Photo: Deepsea Yantai rig; Source: Neptune Energy

Hamlet proves to be an oil and gas discovery

Oil and gas company Neptune Energy has confirmed an oil and gas discovery at its Hamlet exploration wells in the North Sea offshore Norway. Neptune also has plans for another exploration well in the same play, at Ofelia prospect.

Neptune started drilling operations on its Hamlet exploration well in late February 2022, using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible rig. The Hamlet prospect is located 7 km north of the Gjøa field within the PL153 Licence. Neptune Energy is the operator of the licence with a 30 per cent interest and its partners are Petoro (30 per cent), Wintershall Dea (28 per cent), and OKEA (12 per cent).

Come March 2022 and Neptune revealed it had encountered hydrocarbons at the well. However, operations in the reservoir section were still at an early stage and it had yet to be confirmed if commercial volumes were present.

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In an update on Thursday, Neptune Energy and its partners announced the discovery of oil and gas at the Hamlet exploration wells. In-place volumes discovered in the Hamlet structure are estimated to be in the range of 5-11 million standard cubic metres (MSm3) or 30-70 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). Work is continuing to confirm potential recoverable resources, but Neptune’s preliminary estimate is 8-24 mmboe.

Located 58 kilometres west of Florø, Norway, at a water depth of 358 metres, Hamlet will be considered as a tie-back to the Neptune-operated Gjøa semi-submersible platform.

Hamlet is a new discovery in the Gjøa area, where Neptune already operates two fields. The Wintershall Dea-operated fields Vega and Nova are also tied back to the Gjøa platform.

Neptune Energy’s Managing Director for Norway and the UK, Odin Estensen, said: “This discovery is in line with Neptune’s strategy to focus on exploration around existing hubs, enabling us to fast-track development, and to keep costs down and carbon emissions low. A potential field development would build on our experiences from recent successful developments of the Duva field and Gjøa P1 segment.”

According to Neptune, the drilling programme comprised a main-bore (35/9-16S) with a side-track (35/9-16A). Both wells found hydrocarbons, and the sidetrack confirmed an oil/water contact at 2662 metres total vertical depth. Neptune and its partners have initiated studies to consider development options for the discovery.

Neptune Energy’s Director of Exploration & Development in Norway, Steinar Meland, added: “The Hamlet exploration well confirms the extended potential of the Agat play, previously only developed and produced in the Neptune-operated Duva field. Neptune plans to drill a further exploration well, the Ofelia prospect, in the same play later this year.”