Equinor makes minor oil discovery in North Sea

  • Exploration & Production

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has made a minor oil discovery with the wildcat well 35/11-22 S in the North Sea offshore Norway. 

The well is located in production license 248 C where Equinor is the operator. Equinor received a drilling permit for the well in December 2018. It was drilled about 10 kilometers west of the Fram field and around 100 kilometers southwest of Florø in the northern part of the North Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday that the primary exploration target for well 35/11-22 S was to prove oil in Middle to Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Brent Group and the Cook Formation). The secondary exploration target was to prove oil in the Statfjord Group in the Lower Jurassic.

In the primary exploration target, the well encountered the Brent Group with a thickness of about 190 meters, of which 90 meters of effective reservoir rocks with moderate reservoir quality. The thickness of the Cook Formation is about 70 meters, of which 50 meters of effective reservoir rocks with poor to moderate reservoir quality. Both of the primary targets are aquiferous.

The secondary exploration target in the Statfjord group has a thickness of about 130 meters, of which 60 meters of aquiferous reservoir rocks with poor reservoir quality.

Well 35/11-22 S also encountered a sandstone-dominated unit in the Heather Formation in the Middle to Upper Jurassic totaling about 30 meters, of which 15 meters of effective reservoir rocks, mainly with moderate reservoir quality. Oil was proven, but the oil/water contact was not encountered.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the size of the discovery is between 0.2 and 0.7 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable oil. The licensees do not consider the discovery to be profitable at present, but will assess this together with other nearby discoveries and prospects with regard to further follow-up.

The well was not formation-tested, but extensive volumes of data have been acquired and sampling has been carried out.

This is the second exploration well in production license 248 C. In 2013, this license was carved out from production license 248, which was awarded in the North Sea Awards in 1999.

The well 35/11-22 S was drilled to a vertical depth of 3882 meters below the sea surface, and was terminated in the Statfjord Group. Water depth at the site is 363 meters. The well has been permanently plugged and abandoned.

The well was drilled by the Deepsea Bergen drilling rig, which will now plug an older exploration well in production license 052 on the Veslefrikk field in the northern part of the North Sea, where Equinor is also the operator.

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