Aker BP unlocks more North Sea hydrocarbons with minor oil and gas find

Aker BP hits minor oil and gas find in North Sea

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP has made a minor oil and gas discovery with its 2/8-19 well, which is located near the Valhall field in the North Sea offshore Norway.

Maersk Invincible rig; Courtesy of Maersk Drilling

Aker BP received a drilling permit for the well 2/8-19 from the Norwegian authorities in April 2022. The well was drilled about 10 kilometres north of the Valhall field in the Norwegian Sea and 270 kilometres southwest of Lista.

In an update on Wednesday, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) informed that Aker BP, as the operator of production licence 1085, valid until February 2027, had concluded the drilling of the wildcat well 2/8-19. This is the first exploration well in this production licence, which was awarded in APA 2020.

Aker BP has an ownership interest of 55 per cent in the licence and other licensees are DNO Norge with 25 per cent and Petero with the remaining 20 per cent.

The NPD explained that the primary exploration target for well 2/8-19 was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks in Lower Pliocene clinoforms (Nordland Group) while the secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks in Middle Pliocene clinoforms (Nordland Group).

In the primary exploration target, well 2/8-19 encountered a 9-metre oil column in a sandstone reservoir with moderate to good reservoir quality totalling 56 metres in the Nordland Group. The directorate confirmed that the oil/water contact was proven at 703 metres below sea level while traces of petroleum were also observed in sandstone with moderate to poor reservoir quality deeper than the proven oil/water contact.

In the secondary exploration target, the well encountered a 15-metre gas column in a sandstone reservoir totalling 68 metres, and reservoir quality varied from good (top) to poor (bottom). The NPD said that the gas/water contact was proven at a depth of 563 metres below sea level.

As detailed by the NPD, preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 0.6 and 1.9 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalent and the licensees will assess the discovery in regard to potential further delineation.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate stated that the well was not formation-tested, however, extensive data acquisition and sampling were carried out. The NPD also confirmed that the well 2/8-19 was drilled to a vertical depth of 806 metres below sea level and was terminated in the Nordland Group in the Pliocene.

According to the NPD, the water depth at the site is 69 metres and the well has been permanently plugged and abandoned. This well was drilled by the Maersk Drilling-owned Maersk Invincible jack-up rig, which was originally contracted in November 2017 under a five-year agreement, thanks to a joint jack-up alliance between Aker BP, Maersk Drilling and Halliburton.

Aker BP followed up on this deal in December 2021, when it decided to renew the frame agreement with Maersk Drilling for two jack-up rigs – Maersk Integrator and Maersk Invincible – for a five-year period. The deal also entailed a hybrid investment case, under which Maersk Drilling will outfit this ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig with hybrid, low-emission upgrades.

The Maersk Invincible is now headed to Denmark for classification, based on NPD’s statement.

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