Photo: West Hercules rig; Source: Equinor/ Credit: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Equinor confirms sixth discovery on Norwegian shelf this year

Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor has confirmed it has found oil in the Egyptian Vulture exploration well, located in the Norwegian Sea, making it its sixth discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf this year. The latest discovery demonstrated resources that can strengthen the service life of producing fields in the Norwegian Sea.

Preliminary estimates show that between 3 and 10 million standard cubic meters of recoverable oil equivalents have been proven in the well, corresponding to 19-62 million barrels, Equinor said in a statement on Monday.

Equinor is the operator of the well with partners PGNiG Upstream Norway and Longboat Energy Norway. The well 6407 / 1-9 was spud in September 2021, using the West Hercules drilling rig.

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Late last week, Longboat also announced ‘a material light oil’ discovery at the Egyptian Vulture exploration well.

“Our ambition is to transform the shelf from an oil and gas province to a broad energy province that will ensure value creation from the shelf in the decades to come. In this ambition, our exploration activities are central,” said Kristin Westvik who is area director for Exploration and Production North.

Westvik added that future value creation will largely come from increased recovery from existing fields, and the connection of new discoveries close to existing infrastructure. It is therefore uplifting once again to be able to demonstrate resources that can strengthen the service life of producing fields in the Norwegian Sea. Such near-field discoveries are profitable, robust against fluctuations in oil/gas prices, they have a short payback period and low emissions.

The discovery is the sixth Equinor has made on the Norwegian shelf so far this year.

The well was drilled about 10 kilometres north of the Tyrihans field and 23 kilometres east of the Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea. The aim of the well was to detect hydrocarbons in sandstone reservoirs of the late Cretaceous age in the Lange Formation.

According to Equinor, the well 6407 / 1-9 was drilled vertically to a measured depth of 3883 meters below sea level and encountered an estimated 36 meters of oil column in sandstone in the Lange Formation, of which 13 meters are sandstones with poor to moderate reservoir quality. Oil down to 3719.5 meters below sea level was detected in the well. The oil-water contact was not encountered. The water depth at the site is 301 meters.

Extensive data collection and sampling has been performed. The preliminary analysis of the MDT samples indicates a light oil. This is the first exploration well in production licence 939, which was awarded in APA 2017.

Equinor also said that the discovery will be evaluated for further appraisal and assessed for tie back to existing fields in the area. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The well 6407 / 1-9 was drilled by the drilling rig West Hercules, which will now drill the exploration well 35 / 10-7 S Toppand in production licence 630 in the North Sea, where Equinor is also the operator.