The shelf in 2009 - Exploration

15.01.2010
Exploration in 2009 – Record activity level

In 2009, 28 new discoveries were made and 65 exploration wells were spudded on the Norwegian continental shelf. This is nine more exploration wells than in 2008 and a new record.

Of the 65 exploration wells, 44 are wildcat wells and 21 are appraisal wells. 72 exploration wells were completed. 21 of the new discoveries were proven in the North Sea, while the remaining seven are located in the Norwegian Sea.

Focus on the exploration in the North Sea
The exploration activity level has been the highest in the North Sea, and this is also where the majority of the discoveries have been proven. The discoveries are generally small, and close to existing fields.

In the south, Talisman Energy Norge AS has proven oil in wildcat well 15/12-21 north of the Varg field.

Further north, near the Sleipner Vest field, Statoil Petroleum AS has proven gas/condensate in development well 15/9-B-1, which also had exploration targets.

In the neighbouring block, north of Sleipner, ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS has proven minor amounts of gas/condensate in well 15/6-10. These discoveries were made in rocks from the Jurassic Age.

East of this area, in the southeast part of the North Sea, BG Norge has delineated the old 17/12-1 Bream discovery, proven in 1972 in Jurassic reservoir rocks, with wells 17/12-4, A and B. Extensive data acquisition and sampling took place. In addition, a successful production test was carried out. 

Further north, southwest of the Utsira height, Lundin Norway AS has delineated the 16/1-8 (Luno) discovery, proven in 2007, with two wells. The first the well, appraisal well 16/1-10, came in as expected. The second, wildcat well 16/1-12, was drilled in a new segment south of the discovery. Here, oil was proven in complex reservoir rocks of jointed bedrock.

In the Utsira height, in the eastern neighbouring block, Statoil has proven oil and gas in well 16/2-5. The discovery was made in a sandy conglomerate of Jurassic/alternatively Triassic/Permian rocks.

South of the Alvheim field, Maraton Petroleum Norge has proven oil in well 24/9-9 S in the Hermod formation in Paleocene rocks. The discovery was immediately delineated with the wells 26/8-9 A and B.

The same company has also made two minor discoveries near the Alvheim field. Well 25/4-10 S proved oil, while well 25/4-10 A proved gas. Both discoveries are in Paleocene reservoir rocks.

In the Balder/Jotun area, ExxonMobil has proven two new oil discoveries in wildcat wells 25/8-16 S and 17 S. Both discoveries were made in the Heimdal formation in Paleocene rocks. Both were delineated with disappointing results.

Further north, in the area around the shut-down Frigg field, Statoil has proven two new discoveries. Just east of the field, in wildcat well 25/2-17, Statoil has discovered oil in the Frigg formation in lower Eocene rocks, while northeast of the field, in wildcat well 30/11-7, gas/condensate was discovered in the Brent group in Jurassic rocks. The discovery was delineated with well 30/11-7 A. 

In the Oseberg area, Statoil has made four new discoveries. In the southern part of the area, oil and gas have been proven in wildcat well 30/9-22 in Jurassic reservoir rocks. In the block west of well 30/8-4, oil has been proven in the Brent group in Jurassic rocks. In the block north of well 30/5-4 S, a 550-metre gas column has been proven in one reservoir with varying quality, belonging to the Hegre group in Triassic rocks. Well 30/5 4 A, drilled as a sidetrack, proved gas in the Heather formation in rocks from the Late Jurassic. 

Northeast of the Oseberg area, in block 35/12 near the Fram field, Wintershall Norge ASA has discovered oil and gas in wildcat well 35/12-2. Oil and gas were proven in the Sognefjord formation in the Late Jurassic, and oil in the Brent group in the Middle Jurassic. 

In the Tampen area, Statoil Petroleum AS has made three new discoveries in Jurassic rocks.  Southeast of the Gullfaks field, oil was proven in the Statfjord formation in wildcat well 34/7-34. South of the Visund field, discoveries were made in the two wells 34/8-13 S and A. Both discoveries were made in the Brent group. In the same area, the discovery 34/8-14 S was also proven in 2008, and was delineated with the wells 34/4-14 B and D. 

In the northern North Sea, discovery 35/1-1, proven in 2007, has been delineated by well 35/1-2. The deposit was tested with good results.

Further east, in the vicinity of the old Agat discovery, proven in 1974, VNG Norge has proven gas in wildcat well 35/3-7. The gas was found in reservoir rocks from the Middle Cretaceous.

New discoveries in the Norwegian Sea
Exploration in the Norwegian Sea has taken place in both deep-sea areas and around the fields. In the far west, A/S Norske Shell has proven gas in wildcat well 6603/12-1. The discovery, named ”Gro”, is scheduled for delineation in the near future.

Somewhat further north, Statoil has found gas in wildcat well 6705/10-1. Both discoveries were made in rocks from the Late Cretaceous.

Furthermore, Shell has delineated the Ormen Lange field with well 6305/5-3. Gas was encountered in the Egga reservoir unit. The result from this well makes it uncertain whether the original upside potential can be realised.

Near the fields, five new discoveries have been made by Statoil Petroleum AS, all in rocks from the Jurassic Age. In wildcat well 6407/8-5 S, west of the Draugen field, oil has been found in the Båt group. Further north, on the Mikkel field, minor amounts of gas have been proven in the Rogn and Garn formations. South in the Åsgard area, oil and gas were proven in well 6407/2-5 in the Garn and Ile formations.

Further north in the area, between the Skarv and Norne fields, two minor gas discoveries have been made. In wildcat well 6507/3-7, gas was proven in the Fangst group, while wildcat well 6507/3-8 proved gas in the Fangst and Båt groups.

West of this area, Total E&P Norge AS has delineated gas discovery 6506/6-1 (Victoria) with well 6506/9-1. The well confirmed that the discovery is complicated, and the estimate of the discovery’s size has been reduced. 

About 17 kilometres north-northeast of the Norne field, the discovery 6608/10 -12 S, proven late in 2008 in the Åre formation, was delineated with well 6608/10-12 A.

One well in the Barents Sea
There has been little exploration activity in the Barents Sea. Only one well was completed. This was well 7223/5-1, which delineated the discovery 7226/2-1 (Obesum), proven in 2008.

The exploration activity level is expected to fall from last year. The number of exploration wells will probably be between 40 and 50.

 

New discoveries in 2009, recoverable resources. Preliminary resource figures.

Well 

Operator

Hydrocarbone
types

Oil/condensate
mill Sm3

Gass billion Sm3

15/12-21

Talisman Energy Norge AS

Oil

6 - 10 - 15

 

15/6-10

Exxon Mobil Norway AS

Gas/condensate

     <1

 

15/9-B-1

Statoil Petroleum AS

Gas/condensate

2 - 3,3

4 - 5,4 - 6,7

16/1-12

Lundin Norway AS

 

*

 

16/2-5

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil

     <1

1 - 1,9 - 2,9

24/9-9 S

Marathon Petroleum Norge AS

Oil 

3 - 5

 

25/2-17

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil 

3 - 4 - 5,5

 

25/4-10 A

Marathon Petroleum Norge AS

Gas

 

     <1

25/4-10 S

Marathon Petroleum Norge AS

Oil 

0,5 - 1,5

 

25/8-16 S

Exxon Mobil Norway AS

Oil 

        <1

 

25/8-17

Exxon Mobil Norway AS

Oil 

        <1

 

30/11-7

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil/gas

 <1

 2 - 3 - 4

30/5-3 A

Statoil Petroleum AS

Gas

        <1

1,2  -  1,5 - 1,9

30/5-3 S

Statoil Petroleum AS

 

**

 

30/8-4 S

Statoil Petroleum AS

 

        <1

 

30/9-22

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil/gas

3,9 - 7,7 - 11,6

1,3 - 3,6 - 5,4

34/7-34

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil

1,8 - 3,6 - 5,4

 

34/8-13 A

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil/gas

0,7 - 1,2 - 1,8

     <1

34/8-13 S

Statoil Petroleum AS

 

***

 

35/12-2

Wintershall Norge ASA

Oil/gas

8 -  31

0,9 - 4,1

35/3-7 S

VNG Norge AS

Gas

 

3 - 5 - 8

6407/2-5 S

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil/gas

2 -  3,5 - 5

 

6407/6-7 S

Statoil Petroleum AS

Gas/condensate

 

     <1

6407/8-5 S

Statoil Petroleum AS

Oil

2,6 -  3,1 - 3,6

     <1

6507/3-7

Statoil Petroleum AS

Gas

 

     <1

6507/3-8

Statoil Petroleum AS

Gas

 

1,3 - 1,5

6603/12-1

A/S Norske Shell

Gas

 

10 -  100

6705/10-1

Statoil Petroleum AS

Gas

 

12 - 15,5 - 19,4

 

 

 

36 - 94

37 - 154

 

 * Resource figures included in the Luno discovery 
** Resource figures included in discovery 30/5-3 A  
*** Resource figures included in discovery 34/8-13 A