operator will be drilling to see if the Lincoln discovery made in 2016 and the Warwick structure could be a single continuous accumulation. The drilling costs this year of over $180 million will be covered by Spirit Energy in full.

Earlier this year, energy intelligence firm Rystad Energy placed the Warwick on its list of top wildcat wells to watch this year, citing Hurricane’s pre-drill estimate of 935 million boe (Best Case Prospective Resources), and an indicated 77% chance of success. In case of success either on Warwick or Lincoln, the wells would be tied back to the Aoka Mizu FPSO, recently moored at the nearby Lancaster field location.

Announcing the Spirit Energy deal last year Hurricane said that the GWA work program would be conducted in two phases. Namely, the Phase 1 program, scheduled for 2019, includes drilling, logging, and testing of three exploration and appraisal wells to accelerate the appraisal of the Lincoln discovery and exploration of the Warwick prospect.

The first phase will also fund the purchase of long lead items to allow the tie-back of one or more GWA wells to the Aoka Mizu FPSO in 2020 and carry out host modifications of the Aoka Mizu. Hurricane will be fully carried through the $180.6 million program.

Phase 2 is scheduled for 2020 assuming that Phase 1 is successful and FID is taken to proceed with the GWA well tie-back.

The second phase includes the tie-back of one GWA well to the Aoka Mizu, completion of host modifications of the Aoka Mizu, tie-in to the West of Shetland Pipeline (WOSP) system for gas export, allowing for first oil from an Early Production System (EPS) on the GWA in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The single well tie-back from the GWA is expected to provide a daily production rate of 10,000 bopd and associated reserves in excess of 20 million barrels (gross) while taking FID on the first phase of a full field development is expected to unlock reserves of half a billion barrels (gross).

Hurricane will be carried through phase two with 50% of its share of the $187.5 million program.