Ardmore Field - rebirth of the UK’s first offshore oilfield

The UK’s first offshore oil production began in June 1975 from the Argyll Field. In a 17 year period the field produced 73 million barrels of sweet, light crude. However, in 1992 production from the field became uneconomic and the field was abandoned. All wells were plugged and all facilities removed. Ten years later in January 2002 two new oil companies, Tuscan Energy and Acorn Oil and Gas were awarded the licence to reactivate the Argyll Field - now renamed Ardmore. A field development plan was submitted to the DTI and approval granted in October 2002. New wells were drilled in the summer of 2003 and first (or should that be second) oil will flow in October 2003. Ardmore is a geologically complex field with oil having been won from four distinct reservoirs, of which at least three appear to be in both pressure and fluid communication. During the 'Argyll' production years (1975-2002) vuggy, fractured, Zechstein carbonates appeared to deliver about 80% of their oil in place. Much of this oil must have come from the underlying Rotliegend sandstone and Devonian sandstone. Natural aquifer support was probably only significant in the Rotliegend interval while the volumetrically dominant Devonian sandstones had the poorest recovery. Recovery from Jurassic sandstones on the west flank of Ardmore was minimal. This core display shows two of the four produced horizons with examples of the heterogeneous and variable quality Devonian, and the high quality.