Aiming for oil, Statoil strikes gas in Barents Sea well

Norway’s Statoil has made a small, non-commercial, gas discovery in the Gemini North well, northeast of the Wisting discovery in the Barents Sea. The well also proved oil, Statoil said on Monday.

“The well was drilled with the ambition of proving up additional oil resources in the vicinity of the Wisting discovery, but like the previous Blåmann well, we discovered gas,” says Jez Averty, senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK.

“While this well proved a non-commercial gas discovery, the results provide grounds for cautious optimism for additional potential both within this license and the Hoop Area” Averty continues.

“We have over time secured a significant portfolio in the Hoop-area and what we have learned from this well will be important when we plan to test some of that acreage in 2018,” Averty points out.

The discovery is in the Hoop area, approximately 30 kilometers northeast of the Wisting discovery. Recoverable volumes are estimated at 0.4-1 billion standard cubic meters (BCM), approximately 2-6 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). In addition, there was proved oil, amounting to approximately 0,5-2 million barrels of recoverable oil.

This is the third discovery in Statoil’s 2017 Barents Sea exploration campaign, following the Kayak oil discovery announced on July 3 and the Blåmann gas discovery announced on July 17.

The well was drilled by the Songa Enabler semi-submersible drilling rig, which will now move to the Korpfjell prospect in license PL859 in the Barents Sea southeast.

Drilled in the license PL 855, the Gemini North Well is is the first well drilled in the acreage awarded in Norway’s 23rd licensing round, challenged last October with a lawsuit by Greenpeace Constitution and the Norwegian organization Nature and Youth.

The lawsuit argued that the new oil licenses violated both the Paris Climate Agreement and paragraph 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, which commits the government “to safeguard the people’s right to a clean and healthy environment for future generations.”  The hearing is scheduled for November 14, 2017.

As previously reported, late in July, the Greenpeace activists approached the Songa Enabler drilling rig Statoil was using at the Gemini North, located 275 km from the Finnmark coast, protesting against the Barents Sea drilling.

Greenpeace said it considers Statoil’s drilling program in the Barents Sea this summer to be the world’s most aggressive and controversial drilling program this year.

Offshore Energy Today Staff