ConocoPhillips has unearthed a hydrocarbons discovery at what was seen as a high-risk play in the UK North Sea.

The US supermajor has struck a 100-foot-plus gas column at the 23/22b-6Z exploration well on the Lacewing prospect on the eastern margins of the central North Sea, partner Premier Oil said on Tuesday.

The well – which is high-pressure, high-temperature – reached a measured target depth of 14,370 feet, intersecting the target Triassic interval.

It is being plugged and abandoned as a discovery with the partners needing to evaluate data to ascertain its commerciality.

ConocoPhillips is the operator on a 47.3% stake. Premier, which has a 20.2% stake, farmed out a 37.2% stake to the US giant together with a carry on the well as it saw the well as too high risk to have a significant interest in. Compatriot BG Group holds the remaining 32.5%.