Noble Integrator jack-up rig; Source: Noble Corporation

Fresh gas discovery for Harbour Energy in North Sea as drilling ops bear fruit

Harbour Energy Norge, a Norwegian subsidiary of Harbour Energy, has made a new gas discovery in the North Sea off the coast of Norway, using one of Noble Corporation’s jack-up rigs.

Noble Integrator jack-up rig; Source: Noble Corporation

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) granted Harbour Energy a drilling permit for the well 15/9-25, the Amethyst prospect, in November 2023, weeks after the Norwegian player obtained consent for exploration drilling in block 15/9 in the North Sea.

This well is located in production license 1138, which is operated by Harbour Energy Norge (40%) in partnership with Sval Energi (30%) and Aker BP (30%). The company and its partners have confirmed a gas discovery in well 15/9-25. The presence of gas was previously proven in two other exploration wells: 16/7-2 and 16/7-10, drilled in 1982 and 2011, respectively.

According to NOD, the overall gas volume is between one and three million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalent. Harbour and its partners will consider whether there is a technical and financial basis for tying the discovery into existing infrastructure in the area.

The primary exploration target for the well, which was drilled using the Noble Integrator jack-up rig northeast of the Sleipner area about 210 kilometers west of Stavanger, was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic and Triassic reservoir rocks in the Hugin and Skagerrak formations.

On the other hand, the secondary exploration target was to delineate gas proven in wells 16/7-2 and 16/7-10 in reservoir rocks in the Ty Formation from the Palaeocene. In the primary exploration target, well 15/9-25 encountered a 22-metre thick layer of aquiferous sand with very good reservoir quality in the Hugin Formation in the Vestland Group.

Regarding the Ty Formation, the well encountered a 10-metre gas column in a 118-metre thick sandstone reservoir with very good reservoir quality. The gas/water contact was encountered 2,330 meters below sea level, confirming the contact encountered in nearby wells.

Furthermore, the well, which was drilled to a measured depth of 2,872 meters below sea level and terminated in the Smith Bank Formation in the Upper Triassic, was not formation-tested. However, extensive data acquisition and sampling were carried out.

The water depth at the site is 84 meters and the well 15/9-25 has been permanently plugged and abandoned. The Noble Integrator jack-up rig scored a one-well contract with Harbour Energy on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in the summer of 2023, with an estimated duration of 35 days. 

The 2014-built Noble Integrator is a Gusto MSC CJ70 X150 MD jack-up rig constructed at Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore and can accommodate 150 people. Capable of working in a water depth of 492 ft, the rig’s maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft.

Harbour Energy is in the process of expanding its portfolio, thanks to a deal to acquire Wintershall Dea‘s entire non-Russian oil and gas portfolio along with carbon capture and storage assets in Europe to bring one of the world’s largest and most geographically diverse independent oil and gas companies to life.

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The $11.2 billion share and cash deal is expected to bolster Harbour’s portfolio with producing and development assets and exploration rights in Norway, Argentina, Germany, Mexico, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, and Denmark.