Transocean Norge; Source: Transocean

OMV spuds gas-condensate prospect with Transocean rig

OMV Norge, a subsidiary of Austria’s oil and gas company OMV, has started drilling an exploration well in the Norwegian Sea, using one of Transocean’s semi-submersible rigs.

Transocean Norge; Source: Transocean

This comes after OMV secured a drilling permit from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) for the well 6607/3-1 S and obtained consent for exploration drilling in blocks 6607/3 and 6607/6 in the Norwegian Sea from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA). The prospect, Velocette, is situated in a water depth of around 475 metres.

The programme for the well entails drilling a wildcat well in production licence 1016, which was awarded on 1 March 2019 and is valid until 1 March 2026. OMV holds an ownership interest of 40 per cent and acts as the operator of the licence, while its partners are Inpex Idemitsu Norge (40 per cent) and Longboat JAPEX Norge (20 per cent).

According to OMV’s partner, Longboat, the drilling operations on the Velocette exploration well are underway. This is a gas-condensate prospect targeting Cretaceous Nise turbidite sands on the eastern flank of the Utgard High in the Norwegian Sea.

Helge Hammer, Chief Executive of Longboat Energy, commented: “We are excited to have commenced drilling the Velocette prospect which will be our ninth exploration well. Velocette is a gas-weighted opportunity targeting very significant prospective resources. The exploration well also has significant follow-on potential that will be derisked in the case of success.”

The company explains that this prospect benefits from seismic amplitude anomalies indicative of gas-filled sands and is located within tie-back distance from the Equinor-operated, producing Aasta Hansteen field (about 45 km). Longboat further elaborates that the key risks associated with this prospect are reservoir presence and quality.

Furthermore, Velocette is estimated to contain gross unrisked mean resources of 177 mmboe (35 mmboe net to Longboat JAPEX Norge) with a geological chance of success of 30 per cent. A number of follow-on opportunities exist within license PL1016 with aggregate gross unrisked mean resources of around 200 mmboe, which would be significantly de-risked by success in the Velocette well.

The well is being drilled with the Transocean Norge rig, thanks to a 17-well contract, which the rig secured in September 2022, after two oil and gas companies, Wintershall Dea and OMV, entered into an exclusive partnership with Transocean for the use of the Transocean Norge rig for the drilling of all firm and additional potential wells in the period 2023 to 2027.

The Transocean Norge sixth-generation Moss Maritime CS60 semi-submersible rig was constructed at Jurong Shipyard in Singapore. This rig can accommodate 150 people and its maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft.