”Victoria” smaller than assumed

17/09/2009 6506/6-1 (Victoria) in the Norwegian Sea contains less gas than previously assumed.



The operator Total recently concluded the drilling of appraisal well 6506/9-1. Preliminary estimates indicate that the discovery may be within the range 20 – 60 billion standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable gas.

Before the drilling activity, the resource estimate was 89 billion Sm3 of recoverable gas, and ”Victoria” was considered to be Norway's largest undeveloped gas discovery.

”The result is, of course, disappointing. The most important thing now is to give the operator the time and opportunity to analyse samples and data to ascertain what this means,” comments Sissel Eriksen, Director for Exploration in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The appraisal well at 6506/6-1 has attracted a lot of attention, as the result would be decisive in the development of this section of the Norwegian Sea. The development will probably take more time than previously assumed.

Several gas discoveries have been made in the Norwegian Sea, among them ”Luva”, ”Onyx”, ”Marulk” and ”Gro”. However, there is little infrastructure in place in the Norwegian Sea compared with the North Sea, and the two gas pipelines which connect the Norwegian Sea to Continental Europe, Åsgard Transport and Langeled, both have limited capacity during the next few years.

”The resource bas determines whether developing a discovery is profitable, independently or in connection with other nearby discoveries. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate believes that the area must be explored in further detail and that more wells must be drilled before a decision on development and investments in new infrastructure can be made,” says Eriksen. 

She emphasises that the operating company Total has done a solid job in connection with the appraisal well on Victoria, which is important and successful in the technical sense. The Victoria reservoir has high pressure and high temperature (HTHP),  and the structure is complicated. The gas contains almost 90 per cent methane and 10 per cent carbon dioxide. The above factors will make developments demanding.

The well will provide new knowledge about this section of the Norwegian Sea. Samples were taken and large amounts of data collected. The data acquired included 230 metres of core material. In addition, a successful formation test was carried out. The operating company Total will, according to plan, drill another appraisal well on Victoria over the course of the next few years.

The well reached a vertical depth of 5664 metres below the surface of the sea. The water depth at the site is 416 metres.

Link to: Exploration drilling result 6506/9-1

Contact in the NPD

Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg, tel. +47 51 87 61 00

Updated: 29/09/2009