Summary and conclusion
Expected recoverable resources in eastern parts of Barents Sea North are calculated to be 1 370 million scm oe, with a downside of 350 million scm oe (P95) and an upside of 2 460 million scm oe (P05). Possible drilling and confirmation of one or more plays will move these estimates towards the higher values. Expected recoverable resources break down into 825 million scm of fluids and 545 billion scm of gas. The fluid/gas relationship helps to distinguish the area from Barents Sea South. While gas is estimated to represent the largest proportion (60 per cent) in the south, liquids account for the biggest share (60 per cent) here.
Several possible source rocks are found in the mapped area. Their extent and generation potential, particularly for the Steinkobbe/Botneheia Formation, are regarded as favourable for hydrocarbon formation. The possibility of oil is suggested by their burial depth. Six plays have been identified, several of them with very large traps and thereby a substantial potential for reservoir volume. Retention of hydrocarbons in the traps is an important risk factor. Improved understanding of the burial history will be needed to increase knowledge of gas expansion, maturity considerations and sealing potential in the area.
Geological uncertainty in the area is relatively high, and at its highest for levels older than the Triassic. Completing the analyses of shallow boreholes could help to improve understanding of the individual reservoir levels which have been cored. In addition, more and better seismic data which permit full prospect analyses could improve understanding of the resource potential.
General experience with the petroleum sector shows that the total resource potential in an area will be dominated by resources in the biggest deposits. Translated to the eastern parts of Barents Sea North, this means that greater knowledge of the resource potential in the largest structures will be important for further evaluation of the total potential.
Given the present state of knowledge, the Barents Sea has the biggest undiscovered resource potential on the NCS. The area could therefore come to play an important role in maintaining profitable petroleum activities on the NCS for a long time to come.
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