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BP MAKES WEST OF SHETLAND OIL DISCOVERY

 LONDON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- BP Exploration today confirmed that it has discovered oil on block 204/24a, 170 kilometers southwest of Shetland. BP operates the block with an 80 percent interest and Shell holds the remaining 20 percent.
 Well 204/24a-2, drilled in late 1992, encountered 48 meters of oil-bearing sand and flowed 3,800 barrels of oil a day on test. The well was an appraisal to the discovery well, 204/24a-1, drilled in 1990.
 Initial estimates of recoverable reserves are in the range of 250 million to 500 million barrels.
 BP Exploration Chief Executive John Browne said today, "This is a promising discovery which will require further appraisal to define the reserves more precisely.
 "The discovery has the potential to open up a significant new play in the West of Shetlands province, although there is substantial further work to be done to evaluate the size of this potential."
 Browne added, "We and our partner, Shell, were sufficiently encouraged by the initial results to make an extensive application for further acreage in the area in the 14th Round of licensing, and last week the government awarded us the five blocks we sought, on a 50/50 basis.
 "We are very pleased with the speed and flexibility shown by the Department of Trade and Industry in awarding this acreage. It will allow us to make an early start on a substantial 3-D seismic survey, encompassing our existing licenses and the new blocks, during this year's summer weather window."
 -0- 3/4/93
 /EDITOR NOTES: Well 204/24a-2 was spudded on Sept. 9, 1992, in 496 meters of water and was drilled to a total depth of 2,833 meters by the semi-submersible exploration drilling rig, Ocean Alliance. The oil tested through a one-inch choke was 25 degrees API with a gas-oil ratio of 246 standard cubic feet per barrel. Following testing of the well, two side-tracks were drilled to gain further geological information. No tests were performed on either of these side-tracks. The well was plugged and abandoned on Nov. 30.
 Well 204/24a-1 was drilled in October-November, 1990, some 4.5 kilometers to the east of the 1992 well. It was drilled to a total depth of 2,968 meters in 447 meters of water also by the Ocean Alliance. The well encountered only a thin oil and gas column and was not tested.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Koch of BP America, 216-586-6511/


CO: BP Exploration ST: IN: OIL SU: DSC

KK -- CL014 -- 2921 03/04/93 11:08 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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