Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

More Norwegian gas on the horizon, as another discovery comes to light

Norway’s state-owned energy giant Equinor has made a new gas and condensate discovery near the Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea, using an Odfjell Drilling-owned rig. 

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor has concluded the drilling of a wildcat well 6406/5-2 S on the Tott West prospect in production licence 255 B, where Equinor holds an ownership interest of 35 per cent, while its partners, TotalEnergies EP Norge and Petoro hold 35 and 30 per cent, respectively. This is the fourth exploration well in this licence, which was carved out of production licence 255 in 2016 (awarded in the 16th licensing round).

The Norwegian giant secured a drilling permit in March 2023 for this prospect. The well was drilled using Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Stavanger rig. The water depth at the site is 304 metres. The well was drilled about 25 km south of the Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) revealed last week that the objective of the well 6406/5-2 S was to prove petroleum in Middle and Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Garn, Ile and Tofte formations). The well encountered a gas/condensate column of about 24 metres in the Garn Formation, 46 m of which was a sandstone reservoir with poor to moderate reservoir properties.

According to the NPD, the Garn Formation had a total thickness of 60 metres, however, the well also encountered 102 metres and 140 metres of sandstone reservoirs in the Ile and Tofte formations, respectively, with moderate to good reservoir quality. The reservoir was water-filled.

Furthermore, the preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery in the Garn Formation between 0.2 and 1.1 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalent. Bearing this in mind, the licensees will assess the discovery alongside other nearby discoveries/prospects, regarding further follow-up.

While the well was not formation-tested, data acquisition and sampling have been carried out. The well 6406/5-2 S was drilled to a vertical depth of 4,582 metres and was terminated in the Ror Formation from the Early Jurassic. The well has been permanently plugged and abandoned.

The Deepsea Stavanger rig is now drilling a pilot hole in production licence 1058, where Equinor is the operator. The 2010-built rig is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design. It can carry out operations at water depths of up to 3,000 metres.

This is not Equinor’s first hydrocarbon discovery in 2023, as the Norwegian giant made another gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea in January 2023. In addition, the company announced in March 2023 a new oil and gas discovery near the Fram field in the North Sea off Norway.