FRENCH exploration and production company GDF Suez E&P UK has made an oil discovery in the UK Central North Sea.

Drilled in the Central North Sea offshore Aberdeen, on licence area P 1799, GDF Suez said the 22/16-6 well flowed at rates in excess of 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The well, which was drilled on block 22/16 on the permit, is now being side-tracked to appraise the extent of this discovery.

The well targeted the Dalziel structure on the permit, GDF Suez said.

Company managing director Ruud Zoon said the discovery followed a successful exploration campaign in 2014.

“It demonstrates a continuing commitment by GDF Suez to an active exploration, appraisal and development drilling programme on the UK Continental Shelf,” he said.

Drilled by GDF Suez as the operator, with a 25 per cent stake, the well was drilled with the Transocean Galaxy II jack-up rig.

Its partners are RWE DEA UK SNS (25%), JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) (25%) and Total E&P UK (20%).