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

Equinor makes minor oil discovery in North Sea

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has made a minor oil discovery near the Visund field in the North Sea offshore Norway, which will be a tie-in to the planned development of the Garantiana oil discovery.

The wildcat well 34/6-5 S is located in production licence 554 where Equinor is the operator with Vår Energi and Aker BP as partners.

Following the receipt of a drilling permit from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the well was drilled about 10 kilometres northeast of the Visund field in the northern North Sea and 120 kilometres west of Florø.

Equinor said on Monday that recoverable resources are estimated at between 1.3 and 3.6 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent, corresponding to 8-23 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Rune Nedregaard, senior vice president, Exploration and Production South, said: “This is the first Equinor-operated well in the production licence, and the fifth discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf this year. The discovery is in line with our roadmap of exploring near existing infrastructure in order to increase the commerciality”.

According to the NPD’s update on Monday, the primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Jurassic Age (the Cook Formation).

The secondary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Jurassic Age (the Nansen Formation).

The well 34/6-5 S on the Garantiana West prospect encountered an 86-metre oil column in the Cook Formation, of which about 60 metres are sandstones with moderate to good reservoir quality.

It is estimated that the oil/water contact lies somewhere between 3672 and 3674 metres below sea level. The well encountered water-bearing sandstones in the Nansen Formation.

Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 1.3 and 3.6 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalent.

The licensees will consider developing the discovery through tie-in to the planned development of the 34/6-2 S (Garantiana) oil discovery.

Extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out. A successful formation test has been performed. The well was tested with a stable production rate of 550 Sm3 oil and 22,000 Sm3 gas per flow day through a 20/64-inch nozzle opening.

The respective maximum production rates were 1180 Sm3 oil and 38,000 Sm3 gas per flow day, through a 28/64-inch nozzle opening.

The formation test revealed good flow properties with stable flow pressure and low pressure decline, and consistent pressure build-up. The well produced oil with a gas/oil ratio of 32 Sm3/Sm3.

This is the sixth exploration well in production licence 554, which was awarded in APA2009.

The well 34/6-5 S was drilled to respective vertical and measured depths of 3952 and 4005 metres below sea level and was terminated in the Nansen Formation. The water depth at the site is 385 metres. The well has been permanently plugged and abandoned.

The well 34/6-5 S was drilled by the West Hercules drilling rig, which will now drill pilot holes in production licences 272 and 035 (near the 30/11-8 S (Krafla) and 30/11-9 S (Askja) discoveries) in the North Sea, where Equinor is also the operator.