Shell and its partners have started drilling the second of four oil wells in the Guyane Maritime Permit in French Guiana.
Shell holds 45% in the Guyane Maritime offshore exploration licence along with Total (25%), Tullow Oil (27.5%), Northern Petroleum (1.25%) and Wessex Exploration (1.25%).
The GM-ES-3 well in the programme has been located to test the Priodontes Prospect and provide further geological data critical to gaining a better understanding of the potential of this area as a new offshore oil province.
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The operation follows the exploration programme's GM-ES-1 well which encountered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite sand systems.
The GM-ES-2 was the first exploration well in the programme but failed to encounter commercial hydrocarbons.
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern, said: "The joint venture with Shell, Total, Tullow and Wessex is continuing upon its vigorous follow up of the successful GM-ES-1 discovery in late 2011."
"This is the second well in the four well programme to assess the potential of the offshore of Guyane as a new oil province. I look forward to updating shareholders on progress in the coming months."
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