The shelf in 2014 - Exploration

igress-norsk
15.01.2015
Exploration activity is still high on the Norwegian shelf. Last year, 56 exploration wells were spudded and 59 were terminated. This amounts to three fewer spudded exploration wells than in 2013, but is the third highest total ever. Of these, 41 were wildcat wells and 15 were appraisal wells.

The exploration wells are distributed as follows: 33 spudded and 35 terminated in the North Sea, ten spudded and ten terminated in the Norwegian Sea, and 13 spudded and 14 terminated wells in the Barents Sea. With 19 spudded exploration wells, Statoil was the operator who drilled the most, followed by Lundin with ten and Centrica with four. Det norske, RWE Dea, Total and VNG all drilled three wells each, Tullow, BG, and Wintershall drilled two, and Noreco, OMV, GDF Suez, E.ON and Shell drilled one well each.

22 new discoveries were made in 2014: eight in the North Sea, five in the Norwegian Sea and nine in the Barents Sea. Resource growth from these discoveries is in the order of 40-110 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil/condensate and 25-75 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.


The North Sea
Exploration activity in the North Sea has been somewhat reduced after the Johan Sverdrup discovery in the central North Sea was finally delineated. Statoil has made six and Total has made two discoveries, all of which are generally small and close to other fields.       

The southernmost discovery was made east of the Heimdal field in the central North Sea. Here Total proved oil in wildcat well 25/5-9 in Paleocene rocks in the Heimdal formation. Preliminary calculations indicate that the discovery contains between 1 and 4.5 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

The 25/8-4 discovery due east of the Grane field in the central North Sea, which was proven in 1992, was successfully delineated with well 25/8-18 S. The well was drilled by Statoil, and proved a 25-metre thick oil column in Paleocene rocks in the Heimdal formation. The drilling has increased the resource estimate to somewhere between 5 and 12 million Sm3 of recoverable oil. There are concrete plans for a fast-track development tying in to the Grane field.     

Statoil has made two discoveries in the Oseberg area. In the southern part of the block, in well 30/11-9 A, oil was proven in Upper and Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks. The size of the discovery has been calculated to be between 1 and 3 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents (o.e.). Southwest of the Oseberg field, Statoil has discovered oil in well 30/11-10 in Jurassic rocks in the Brent group, just to the north of the 30/11-8 S (Krafla) discovery, which was proven in 2011. The size of this discovery is also between 1 and 3 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

Near the Fram field northeast in the North Sea, in well 35/11-17, Statoil has discovered oil in the Fensfjord formation in the Upper Jurassic and in the Brent group in the Middle Jurassic. Preliminary calculations indicate that the discovery contains between 1 and 3 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents.   

Furthermore, the 35/9-7 (Skarfjell) discovery, which was proven in 2012 in the same area, was delineated with wells 35/9-10 S and A. The resource potential has been estimated at 10-23 million Sm3 of recoverable oil and 8-15 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.

Four discoveries have been made around the Gullfaks and Visund fields in the northern North Sea, all in Jurassic reservoir rocks. Statoil has made two discoveries in wells 34/10-54 S and A. The latter was drilled as a sidetrack. Preliminary calculations indicate that the discoveries contain 2-3 billion Sm3 of gas and 1-2 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas, respectively.

Oil and gas have been proven in well 34/8-17 S, which was drilled due east of the Visund field. The discovery has been estimated to contain between 1 and 2 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.

The 34/6-2 S (Garantiana) discovery northeast in the Gullfaks area, which was proven by Total in 2012 in the Cook formation in the Jurassic, was delineated with well 34/6-3 S. After this drilling, the size of the discovery was calculated to be between 6 and 14 million Sm3 of recoverable oil, which was an increase from the previous resource estimate of 6 million Sm3 of recoverable oil. Small volumes of oil have also been discovered at the same level in wildcat well 34/6-3 A, which was drilled as a sidetrack from well 34/3-6 S.

 

The Norwegian Sea
Five new discoveries have been made in the Norwegian Sea. VNG has proven oil and gas in well 6406/12-3 S (Pil) southwest of the Njord field in the Rogn and Melke formations in the Upper Jurassic. A 226-metre hydrocarbon column has been proven, 135 metres of which is oil in a reservoir with good flow properties. The discovery has been delineated with well 6406/12-3 B, and its size has been calculated at between 9 and 21 million Sm3 of oil and 3-6 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. An oil discovery (Bue) was made close by, in well 6406/12-3 A – also operated by VNG – with 3-6 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.   

Further north in the Åsgard area, Wintershall has proven gas/condensate in well 6407/1-7 in the Lange formation in the Lower Cretaceous. A preliminary calculation indicates that the discovery contains between 1 and 4 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.

In the far north, just to the south of the Heidrun field, Faroe Petroleum has made a minor oil and gas discovery in well 6507/10-2 S in the Garn formation in the Middle Jurassic. Preliminary calculations indicate that the discovery contains between 1 and 2.5 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents.

Gas has been proven in the deepwater areas to the east of the Aasta Hansteen field in well 6707/10-3 S in the Kvitnos formation in the Cretaceous. This discovery (Ivory) was made by Centrica. Preliminary calculations indicate that it contains between 2 and 8 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.


The Barents Sea
Exploration activity has been high in the Barents Sea. Nine new discoveries have been made, and one of them was the largest on the Norwegian shelf in 2014. In well 7220/11-1 (Alta), north of the Snøhvit area, Lundin has proven oil in chalk rocks in the Gipsdalen group in the Permian. Formation tests showed a reservoir with good flow properties. The size of the discovery has been calculated at between 14 and 50 million Sm3 of recoverable oil and 5-17 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.

Just south of this, in well 7120/1-4 S – also operated by Lundin – an appraisal well was drilled on the 7120/1-3 (Gohta) discovery, proven in 2013. The results from this well have not changed the original resource figures from 2013.

Northwest in the same area, around the Johan Castberg discovery, Statoil concluded the drilling campaign it started last year. In the first well, 7220/4-1 (Kramsnø), to the north, a 130-metre gas column was discovered in the Stø and Nordmela formations in the Jurassic and a 45-metre gas column was discovered in the Snadd formation in the Triassic. Calculations indicate that the discovery contains between 2 and 4 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.

I the next well further south, 7220/7-3 (Drivis), a 69-metre gas column was discovered in the Stø formation and an 86-metre oil column was discovered in the Stø and Nordmela formation in the Jurassic. The size of the discovery has been calculated at between 7 and 10 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents. This was the largest discovery in the campaign.   

In the last, northernmost well –7220/2-1 (Isfjell) – gas was proven in the Stø formation in the Jurassic. The discovery has been estimated to contain between 1 and 2 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.

The results from this drilling campaign did not live up to the expectations prior to drilling. Only one oil discovery was made, and the discoveries were smaller than expected.

Statoil has discovered gas northwest of the Johan Castberg area, in well 7319/12-1. The well has proven a 15-metre gas column in the Kveite formation in the Cretaceous. The discovery was made in a relatively unexplored area in a previously unconfirmed play, and a preliminary calculation indicates that the size of this discovery is between 5 and 20 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.   

Three new discoveries have been made in the Hoop area to the northeast. In the southern part of the area, in well 7424/7-2 (Hanssen), OMV has proven oil in the Stø formation in the Jurassic. This discovery has been calculated to contain between 3 and 8 million Sm3 of recoverable oil, and is located just to the north of the 7324/8-1 (Wisting) discovery, which was proven in 2013. In the neighbouring block to the east, Statoil has proven gas in well 7324/9-1 (Mercury) in the Stø formation in the Jurassic. The discovery has been estimated to contain between 1 and 2 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. The northernmost discovery on the Norwegian shelf was made by Statoil in well 7325/1-1 (Atlantis). Only a 10-metre gas column was proven in the Snadd formation in the Jurassic. The size of the discovery has been calculated at between 0.7 and 2 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas.  

Det norske oljeselskap has also proven oil in well 7222/11-2, northeast of the Snøhvit area. This discovery was made in the Kobbe formation in the Triassic. Between 1.5-2.5 million Sm3 of oil have been proven in the well.

Recoverable reserves in new discoveries in 2014. Preliminary resource figures

 

Well

Operator

Hydro-
carbon type

Oil/condensate (million Sm3)

Gas (billion Sm3)

25/5-9

Total E & P

oil

0.8-2.1-4.5

 

30/11-9 A

Statoil

oil

1-2-3

 

30/11-10

Statoil

oil

1-2-3

1<

34/6-3 A

Total

oil

1<

 

34/8-17 S

Statoil

gas

 

0.7-1.3-1.8

34/10-54 S

Statoil

gas

1<

1-2-3

34/10-54 A

Statoil

gas

 

2-2.5-3

35/11-17

Statoil

oil

1-1.1-1.5

1<

6406/12-3 S

VNG Norge AS

oil

9-14-21

2.7-4.2-6

6406/12-3 A

VNG Norge AS

oil

1-2-3.3

1<

6407/1-7

Wintershall

gas

1<

0.5-1-2.5

6507/10-2 S

Faroe Petroleum

oil

0.5-1-1.5

 

6707/10-3 S

Centrica Energy

gas

 

2-4-8

7220/2-1

Statoil

gas

 

1-1.5-2

7220/4-1

Statoil

gas

1<

1-2-4

7220/7-3 S

Statoil

oil

7-8-10

1-1.5-1.7

7220/11-1

Lundin Norway

oil

13-26-50

5-10-17

7222/11-2

Det norske

oil

1.4-1.7-2.5

 

7319/12-1

Statoil

gas

 

5-12-20

7324/7-2

OMV (Norway)

oil

2.4-4.5-6.5

1<

7324/9-1

Statoil

gas

 

1.1-1.4-1.8

7325/1-1

Statoil

gas

 

0.7-1.3-2.1

 

 

 

40-67-110

25-46-75