The shelf in 2015 - Exploration

Ingress-Johan-Sverdrup
14.01.2016
Exploration activity on the Norwegian shelf remains at a high level, though it declined somewhat at the end of the year. Seventeen discoveries were made, 11 in the North Sea and six in the Norwegian Sea. The discoveries are all minor and close to other fields.

Fifty-six exploration wells were spudded in 2015, and 57 were completed. Thirty-three exploration wells were spudded in the North Sea, 16 in the Norwegian Sea and seven in the Barents Sea. This is approximately on par with 2014, with 57 spudded exploration wells.

Resource growth from the 17 new discoveries is approx. 8-20 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of oil and 14-40 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas/condensate.

The two largest players in 2015 were Statoil and Lundin, with 14 and 13 spudded exploration wells, respectively. Wintershall and Det norske oljeselskap follow, each with five spudded wells. VNG and Suncor have both drilled three exploration wells, while Maersk and BG drilled two each. The remaining nine exploration wells are distributed among the same number of companies.

 

North Sea

Activity was highest in the North Sea, with 33 spudded exploration wells. Eleven discoveries were made. Two of these were located in the southern part, both operated by Statoil. The discoveries are located in the northern part of the Greater Ekofisk area.

In wildcat well 2/4-22 (Romeo), oil was proven in the Ula formation in the Upper Jurassic and in the Permian in the Rotliegend group. The size of the discovery is between 0.7-1 million Sm3 recoverable oil. In the following well, 2/4-23 (Julius), gas/condensate was proven in the Ula formation in the Late Jurassic. Proven volumes are approx. 2-12 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas/condensate. The well also delineated the 24/4-21 (King Lear) discovery in a shallower level in the Farsund formation in the Upper Jurassic, without changing the original resource estimates. This discovery was made in 2012.

Just north of the Gina Krog field in the Sleipner area, Statoil proved oil in well 15/6-13 (Gina Krog East 3) in the Hugin formation in the Middle Jurassic. The discovery was delineated with wells 15/6-

13 A and B, and the discovery is estimated to contain between one and two million Sm3 of recoverable oil. In the neighbouring block south of the Edvard Grieg field, Lundin proved oil in well 16/4-9 S (Lune 2 North). The discovery was made in conglomeratic Triassic/Jurassic sandstone. The size is currently estimated at 2-4 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

South of the Edvard Grieg field in the central part of the North Sea, Lundin delineated the 16/1-12 (Edvard Grieg South) discovery, which was proven in 2009 with well 16/1-25 S. An approx. 30-metre oil column was proven in well 16/1-12, in fractured, porous basement rock, with variable reservoir quality. It was formation-tested, with some moderately positive rates. Following this latest well, the size of the discovery has been estimated at 2-7 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

To the east, in well 26/10-1 (Zulu), the same company has proven gas at a shallow level in the Utsira formation in the Miocene. The discovery is estimated at 1.5-4 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. Further north, near the Skirne field, Total E&P proved small volumes of gas in the Hugin formation in the Jurassic, in well 25/6-5 S.

There was a great deal of delineation activity at the Ivar Aasen field in the same area. The oil company Det norske delineated the discovery with wells 16/1-21 S and A and 16/1-22 S, A and B. These wells have provided important geological information for final location of the production and injection wells. In the same block, Lundin delineated Edvard Grieg with well 16/1-23 S. The well has proven additional resources in the southeastern part of the field.

Southwest of the Oseberg field, the 30/11-8 S (Krafla) discovery, proven in 2011 in the Brent group, was delineated with well 30/11-10 A by Statoil. The results from the well have increased the resource basis from the original 2-9 million Sm3 of oil to between 8-13 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

Just west of the Oseberg field, Statoil made an oil discovery in well 30/9-27. A 34-metre oil column was proven in the Tarbert formation in the Brent group. The size of the discovery is currently estimated at 1-2 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

Well 35/11-18 (Syrah), drilled by Wintershall Norge, proved oil northwest of the Fram field in the central part of the North Sea. The discovery was made in several levels in Jurassic reservoir rocks, and was delineated with well 35/11-18 A. The discovery has been formation-tested and shows good flow properties, and is currently estimated to contain between 1-3 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

Southwest of the Visund field, Statoil discovered gas/oil in well 34/8-16 S (Tarvos) in the Lunde formation in the Triassic. The size is estimated at between 0.4-1.1 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents.

In the far northwestern quadrant of the North Sea, Lundin also proved oil in what is assumed to be the Lunde formation in well 33/2-2 S (Morkel). An oil column of 175 metres was proven in the well, but the reservoir quality was poor. Preliminary calculations indicate that the discovery contains between 0.5-3 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

 

Norwegian Sea

Six discoveries were made in the Norwegian Sea. Southwest of the Njord field, VNG discovered oil in well 6406/12-4 S (Boomerang 1). The discovery was located to the east of the 6406/12-3 S (Pil) discovery, which was proven last year by the same company. A 20-metre oil column in the Rogn formation in the Upper Jurassic was proven in well 6406/12-4 S, in good reservoir rocks. The size is estimated at 2-5 million Sm3 of recoverable oil.

Two discoveries were made in the southern Åsgard area. Wintershall discovered oil in well 6406/2-8 (Imsa). Two oil columns were proven in the well in an interval of about 130 metres in the Fangst and Båt groups in sandstone with mainly poor reservoir quality. The size of the discovery is estimated to be between 0.4-1.3 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents. In well 6406/6-4 S (Tvillingen South), Maersk Oil discovered gas/condensate in the southern Åsgard area. The discovery was made in the Garn formation in the Middle Jurassic, where a 30-metre gas/condensate column was proven in a reservoir with good quality. The discovery is estimated at 1-3 million Sm3.

Statoil made three gas discoveries in the deepwater areas west of and near the Aasta Hansteen field. They are all in the Nise formation in the Cretaceous. The first was made in well 6706/12-1 (Snefrid North). A 105-metre gas column was proven here, of which 75 metres had very good reservoir quality. The size is estimated at 4-9 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. A 38-metre gas column was discovered in well 6706/12-3 (Roald Rygg), estimated to contain 2-3 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. In the final exploration well that proved a discovery in the area, 6706/11-2 (Gymir), a 70-metre gas column was proven, of which 40 metres had good reservoir quality. The size is estimated at 1-3 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas. The three discoveries have provided valuable additional resources to Aasta Hansteen.

 

Barents Sea

Exploration activity in the Barents Sea in 2015 was lower than in 2014. Most wells are related to delineation of the 7220/11-1 (Alta) oil and gas discovery in the Gipsdalen group from the Permian. Two wells were drilled (7220/11-1 and 2 A) on the western part of the Alta discovery and two wells (7220/11-3 and 3 A) to the east on the discovery. The wells have provided valuable information on the extent of the reservoir and hydrocarbon columns. The results from these wells do not yet provide a basis for changing the original resource estimates from 2014, which are 26.1 million Sm3 and 9.7 billion Sm3 of gas.

 

Recoverable resources in new discoveries in 2015. Preliminary resource figures.

 

Recoverable resources in new discoveries in 2015.
Preliminary resource figures

Well

Operator

Hydrocarbon type

Oil/condensate mill. Sm3

Gas billion Sm3

2/4-22

Statoil

Oil

0.7-1.2

I<

2/4-23

Statoil

Gas/condensate

 

3-12

15/6-13

Statoil

Oil

1<

1<

16/4-9 S

Lundin

Oil

1.5-2.2-3.2

1<

26/10-1

Lundin

Gas

 

1.5-2.5-4

25/6-5 S

Total

Gas

 

1<

30/9-27 S

Statoil

Oil

1<

1<

30/6-9 29 S

Statoil

Oil

1<

 

35/11-18

Wintershall

Oil

1-2-3

 

34/8-16 S

Statoil

Oil

1<

1<

33/2-2 S

Lundin

Oil

0.5-1.3-3

1<

6406/12-4 S

VNG

Oil

2-3.2-4.5

1<

6406/2-8

Wintershall

Oil

0.4-1.3

 

6406/6-4 S

Maersk Oil

Gas/condensate

 

1-1.7-2.7

6706/12-2

Statoil

Gas

 

4-6-9

6706/12-3

Statoil

Gas

 

2-2.5-3

6706/11-2

Statoil

Gas

 

1.3-2-2.87

 

 

 

8-11-20

14-26-40