Photo: Deepsea Nordkapp rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Minor gas and oil find for Aker BP

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP has made a minor gas and oil discovery in the Norwegian Sea.

Aker BP, the operator of production licence 127 C, has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 6607/12-4 and appraisal well 6607/12-4 A.

Aker BP secured a drilling permit as well as safety consent to use the Deepsea Nordkapp rig for these wells back in late June 2020.

The wells were drilled about 7 kilometres northeast of the 6607/12-2 S (Alve Nord) gas and oil discovery in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea and 200 kilometres west of Brønnøysund.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Thursday that the primary exploration target for well 6607/12-4 was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Jurassic/Triassic Age (the Garn, Ile, Tofte, Tilje and Åre Formations).

The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Cretaceous Age (the Lange Formation).

In the primary exploration target, the well encountered a total gas column of 80 metres in the Garn, Not and Ile Formations, 45 metres of which in sandstone layers with poor reservoir quality.

In the other formations from the Jurassic/Triassic Age, the sandstone layers are aquiferous with moderate to poor reservoir quality.

In the secondary exploration target, the well encountered oil in three reservoir zones in the Lange Formation.

In the upper zone, oil was encountered in a 2-metre sandstone layer with poor to moderate reservoir quality; in the middle zone in a 5-metre sandstone layer with moderate to good reservoir quality and in the lower zone in a 3-metre sandstone layer with poor to moderate reservoir quality. No oil/water contacts were encountered.

The primary exploration target for well 6607/12-4 A was to delineate a potential discovery in well 6607/12-4 in Jurassic/Triassic reservoir rocks.

The exploration target was abandoned due to poorer than expected reservoir properties in the Jurassic/Triassic. The exploration target was changed to delineate the oil discovery that was proven in reservoir rocks from the Early Cretaceous Age (the Lange Formation).

The well 6607/12-4 A encountered oil in three reservoir zones in the Lange Formation, as was the case in wildcat well 6607/12-4.

In the upper zone, oil was encountered in a 4-metre sandstone layer with poor to moderate reservoir quality, in the middle zone in a 6-metre sandstone layer with moderate to good reservoir quality and in the lower zone in a 4-metre sandstone layer with poor to moderate reservoir quality. No oil/water contacts were encountered.

Preliminary estimates of the size of the gas/oil discovery in the Jurassic/Triassic are between 0.5 and 1 million standard cubic metres (Sm³) of recoverable oil equivalent.

The oil discovery proven in the Lower Cretaceous is between 1 and 2.7 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalent within production licence 127 C. The oil discovery may be an extension of the 6608/10/17 S (Cape Vulture) oil and gas discovery from 2017.

The licensees will assess the results of the gas/oil discovery alongside the 6607/12-2 S (Alve Nord) discovery, while the oil discovery will be evaluated in connection with nearby discoveries in the area for further follow-up.

The well was not formation-tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out, the NPD said.

The wells are the first exploration wells in production licence 127 C, which was awarded after it was carved out from PL127 in 2017.

Wells 6607/12-4 and 6607/12-4 A were drilled to respective vertical depths of 4124 and 3109 metres below sea level.

The well 6607/12-4 was terminated in the Åre Formation from the Triassic Age, while 6607/12-4 A was terminated in the Lange Formation from the Early Cretaceous Age. Water depth at the site is 362 metres. The wells have now been permanently plugged and abandoned.

Wells 6607/12-4 and 6607/12-4 A were drilled by the Deepsea Nordkapp drilling rig, which will now proceed to production licence 203 in the North Sea to drill production wells on the Alvheim field, where Aker BP is also the operator.

Elsewhere in the Norwegian Sea, ConocoPhillips has recently made a significant gas discovery. According to the company, it is “potentially the largest on the Norwegian Continental shelf this year”.

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