Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Fresh oil & gas find emerges as latest contender for tie-back to North Sea platform

Norwegian oil and gas player Vår Energi has made a new commercial oil and gas discovery in the North Sea, which comes with estimated gross recoverable resources of between 18-39 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). This hydrocarbon find is in the running to be tied back to an existing platform off the coast of Norway.

Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The drilling permit for a well in production license 636 was granted to Neptune Energy Norge, a former subsidiary of Neptune Energy, whose assets, aside from the business in Germany, were acquired by Eni and its majority-owned Vår Energi, which recently wrapped up the merger with its wholly-owned subsidiary Vår Energi Norge, previously known as Neptune Energy Norge.

As a result, the license partners are Vår Energi (operator, 30%), Inpex Idemitsu Norge (30%), PGNiG Upstream Norway (30%), and Sval Energi (10%). The Cerisa exploration well and three additional side-track appraisal wells were drilled by the Odfjell Drilling-managed Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible drilling rig.

The operator’s data shows that oil-water contact was not encountered in the wells drilled, which is interpreted to imply a possible upside to the estimated resource range. The Cerisa discovery is located 17 kilometers northeast of the Vår Energi-operated Gjøa platform and five kilometers from the Duva subsea template while the Gjøa field is about 80 kilometers southwest of Florø.

The Cerisa exploration well led to the fourth discovery in a row close to the partly electrified Gjøa platform. Therefore, the Norwegian firm underlies that this discovery is a candidate to be tied into the Gjøa field through the existing infrastructure, together with previous discoveries of Gjøa North and Ofelia/Kyrre, which combined have estimated gross recoverable resources of up to 110 mmboe.

Torger Rød, Vår Energi’s COO, commented: “The Gjøa area constitutes a key part of the company’s hub strategy on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Cerisa discovery is a testament to our consistent and successful exploration strategy, targeting high value barrels close to existing infrastructure. It clearly demonstrates the potential to unlock further resources in the area and adds to the value accretive synergies resulting from the Neptune transaction.

“It adds more high value, low carbon barrels supporting our target to deliver between 350-400 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day from 2025 and beyond. This discovery will now be assessed together with the other discoveries around Gjøa, where the Gjøa North and Ofelia/Kyrre developments are already ongoing.”

The firm claims that the commercial Cerisa discovery adds to its exploration track record, with a discovery rate of over 50% over the past five years and finding costs of less than $1 per barrel post tax. This discovery also supports Vår Energi’s plans for the continuous development of the North Sea as a long-term production hub.

According to the operator, Cerisa is currently being included as part of the Gjøa North and Ofelia/Kyrre project team to enable a fast-track delivery of these four discoveries into production. Vår Energi is set on growing its production to around 400,000 barrels per day by the end of 2025. To make this happen, the firm is involved in several development projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

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